2012-03-16 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

Jamaica Bay in spring Jamaica Bay in spring There’s life here, Jamaica Bay is starting to stir. This Jamaica Bay, like a doting mother, begins to swell; it’s a ritual that echoes through the years, it answers to no one.

As predicted, with the unusually mild temperatures fish and wildlife are invading the bay. Each tide carries with it more transients. Baitfish menhaden (bunker) and herring have begun to set up their spring homes. The bunker schools moved in while the herring seem to be more active, it’s a good sign.

Some scattered reports of striped bass are filtering in and with the 15th of April right around the corner, many an angler is getting anxious. The shadow lines of the North Channel Bridge are definitely worth a peek, as are the back marshes of Rockaway and Woodmere Bay.

Overhead ospreys can be seen, twigs clenched in their beaks, as they construct new summer residences. The marsh banks, creeks and islands are beginning to display a familiar tint while the waters basking in the sunlight continue to warm. If one looks close enough, white swans can be seen perched upon nests waiting for eggs to hatch, it’s a glorious time to be on the bay.

Codfish continue their resurgence along the south shore. Montauk seems to be enjoying a spike in catches usually associated with the spring run. Fishermen making the trek “out east” are being rewarded with some fine table fare. Not to be forgotten are the good catches along our shores. Apparently this great fish which really is a piece of Americana being caught way back in colonial times is showing up again. Still it remains a fragile fishery; hopefully we’ll see a good rebound over the next few years. Until the next tide …

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