Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse
I snuck in a little blackfish trip on Friday morning in between the winds that ,for the most part, seemed to be an everyday occurrence this past fall. This morning, however, the wind backed off, blew gently out of the northwest and enabled me and a few locals to head south in search of blackfish. Rounding the big jetty at the inlet, the sky was black with birds. There were acres of fish cartwheeling and swirling as far as we could see, south, east and west, pick a compass heading and that's what you saw. Rather than stop, as tempting as it was, we stood with our intent to catch blackfish and continued south in search of "good bottom" before surrendering it to the fleet undoubtedly on their way.
Our first drop along Ambrose Channel yielded some small blackfish, perhaps a keeper or two, so we abandoned that spot and hastily headed south.
Less than ten miles from the jetty, we dropped anchor in roughly sixty feet of water off New Jersey. The wreck had good life on it as quality blackfish gobbled the calico crabs we netted earlier in the day in the shallows off Brighton Beach. It was a steady pick, with fish up to eight or nine pounds being caught. Inshore on the south reef, several party boats out of Sheepshead Bay could be seen.
Obviously they must have been picking away at fish by staying on anchor at the one drop for most of the day. They were in shallower water up on the lumps and debris of the reef. Surprisingly there weren't as many boats as usual on the reef. Ordinarily, on a Friday this time of year, the reef is nothing short of a parking lot of assorted sea craft. It seems like the economy is hitting everyone.
As the tide slackened, so did our pick of fish. We headed toward home, made another drop south of the channel, and picked a few nice fish upping our total for the day. We limited out.
Three miles out from Breezy Point inlet the birds met us as once again, the fish were up. This time we stopped and decided to catch 'em. A few keepers were culled out amongst the shorts added to our catch. Diamond jigs, small white buck tails and storm shads seemed to work the best. It was the icing on the cake for this November afternoon. The surface temperature for the waters in Jamaica Bay registered forty-four degrees as the sun began to fade. It seems like this fall, Mother Nature is giving us a hint of what is to come.