Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fluke Jigging Aboard The Peconic Star Express, Opening week May 2nd, 2013 - Greenport, NY

May 2nd, 2013 - It had been a hot bite for the past week in and around lower Manhatten and into Sheepshead Bay and there was so much temptation to get to the bite I've forgotten about opening day for fluke in New York.
With over a few good locations to fish, the month of May offers undoubtedly the best time to hunt multi-species in the Northeastern United States.  I called up Kilsong and he was open to share his local and non-local reports as always.
Here is the link to the last trip we took on the Peconic II:

FLAMINGO! BROOKLYN IV!  ...these are a few names I haven't heard in a long time.  I'd like to take the time to say that NYC has some of the best fishing this side of the nation.  Although the above party boats (headboats for all you CT folks) are in different locations, Brooklyn's harbors were one of the original fishing communities of yesteryear.

Back to Fluke.


I met new crew member Bayaar in NYC and we made our way to western CT.  Jie & Li (distant cousins set apart by dissonance at birth) and with a delightful early May evening breeze we decided to head to Greenport, Long Island to fish the Peconic Bay.  Home of giant fluke.  Home of the 33lb record with a girth and thickness of two new york city telephone books stack on top of each other. (do they still print these???)

Driving from Connecticut to the end of Long Island at 1am let us get to the port before anyone had risen.  The boat was at it's best and we were met by the mate on-board (Dennis) by a smile and astonishment that it was we arrived four hours before loading time...

Gear Used:

SMITH AMJ 54L 5'4"
Lamiglas Tri-Flex 7030CT 7'0"
Lamiglas Tri-Flex 7030CT 7'0"
G.Loomis HSR930 Hot Shot 7'9"
G.Loomis Pro-Blue (Make it Rain edition)
St. Croix PM76MHF 7'6"
Seeker Hercules GTS70L Custom 6'3"

Shimano Ocea Jigger 1500PG
Shimano Trinidad 10a (white knob)
Shimano Ocea Jigger LD 2000II
Shimano Trinidad 10a (round EVA knob)
Van Stall VM150
Daiwa Saltiga sa15
Shimano Stradic FJ5000 (10bb custom)

While waiting till morning I tried my best to stay awake.
At best I was tying FG knots and fighting off the temptation to sleep.  3:20am....4:40am...5:30am...7:05am FINALLY came and we hoped aboard the Peconic Express.

The drift was light and the load was as well.  We met about 12-13 other anglers willing to try their luck at the legendary bay.  The season was early and water still cold.  Funny thing about fishing the bay is that the depth being 40 feet has two thermoclines.  Surface temperature was around 52-54 degrees but I suspect the deeper water was around 48 or so degrees.  The fluke season had just opened the day before (May 1st, 2013).

Fishing was by drift and with a good breeze to put us on the fish.  One short fluke on Li's rod came up and soon thereafter I was hooked into another.  The full day of fishing received a nice wind to drift situation.  If you have ever fished the bay it's all about covering certain areas.  The same ones everyone else would cover.  We saw about 8-9 other private and for charter boats alongside us.
First and second fish were both landed on CM Tackle fluke bait rigs with a medium/long drift setup.
Beautiful fish just "short" of the New York state regulation 19 inch limit.

The crew did a nice job of tending to anglers and create some fun conversations !!  Always a pleasure on the Peconic fleet.

Boat did okay for numbers but many fish were short.  Mate Dennis mentioned the good bite should be within a week.  We know that the good bite is when the baitfish are here and wind/weather has been nice.  We average about 1 per angler.  For our group Li, Jie and I caught fish.  Li had four "just short" and I had one short and two keepers at 21 and 22 inches.  Jie battled a short as well.

It was Bayaar's first time out and I will comend him on his efforts to stay on the rod.  Many guys will just hang it up and forget that it takes the line to be in the water to catch.

Fishing is an outing.  Catching is all about "time on the water."  :-)

Our group were all smiles.

Mate Dennis recognized me, he asked where my father was as he thought I usually fish with him.

Above caught on CM Tackle Bait rig with 6" Chartreuse Gulp Mullet.
Below Caught on Spro 6oz green jig tipped with killies and real squid strip.

Thanks for reading!  Next Stop Brooklyn Nighttime Striped Bass, stay tuned...