2008-11-21 / Columnists

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

Fishing was fairly consistent this past week. As the temperatures fell, the fishing heated up. The blustery winds earlier in the week had the fish on the move. At times the ocean and bay were alive with fish. Many mornings I and other anglers, as well, were treated to the spectacle of bass and bluefish surface feeding as they made their way around the open bay and ocean. It's a scene to which we have grown accustomed and witnessed year after year as the fish move through, en route to winter haunts. Too often we take this gift from nature for granted. In one way it's sad as we realize this signals the beginning of the end for this season, as another begins. Take note we have till December fifteenth and as we come down the stretch there's plenty of bass left. Even the bay has been yielding some quality fish for those putting in the time. Some small pods of bunker surfaced here and there, and along with them some bass.

I think the season had more than its share of "what ifs." What if the baitfish remained in the bay, what if we didn't have the relentless winds, what if the fuel prices had been lower, volumes of what ifs. Still fishing had its highs and lows and anglers adjust and learn to adapt, taking what the ocean gives them.

As to be expected, Breezy Point was hot. The shoals south of the inlet and to the west had a lot of action, each morning as the tide hooked up the fish showed up. For the most part, husky schoolie bass with some keepers thrown in. The chubby silvery stripers spitting up sand eels as they hit the deck awaiting to be released. I fished live bunker several mornings and had fish into the low thirty pound range.

Surfcasters live for the fall, and as of late they are being rewarded as the beaches from Long Beach to Breezy are yielding stripers of all sizes. Smart surfcasters canvassing the beaches with binoculars cover ground and make their stand at productive shore points. George, one of my friends, fished the backside of Robert Moses this past weekend. For his efforts, two bass into the mid twenties were caught and released, Super Strike darters the lure of choice.

Brisk winds and a dipping thermometer this time of year mean one thing in a fisherman's' mind —blackfish. Navigating in and out of the bay almost all of the wrecks are covered, by the smaller boats not wanting to venture outside in the ocean. Apparently they are catching as I see rods bent and tog being railed. Down south the wrecks around Ambrose Channel and rocky bottom offshore of Jersey seems to be the spot. White crabs having the edge over the greens as is the case most of the time. Those new to the fishery will surely benefit from watching the veterans.

Those readers wishing to call in a report are welcome to contact me at 516-728-6952, thanks.

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