I was back on the Ebb Tide II Sunday, July 17th for an afternoon four hour trip from 1pm-5pm. Captain Jake Nessel took the 70 foot Gillikin Party boat for about five miles from the harbor to an area east of the lighthouse that was holding a nice body of fish. Summer flounder also known as fluke was the primary target. Jake landed the boat on them. On the first drop I caught my first keeper. It would also be my biggest. The Fluke regulation for 2022 in NY is 18.5 inches long and four keepers per person from May 1st to October 9th. I had under three hours of fishing to get my four keepers. I fished two different rigs on two different rods and reels.
After catching my first keeper and a very large dogfish on my lightweight spinning tackle, I switched to a medium weight conventional combo. We were four days off the July 13th full moon so the tide ran hard the whole trip. I needed to use a 10 ounce sinker to hold bottom and not get tangled with other anglers. Dogfish got their name from feeding in packs of hundreds sometimes thousands. It’s a small species of shark, but the one I caught was over three feet long and weighed double digits. Once I switched to heavier tackle it was one short fluke after another until I caught two more keepers. I fished hard trying to get my limit of four but it didn’t happen. I liked the competition of trying for the limit in a short amount of time.
There’s nothing like party boat fishing. In other parts of the country they call large multi passenger boats that charge per person, head boats. I met some nice people who also love being on the water and fishing. I asked Jake, “how long have you been running boats out of this dock?” In my youth it was called Tuma’s Dock. Jake said he’s been doing it since the mid ‘70’s. I said I’ve fished on party boats with him for decades. He mentioned the Marlin 3, 4, and 5 as well as the Ebb Tides. For half a century Captain Jake has been at it. That’s Montauk.