The 2020 season is almost upon us. This winter, despite being relatively mild, was windy and miserable. The Codfish showed up for like 2 days then were on their way. Some of the guys back west fishing the wrecks did manage to put together some good trips, but once again the weather reeked havoc!
At least the milder temperatures are making it easier to work on the boats. As I am writing this we have a week of wet nasty weather, but as that moves on things will improve and the work can resume. If you have to stay inside now is a good time to work on your tackle. Service all your reels, change the fishing line on all your reels, check all moving parts and lube where necessary. I can’t stress enough how important it is to replace the fishing line on the reels each season. Line scrapes against the rocks on the bottom and the barnacles on the rocks will slightly fray your line each time you drop down after reeling in. No worse feeling than having a really nice sized fish break off just as your about to net or gaff it. Because 9 out of 10 times the line that is damaged is always within the 10 feet of where you tie on the rig that travels along the bottom!
Now for the 2020 regulations which are not fully set up yet, but we will keep everyone posted as we get the information. The Striped Bass Regulations for the 2020 season are as such: 1 Striped Bass per person and the slot length is: 28″-35″. Any fish under 28″ and over 35″ must be released. This is the proposal that has been put on the table and will probably stick, but it’s not etched in stone as of yet. Bluefish are the next ones on the list. Seems the National Marine Fisheries Service has determined the Bluefish stocks have been overfished, could of fooled me! The proposed regulations for 2020 Bluefish limits are: Recreational vessels can keep 3 Bluefish per person at 12″ or better. Charter / Party Boat for hire vessels the regulation is: 5 Bluefish per person 12″ or better. This proposal will most likely go through. Once again we will notify everyone when the regulations are firmed up.
No solid proposals have been made for Black Sea Bass, Porgy (Scup), Tautog (Blackfish), or Fluke as of yet.
So take advantage of the crummy weather and the down time to get ready for another fun filled fishing season here in Montauk. This milder winter may give way to an earlier start for our 2020 season, so don’t get caught behind!!
Hope everyone had a good winter, and I’m sure everyone can’t wait to get out fishing here in Montauk! I know I’m ready!!
The majority of Montauk’s locals headed south for some southern fishing this winter!
~ Tight Lines, Captain Skip