Tag Archives: MONTAUK

Hermine Diary from the East End

This blog post should really be called making the smallest adjustments, because that is what this really is about. But then again that does not sounds as sexy as Hermine Diary from the East End
Besides, everything we do while surf fishing depends greatly on making very small, calculated adjustments

20160904_083931Some people think that i don’t have much between the ears and that’s fine. Over the years I’ve caught fish by sheer perseverance,  dumb luck, by getting info from friends and many other ways that had nothing to do with my skill or ability. But this morning was different…and I don’t care what anyone says….. I feel a story coming up so grab a chair and cup off coffee..lol

2 30 AM Packing a truck for a run to Montauk. Not taking a single plug with me. A belt with Boga, pliers, Pork in Rockhopper Pork Rind holder and a pouch on a belt with bucktails of assorted sizes and leader wallet. That is. Plugs stay homeP1010056

5 AM pulling into Montauk lot. Jesus , is there enough trucks in the lot? Looks like an October morning!!! I put my wetsuit on in the upper lot not to bother those that are sleeping and got back into the truck. I don’t like the wind speed, I thought (was hopping) it would be more. Too many people in lot make my decision easier. South Side it isP1010053

5 30 AM on the south side. Not a single dude fishing. Zero, nada, zilch..wait…I am wrong, there is a faint light in the distance to the west. Doubt its a surfer, this wind is not what they crave (It turned out to be Bill Wetzel)

5 45 AM  Surveying the water. Not really enthralled with what I see but its not bad either. Its Good but I was expecting GREAT. Tide is at bottom and its going to build as tide comes in. Big , clean sets of white water…yummy. This is just a personal thing, but I would rather catch small fish in that mess than 30 pounders on pencil poppers and flat water. Don’t ask me why, I am weird that way. When NE goes hard I cant concentrate at work, I cant eat, I cant sleep. All I want is a bucktail hanging off my rod and pork rind.

6 30 AM Tossing 1 ounce bucktails in that crazy water. So far I managed 4 fish but I was expecting more……a lot more. But I will take it. A lot of long faces in the lot and pent up excitement. Fish have been few and far between is what I hear. Guys are starting to get on the rocks around me. Why did they wait after sunrise to show is beyond me? Maybe they are coming over from the North side ?

7 AM Still staying with 1 oz bucktail. The water is still low and you really cant work anything heavy over shallow reef yet. Then I see birds on the other side of the reef but big waves are obscuring my vision. No one has picked up fish yet in the water that looks like it should hold million, make that gazillion bass. Waves flatten out for a moment and I clearly see few fish rolling on the reef in the foam….problem is they are too far for my 1 oz bucktail. I replace it with a 1 1/2 oz Magic-tail buck and I take a Fat Cow Jig Strip which I sliced in a half lengthwise yesterday in preparation for the trip. Its narrowness cuts down on wind resistance during a cast in conditions like this, yet it still gives a jig a little flutter. Instead of diagonal casting I fire up a cast straight, and I hook up almost instantaneously.  Then I do it four more times. No one else is hooked up….20160904_181725-1

Now if you think I have a super-duper long distance rod and reel…you’d be wrong. I do not use 11 rods any longer due to some health issues. What I do use most of the time is and I did yesterday is a 10 foot Century Noreaster and VSX 250.To me a great combo but most 11 footer ill outcast me. I probably had the shortest set up of anyone there. So it wasn’t my rod, it was the adjustment on bucktail size and trailer. I saw one fish caught all morning (and when i got home I hear of one fish under the light, one on north side and one on Shag on a chunk, so basically a disaster of a day considering conditions). Granted, these fish could have just blew up in front of me and I was the only one that had a shot. In no way, shape or form do I in any way disrespecting those around me. All I am saying it that if I don’t make adjustment I do not catch those fish (probably same thing happens if I sleep past sunrise too)

8AM Hanging with Mr Wetzel and his customer. Always a pleasure. I actually asked If I can take picture with the legend. Bill is good people. Yes, he was annoyed that I was in his “spot”….lol…people like Bill is what makes Montauk great! Like The Professor or Jack Yee before him, he becomes a fabric of a place. The hardest Working Guide in The Business P1010060

9 AM in Montauk Bake Shop getting some jelly croissants for wife and kids. Line is insane but I wait and swat at bees in line. Cant come home empty handed now! Eating my Greek yogurt and cup of fruit while driving and looking at jelly croissants….20160904_084010

11 AM Not a stitch of traffic!!!!! I am in my basement doing Bulgarian Squats, presses,pushups and God knows what else for almost two hours. Wife comes home with THREE, count em’ Three  Tri-Color Cookie Donuts from Lynbrook Bakery !!!!!!!5503

I kid you not. I have a plum and a yogurt and hit the shower.Watching what you eat sucks.

Yes, there should have been 800 fish there for all to catch instead of 8. That water looked that damned good as it was flooding. The north side, to me did not look good or “big” enough yet. By Monday it should. Will anything change? I am not sure, water felt piss warm but if bait will find their way in the surf so will the fish. Good luck to all of you out there and please be safe.

2 30 AM Sitting and writing my thoughts. Time to hit the surf one more time before we say goodby to the weekend. Please be safe out there.

The Changing Face of Montauk -by John Papciak

The Changing Face of Montauk
(Part of an occasional series)
John Papciak
Memorial Day 2016

I can’t believe Memorial Day is upon us. And why not another installment of this ongoing series…

You might remember last fall the hamlet of Montauk (which is part of the Town of East Hampton) was licking its wounds after a summer of drinking and rowdiness, thanks to an influx of 20-somethings. Even the hipsters were annoyed.

Even if you only blew into town to fish a midnight tide, you had to run a gauntlet of drunken revelers from places like the Memory Motel and The Point. A midnight cup of joe from the 7-11 could be about as stress free as getting a beer at a Rangers game at the Garden.

The good news – maybe the only good news in all of this – is that the long time residents clearly were not going to take these changes sitting down, and beginning with the 5th of July 2015, a long series of town halls and debates culminated with a bunch of new laws and enforcement actions that will have an impact on Montauk in 2016.

Some of this will be noticeable to those who combine family vacations with fishing (as I do), but I think even you day trippers (or night Hawks) may feel the effects.

Here goes-

Quite a number of drinking establishments ran up a tab over the years when in comes to code violations. To an extent, it finally caught up with them. The visual might be like your college buddy who accumulated 300 parking tickets… but still acted surprised when he came out one morning to see his Camaro finally being towed away.

Cyril’s fish house was one such establishment that collapsed under the weight of code violations. I never did get a chance to talk to Cyril (Fitzsimons) about it, but I will miss this place. Right or wrong, I never really associated it with the Montauk booze fest, maybe because it was west of Hither Hills. Maybe because – unlike the new ‘velvet rope’ type of places – there was always room for my kids and family, and he was always interested in serving food too. Well, as of last weekend it’s still boarded up. There were still rumors of it reopening as a much smaller establishment. I cannot fathom an income producing site going dormant, but we shall see.

Caio on the beach over by the train station is also gone. This was a confusing one for me, I never remember it being very crowded, but I do remember them trying to generate a buzz with an outdoor DJ.IMG_0163

The Sloppy Tuna is under new (court appointed) management. Between the reports from the courts and the old owner’s claims on Facebook, this was a train wreck that was doomed to fail, even when the town was not turning up the heat. At the moment the new management team is promising a family style restaurant – ahem, and a bar. I have a hard time believing there won’t be a long line at 11pm with kids peeing on the streets and in the dunes, and without drug deals going on along the side streets. But the police promise to be out in extra numbers again this summer, accumulating plenty of overtime.C093FE29-7D54-4AED-9B0C-F295DD93AFCF

There is now a Rental Registry in place requiring home owners to fill out a bunch of forms detailing intentions and terms to rent. East Hampton always had ordinances against share houses and frequent turnovers, but anyone could go on Craig’s List or Air BnB and see just how many local homeowners were thumbing their nose at the town. This allowed drunken revelers a place to crash for the night, but it was also a disaster for any local homeowner coming to realize their neighbor had indeed rented to the Delta House. ‘FOOD FIGHT” While this will not prevent flagrant violations of law on rentals, it just might give police and town inspectors enough ammunition to know what they are dealing with at certain addresses. Early accounts suggest fewer homeowners are offering their houses for rent in 2016. Here again, we shall see.D4DFD3BB-A47C-4631-9224-0EE3467D9FBC

On the fishing front, the most obvious thing you will notice is that Johnny’s Tackle is gone. A ‘For Rent’ sign that was up earlier this spring is now gone, and as of last weekend the windows were covered in newspaper. I have no Intel on this whatsoever, but I kind of doubt another tackle shop will make it here. We don’t need another surfer themed organic fusion spiritual speciality food shop, staffed by dudes with man buns from Williamsburgh, but I guess we shouldn’t act too surprised if one pops up here.

Over on the beach ‘behind town’ get ready for a ‘new and improved’ dune. Despite protests from local environmentalists the Army Corp did get their way. As of now the overall beach is slightly wider, but because so much it is now fenced off as protected dune, you might find it a little tight to navigate back and forth in your 4×4. I sure did at high tide. I guess I’m so used to seeing this at many other places that the shock value is long gone. Sand moves and beach profiles change rapidly, but humans do have a very hard time dealing with change. There is no jetty, thank god, but there are ‘geotextile’ sand bags buried under three feet of sand and in the dunes. If you want to see what they look like, take a drive down after a really good Nor’easter.9C09F795-6D4A-48BF-9E73-F05AF8BE7007

Otherwise, I think you can expect pretty much the same Montauk, hopefully a bit toned down from 2015.

Sure, prices are up for both lodging and food (we ate at the new Dureay’s last weekend, $18 for a ‘side’ of fries, I kid you not).

But if the last few weeks are any guide, fishing pressure has been off. The parking lots so far have been relatively quiet, and some nights I’ve gone a few hours without seeing another fisherman. That said, do make sure you have the proper permits, and don’t assume the police won’t be patrolling the town lots after hours – those days are long gone.

And finally, if you do decide to finish the night with a bonfire, make sure you know the rules. This is one more ‘freedom’ that is under review due to so many complaints of un safe fires, very drunk people, and lots of garbage left behind.

I’m seeing more people displaying #respectmontauk in front of businesses and on bumper stickers. It’s got a bit of momentum, but the real test will come over the next two months.FullSizeRender

New video from SJ , featuring Don Musso of the Super Strike Lures

First and foremost I would like to think that all of you have gotten trough this storm in good shape. I think you can say “blow me Irene” now, you have all been through hell last few days. I just got my power yesterday afternoon. I hope all of you either have it back or are getting it asap

We like to think we are different then most websites out there. No, not only because already gave away a contents of a small tackle shop in giveaways. Or only because we try to actually make a difference with our catch and release contest instead of just paying a lip service. This by no means is meant to be a pat on our backs…that is coming in little while..lol

What we mean is that we try to bring you the stuff you won’t read anywhere else. We are mainly talking about our magazine but this blog is an extension of the magazine, so yeah, on the blog too.

I mean seriously, how many times have you seen anyone talk about this subject you are about to watch on this video? And how often do you get to hear it from legendary plug builder Don Musso, the creator of Super Strike Lures ?

Yeah, we go extra step to entertain, educate and inform our readers. No pat on the back needed but do watch this video. It will make you a better informed surfcaster. Maybe it will even help you in catching a seagull or two


Part two of today’s blog is strictly for self-serving purpose. Because all of you know that I am all about promoting my greatness as an angler, writer, photographer, videographer, construction worker, blah, blah, blah….Yeah, right. More like googan who can’t write a blog post without misspelling half of the words, who cant cast more than 50 yards and whose only claim to fame with a camera is being in the right place at the right time. Hey, maybe that is a skill ?

Since even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes, I guess this is my day. I know many of you are faithful readers of On The Water magazine. I been subscriber for a long time, I even been blessed enough to write for them. I guess they thought that my writing is something they their readers would enjoy. I always liked the whole crew there, especially Gene Borque, their past editor who gave me a chance to write.

This week their unveiled their annual surf issue, and used my photo for a cover shot…which is cool. I am not much of a blowhard when it comes to what I do, but seeing my photo used as a cover shot is cool. Btw, in case you are wondering, the new book by William Doc Muller, Surfcaster, features mostly my photo’s including the cover. In fact, the picture on the cover of Doc’s book and picture that is the cover of this month’s On The Water magazine were taken five minutes apart.

Talking about being in the right place at the right time…