There are a few times in the year when nature begins a chain reaction of mass migration of fish species. During these selective periods of the year every fisherman should experience them at least once in their lifetime. I have had the pleasure of experiencing the Montauk Fall Run the past six years, and it never ceases to disappoint. Whether you appreciate fishing or not, just witnessing the sheer size of the migrating biomass and the interaction of multiple predatory species feeding on bay anchovies, sand eels, peanut bunker, and mullet is jaw dropping.
Captain Barry Kanavy and his son John Kanavy of Natural Anglers are the class of the Montauk fishery. They are true professionals that respect the environment, their fishery, and the anglers they service. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend booking your trip with them. They are the only crew I fish with.
This year I fished with John on his newly fabricated 21’ Parker. The boat is beautiful, with a deep hull and toe rails to provide extra stability while fishing from the stern. Thankfully we did not need to use the toe rail, as winds were variable and wave height was less than 2’. The conditions were perfect, with abundant sunshine and lots of bait. This year I invited one of my best friends to join in the experience. Jason Nackord proved to be an exceptional choice, as he produced hooks ups that most inexperienced fishermen would otherwise miss.
After a short ride south from the inlet we arrived at the fabled Montauk Point. Not surprisingly, we were one of about thirty boats already scouring the area for signs of life. This year was a little different from years past, as the Striped Bass blitzes (famous in Montauk) had not yet started, but the False Albacore (Albies) were already there…and thick. Immediately we noticed quick blitzes of 8-10 pound Albies rushing bait balls on the surface. The blitz periods lasted less than ten seconds, and it proved to be exceedingly difficult to time where, when, and how long the fish would stay on top.
Despite many excellent opportunities and perfect presentations of bay anchovy patterns (pink, white, tan, brown, pink and white) the fish were just not cooperating. In an effort to get a tight line we turned to the spinning outfits and after many attempts we produced. There are few fish in the Atlantic that pull harder and will test your gear as well as an Albie. After 4 hours on the water and several Albies later we made a decision to head north to target some big blue fish with top water plugs. The hookup was immediate, and it was a perfect way to end the day with some violent visual strikes from the “wolves” of the sea.
-Prostaffer Jamie Creed