THE MOON PULLED UP AN ACRE OF BASS: A Flyrodder's Odyssey at Montauk Point

Peter Kaminsky, Author . Hyperion/Theia $23.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6769-1

The East Coast migratory striped bass has the same trans-species attachment with Long Islanders as the blue crab does with the Chesapeake region, and the cod with New Englanders; striper fishing is nowhere more exciting, or more socially complicated, than in early fall off Montauk, New York. After the summer tide of celebrities and vacationers leaves the beaches, local sportfishers form their own society around the parade of southbound migrations. Not the average "hook and bullet" reporter, Kaminsky took a sabbatical from his New York Times column to fly-fish Montauk Point through the October peak, lured by the life fantasy of one dream fly-fishing season, an angling "walkabout into something perfect and outside of time." The tides of his obsession with the fish in this place occasionally carry him way offshore into social history, local color and ecology of the bass. The real prose action is on the shallow flats of Great Peconic Bay and in the jockeying among guide boats and surf casters for prime casting positions for "blitzes" of feeding 40-inch bass. Kaminsky (whose cookbook, Elements of Taste, is due out from Little, Brown in October) is neither the first nor the most stylish voice for this fish and this place (the Montauk bass fishery has its own shelf in angling literature, which includes John Cole's Striper and Peter Matthiessen's Men's Lives). Nonetheless, most Eastern fly rodders will revel in Kaminsky's walkabout and feel as wistful as he does when the cold northeast winds finally put down the fish in November. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
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