Fall is here Anglers! That means the bait explosions and fish feeding and migration begins. Sand Eels. Bunker. Bunker Pods. Peanut Bunker. Anchovies. Rain Bait. Squid, etc., have the bass and blues and albies on the hunt and on the feed.

Lets start with September. September fishing wasn’t great on the striper front but there were a few select days and nights that places lit up. On September 25, 2016, the Fisherman Magazine and the New York State Parks hosted its annual 2 day Montauk Classic Surf Fishing Tourney for Bass and Blues. While the weather was finally great for the tourney this year, the fishing wasn’t stellar. On Friday night, most of the leaderboard fish came in. Unfortunately, I was out of town for my cousins wedding and got back to MTK on Sat afternoon which meant I had to hit it hard. In the bass division, friends Larry Welcome and Mike Coppola had some 20 something pound bass for 2nd and 3rd with John Millici in first with a 27 pounder. In the blue division, a 13 plus was in the lead with a 12 and 10lb in second and third. During the tourney, Tommy P and I hit some sand beaches where we caught a mixture of bass and blues on tins and bucktails. Nothing huge but happy we found some fish on the Ocean that looked too calm and devoid of birds and bait for miles. We picked up bass in the 28” in range which were all quickly released. We fished some spots on the Northside and again came up with smaller bass and blues but nothing insane. On Sunday Am, I tried the sand beaches again to no success and to wrap it up the tourney, we fished back on the Northside and watched the birds chase bait in and out of casting range. About to call it a tourney and saying goodbye to Tommy, I noticed a gaggle of birds chasing bait well within casting range at one part of the beach. I immediately hopped in the truck, drove a few hundred yards and casted a pink super strike little neck popper as far as I could towards the action. First cast went unanswered and the second hit the sweet spot. It just felt right and at that instant, I noticed a wave coming towards the lure and Bammm, big blue on. I was saying, please don’t drop this fish, it’s a good fish, please don’t drop. During the battle, I felt one hook pop out and knew I had one treble remaining in. As such, had to finesse fight this fish and not muscle him in and the hook out. So, took my time and tired him out until he was on the beach. The BOGA said over 11lbs so I loaded the fish into the cooler and off to Paulies,( the weigh station for the tourney), and it hit the scales at 11.08 to move and remain into 3rd place. (Thanks to Ray and Sue for working around the clock at Paulies). Was stoked to take third since like I said, it was a weekend that wasn’t loaded with fish and had a lot of casters packing it in before the tourney ended. Another one in the books and thanks to Fred and the Fisherman, the Parks, the volunteers and the other winners. Congrats also to fellow surf guide Bill Wetzell who won the catch and release aspect of the contest.

Moving into late Sept /October, Albies have been all over and crushing rain bait. Bass and blues have been mixing in as well. One morning, Rich (Fishaholic Fishing) and I drove around and sort of came upon a massive blitz of blues smashing a pod of bunker at the shore edge. See Fishaholic TV on you tube to watch the amazing video of bunker at our feet and 16 pound blues chasing and shredding them. Rich placed his camera underwater and shot some rarely seen before footage. After catching several 16 pounders and also losing a few lures, we moved on and hit a few other spots around town just to mix it up. As for the nightbite, and as many of you heard, the lighthouse lit up for a few nights and big bass arrived with the heave from the East. Congrats to Ben McCarron for landing a 55 Pounder which has him in a solid lead for the Montauk Surfmasters’ Fall Tourney Wader Division. Awesome fish in tough to fish conditions.

On Monday October 10, Jimmy from St James came out at 5am and we started points North since there was a strong North wind coming from Conn. With 5 foot whitewater waves rolling in and 30mph winds pushing them all morning, it was a site to see and also fish in. Not entirely comfortable but with enough head gear and jackets and gloves, we were good to go. A few sharpies to my right were catching up small bass on light bucktails as I was going for the Koww on a superstrike bottle plug and Jimmy was throwing a green 2 oz bucktail for limited action on our first ten casts. THEN, I look over and see Jimmy fighting what looked to be a hefty fish in the whitewater. He took his time, didn’t muscle it in and landed a nice 20 plus pound Striper. His personal best from this particular sand beach. Congrats James on a job well done. Later that day we decided to meet up with Mike C on the sand and got a call that the inlet was exploding with activity. That’s not a call I get often as was probably the first time a diehard said, gotta get to the jetty asap. Upon arrival, about 30 anglers were on the westwall and several rods were bent. Nicky B was out there catching em up, Mike C nailed a few and Rich J was in on the action. Between the beach and the jetties, a pod of anchovies / rain bait was being tormented by bass, blues and albies once again. This lasted about 3 hours and many of us caught several bass up to 10 pounds with an occasional blue and albie for some. Awesome day to say the least and as the sun set, the bite slowly faded away with many happy anglers walking to their buggies. Until the next report, tight lines and screaming reels. See you out there and please check our photo gallery for pics of the adventures. Mike