Anglers awaiting the fresh taste of winter flounder can start tossing their rods out on April 1. The open season ends on May 30 so there is little time to waste.
When catching that wonderful winter flounder, remember the size limit is 12 inches. The maximum catch per day is 2 flounder.
The DEC website reminds saltwater anglers to enroll on the 2012 annual no-fee recreational marine fishing registry. This rule was effective starting January 1, 2012. Registration for 2012 remains valid through December 31, 2012.
The fishing registry was set in place on March 31, 2011 to comply with NYS laws. Originally a fee was charged for the recreational marine fishing license set up in October 2009, which was suspended. It is now free to register.
New York registry info is incorporated into the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) database of marine fisher folk. The database is used to gather fishing information to set quotas and determine annual fishing seasons.
Anglers must register if they are 16 and older and fishing in the Atlantic Ocean within three miles of the coast as well a other state tidal water such as the Hudson River as well as the Mohawk River and Delaware River and their tributaries if fishing for migratory fish from the sea. These fish include blueback herring, striped bass and others.
There are also exemptions. Anglers do not need to register if they are going out on a licensed charter or party boat in the coastal and marine district. This does not apply to Hudson River charter boats north of the Tappan Zee Bridge. A party or charter boat owner with a NYC license also does not have to register. There are also specific rules that apply to out-of-state anglers.
Anglers register several ways including at the town clerk offices, certain bait and tackle shops and sporting goods stores, DEC regional offices in Stony Brook (and other NY locations outside Long Island) as well as locations where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Anglers can also call 1-86-NY-DECALS or register online.
When anglers register in person, they receive a car to carry when fishing. During online or phone registration, the angler get a confirmation number that must be carried until the card is received.
Anglers registered in NY are automatically enrolled in the federal registry. This entitles fisher people to fish beyond three miles from shore. Additional regulations and licenses may apply to fishing in bordering states such Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey.
There are still a variety of Long Island anglers can catch all year. For example, there is a 19 inch size limit for pollock with no limit and an 18 inch size limit for haddock with no limit. The regulations are constantly changing and the DEC recommends anglers constantly refer to the website.
Flatfish such as Long Island winter flounder are typically found in shallow coastal water during colder months. As the water warms in the summer, they migrate to deeper and cooler waters. Places to fish for winter flounder include areas of the Great South Bay, Moriches Bay and the Long Island Sound.
Long Island charters offering flounder fish excursions include The Captree Star III out of Captree State Park and Blackfoot Charters in Center Moriches.