You're Nothing Without a 'Lure'

What's a Hurley lure?

That's the question tackle shop owners across Long Island have been asking this spring, trying to keep up with the hottest lure since Chanel No.5.

"I've had 50 people ask me and I have no idea what it is," George Valentine of Four Winds Bait and Tackle in Huntington Station said. "I thought it might be something fictitious. I have no idea what it looks like and I've been in the business for 30 years." What it looks like is a 51/2-inch bass assassin with a fat body, a long thin tail, that flattens at the end, and big doll eyes. The 3/0 hook is actually weighted with three-eighths ounces of lead wrapped around it so that it runs straight and true through the water, with the hook and weight acting like a keel. You cast it out and with a slight jerk of the wrist it looks like a shrimp swimming through the water.

The reception of this thing been unbelievable," said Fred Roth of Smithtown Bait and Tackle, one of the first shops on Long Island to stock the Hurley. "Fishermen are typically very skeptical, but if you're standing next to someone using this thing and being outfished 10-to-l, you're going to start to believe."

The lure works on striped bass, fluke, weakfish 'and bluefish—the grand slam of recreational fishing on Long Island—and in the fall Hurley is coming out with a larger lure, 9½inches long with a 6/0 hook and a full ounce of lead.

"I've had dozens of calls from other tackle shops asking where they can get this thing," said Roth, who sells them for a very reasonable $2.49. "It really works."

Saving the sharks

When Montauk's oldest shark tournament kicks off the offshore angling season next month, conservation will once again be a theme. The 30th Annual Montauk Marine Basin Shark Tagging Tournament, which runs from June 22-24, is limiting entries to 150 boats and setting a minimum size limit of 175 pounds for sharks brought back to the dock.

"We are continuing to stress family participation and conservation in our tournament," Carl Darrenberg Jr. of Montauk Marinf Basin said. "We want to reward anglers for tagging and releasing sharks and are offering a $1,000 prize for the most sharks tagged." Also, with over 14 prize categories and a $50,000 purse, all anglers stand a good chance of going home with some cash.

Tight lines

Don't forget that the limit on blackfish decreases from 10 to 1 on June 1. The limit goes back to 10 in October......Bill Worth won the Surfside 3 Weakfish Tournament last weekend with a 9.14-pound catch that earned him a 17-foot Boston Whaler Montauk powered by a 75 horsepower Mercury outboard. Eric Hasenstab finished second (8.58 pounds) and Henry Kolsch - finished third (8.4 pounds)...Henry Newel won the Oakdale Sportsman's Club's Weakfish Derby with a catch of 7 pounds, 12½ ounces...The Fisherman will host its annual Captree Rodeo on June 2-3 at Captree State Park, The contest is open to all anglers and species include fluke, flounder, weakfish and blackfish with a $250 first prize. To register call 631-669-1000 or visit the Captree Bait and Tackle shop. There is a $10 entry fee...Empire Kayaks is holding a kayak fluke fishing tournament on June 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 516-889-8300 or visit for more information...The State Aquatic Resource Education Program, in cooperation with the Seatuck Environmental Association and other organizations, will sponsor a free fishing fun clinic for children ages 11 to 16 at the Peconic Dunes County Park from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on June 10. Instructions and equipment will be provided for hands on fishing experiences. For reservations or information, call 631-765-5770.