Ratfest in East Hampton: Fun with Small Fish

Three amigos close out the surfcasting season with stripers in diapers

November 23, 2010

Double Header: A baby bass and its tiny cousin fell to a teaser fly and Hopkins

The fishing becalmed on the East End in the second half of November, when the Fat Lady warmed up her pipes right after Veteran’s Day.  I didn’t put a keeper in the cooler subsequent to November 9,  yet I put in the time—16 days for the month—and I caught my  fair share of fish: mostly schoolies.

Seven, for instance, on a beautiful mid-month weekday when I nailed a shortie on my firs pre-dawn cast.  Good omen for the day I thought at the time.  But it took quite a while and a change of lures before I scored another;  it was a micro-striper. Later, I watched a couple of stripers-in-diapers caught near Wiborg beach on the incoming tide. Rather than mug two gents there who seemed so well entertained, I moved over to Atlantic Ave. Beach.  An inviting sandbar was within wading distance, and a few birds worked far offshore.  Over the next two hours, I had five little fatties, none larger than 26 inches.

First Light: Billy S. scored this near yearling at dawn

A hard blow interrupted the bite for two days, but by Friday the wind sat down and bright sunshine counteracted the coolish 40 degree temperatures on the beach.  Lots of small fish popped and swirled in the daybreak surf near Wiborg, Two Mile Hollow and Maidstone Beaches.  The fish were in so close, I took to casting sideways, nearly parallel to the shore.  I even put on my ancient and pockmarked Danny Swimmer plug to serve as a TDD (teaser delivery device) and it produced at least a bump on every cast.  I raised fish pursuing my uglier-than-sin teaser fly and managed to nail four of them, the largest about 25-inches.

Big Bob's beach slugging percentage remained highest

On a beautiful pre-Thanksgiving Sunday morning at sunrise, Big Bob, rookie Billy S. and I all got well on rats that were feeding in the gentle waves. I got fish far out beyond the bar, and some very close to shore.  They were everywhere at first light for about an hour. We moved over to Maidstone where a steady pick was on. There I got a double header and a few more shorties before a big old skate took me out of the game when my Hopkins lure snagged his wing. Bob departed, Billy and I moved to Napeague Lane where we watched Slammin’ Sam the Hook catch two of the smallest bass in the world. Water temperatures in the 50s chilled our fingers so we exited the beach for breakfast. At home, Natalie was in full holiday baking mode. We sampled applesauce cake, cranberry cookies and a fresh cup of hot coffee. In the background, the Fat Lady’s voice rose to full crescendo. Thus descended the curtain on my fishing season, 2010.

54 Responses to “Ratfest in East Hampton: Fun with Small Fish”

  1. Kathy says:

    Sounds like you had a very good season overall. Your fishing skills are only surpassed by your journalism skills. Thanks for sharing.
    Maybe next year we can witness it all in person. Kathy

  2. Kathy says:

    Sounds like you had a very good season overall. Your fishing skills are only surpassed by your journalism skills. Thanks for sharing.
    Maybe next year we can witness it all in person. Kathy

  3. John Polcari says:

    Another year of fun & frolic with Fred has drawn to a close. Long live Amagansett!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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