Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheel House
Terrible is the word that comes to mind in describing this years blue claw crab population in Jamaica bay. Friends of mine who crab with either pots or scoop nets echo the same.
Blue claw crabs, if you look at the overall picture play a big role in the bays livelihood. How you may ask? Well let me begin to explain. Besides being a great food and great fun to catch they tie in to other businesses.
Tackle shops sell nets, traps and bunker the most common bait for crabs. Skiff rentals are also impacted because many people rent a skiff and go out "jacking"; a term used to describe scoop netting crabs.
And of course, the fishermen that supply the bait are impacted because their sales are down too. The bay men, who invest in gear, and boats to crab, are hurt as well.
It may not be a matter of national security, but people who scratch out a living on the water have a very limited window in which to make money. So it might be something to think about when you see someone harvesting the bay, or sit down to a crab dinner.
It is no secret the dog days of summer are here. Sea temperatures are climbing by the tide. For the most part fishing on the inside is pretty much on hold until we get some cooler water.
However, outside in the ocean and a bit offshore, the water is considerably cooler. After last week's full moon the fishing around the inlet especially dawn and dusk tides has been seeing some mixed action. Bluefish, striped bass and weakfish are being caught.
Trolling umbrella rigs and bucktails seems to be the most potent approach, but aboard my boats this week, some light tackle buffs did some sight casting with artificials and were pretty successful. For the moment the fish population has shrunk in size.
Most bass are shorts under twentyeight inches but here and there some keepers are coming up. Even the blues aren't the monsters of the spring. Four to eight pounders are the norm.
It seems like fluke are the hot item as of this writing. Along Ambrose Channel, some nice fluke are hitting the decks. Combined with the unending throwbacks, and some sea bass, it makes for a worthwhile day. There's plenty of squid in the water at this time, and apparently the fish are following them around.
I did a little beachcombing last week and was really surprised at the number of people "prospecting" with metal detectors. It's an unbelievable great way to get exercise and maybe strike gold. These adventurous souls are the new wave forty - niners-Rockaway Beach style.
I'm actually thinking of buying a detector or two for myself and Karen. What better way to spend a morning by seeing a sunrise on the surf and do some walking along the beach. Add a little luck and hey..Until the next tide.