Between Fluke and Tog, what to do? Sail with Capt. Mike out of Greenport, of course!

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
Staff member
Dec 19, 2018
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So after that last big storm the flat ones appear to have vamoosed, much to my chagrin. Normally I switch over to mixed bottom fishing, local to JI. No shortage of bottom to try in my area - what we appear to have right now is an acute shortage of fish. I sailed solo on Monday, on a scouting expedition. Went far to the east of JI to my "secret" trigger fish drop - for absolutely nothing more than a few undersized biscuits. So that didn't work.

Moved to the Hempstead Reef - a few drops there resulted in a truly monstrous porgy - the largest I've ever seen, in fact. Had to be well over 4lbs at 17.5", and a couple of triggers, and that was it.

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So I ran to the McAllister - for literally not a touch - on three different drops. Enough of this nonsense. Best to call my buddy Capt. Mike, of the Captain's Table charter boat, out of Greenport - to see how's he's doing. That resulted in a quite positive report on the Sound "deep-drop" Biscuits (as in 90-130' of water!), with some very respectable king-kong-sized blue heads mixed in with the usual medium-to-larges. Good enough for me! As we were just the two of us, Mike also asked if our other buddy, Frankie/NYSharpie, of the Howard Beach-based Teresa V was up for such a trip. Hah! Does Dolly Pardon sleep on her back? Eh, rhetorical question.

So we set the trip for Sat (yesterday), and were lucky enough to have absolutely PERFECT conditions for drifting the deep Sound rock piles - of which Mike has a goodly collection, in his boat's chart plotter. Now this type of fishing is nothing like what we do here on our relatively shallow reefs. Nope, up in the Sound you look for a quarter-phase moon tide and as little wind as possible - and if you are lucky enough to have these conditions, you can fish with "just" a 10oz sinker! O.K., so this trip we did use 8's for a period of time - but that is both rare and lovely, if you can get such conditions.

Cap. Mike fishes specific tides for this type of drifting - generally preferring the slower-running incoming, and so he set a "boat arrival time" of a very civilized 07:30 for shoving off. MUCH appreciated, Mike!

Arriving at the boat, Mike had her big Yanmar diesel up and purring in no time:

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And off we went for the approx. one hour ride to our first drop of the day. Passed thru a totally calm Plum Gut:

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and out into the open Sound at high cruise:

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In what seemed like no time at all Mike throttled back, circled around and scoped out our first drop. A-hah! Marks a'plenty! He put her in the proper uptide location and joined us in cockpit for a quick bait-up:

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Hey Mike, how about a quick wave to your fans:

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Oy veh, looks like a retired traffic cop!

Frankie came ready for tog season (O.K., I know, he's wearing white post-Labor Day. Perfectly acceptable for early togging). But there was no need for such outerwear - as the temp rapidly climbed from the morning's mid-50's to over 80-deg. Whew, off came the rubber gear and long pants, on went the Summer-issue shorts and flip-flops.

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Anyway, it took exactly 30 seconds for my "Flushing Korean squid"-baited hi-lo rig to get assaulted, resulting in a solid 3lb keeper - and his little buddy. Frankie had one a bit smaller - but still making the 15" minimum size. Nice!

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And so it went thru the morning - run up, put 'em in and swing away! Fish on! Mike had made the right choice of drops, right off the bat, as repeated drifts over it for the entire trip had us filling our boat limit of 21 fish before 12:00 noon. Now THAT'S how a professional captain makes it happen. No running around, no "let's try this area, let's try that area." Just have a high-quality drop right off the bat, and work it properly. Bingo! Bango! Bongo! Done!

Mike believes that you can never have too much ice on your catch - and he proves it every time I fish with him. Kudos! :

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After the “limit fish” hit the Albin's big fish box Mike gave us the option to continue fishing in C-and-R mode - which was super-nice of him. But Frankie and I voted to head in, clean the fish and square up the boat in time to take a crack at the North Fork afternoon traffic heading back west. That turned out to be a wise choice.

So back to the dock for the requisite pix, the fish cutting and general clean-up - and that was that. Another really great trip to the land of super-clean water and really good fishing. Thanks Mike for the excellent trip, your overall attention to detail, and general good-guy hospitality!

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NYSharpie

New Angler
Dec 20, 2018
62
56
18
Thanks again Mike; what a great trip from start to finish!

I don't get the opportunity to fish out east too often; but I was lucky to get out this past Saturday on such a beautiful day, with such a great Captain! Mike knows his drops like the back of his hand and was able to hone in on the body of fish all morning, making it one stop shopping for an easy limit of nice bizkits!

It is always a pleasure to fish with Captains like Mike and Pete; these guys have a unbelievable wealth of fishing knowledge, and more importantly, are just great guys!

Thanks again! Had a blast!

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Here is a pic of my catch and cook; Simply baked sea bass with a citrus mango and red pepper salsa, smokey tomato rice and green beans!


Frank
 
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Many thanks to you as well Frank, especially for bringing along that premium squid. I must say it did seem to catch several of the larger fish on Saturday.
In addition, I mean no disrespect to all of my other great customers, but having two really talented fisherman like yourself and Pete aboard make me look good every time!!
Finally, your dinner preparation looks fantastic. Ironically, I too used a Mango type salsa for our Sea Bass dinner last night. Really tough to beat a fresh Sea Bass on the table.
 

NYSharpie

New Angler
Dec 20, 2018
62
56
18
With such a tasty fish, i find that simpler is always better. Mango and citrus (lemon, lime, EVOO and a pinch of salt), along with some chopped cilantro and a pinch of Cayenne give the mild and flaky Sea Bass just the right amount to make it pop and add a little heat. The chopped red pepper also gives it a bit of texture. In my opinion, the best tasting fish from our local waters!
 

flounderjoe

Angler
Mar 7, 2019
284
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We did excellent yesterday too i sail out f mattittuck on incredably the same boat a 28 albin 4 of us iced 15 seabass (we stick to a self imposed 18inch size limit the fillets on a 15 in seabass aint worth killing them) .Ok what i ment to ask we fished the same type of bottom between 80 to 120 ft and did you guys getany weakfish we had at least 10 between 10 and 26inches a first for that one reef we were on .We released them all .Plenty of meat with the seabass.also had 2 keeper fluke
 

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
Staff member
Dec 19, 2018
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Well another year has come and gone - and so now its time to put away the Fluke gear and start thinking about the coming blackfish season. But first, a trip or two with Capt. Mike is an absolute required pleasure.

Headed out this morning bright and early to Capt. Mike's charter boat, "The Captain's Table" in Greenport, for a day of Eastern Sound biscuit hunting. Picked up George at his house in mid-Suffolk and made excellent time driving to Mike's marina. He had the slack tide pegged out there on his drops, and so having a few extra minutes, we made a quick stop at Shelter Island for a couple drifts, looking for some of those Peconic weakfish that have been making an appearance lately. That resulted in one decent one for the Capt.

We then steamed East, heading for Mike's pet drops in up to 100' of water. A nice flat Sound greeted us as we passed thru the Gut, and we quickly came up on his first - and only drop needed today. Lines down and near-instant triple hook-ups. And that's pretty much how it went for a little more than two hours, drop down, reel fish up. We finished just as the wind picked up speed, with a full boat limit to 3+ pounds. Squid heads were hot today, as was our secret weapon, Asian cuttlefish strips. Man do those biscuits love that thick stuff.

Back to the dock, boat cleaned, fish prepped, and the resulting racks "processed" for the coming green crab trapping that is soon to start. We each took home a serious bag of quality fillets. Thanks Capt. Mike, for another great trip!

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