Hurricane season

The saltwater catfish served by Smithtown Seafood is caught wild from the Atlantic Ocean by folks like Captain Richie, above, in the Daytona Beach-Ponce Inlet area of Florida. Kelly said that saltwater catfish is one of the few species biting offshore right now, after the hurricanes stirred up the ocean.

The saltwater catfish served by Smithtown Seafood is caught wild from the Atlantic Ocean by folks like Captain Richie, above, in the Daytona Beach-Ponce Inlet area of Florida. Kelly said that saltwater catfish is one of the few species biting offshore right now, after the hurricanes stirred up the ocean.

Kelly Probst is our fishmonger in Florida, who sources fresh, wild-caught and sustainably fished seafood for both locations of Smithtown Seafood and Holly Hill Inn. We checked in with Kelly this week after the historic run of hurricanes so far this season.

By Kelly Probst

All and all, we fared better than we did with Matthew last October! Irma brought us gusts around 90 mph. Our northern docks in St. Augustine and Ponce Inlet fared well and remained intact. The docks around Port Canaveral took in a lot of water. Hurricanes stir up water for some time and make fishing very difficult because of muddy water off shore and abrupt changes in water temperature. About 400 miles offshore the waves are still 15 feet high! Two weeks later, we are starting to see some small Vermillion snapper come in, but that is about it!

The vast majority of fish right now is imported. Fishermen are definitely feeling the squeeze with not being able to fish so hopefully by the end of the month we will start to see more coming in, if Hurricane Maria doesn't mess things up before then! Maria didn't bother us on shore, but will delay any offshore fishing for species that are caught far out like golden tile and wreckfish.

Calm after the storm: Shrimp boats at St. Augustine looked great, but were still moored this week.

Calm after the storm: Shrimp boats at St. Augustine looked great, but were still moored this week.