Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Snapper Simplicity

I’ve written at length before about preferred styles and methods of fishing and also about the vagaries of the salt and freshwater fishing seasons in this particular place – the east end of Long Island, New York.  With regard to the latter we have entered the doldrums of the summer.  Once the high air temperatures reach and remain constant in the upper seventies Fahrenheit the freshwater bass dive deep to remain cool, and catching them is very difficult.  (And also involves doing battle with a variety of insect life whose sole purpose seems to be biting for blood!)  Perch are still amenable, and will come obligingly to the lure in most inlets and creeks, but generally speaking my attention turns to salt water for the month of August.  And the snapper.

The snapper, or young bluefish, arrives during the month of July and is at its most prolific and aggressive for the next two months.  The adults have wintered in Florida but they have moved north by April, spawning prolifically along the way.  It’s just a matter of finding a perfect fishing spot on the bay side of the island, and with the simplest of tackle one can enjoy hours of catching fish.

My ever-favorite spot is North West Creek some six miles from my home.  Located in County Parklands it is one of those tucked away places that never seems to get crowded even in the busiest of seasons.  Most people visit to use the public boat ramp or picnic on the narrow beach between the dunes and the water’s edge, and few fish there.  But I do!

Yesterday, armed with a light weight spinning rod (one I bought for a trip to Pembrokeshire, Wales, many years ago) and a handful of assorted lures I stood on the dock and caught five of these snappers within the space of the hour.  The trusty shiny spoon accounted for three of them, and I then switched to a Mepps-style spinner that brought two more fish to hand.

I’ve never enjoyed truly the heavyweight fishing that involves getting up before the sun and casting huge lures great distances into the ocean surf.  But a tranquil late afternoon where the fish are sporting and the mind does more work than the rod is a perfect way to escape.

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