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FRISBEES

The south side of Montauk is known for producing quality fluke and sea bass, and one of the best areas to find double digit fluke and sea bass approaching state record size is a piece of bottom known as Frisbees.
By Fred Golofaro
FRISBEES
This is a popular destination for the Montauk charter and party boat fleet, as well as private boat anglers, and it can get crowded on a summer weekend, especially once the New York sea bass season opens. That date this year is July 15, an opening which many people consider a month too late, and which is hard to comprehend given the prodigious numbers of sea bass along the coast.
Sitting about five miles to the southwest of Montauk Point’s historic lighthouse, water depths range from 60 to 75 feet over a mostly rocky bottom. It’s this structure that holds a plethora of marine life which draws the fluke and sea bass. Lobster pots frequently dot the surface, making it easy to locate the area.

Capt. Steve Witthuhn of the charter boat Top Hook has ben fishing this area for many years. He suggests making long drifts through the area and then repeating the most productive stretches of the drift. Sea bass will be concentrated over the rocky bottom, while the best fluke fishing is often found along the perimeter of the rocky area. However, he added that the biggest fluke are sometimes prowling the rocky bottom. Steve also advised watching your fishfinder for subtle changes in depth as even a two foot drop can provide enough of an edge for fluke to gather.
His preferred rig is known as an “up and down rig.” It consists of tandem bucktails rigged in a hi-lo manner and baited with squid heads. They are made up special for him by Bob at Bob’s Bait & Tackle (631-842-7573) in Amity Harbor. Fluke will also jump on this rig, but when targeting big fluke, the skipper will switch out the squid heads for long, thin strips of sea robin or bluefish fillet. Avoid too thick a strip or you will not get that nice fluttering action that fluke find appealing. For longer strips, Steve also likes to split the tail section.

Tides make a difference here and the skipper favors working the beginning and end of the tides. The last hour to hour and a half and the first hour or so of the current often produce the best action.

If you’d like to experience fishing Frisbees firsthand, or want to learn more about fishing this area, give Capt. Steve a call.

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