2008-04-25 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheel House

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

Billy smiles as he holds up a spring bass. Billy smiles as he holds up a spring bass. Fishing this past week ran parallel to the weather; hot and cold. Prior to the full moon phase over the weekend the weather was mild and the fish responded. Flounder catches had been good and some of the fish toppled 2 pounds, which is not bad at all.

Once again Jamaica Bay was the spot. The biggest fleet of boats has been concentrated in the area from Canarsie Pier to the North Channel Bridge. It was great bottom for flounder; muddy and plenty of shellfish. On the south side of the bay, the mouth of Woodhull Creek west to the South Channel Bridge also had some boats anchored up and swinging flounders over the rail. For the moment, it seems like the New York boats are doing a little better than the Jersey fleet. That will change as the flounder season continues and the fish begin to leave.

Surface water temperatures ranged between 54 and 58 degrees, with the flood tides seeing the warmer water. Don't be misled by these surface numbers, because Jamaica Bay is notorious for its cold bottom temperatures. That is a direct result of tidal flow and water depth throughout the bay.

East winds and a full moon over the weekend really impacted the fishing. Just a side note: the moon controls our tidal flow or pull, as we anglers refer to it. Often, bottom fishing can be off somewhat on these days. Add to that easterly winds and it seems that the combination put the fish off the feed for the moment. I fished every day last week for stripers with mixed results. Earlier in the week before the moon we had a pick of fish, mostly shorts, but a few keepers mixed in. Live bunker was the ticket for some, while light tackle casting lures also produced.

There was no shortage of bunker schools, at least not in the eastern half of Jamaica Bay. But, we too, fell victim to the moon and the easterly winds. Early in the season, weather really plays a critical role. The fish are somewhat lethargic and any little snag in wind, weather and tide tends to make the fish that much fussier in their feeding habits. Once a big body of fish moves in, this will not be as critical a factor. That's understandable-more fish more competition for food. But for the moment it is what it is.

Some head boats out of the bay did a few night bass trips. Drifting worms as they go along, the result produced was the corral of schoolie stripers. The R/C channel that being the cut toward Mill Basin and Silver Hole being the two most frequented spots.

Up front along the beach, I drove along the shoreline Monday morning just taking a peek here and there to see if any of the regulars are surfcasting. The usual spots had very few fishermen; most stalking bass from shore are concentrating their efforts in the bay.

The back side of Charles Park had some anglers clad in waders poking around, as did the front and back of Floyd Bennet. All the way in the back the Inwood Park crew seemed a little sparse. Tony, my "bay rat" informant/ friend, has been catchin' a few from shore, albeit no big bass yet. But for a sleuth like him, it's only a matter of time. Some decent bass were landed over the weekend in Little Neck Bay and surrounding areas; bunker chunks were the meal ticket. Overall the week was your predictable early spring fishing. If you got on the fish and all was right, you caught. If you were off the mark, you picked. I'll be sailing regularly on morning and evening trips. For any additional information, you can buzz me at 516 -728-6952 or hit my web site at www. karenann charters. com. Till the next tide...................

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