Someone probably said that you can’t get shut out forever, but I was shooting zero percent, 0-10, before I turned to desperate measures. Everywhere on social media the fish were getting bigger, but my spots were still coming up empty. I got a call from Scott to fish the Rockaways with BAIT. Now, I’m not averse to bait fishing—I usually prefer mine with a 12-pack of beer—and on the piers in Brooklyn it’s pretty much mandatory if other people are fishing. But, as to the aforementioned .000 batting average plugging away in the bay and the beach, I was ready for anything to break the streak.

We drove to meet Scott’s friend Nabil, who’s a local guy in the Rockaways and knows his spots. Scott had basically the monster truck of beach carts that we loaded with rods, beer, ice, bait and we set out under the full moon to an empty beach. I saw a couple big bluefish in Nabil’s refrigerator when we picked him up, but I was willing to settle for a dogfish at this point. The night was cool and the surf rolled in from the left, glittering from the moon. Ever read the Peter Kaminsky book The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass? This is not what happened here tonight. But spirits were high and the bells were ringing, and I was on the board with a small bluefish. I’ll take it.

Nabil is a crazy, energetic character who brought along some incredible smoked bluefish that he smoked himself (with bacon!). He knows his Rockaway spots and is generous with his knowledge. He showed us the spot on the bay where he sneakily built rod holders into the concrete, and took us to his local beach where the ocean forms a deep, curved bowl just down the block from his house. This is where Scott cleaned up on bluefish with the magic touch before we ran out of bunker and steel leaders.


It was a good reminder to go back and watch the somnolent sounds of Rich Trox’s Reading the Beach series of videos, which helped me out a lot last year when I finally started to put some of it to use on some Long Island and New Jersey beaches. I’m pretty sure I posted these before but they’re worth revisiting and taking notes.

Rich Troxler’s Reading the Beach: BING MAPS PART 1





Locally, a Con Ed station in Dumbo dumped a bunch of oil, more than 30,000 gallons worth, into the East River earlier this month. Apparently, the synthetic mineral oil is not as dangerous as the diesel fuel leak that happened in March in Gravesend, but it’s still bad for birds and fish and the overall quality of water on the river. According to this article the same station has leaked 179 times before, leaching transformer oil, hydraulic oil, and antifreeze into the river and the surrounding soil. It’s a bad scene, and one that Con Ed is said to be “evaluating.” With all the new condos the city built on the waterfront right by that station, one would think there would be some pressure on Con Ed to get their containment issues in order. We’ll wait to see if there’s any action.

I’m heading out to the jetty tonight after spending last weekend fishless in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ll report back tomorrow, but I’m hoping this new moon will bring me some bass.


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