Paul Snyder’s Inshore Journal: July 2023

Left: My striper with Lou & John fishing behind us; Right: Port side Bluefish

It was two days before the Summer solstice. Coincidentally, the deadline for my Journal was this same first day of Summer. My wind app forecasted east wind and the published high tide at Montauk Point was 9:29am for Monday June 19th. I knew the tide would continue running past that time. It wasn’t ideal conditions with an east wind against the incoming tide causing wind against tide. There’s also the Montauk saying that “fish bite the least when the wind’s out of the east.”

83 year old Captain Jake Nessel took the 70 foot Ebb Tide II out of the inlet shortly after 7am. I wondered how the trip would be? It was nice to be back onboard a day after Father’s Day with Captain Jake and Father and Son Anthonys working the deck. I put my rods and cooler on the bow and settled in for the ride out to the Point. I follow many Montauk fishing boats on social media. The bluefish and striped bass reports have been very good throughout the Spring with fish holding steady. The first part of the trip would be diamond jigging for bass and blues while we had incoming tide. I worked my jig hard next to a pleasant guy named Chris on the port side of the bow. Finally, I got a fish to hit the jig. I wondered if it would have multiple stripes on the sides and it did. My first hook up was a bass. I kept working the silver hammered jig hard also catching bluefish and porgies. The first part of the trip was a success.

Once the incoming tide started to slow down it was time to take a ride South and target Summer flounder also known as fluke. The east wind and outgoing tide would match up to cause a strong east to west drift on the south side. I moved to the starboard side of the bow. I had John and Lou to my left. On my right was a different Chris. John caught a nice sized fluke early into fluke fishing. Toward the end of the trip Chris caught a slightly bigger fluke. It won the pool for biggest fluke of the trip. The two biggest fluke were caught on either side of me. I caught black sea bass which were out of season. The season for them would open in four days on June 23rd.

Anthony and Jake extended the trip a half hour to give us one more drift before heading back. On the ride back I sat in the cabin and spoke with Lou. He said he would soon be 80 years old. He spoke about the fluke he’s caught throughout his fishing years that weighed over ten pounds. He dug in his tackle bag and pulled out the artificial squid he caught his biggest fluke on. He said he doesn’t want to use it again. He’s afraid he’ll lose it. The ride back surrounded by these veteran anglers was as enjoyable as the fishing. There’s nothing like being on the water with people who love to fish.