There is a distinct nip in the air and in the water. The cool shift in weather is a cue to many boaters to pull up anchor and put away their boats for the winter, but not so fast. Numerous boaters and fishing enthusiasts know this is an exciting time of the year. The waterways are less crowded and the fishing is enjoyable.
Most people think that melting snow and the ice on the waterways in spring only brings about fishing opportunities for summer months. While there is a tremendous increase in fishing prospects in the warmer months, there are still many chances for fishing in the fall. In autumn the water temperature is actually warmer then it would be six months ago because the water has had the whole summer to heat up. So while you may be staying indoors more often as it gets noticeably cooler, do not miss out on some prime fishing still to be had.
The waterways of Oyster Bay Harbor, Cold Spring Harbor, and the Long Island Sound offer anglers ample opportunities for quality fishing, from striped bass and porgies to right eyed winter flounder and weakfish. Local anglers chased trophy catch a few weeks ago at the 21st Annual Town of Oyster Bay Bluefish Tournament. Some of those same diehards are now getting ready to cast for the cold-water-loving black sea bass and catching quotas of several other fish in the area.
September and October truly are great times to be out fishing on the waterways. The waterways are less crowded because of variables like families are back into school routines and many boaters are preparing to take their boats off the water for the winter. If you can find some time now to head out to a local pond or harbor you may feel like you have the waterways virtually to yourself to test out your favorite fishing spots.
Many of you reading this column know I am an environmental activist and may be wondering why I condone fishing. The bottom line is that I really enjoy fishing and boating. Even when I go home empty handed from fishing I still feel satisfied about time well-spent with my family in nature as things have been for many years.
The ecological answer is that if catch and release is practiced in recreational fishing it still allows a balanced way to allow human recreational needs to fit into the big picture. Catch and release allows fish that we do not want to eat continue to be a part of our ecosystem. Also, sticking to the limits regulated on different fish one can catch is practical. Many scientists have helped legislators come up with the quotas to balance human needs with the reproductivity of the marine environment. I encourage you to be a good sport by abiding by the rules and using the correct gear so that we can all enjoy fishing for many years into the future.
For more information about boating, environmental matters, and other water-related activities throughout the Oyster Bay area you can email me at Jaime.VanDyke@gmail.com or call 946-9464.