2009-05-29 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

Hauling in fish brings people together Hauling in fish brings people together Fishing around our bay has been in a little bit of a funk this spring. Some days you get on the fish pick a few but for the most part Jamaica Bay has been inconsistent. I can't really pinpoint this decline but several factors may be the reason.

I think first the menhaden stocks are not as plentiful as they were in years gone by. Sure there's bunker throughout the bay but nowhere near what I can recall in the past. Movement of bait is without a doubt one of the most vital factors in fish activity. Big fish have to eat and the principle food for bass and blues in this area is bunker.

Anyone doubting this need only look at the run of big fish off of Shark River inlet in New Jersey. Over the holiday weekend the fishing for stripers exploded down there and was it just a coincidence that there are acres of bunker in the ocean with them? Enough said on that matter.

Another factor is that the water temperatures in the bay were, up until about a week or so ago, cold. Add to that the weather pattern earlier in the year and we didn't have favorable conditions until recently, so who knows maybe the run will improve.

Catching fish is an exhilarating feeling. Catching fish is an exhilarating feeling. Aboard my boats we did manage to catch a few as the saying goes over the past week. The stripers for the most part have been quality fish some topping the scales at forty pounds with a fair amount of husky twenty and thirty pounders mixed in.

Monday morning Glen Evans celebrated the holiday with a limit of bass to thirty-five pounds. The fish caught on a live bunker. The night fishing also had its moments but that too was inconsistent. Bluefish continued to haunt or delight anglers from both the shore and boats.

Breezy Point had a pick of fish as friends reported to me that the birds were up working schools of bass in the dawn hours on Saturday. Rob Redding banged a nineteen pounder on a popping plug with light tackle, not too bad.

The bluefish boats out of the bay had to work for their fish. Occasionally at first light some fish have been jigged by the inlet but to the south off Jersey and in the back of Raritan seems to be the route.

Fluke seem to be abundant in the back bay. However, culling out a keeper with the new regs can be a little difficult. Maybe the downside of this moon will spike some activity. Until the next tide …Captain. Vin can be reached at 516-728-6952.

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