Western Sound: March 2015

It’s snowing outside as I start to write this article, blizzard conditions are being posted, but the fireplace is roaring and there’s just enough” FAT TROUT WHISKEY” left to make this all tolerable. Fishing on Long Island is limited to Cod; most of my favorite Trout spots are frozen over and dreams don’t really count. I’ve read some great Blackfish reports coming from New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia and Maryland; in fact a pending new world record Blackfish weighing 28.8 pounds was caught recently by Ken Westerfeld in Maryland. Congratulations to Ken, who is a local Western Sound angler, from College Point, NY. That’s a fish that’s worth the ride anywhere!

We should start seeing some “schoolie” Striped Bass action this month as the waters start to warm up; the Western Sound is traditionally the first spot on Long Island for these fish to appear.

Small bucktails tipped with a 4” curly tail, small shad bodies and 4’ swimming lures tend to work well when fished very slowly. Remember the water is still cold and the fish are very lethargic, you can’t go too slowly. Look for a sunny day with an afternoon incoming tide; the sun will warm up the mud and water, the fish should gravitate to this warmer water. That being said I had a great bite one afternoon in a snowstorm!

This a good month to get whatever gear you have not serviced taken care of; clean and lubricate reels, change line; check the guides on your rods, replace those with any nicks or cracks, it would be a shame to lose new line because of a faulty guide. Inspect your terminal tackle, change hooks where needed on lures, make sure you have a sufficient inventory of swivels, sinkers, hooks, leader material, fish finder rigs, line, etc. Do you have plenty of your “go to” plugs, teasers, lures and bucktails? Don’t wait until you’re out fishing to realize something is missing from your tackle box.

If you own a boat, go down and check it out; does your bottom need painting? Does your prop need re-conditioning? Get it done! This will save you money on fuel all season long. Most of the marine supply stores in our area will be running sales at this time of the year, so get what you need and save some money at the same time. Freeport Marine Supply on Merrick road in Freeport is one of the best; they’ve been around for a long time, over 76 years! They have a very knowledgeable staff and an incredible amount of inventory, especially for those hard to find items. They have all the safety devices you need to keep yourself and family safe for the entire season; life preservers, flares, ladders and first aid kits.

These items can save lives! How’s your canvas holding up? Do you need a zipper replaced? B&R CANVAS has locations in Freeport and Hampton Bays; they’ve been around for a long time, and do excellent work at reasonable prices. Ask them about their “Anchors Away” anchor storage bag, the only way to store your extra anchor; always make sure you have a spare anchor onboard at all times! If you own a boat, you should also have insurance, the “Al Mott Agency”, located in Huntington can cover all your needs and have a great reputation. Everyone that owns a boat should also be a member of “SEA TOW”; this organization is always there for the unfortunate time that your boat breaks down and you need help; they will try to get you going again or get you home. It can be quite expensive to get towed home if you’re not a member. The USCG AUXILLARY will also do inspections of your boat to make sure you have a safe boating season.

Preparation is the key to a successful season, great fishing day or just a cruise with the family. It doesn’t take as long to be prepared as it will to get your boat up running after a problem during the season.

Are you new to boating? Take a safety course, there are many offered all over the Island. If you’re new to fishing, take advantage of the many seminars given by reputable, seasoned captains at boat or fishing shows that take place during the spring.

If you prefer to go fishing on charter boats, contact your favorite captains now! They are booking trips now and it’s the best time to get the days you need. Don’t wait to get shut out or when the fishing gets hot, you’ll just be reading reports, seeing photos of trophy fish and wishing it was you doing the catching.

I will start chartering for Striped Bass on April 15th, if you want more information about a charter trip or have a comment or suggestion about Coastal Angler Magazine; drop me a line at capttommykampa@gmail.com.