Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse
Winter is officially in “full bloom.” The Hawk aka Tony has left for Florida. For new readers, Tony the Hawk is a crew member whom I often refer to in this column. He exists because he is retired and is basically available every day when we need a warm body.
And in view of the fact that he’s blind it gives me the appearance of being a compassionate human being but we all know better. Anyway when the Hawk flies south I’m usually ready for the shipyard.
It’s a perennial ritual; he fishes in the sunny Lauderdale area, forwarding reports of swordfish, kingfish and tarpon while I drool.
The bright note is codfish will be in full swing out east at Montauk and if the bites as good as last year it is definitely worth the trip.
Locally some seals have invaded the bay, accompanied by some dolphin inshore probably feeding on whatever herring have arrived.
Occasionally off the beach, birds are up working over some lingering bass moving through the area. Waterfowl are abundant and as the ducks honker in around the various coves I can’t help but long for spring. The grays of winter haven’t set in entirely yet, that’ll take about another week or two of withdrawal.
What will two-thousand and ten hold for fishermen? Something to ponder about as I walked along the shore today, over the past decade we had a good run. Although the last few years it seems like we are battling legislation more so than fish.
It’s odd the new generation will never know what it’s like to go fishing without Marine licenses, bag and size limits as well as season closures. Maybe we’ll appreciate the past more or maybe consider the ocean as something else.
Anyway you look at it things have certainly changed. Until the next tide …