2008-08-01 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheel House

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

Dawn awaits the fishermen. Dawn awaits the fishermen. The highlight of my week was Thursday morning. Instead of my usual course this time of year, coming into Shell bank creek from the north side, I ran Wood hull from the south side of the bay. I was glad to run up from the south. Unbeknown to my passengers were the thoughts in my mind.

There awaiting me was the osprey's nest at the northern mouth of the channel. I hadn't passed by the nest in at least a month or so. When we fish "outside" in the ocean instead of making a left out of my creek, we head west missing the entire east side. A hundred yards or so out, I saw the nest. A little to the west parallel to the marshes I saw one of the ospreys, talons outstretched trying to catch a fish with no success at least not on this particular dive. From its size, it appeared to be the father due to the fact that his silhouette and wing span were fairly large.

Peering out from the nest, I saw the heads of the young ospreys. They seemed almost comical in their movements and curiosity. Often during March, April, May, June and into July, I passed under the nest and saw them grow.

Ever present was at least one parent, a good parent at that. The parent is always vigilant and if our boat got too close, they became agitated and very intent on what was going on. The young ospreys were beautiful. I stopped for a few moments and watched as they stretched and moved about.

Feathers now replaced the fuzz of a few months ago. They had a majestic aura, their brows, beaks and bodies of what I could see had a chiseled look. Young adults learning by the day, soon it would be their time to become fishermen.

This past week was definitely a tough week on the water as fishing goes. The weekend saw some less than desirable weather, heavy rains accompanied by lightning and gust of wind. Rainfall especially in the back bay really impacts the fishing. Runoff from the surrounding land and overflowing sewers doesn't sit too kindly with the fish.

Even the schools of bunker became sparse; hopefully they will regroup and reappear. The water saw temperatures of eighty plus degrees more or less a death sentence for the back bays.

Even the snappers disappeared for the moment. At times it seemed as if I was fishing in the dessert. Saturday saw some recovery to the bluefish only to be impacted by. Sundays storms. Tuesday morning the fishing rebounded, up front in the ocean birds could be seen hitting the water a telltale sign of fish below. Bass many keepers were caught both jigging and trolling. No cows by any stretch of the imagination buy hey it's July and I'll take what we can get. The bluefish were also mixed in size most under ten pounds. Anyway it is action and good action at that which will only get better.

Offshore, the fishing has been on and off too. A good friend of mine Rob had some nice tuna over the weekend, trolling rigged baits in the canyon. Hopefully the fishing will continue to build. Until the next tide....

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