Halloween Striper and the Pumpkin Ale Taste-Off

Can’t Miss Dan’s comeback with schoolies and a keeper

October 29-31, 2010

Comeback fisherman of 2010: Dan with a schoolie striper

After our family gathering dispersed on October 26, Dan stayed the week leading up to Halloween and had good fishing from beginning to end.  One afternoon, he strolled down to the beach at the end of TI Drive where, as he says, “I had all the fish I wanted.” Unfortunately, they were schoolies of the 26-inch variety, so nothing to plate for the early part of his vacation.  But on Friday morning, once the wet and foggy weather was gone, he scored a bunch of fish, including a 31-inch keeper, fishing the bar just west of Indian Wells beach.

Halloween Keeper: Dan banged this 31-inch striper near Indian Wells beach

Saturday and Sunday, I joined Dan trying to recreate his success.  Big winds and a strong west to east rip in the surf made fishing a real challenge.  Dan managed two shorties. His friend Sydney—hereafter known as Seagull Syd—tangled a gull and I wore the skunk. On Sunday morning, Big Bob’s son, John M. and bucktailing Billy S. joined us for a brief, got-to-get-back-to-work, first light session.  Billy S. was late to the party, joining us near Atlantic beach around 8am.  But he saved the morning with a hook up on a 26-inch schoolie, putting him decidedly a striper ahead in the Surf Rookie of the Year standings.

Pumpkin Alers: Natalie L., Dan, Sydney, Whiskey Dave

The highlight of the weekend took place at home on Saturday evening.  Seagull Syd and Whiskey David A. were packing 14—that’s right 14!—varieties of Pumpkin Ale and a spreadsheet on which to judge them.  Their annual Pumpkin Ale Taste Off was built around a dinner featuring Daniel’s Friday morning keeper, cooked in a Livornese variation; sauteed with capers, shallots, green olives, plum tomatoes and white wine. It was additionally adorned with two dozen little neck clams.

Striped Bass Livornese adorned with little neck clams

Seasonal sides were roasted local cauliflower and brussell sprouts, brown rice with red onions, celery and carrots, arugula salad and, for dessert, pumkin ice-cream pie with ginger snap crumble crust.

Billy stayed after we all split early on Sunday.  He worked the Montauk ocean beach west of the Surfside overlook on tips from Harvey and Sam D. that the fish were holed up pretty strong near Gurney’s Inn. He managed one short before daybreak on Monday.  Top of the Rookie leader board he remains.

One Response to “Halloween Striper and the Pumpkin Ale Taste-Off”

  1. John Polcari says:

    Fred,
    14 varieties of Pumpkin Ale? WOW!! Who knew! (Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful tradition.) jp

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