Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheel House
Memorial Day weekend over the years is usually synonymous with striper fishing in Jamaica Bay getting into full gear, but that wasn't so this year.
The fishing was good on and around the full moon, but to date, it hasn't been the usual blitz by any stretch of the imagination.
Over the past eighteen years or so, anglers fishing the Back Bay in the spring have been spoiled. We were treated to some of the best fishing anywhere for that time of year, and we took it for granted.
Still bass, blues and weakfish have been landed but not in the manner we have been accustomed to. Several factors could be to blame. It could be the inconsistent weather over the last few weeks, the increase in people fishing and perhaps a late arrival of these migratory fish.
These fish referring to striped bass. Surface water temperatures varied depending on the previous winds and tides from the low sixties to upper fifties. It's not the best when targeting these species.
Considering the fact that Jamaica Bay has a very cold bottom temperature, which is directly related to its depth, lack of hard tides and ailing vegetation only adds to the dilemma. Still, one can be optimistic and hope for a late run. If the fishery itself is in a decline, well then we have a problem. fished daily sometimes twice a day, covering the bay and had mixed catches. On Monday, Ilyea landed a thirtyeight pound striper on my boat the fish caught live lining bunker. Earlier in the week, bass and blues were landed, and basically it was a pick with the better action happening at dawn or pre-dawn times. The bay fish for the most part were among the many schools of bunker. At times, that was the best way to fish, drifting along with the schools and catching when the fish put on the feed bag.
The party boats out of Brooklyn have been diamond jigging bass and blues up front along the rips at Breezy Point. At night time, they have been drifting by Ambrose Channel as well as the tin can grounds and bay with some fair catches.
Back to the bay; fluke have hit the scene and that has been surprisingly better than I thought it would be. True, the new regulations make it more difficult to land a keeper but some are being culled out among the shorts.
Hopefully the weather will behave and give us an opportunity to get our licks in. Until the next tide...