Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Late Summer Fishing and Gardening

Accabonac Harbor, in the Springs on eastern Long Island
This is a wonderful time of the year to enjoy the harvest from land and water.

On the East Coast, snappers, baby bluefish, are starting to crowd bays and harbors.  Snappers, which are also known as “choppers” in some parts of New England, will take all sorts of shiny spoons or jigs.  Years ago, my sister and I discovered that an Acme Kastmaster, in smaller sizes, was a perfect snapper lure.

Snapper caught on a plug/stainless steel hook rig
Around the time my daughter was born, someone invented a plug-based snapper lure.  The rig starts with a Styrofoam plug that is bright orange and white, at the head of the rig.  Then, the rig has about 30 inches of thick monofilament.  At the end of the rig is a long-shank, stainless steel hook, that looks to be a number 6 in a 3X long size, that has a piece of surgical tubing on it.

As this rig is retrieved, the plug ruffles the water and the hook sways back and forth during the retrieve.  The snappers come up and make splashing strikes as they pursue the lure.  On most every retrieve, a fish is caught.  Whatever lure is used, snapper fishing is fast, fun and action packed - - no matter how old the angler is.

When snapper fishing, please take along a hemostat or needle nosed pliers.  Snappers have sharp spines in their fins and needle-like teeth.  If fishing with the plug and hook rig, take some time to practice, as the length of the leader between the hook and plug requires a side cast, unlike a lure which could be cast overhand.

Things can be doing well in the garden, too.  On the West Coast, backyard gardeners are starting to enjoy fresh rosemary and tomatoes.  These treats are ripening thanks to gardeners who are carefully conserving water in the frustrating drought.

On the East Coast, string bean harvests may be winding down.  Corn, eggplant, tomatoes and Swiss chard are coming in.  There’s even a change for a second planting of beets and peas!

Pumpkins are starting to ripen.  But that’s a story for later!