State waters awarded sea bass fishing extension

The sea bass fishery has been extended in state waters, but on the down side we have gale warnings up for today. Hopefully, the weekend weather will be better. Another plus is the arrival of albies at Montauk and a few more showing up on this side of the Sound.

Don at King Cove in Stonington said he received an e-mail from the DEP that stated sea bass fishing in state waters remains open until Oct. 10, closing the next day. It will then reopen on Nov. 1, closing on Dec. 31. Rhode Island sea bassing, said Don, was valid until Oct. 12 and New York, presently closed, will open up from Oct. 1-30.

Don also reported on some sporadic sightings of green bonito from Watch Hill over to the south side of Fishers Island. Striper fishing in the area is good one day, very poor the next with some of the larger fish in close to shore on the south side of Fishers. Porgy catches are good and are expected to remain so.

Captain Jack Balint was off Montauk yesterday on a charter saying he had landed nine albies on spinning rods and Super Flukes and lost a couple lures to bluefish chops. There are small blues around from North Hill to Race Point and also news about some large bass caught drifting eels early in the week at the mouth of the Thames.

As this goes to bed, the weather forecast for today is gale winds from the south, going down on Saturday. By then though we may have increasing seas on the outside from the passage of Hurricane Igor but the Sound should be OK, said Jack.

Bob's Tackle told me there are some large blues in the lower part of the Thames and more blues caught in The Race on the ebb tide on diamond jigs. Porgy catches are good and the sea bass season extended through Oct. 10.

Over at J&B Tackle, I spoke with Evan Douton who said the sea bass catches at the West Grounds are good and the bass fishing for their charter boat improved a bit drifting at night at Valiant Shoal on the ebb tide. They also trolled up a few stripers at Race Rock during the day trips.

Hillyers Tackle said there's been a small fleet of boats at times around Bartlett's Reef catching large porgies. A fly rodder landed a fine 36-pound bass from shore at Harkness while others caught schoolies on plugs and spinning rods just before dawn and at sunset. They also got a reliable report about schoolies caught from shore at McCook's Point. There has also been some keeper sea bass on the ebb tide in the 100-foot hole off Black Point and a few more on the edges of the Bloody Grounds.

Jack at The Fish Connection said a school of large blues was chasing bunker in the middle of the river from buoy 27 up to the bridge on Wednesday. That evening smaller blues had peanut bunker pushed up against the shore in the same general area on the east side of the river.

Some large blues to 12 pounds were caught around the Gold Star Bridge along with a 41-inch bass from some spot in the river, that fish fooled by a snagged bunker that was live- lined back around the school of bait. You can catch nice porgies at Goshen Reef or Avery Point if you don't have a boat. The backside of Fishers Island is also good for jumbo scup.

River's End Tackle reported some albies at Montauk, hopefully the start of the fall run of those inshore speed balls. The shop also got news about albies caught from the West Wall Breakwater at Point Judith. Jiggers caught a few blues at The Gut but locally striper fishing is poor to awful.

Captain Brad Glas of the Hel-Cat said the blue fishing in and around The Race was excellent with good numbers on each trips, sizes mixed though "there are still some of the jumbos caught as well." Instead of bass showing up at certain times in the tide, they went "nuts" when the mood moved them, blitzing for a short period of time. Big fish of the week was a 20-pound bass caught by "Outback Jack."

We close this week with a report from Rhode Island about a catch of six blues from 10-13 pounds made on Monday evening from 6-8:30 p.m. at Watch Hill Beach on chunks and wire leaders by Dana and Larry from Bolton. Ray Monahan from Westerly was there trying a popper without a hit. He borrowed one of the pair's 11-foot surf rods, baited up with a chunk and caught a 10-pounder.

Tim Coleman is The Day's saltwater fishing columnist. He can be reached at thewreckhunter@aol.com.

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