Striped Bass at Montauk Point: The Blitz



The past week I was on Long Island for a much needed getaway from all things work and house related.  Rob came with since he needed a break as well.  There was a lot going on.  The annual Maritime Festival in Greenport was fun, and a Coast Guard training vessel was there for a couple of days allowing people to board the giant seagoing ship.  Lots of hulking, seafaring men (I can’t bring myself to call them seamen) helped old ladies and helpless able bodied girls up the gangplank.  The giant hulk of a ship was pretty impressive.

And to give you some perspective of how giant the ship truly was, here it is in the harbor, dwarfing everything around it.

But now to the meat of my story, THE BLITZ!!!  We headed down to Montauk Point for the day to climb the lighthouse and dine with yuppies wearing khaki pants and horizontally striped polos.  Little did I know it would be one of the most exciting days of the year for lovers of fishing.  A few days out of the year, striped bass come in droves to the Montauk shoreline and then disappear into the blue until the next year.  No one knows when it’ll happen, but we got lucky.  Unfortunately the only fishing poles we had in the back of the car were for snappers and would have broken in two with the first bite, but it was a blast to watch!

As we approached the bluff where you could see the ocean we noticed a disturbance that looked like boiling water.  It was basically a bunch of striped bass having the time of their lives, a bass rave, if you will.

We climbed the lighthouse up to the yellow step (do not go beyond the yellow step or the Coast Guard will yell at you) and looked out on the incredible view.  Lots of fisherman were having a heyday out there.

After beating my thighs into submission following the 137 step climb (each way), we stumbled down to the beach for the fishing orgy.  It was so exciting we had a hard time not cheering for every giant fish that got pulled out of the water.  I imagine this is how football fans feel when their team scores a touchdown with 3 seconds to go at the Super Bowl.  I wouldn’t know.  You can see below the huge school of fish between the boat and our fisherman friend.

Fisherman friend bags himself a nice one (longer than 28 inches to be legal).
 What shall we name him?  Lance?  Lance Bass???

It’s a bit hard to see, but every time a wave came through you could see the outlines of hundreds of fish screaming “WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!” with fins in the air as they rolled on by.

I took a couple of videos that are a bit hard to see, but they’ll give you an idea of how prolific the fish were.  All in all, it was quite an exciting event to witness and makes me miss living by the shore more than ever.  Happy Blitz!!!

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