2008-05-23 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheel House

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

The full moon and surrounding phases saw a spike in both the size and amount of stripers caught in our area. Even with the turbulent weather over the weekend, and earlier in the week, stripers were landed throughout Jamaica Bay and the surrounding areas. At times, the bass even out-muscled the bluefish among the bunker schools.

The bass population doesn't seem to be concentrated in any one particular area. In the past, the fish would "set up" or take up residence in set locations almost to the point of conforming to a pattern. But that is not the case so far this season. The fish seem to be loose in their wanderings throughout the bay and ocean. This can be contributed to several factors; an abundance of bait or perhaps the population may be a little off. Still, those presenting their baits and lures with a detailed approach are coring.

Regarding Jamaica Bay, I can say first hand having fished at least once daily, that the fishing has been good and as of this writing, it's better each day. On Monday morning, Angelo and friends limited out on bass into the upper twenties and on Tuesday, Tony and his group did the same with bass into the low thirties.

Conversations with other anglers and boat captains from the west also expressed an overall improvement in the fishing. Areas around West Bank, Old Orchard Light and Great Kills seem to be producing a little latter than usual. This spring is definitely one for the books. It seems like we don't have a legitimate good old fashion spring any more. Winds seem never ending as well as the cold temperatures and rain.

Surfcasters from the beaches of Rockaway and 84 Street in particular, have been landing bass and blues on a regular basis. Driving home one morning, I pulled over by the church, stepped onto the boardwalk, and saw a few nice fish caught. The head boats out of the bay have also been catching bass on their night trips, and blues during the day. There's a lot of life out there, so now is our time. Fluke season is also underway. I haven't fished for them as of yet, but will by the holiday weekend.

Traditionally, this weekend, the fishing usually explodes around here, so I think we are right on schedule. We will be coming off the moon and the weather fronts coinciding with it.

The nice thing about Rockaway is that you get to see generations of fishermen. Tuesday morning, I ran into Eddie on the water. Eddie is the son of Joe, a truly great fisherman that crossed my path for many years. People like Joe made me a better fisherman. As a kid, I often shared a jetty with Joe and his two body guards posing as fishermen, two brothers of Rockaway origin.

Origin would be a good way of putting it, because Darwin would have loved to study these two. Talk about your missing links. Anyway, Joe was an amusing character in his own way. Witty, confident and always yakking .The man was a yakaholic.

Well for reasons unknown, Joe wasn't a big fan of me. In fact, I don't think anyone would argue the fact that Joe didn't enjoy the sight of me on his favorite jetty each morning. Joe at the time was a member of an elite fishing club. And it was a very competitive group of men at that. I was a member of a small makeshift club of misfits, who were kind of renegades on the fishing scene. However, as the years went on Joe and I "related" to each other on a more civil level, perhaps even becoming friends. Joe if you're watching, I hit your son off with some live bunker on Tuesday and he caught two nice bass. He's not the fishermen you were but then none of us are. Until the next tide...You can call 516-728-6952 to send comments and reports or log onto www.karen ann charters.com

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