Montauk, New York is well known in the fishing world as the Mecca of the Atlantic striped bass’ fall run. Every autumn, anglers from all over, head to the eastern tip of Long Island, hoping to encounter the epic blitzes that have made the headland famous. Typically anglers encounter huge schools of baitfish and the stripers, bluefish, and false albacore that feast on them. Last week, a visiting species made an appearance in one of the fish traps that line the coast, a tarpon.
Not much is known about how tropical fish end up in waters far north of their usual range, but it is well known that tarpon migrate thousands of miles in their lifetimes. One school of thought is that these tropical fish get caught up in the warmth of the Gulf Stream current that comes close to the New England shoreline in the fall and late summer. Another is that fish just get confused. Either way, seeing a Silver King off the New York coast is intriguing.
The fish shown in the video and featured image was released from the net to hopefully find their way back home.
If you want to read more about how tropical fish end up in the cool autumn waters of New England, check out this in-depth article from The Hartford Courant!