by Capt. Steve Byrne
I love fishing the spring run, but nothing beats the fall. Of course, fall also drives me crazy, as it did this afternoon when I was supposed to do an albie charter. The wind was a steady 20 from the west - at least it felt that way - and the bay was looking a lot like that Congo Rapids ride at Great Adventure. And that was wind and tide together. I had no interest in seeing what it was going to look like when the tide turned into the wind.
Another fall, another canceled trip. It's a familiar pattern. That's why I try to keep everything ready to roll: if there is an unexpected opportunity to get out and fish, I will be ready.
The albies have been plentiful this fall, and they will probably hit the road soon. With some luck, we will get another shot at them before they depart. On the other end of the angling spectrum is the 2012 New York blackfish season, which opens this Friday. There may be a scenario where we are catching albies and ‘tog on opening day. I can't wait.
Since today's trip was blown out, I decided not to let the time go to waste and instead went crab picking. There were plenty of Asian crabs under the rocks, along with a few greenies. I flipped quite a few boulders and couldn't believe all of the life I found. Besides the crabs, there were eels, sculpins, one stargazer, bloodworms and tapeworms. I could have stocked a small bait shop with all the stuff I found in the hour at the beach.
There are stripers around locally, and they are hanging tight to structure. If you know of a rocky jetty that you have access to, check it out at high tide. Small bucktails and soft plastic jigs should produce bass for you. There were several private and party boats clamming at Romer Shoal on Saturday but I didn't see any reports, so I can only guess that it was slow.
We will probably see bass fishing limited to the small fish around local structure for another week or two. I plan to play with the albies and blackfish until the bass return in larger numbers. If I hear anything to the contrary, I'll let you know.