A flat-bottomed boat for flat, bottom fish
- FBBB --
This morning I am sore. My arms are sore, my legs are sore, but most
of all my back is sore. But I've also got a platter full of citrus
baked fluke in the fridge -- enough for another dinner and two more
Friday did a fair imitation of Summer out here. The wind was dead
calm in the morning with the barest hint of a SE swell. By 7AM I was
rowing out to the bird line about 800 yards off shore, and by a
quarter past I was casting on passing schools of bluefish. But as
much fun as the bluefish were to catch, I was looking for table fare.
This is our sixth Summer in Montauk and although I've seen my friends
working the fluke flats, I've contented myself with trolling for bass
and bluefish under sail power. With my sail gone, and no bass to be
seen anywhere it was time to give fluking a try. So I rowed back to
the beach and made for the bait shop for some spearing and squid. An
hour later I was back outside. A gentle South breeze had picked up,
just enough for a good drift. I baited up my line and let it go to
Bounce, bounce, bounce...and then, what's that? Bump bump. I set the
hook and reeled in a sea robin. Ugly, ugly fish with a bony mouth
that it's hard to get the hook out. I rowed back out and repeated the
process. Again sea robin, then another and another. I wasn't sore
yet, but I was getting frustrated. I pointed my boat at the fleet of
boats further South and East and put my back into it.
150 strokes later I was in the middle of the fleet. Everything from
20 foot run-abouts to 60 foot offshore sportsfishers, and me in my 12
foot dinghy. I rebaited, and began another drift. Almost before the
bait was on the bottom I had a bite. I set the hook and cranked what
I was sure was another sea robin to the surface. But it wasn't a
robin, it was an 18 inch fluke!
This continued the rest of the morning and well into the afternoon.
When I stopped getting bites I'd point my boat at the horizon and lay
into it for a 100 strokes or so and the action would start up again.
Most of the fish were below the 17" limit but I did manage to find 4
keepers from 17" - 24". Getting caught in the cross chop from large
boats resetting their drifts got my attention, but never felt
threatening. Her motion is abrupt, but stable.
By mid afternoon the sky was clouding up and the wind chop mounting.
Several larger boats headed in for comfort's sake, and I made for the
The tide was high, and what little swell there was was breaking hard
right at the water's edge. My timing was good, but my tired body
didn't exit the boat quickly enough and the next wave sent fish and
rod and oars and me flying, but nothing was lost or broken. It was
all I could manage to drag the boat above the high tide line where
she's lying still, filling with today's dreary rain.
But rain or shine, it's fluke sandwiches for lunch today! And we've
enough to last till Monday, when the weather is supposed to clear.
CRUMBLING EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
134 West 26th St. 12th Floor
New York, New York 10001
- Great story David.
My summer break happens in about 2 weeks. I can't wait to get in
on the action! My Diablo is set up for bass, blues, and fluke
fishing off the Chatham flats. I just need a day off to get the
action in. June 14th?
congratulations on your fishing trip, the Fluke is perhaps the best
eating fish in the Northeast!
> right at the water's edge. My timing was good, but my tired body
> didn't exit the boat quickly enough and the next wave sent fish and
> rod and oars and me flying, but nothing was lost or broken. It was
> all I could manage to drag the boat above the high tide line where
> she's lying still, filling with today's dreary rain.
> But rain or shine, it's fluke sandwiches for lunch today! And we've
> enough to last till Monday, when the weather is supposed to clear.
> CRUMBLING EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
> 134 West 26th St. 12th Floor
> New York, New York 10001
> (212) 247-0296