2009-03-20 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

My trio of compadres Captains Richie and Eddie, both captains of the Karen Ann, along with George tagging along for good luck, made the trip to Montauk on Monday. Ah.…the never ending quest for cod.

Captain Rich placed second in the pool, while Eddie and George were content with bending their rods to codfish.

It wasn't a banner day by the standards of recent trips, but there was enough action to keep all aboard happy. Also this week, two of my other cohorts, Alex and Tom, made the pilgrimage up the Hudson River to do a little pre-season striper reconnaissance.

A quick note: the bass season opens this week up in the Hudson. Fishing from shore with blood worms as bait some schoolies obliged and were released to grow old.

Flounders 101: Jamaica Bay is really the quintessential fish haven. From a fishing perspective, it has a lot going for it. Backwater in the head of the bay that borders on brackish, to the mud flats along the banks and the deeper water in the channels, make it appealing to a wide variety of inhabitants.

Structure abounds with the various bridges, wrecks, and shore points. The banks up and around Inwood to Rosedale are thick with mussels, plus clam beds that are fairly plentiful. Poke a digging spade into the mud along the water's edge at low tide, and you're bound to see some worms as well as other sea life. The grasses break the tidal flow and provide not only forage to its residents, but cover for young of the species that set up seasonal residence.

The shallow waters along the cuts and banks rich in silt and mud of sorts, warm up early and attract fish into the comfort found in rising temperatures. Flounder really tend to frequent these areas early in the run.

Whether you're fishing from shore points, or a skiff, a chart is definitely a useful tool. It enables you to see depths, shoreline and bottom type. A chart also gives you a presence and a fish mindset of sorts. Patterns often correspond with the seasons, and as you take fishing to another level, you'll appreciate the enjoyment and satisfaction of predicting your spots.

Early season flounder are typically lethargic in their feeding habits. Therefore chumming with crushed clams and mussels, either in a chum pot or broadcast randomly, will tilt the scales for success your way.

Depending on the tide and wind, some captains set two anchors to keep the boat from swinging. It ensures that your bait and chum are in proper order for presentation. Little details usually separate good fishermen from great ones.

Take note that sea temperature often coincides with tidal flow and weather conditions. Bait is simple with the favorites being mussels, bloodworms, and clam.

Rods with light tips allow one to detect the smallest of hits and rebound well when gently working the rod and eventually setting the hook. Hook preference is really up to you. I lean toward a smaller hook with a modest shank. As far as line, light is right, keep in mind a monster flounder may go … oh 3 pounds.

Hopefully this will help you hone up on your flounder skills, good luck. The Karen Ann will be flounder fishing by reservation.

Until the next tide ….You can visit Captain Vinnie at www.karenann charters.com

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