2008-06-27 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

John holds up his first ever fish catch. John holds up his first ever fish catch. As the bay continues to wind down, seventy four degrees and better surface water temperatures is in the water. Need I say more, Summer is upon us.

Down south from the rock piles off Shrewsbury, to Asbury Park, some really big bass are being landed. If you're a trophy hunter, now is the time to burn some fuel. The fish, stripers are moving around with the bunker schools pretty much the same way they do in Jamaica Bay when their on a bunker feed.

These cow bass are coming up from the spawning grounds inside the Chesapeake bay and are heading up to their summer residences. It is best described as a morning bite that peaks at the break of dawn, and is pretty inconsistent in where the fish pop up. At times it's sight fishing when the seas are flat enough to see the massive bunker schools.

As of this writing, the weekend and subsequent days saw some good bassin off the Rockaways. The stripers are cruising around the big jetty and surrounding areas favoring the cooler waters and bigger tides.

On Monday morning, I pulled alongside the "bass brothers". No I didn't make a typo, although they are somewhat similar to the blues brothers in stature. They are fishermen. Let's correct that, Monster fishermen.

Anyway the good mornings were brief due to the fact they were both into fish. The more things change the more they remain the same. Maybe someday I'll get the jump on them.

Saturday afternoon Tony had his "band of brothers" aboard my boat for a little fishin'.

Six blind guys made up the group with some fishing for the first time. Actually I was amazed that they were pretty good fishermen.

After netting bait, we headed out toward Breezy Point and dropped anchor. The usual stellar performance delivered by Tony was not to be this day. Nope, not on this day.

He was out fished by these newcomers. As a matter of fact, John all of twelve years old, caught his first fish ever a striper of about twenty pounds which not too shabby. Matt also added to the bounty with a bass probably in the upper teens. I'd say eighteen pounds.

I have just a little more to say on this group. They are not only connected in the fact of being blind but they also play on the same softball team, and are going to the nationals this month.

Now for those not aware of this league, they play with a ball that gives a beeping signal, so they are able to zero in on it. It really is amazing. Their teacher, Anthony Galante was also on the boat to lend a helping hand.

We take so much for granted. With great sunrises and a blue ocean, we really are lucky. I was genuinely touched by this group and learned quite a bit that day.

If any of you reading this article and have a friend with a disability, Tony and I are extending our boats and crew to them. All you need to do is call either me on the boat phone at 516- 728-6952 or Tony and we'll set up a trip free for the asking.

Back to the fish news, bluefish were a hard catch last week. Sometimes they showed up inshore for a tide or two, but for the most part they were offshore, way offshore. Not good if you're a jigging boat out of the bay. However they did get their licks in on some good striper action working from our inlet and south to the Highlands. This time of year, they always get a shot and land some big fish. Rounding out the local catches are the bottom dwellers, porgies, fluke and sea bass. Well July is just around the corner, and I'm predicting a weakfish run so let's see if I'm all that...

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