Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse
I think nothing has been more enamored in prose, poetry, film and fishing than the full moon. From Captain Ahab, who tells Starbuck in Melville's "Moby Dick", "and there I'll be waiting for him the full moon in April." Larry Talbot looking overhead at the full moon as the sign of the werewolf, the pentagram appears on his hand, or Cher in Moonstruck. And that brings us to me this weekend gazing out to the east at the August full moon rising.
Striped bass addicts have a thing for the moon. They ask when is the moon, are we on the moon, they'll bite on the next moon and this moon should see some action. It is an endless litany of lunar lust. Now August is and always will be August. And even though the moon above is similar if not the same moon looking down at us for twelve months, it does have its limitations ,at least around these parts.
Still it is a full moon and one never knows. I will add this to the equation; bluefish who have been known to get lockjaw a term used to describe them going off the feed on the moon. I'm sorry that the recent full moon didn't subscribe to that theory on this past moon. With great irreverence, it destroyed every live bunker I tossed over at the end of my line. Luckily, I had an ample supply of live bait. Because we were on the moon, it was pretty difficult to net.
Finally after donating a box of hooks to the blues in lieu of the fact I was using a monofilament leader, I in my infinite wisdom tied on a bluefish hook instead of the wire leader. After completing this adjustment, bluefish began to bend my rods continuously. I'm not complaining, but it was the moon. I had hoped for some bass, actually big bass. but that wasn't the case. It was a few schoolies, and a few keepers, just keepers at that.
As I basked in the light of this full moon, I couldn't help but admire the night. Looking about the fleet from Sheepshead Bay was out in full force. From what I could see, they had packed houses. I mean the anglers were pretty tight on the rails and I wonder if the moon had any thing to do with it.
Returning to my dock it wasn't too difficult navigating through the bay, after all the moon light reflected rather nicely off the buoys. Sliding under the North Channel Bridge, I said to myself that I'll put my money on the harvest moon, which is a couple of moons' down the road. That'll be the one.
Keep in mind I will put some time in on the next moon too. I had a new customer of sorts this week. A baby raccoon started hanging out on the deck of my skiff. Usually he gets off when we board, but a few mornings this week, he went to the bow under my casting platform. He stayed up there on two trips I guess enjoying the ride and the subsequent fishing.
I named him Cosmo. He seemed to have a European look to his face. A little thinner than most of the raccoons I come across. Initially he found my boat his home when a few errant bunker remained on my deck. Any ways, he has been M.I.A. for the past few mornings. Will he return? I can't really say. I will give Cosmo credit for one thing; we had good fishing while he was on board.
Down the beach and up on the channel edges, the fluke fishing has been good. The bay itself also has a bit of life some birds have been up around Ruffle Bar and in and around Woodhull Creek. It's a start, peanut bunker and some smaller baits become some fishes meal, the more things change the more they remain the same. Cosmo come home...