2008-07-11 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

It was a pretty good week of fishing with some great action in Jamaica Bay and along the Rockaway beaches.

Wendy is now the matriarch of our crew. She comes with us several times a week and is now a "regular". The good thing about her is that she is an excellent cook. Pastries is one of her specialties and she shows up every trip with some home made biscotti and other desserts.

I kind of like having a woman on the boat so I guess you can say the crew and I adopted her. It amazes me how she shows up at four in the morning and gets right to work. On Tuesday morning, she was in rare form in landing two stripers into the low twenties. Actually, Wendy is an excellent business woman as she owns her own restaurant as it specializes in vegan dishes.

Wendy has me and the boys eating healthy. And because of her nutrition guidance and just because she's Wendy, we have her on board almost daily when her busy schedule permits.

She is even a bit of a celebrity herself being recognized by the other fishermen in the fleet of regulars. We can be a rough group at times, and if any comments or remarks offend any one, I'll extend an apology on behalf of myself and the crew.

The bay stripers in the early morning are pretty cooperative. Bass from the bay side of Breezy Point and out into the inlet are being caught on the usual bunker chunks and live bunker. Party boats out of the bay have been diamond jigging with some really hot action on Saturday night.

The birds were up working the schools of bait being mauled by hungry bass and blues. The majority of the fish are shorts, but you can definitely cull out some keepers if you are persistent enough.

Down south off of the Highlands, some Black Drum landed over the weekend and some nearing one hundred pounds in weight. Traditionally a southern species, they have really been extending their range over the past decade. It is probably due to a variety of reasons, but I think the two biggest factors would be the warmer temperatures and bait migrations and patterns. The ocean has really seen some extraordinary bait movement the past several weeks.

Let's talk fluke. The bay is paved with fluke as of this writing with both the north and south sides producing fish. The throwback ratio is ridiculous, but there are enough keepers to provide a tasty meal for those who are patient enough.

George and his Dad did some fluking of their own on Wednesday morning and with bucktails laced with bunker strips landed some nice fish. They worked the lumps and deep holes adjacent to the islands north of the Pumpkin patch. That whole area from the old dump toward Canarsie Pier holds some nice fluke.

It's in a way sad that not too many boats are fishing these days as gas prices and our economy are really impacting the fishing.

Fishing really has a lot of spin-off money makers, naturally bait and tackle shops, plus the party and charter boats and don't forget the deli and gas stations.

Every one is feeling the pinch. Hopefully better times are coming. Fishing is a great sport and it would be a shame if it is priced out of existence.

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