by Vinnie Calabro
As we approach this moon tide surges will be peaking in Jamaica bay as in other backwater bays. This is an important factor in figuring out and tweeking ones succes for catching striped bass. I'm going interject some basics here some of this"good stuff" many of you will know but it's good to take a slant or different perspective on ones mindset toward striped bass fishing and once these skills become inherent will apply to all fisheries.
Moon tides do a lot for our bay, they with their abnormal highs and lows bridled with a strong current not only flush the bay so to speak, but assist migratory fish in their travel, fish a broad term to include predators and prey alike. So into the deepest recesses of Jamaica Bay these moon tides provide movement, life rides with each ebb and flow. And as Cole put it in his book "Striper" there is life here.
Jamaica bay is unique because as I delve deeper into its' makeup and geography you'll see it has a lot to offer. Funny tourist with their heads buried in the Times can't fathom the drama that unfolds alongside the very tarmac they are on.
If you were to take a birds eye or dorsal view of this magnificent bay you would see all manner of structure for the most part man made bridges, golf courses, marinas, piers, National Parks and an airport. The shoreline has a character of its' own riddled with cuts, points, marsh banks, drains, outflows you name it's here. Each a factor in the way one can adjust their fishing techniques to catch fish.
The bay has a north and south side each with its own personality, but the most decisive factor between the two is that the south side being closer to the ocean tends to have more pull, a point to remember when fishing off or between the moons.
So with the moon given its' props let us start to explore the bay.
The bay has its begining or ending however you look at it way back toward the area known as five towns, past Inwood Golf Course, past Woodmere bay all the way up Rockaway Turnpike. Here the mud flats are rich with clam and mussel beds and in years past spartina grasses cascading over each other as they bend in the springtime easterlies. The water somewhat stagnant at times has a good deal of freshwater infused with it attracting the seasonal crop of herring that tend to linger here early in the season. Hmm herring isn't that a principal feedbag for bass leaving the Hudson. The dark mudflats warm up earlier than the deeper areas and the quiter waters attract bass lethargic from the cold water and long run. Here they can forage hitting the different points and drains that bring all manner of food a smorgaseboard to them.The next in this series will discuss techniques to catch early bass and favorable spots.