2014-04-04 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors

By Capt. Vinnie Calabro


The Karen Ann “testing the waters” on Jamaica Bay. The Karen Ann “testing the waters” on Jamaica Bay. Spring is upon us, or so the calendar says. I guess it would be an understatement to say fishermen are chomping at the bit to “wet a line” and as the temps rise that will evolve.

The bay, our Jamaica Bay, showing signs from a harrowing winter will recover, it always does. A constant reminder that despite all that surrounds us nature endures, and if not for anything else, the sun reflecting off the water has got to put a smile on your face.

I made my annual pilgrimage through the boat yards and marinas along the bay this past week. I started out in Howard Beach driving down Cross Bay, meandering intoHamiltonBeachandmadeaUturnduesouthtowardRockaway. On the north end before the crossings there wasn’t a helluva lot of activity. Restless tackle shop owners could be seen cleaning and stocking some inventory. They too are in a little need of some rays on this gray morning.

Going over the North Channel I pulled into the parking lot on the southwest side and let Bo out to fertilize the marsh grasses. As I sat in my pickup looking due west I fast forwarded in my mind and envisioned the surfcasters that congregate here early in the year. It’s a rite of passage, the equinox unfolding, as little by little daylight conquers winter. This band of brothers will undoubtedly form within a week or so as they cast baits into the drop-off in hopes of snagging an early bass or flounder. It’s what we do. How lucky are we to have this bay I thought.

Knocking my tea over from the cup holder as Bo always does, I was faced with my first major decision of the day, left turn and instant replay to the bagel store or hook it up south into the Rockaways.

Appealing to the Lewis and Clark in me, we opted for Rockaway- one bridge down one to go.

But first a left turn east toward Smitty’s. Just looking in made me smile thinking about the “glory days” of Jamaica Bay.

Back on track we entered Rockaway. There at the pinnacle of the bridge, east, west, north and south it all came together, bay, ocean, marshes, sunrise, does it get any better?

Until the next tide...

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