by Captain Tommy Kampa

Hi everyone: It’s been awhile since we chatted; I hope you all had great season fishing, and a Happy, Healthy Holiday!

The winter has not been too bad yet; Cod Fishing has been pretty good out in Montauk, Shinnecock, Captree, Freeport and Brooklyn for the boats that can get out. Down in New Jersey and further South, Black Fish are still in season and some real big double digits are being caught.

The Western Sound is pretty quiet except for Herring; but down on the South shore, Perch are being caught in the brackish estuaries, and if you can find some ice free ponds, the Long Island Trout season is open; it’s a great way to get some fresh air, walk a bit and bring home some tasty trout. Make sure you get your New York State Department of Conservation Freshwater license before going Trout fishing, and you might as well get your saltwater register as well. It is very easy to do this online at www.nysdec.gov

If you decide to go Cod Fishing, make sure you are prepared for the elements! A good pair of insulated rubber boots and warm hat is a must. Wear a few light layers to keep warm and be able to move about. You should also have a good pair of rubber bibs, jacket and neoprene gloves too. Many boats will require a reservation this time of year and it’s always good to talk with the captain you sail with to see what he may recommend to bring on your trip. These captains want you to catch fish!! Listen to them, they do it every day and are very knowledgeable to what will work. If you’re lucky enough to be standing next to a “sharpie “who is catching, watch what he does, how his rigs are tied, what size sinker, any special teasers, what color are they? Watch the weather, it can get pretty nasty out in the Atlantic this time of year and if you’re not used to it, an uncomfortable day may lie ahead.

This is also a good time to go through all your tackle, get those rod guides replaced, reels serviced, line changed so you’re ready for opening day; it can be painful to lose that first big fish of the season due to “angler neglect”! Most tackle shops are open this time of year, if only for limited hours would welcome your business. Support your local tackle shops, they can pass on some significant information later in the season to what’s going on in your fishing area and “regulars” always get the best service! This can also be a good time to buy any equipment, line or tackle you may need for the coming season, you might even catch some great sales.

If you own a boat, this is a good time to think about any maintenance work or new equipment you may need for the upcoming season. Don’t wait till spring, all the boatyards and mechanics will be real busy by then and you’ll have to wait for your turn and watch everyone else go FISHING!

There are many Fishing & Hunting Shows & Expositions this time of year all over the New York metropolitan area. Most have seminars given by notable captains specializing in every species of Fish and the techniques they use to catch trophy fish. Many vendors are also at these events, offering everything you could imagine from rods, reels, line, lures, terminal tackle, clothes, boots, charter trips, both local and destination trips to all over the globe. These are great places to take your kids too; there always is something going on to keep them entertained and get them interested in fishing. COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE will post lists of the shows in your area in the magazine and you can also go online to find them.

Enjoy the rest of the month and start getting ready for the best fishing season you ever have!

Captain Tommy Kampa holds a USCG 100 TON MASTER’S LICENSE; he runs a 29’ Dyer custom bass boat, the MOONLIGHT LADY. We are booking Striped Bass Charters now for the season start on April 15. Captain Tommy can be reached at capttommykampa@gmail.com or 347 203 5087 to book a charter or express a comment or suggestion.

Like us on FACEBOOK at Coastal Angler Magazine Long Island and Moonlight Lady Fishing ; I’ll be posting trip reports and photos daily.

Catch ‘em up!!!!

by Captain Tommy Kampa