2008-08-15 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheehouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

Well if you're into fluke, you're having a good week. If sea bass are your pleasure you're also smiling. That's because the bottom fishing has been pretty good and at times, hot as a pistol.

Anglers fishing along the Rockaway reef and surrounding areas are doing a number on the sea bass and fluke. There seems to be a large body of fish. Debbs Inlet, the Atlantic beach reef and points east are also faring well.

The boats out of Sheepshead Bay have been working Ambrose Channel, as well as the tin can grounds. They have been rewarded with good catches.

Running a little offshore toward Scotand Grounds, you are in for a treat. Quality fish by anyone's standards are being caught. This fishery usually holds up and peaks in September.

Striped bass. Ah, now that is a different story. There are plenty of schoolies around, which is typical for this month, but not too many keepers. That is generally the rule of thumb for August.

Sure an occasional "big" fish is landed, but for the most part, their few and far between. That pretty much is the mystery or dilemma if you will that most bass aficionados face this time of year.

Actually it's common sense in lieu of the rising sea temperatures, both in the bay and inshore, and the diminishing amount of big baits in the area. Occasionally those bassin' around the vicinity of the clam dredge boats off of Rockaway are catching some fish.

Those not familiar with the approach, or experience with fishing the clam boats, would be wise to watch the other boats and see not only their drift, but the course that the clam boat runs. Simply put, the clam boats dredge the clam beds off of the beach usually south and east of Breezy Point jetty.

As they haul back their harvest clams are broken, the ensuing bottom disturbed and in essence creating a giant chum slick of clams. Fishermen drop their baits, fresh shucked skimmers down to the bottom usually on a 3x3 rig and drift in the clam boats line.

When it is good, it produces well, here and there some dogfish and sea robins mixed in. The good thing about the fishing is more often than not the boats you fish around are east. And if you don't hit em' up on the clam boats, you can resort to plan B and do some bottom fishing along the areas I mentioned earlier. Hey your outside might as well get the most out of your fuel or trip.

A couple of Breezy Point locals were aboard on Monday morning, narrowly escaping that squall that moved through midday. Don and his two sons' Stephen and Greg fished with me landing their first stripers. Among a slue of shorts, they broke the ice with a nice bass, that night's dinner to be. Bluefish also gave the brothers a work out, and I must say the sibling rivalry was fun to watch. Dad also joined in just to keep things in their proper perspective.

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