2009-07-10 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

At the north end of Woodhull Creek, two majestic ospreys make home atop the day marker stand. This is choice real estate as it overlooks the entire span of the open bay. The birds themselves are big, as compared to the other ospreys in the bay, and I guess this is why they have this prime spot. Our paths cross daily, oh say around 3:30 or so each morning.

Occasionally, I'll stop to check them out; actually admiring them would be a better way to describe this encounter. In the past, especially when they had youngsters in their nest, this would cause them to be aggravated, but as of late we have a "thing" for each other. After all, we've only crossed paths about three or four hundred times this year and as long as I don't get too close they tolerate me.

Actually I think they might even approve of my fishing ability. More often than not, I'll be cast netting bait within their site and take my word for it they're checking me out. The big one has even crossed my path on the south side of the bay for occasionally he fishes up between the South Channel Bridge and McDonald's. Thursday morning he plucked a small blue in front of me and as he clutched it in his talons he glanced over at me, the message was simple he outfished me and wanted to make sure I saw him.

Fair enough I thought after all it's his world. And the reality is he's neither the first nor the last to outfish me, right Dickie? I'll give you one thought regarding these birds, they're a lot smarter than most give them credit for. As of this writing the rips and shoals to the east and west of Breezy are infested with schoolie bass each day at dawn. The fish are ravenous feeding on small baitfish. Going further east from the center of the Rockaways towards Debbs Inlet, bunker schools continue to tease boaters in hopes of culling a jumbo bass among them. The bay seems fairly lifeless for the moment as is the case each summer. Off the moon, I did manage some bass on live bunker.

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