Covid-19 and Sport Fishing, Getting ready for the bottom anglers favorite - Tautog!


Staff member
Dec 19, 2018
Commack NY
As we weave through this virus attacking the world, George talks about how important it is for us to take advantage of this great weather and get in on the opening of the saltwater fishing season. Sure Covid-19 could throw a monkey wrench into many of our plans, but if you want "social distance" we can't think of a better way to achieve that than to find your secrete spot and spend some time there.

This year's tautog season includes the month of April for New York Recreational Anglers to keep two a day at a minimum of 16-inches. Many of the females you catch will be egg laden as it is spawning season, so please consider returning them.

Winter flounder season also opens on April 1st. You're allowed two flounder a day.

As of this broadcast, party and charter boats will not be allowed to leave the dock, and tackle shops are being creative, but this moving target could change. so please check the website for updates. George feels strongly that we should get as many people outdoors as possible.

To lighten it up a bit George speaks with Captain Mike Bady of Captains Table Charters in Greenport. Captain Mike is known as one of the most knowledgeable tautog fishermen on the north fork and you will know why after listening to his interview.

As we head into these crazy times lets practice all of the tips provided to us by the CDC and please all stay safe
Regarding the North Fork yards, I have been out to my boat twice in the past 10 days and here are my observations. Most of the yards, including mine, Brick Cove Marina, did shut down operations as of last Sunday. Just to the west, Port of Egypt was also closed but Albertson's Marine, right next to POE was open. I am told that is because they service some of the town Police and DEC boats.

I also did see a few owners doing their own work on boats on the hard. Assuming things don't change much I too will be starting my own prep work next week. Personally I don't see working by myself in the outdoors is posing a health threat to anyone. Fortunately, my bottom is already prepped and painted and there is no one blocking Travel Lift access in front of me. So, as soon as things loosen up I should be one of the first boats launched.

I did not drive by every B&T on my way home but those I passed were closed. However, I did get a chance to briefly see and speak with Steve from Wego B&T. His problem, like all small business owners right now, is not knowing when he might be able to reopen. So, with no certain dates yet he has to hold back on ordering tackle and he certainly doesn't want to order any bait since it costs him a fortune each month to run his large walk-in freezers. So, even when we do get the green light to move ahead there will probably be some lag time.

I agree with George's suggestion of trying the Freshwater route for now. In addition, surfcasting is also an option. I have heard a handful of Bass have already been C&R on the North Fork.
Stay healthy and optimistic. We will be fishing again soon!


Jan 31, 2019
Posted in the other thread ...

I received this NYS DEC email. No Rec Charters until further notice basically . This sucks big fat bunker!

Hopefully they lift this in time for late spring.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Delivers - Information to keep you connected and informed from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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Response to COVID-19: A Message to Fishing Charters, Guides and Anglers
Fishing Safely This Season
A fishing rod between two peopleNew York State is open for fishing and DEC encourages anglers to recreate locally at a nearby waterbody. New York's lakes and streams offer great opportunities for fishing in a wide array of settings across the state. Even during the current COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outdoors and connecting with nature while angling in New York's waters is a great way to help maintain mental and physical health.

Please continue to follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

Try to keep at least six feet of distance between you and others.
Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands.
Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and playground equipment.
When fishing, DEC recommends avoiding busy waters and following the guidelines on DEC's website about fishing responsibly in New York State. If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, they should consider going to another parking lot. If an angler is fishing upstream, they should fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day. Anglers fishing from boats should always be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another. For more information about the benefits of being outdoors safely and responsibly, go to DEC's website.

Charters and Guides
The "New York State on PAUSE" Executive Order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone during the COVID-19 response, includes a directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close effective at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

At this time, fishing guides or charters of any size have been determined to be not essential and are subject to workforce reduction requirements of the Executive Order. The full and updated guidance on which types of businesses are determined essential and other designations associated with the order can be found online.

Guidance on Executive Order 202.6 | Empire State Development

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