2008-11-07 / Columnists

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

When the winds backed off fishing was pretty good at times. Surfcasters working the local beaches from Rockaway and east to Robert Mosses seemed to score with stripers on a regular basis. At times even blitz like fishing occurred. Stripers making their annual migration feed voraciously often times chasing baitfish right into the shallow surf. It can be quite a site as birds circle overhead picking up scraps that remain from the carnage. The local piers Canarsie, Sheepshead Bay, and 69th street all had some action. Fishing from shore is definitely an option with the relentless wind and heavy sea conditions throughout this Fall.

Sadly Jamaica Bay hasn't as of this writing had the run of fish we have grown accustomed to over the past years. The main reason is the baitfish moved out early ,however some bunker and scattered herring have been reported so one never knows.

I fished just about every day from my boats, either with customers or just for enjoyment and was able to catch stripers and blues with not too much effort. Rounding the point most mornings the fish were up feeding on the surface and one could easily sight fish, casting diamond jigs, or trolling bucktails and shad rigs seemed to be met with good results.

Those using clam chum and soft baits also had bass either drifting or anchoring up on the shoals to the east of Breezy Point. I fished there Thursday with a charter and they had stripers up to twenty-five pounds, mixed with some teen size bass and schoolies. A big key to getting the fish to respond is to chum heavy. I like putting down a chum pot and dumping the discarded clam shells leftover from shucking.

Party boats out of Sheepshead bay have been doing well drifting live eels at night and in the daylight. The bass are spread out along the rips in front of the inlet to the various bottom pieces located on the "tin can grounds" and channels bordering New Jersey. Anglers I spoke with said the action has been fairly consistent, with some quality fish being decked. The east winds and turbulent sea conditions didn't enhance the bottom fishing on the ocean side over the week. However the alternative, fishing the bridges and local wrecks inside the bay did yield some blackfish. Well until the next tide . . .

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