Long Island, New York Scuba Diving

Our Long Island Scuba diving adventures and events

Monday, May 23, 2005

Blackfish Hunting on a North Shore jetty

Well, It's been a cold spring and it's taken a good long time to get the water up a few degrees. About a week ago I decided to try again on the North shore. As soon as I got in the water I looked at my computer and it read 50 degrees. That got me excited as the fish start to really move at that temperature. I swam out to one of my favorite jetties and started the slow creep from rock to rock looking for any sign of movement. Near the end of the jetty I saw a brown streak flash in front of me and it was gone in an instant. I held tight, held my breath and waited. Sure enough he came back to see what scared him. It was a nice big male blackfish with an old timer' white jaw. As he turned from me I fired and bagged my first blackfish of the season. Upon inspection the fish was covered in fresh rust. That meant he had just come off a wreck that he spent the winter on. Makes me wonder what wreck and where the heck it is. I saw a few more fish but could not get into range to fire. The fish are very skittish in the spring and you have to be quiet and creep along. If you startle them at all they are gone. They'll peel off the jetty and re-enter the rocks 50 feet from you. So you can find them again on your trip back.
The following week I did the same dive and saw at least 10 large blackfish. They were very skittish and I could not get any shots. I also had another diver in the water with me and I am sure that added to their nervousness. I did manage to shoot a nice big 9lb fish that I suprised as I turned a large boulder. whenever you turn a corner be ready to shoot. Blackfish will usually give you a 1/2 a second glimpse before they bolt. On my way out of the water I saw a fellow catch a nice keeper bass so the next dive will find me facing away from the jetty and looking for stripers.


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