Back in March, as I strolled down the boardwalk in downtown Riverhead, I was stunned to see that the Peconic River was stacked with bunker. My mind is usually thinking about cod, flounder or beer this time of year — bunker should simply not be on the scene yet. I was both terrified and excited. It was either a good omen for the coming fishing season, or the end times were upon us.
On April 15 (bass season opener) came and reports from the western sound and the south shore started rolling in. Then rumblings of schoolies in the Peconics. Bait was everywhere.
I could no longer contain myself. Out came the kayak and the wetsuit. I had a two hour window one Saturday morning to get out and try a new spot in Flanders Bay and catch a beautiful sunrise. I hooked up a small fish almost right away on a white Tsunami popper, but the cold got the better of me quickly and schoolies were not worth the suffering.
Captain Rob Thompson has had a similar experience further east in the Southold/Cutchogue area. He sent me some nice pictures. No better way to shake off the winter than catching some schoolies.
Some area party boats hit the ground running when porgy fishing opened on May 1. Captain Ken Holmes on the Brooklyn Girl in Orient Point got on the fish right away opening day. Captain Ken said there were some fluke, short bass and seabass that were all thrown back. In the afternoon, the bite got a little picky. But all in all, a good start.
The Peconic Star in Greenport is starting their porgy season on May 7.
Captain Phil Kess on the Fishy Business out of Orient will also be sailing his first porgy trip on the seventh.
Captain Dan on the Orient Star IV is going to kick things off Sunday May 15, with an open-by-reservation porgy trip. He will start fluking May 30, with another open-by-reservation trip. Dan says there are plenty of dates open in between, for either day or night charters.
Bottom line, get out there and go get ’em! Great fishing to be had right now in protected waters. Tight lines!
New Moon: May 6
Full Moon: May 21
South Jamesport May 7:
High: 12:43 a.m. and 1:18 p.m.
Greenport May 7:
High 11:50 a.m.