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CHOLERA BANKS

Located 10 miles south of Jones Inlet, the Cholera Banks were famous a half-century ago for incredible codfishing.
By Tony Salerno
CHOLERA BANKS

A half century later and the cod fishing during the late fall and throughout the winter continues to give way to quality cod and blackfish action. However the action doesn’t stop there. Today the Cholera Banks attract countless anglers seeking to take advantage of year round bottom fishing, and fast paced bluefish, bonito and false albacore action throughout the summer and fall.

According to Frank Ruperto over at Bernie’s Bait and Tackle in Sheepshead Bay, the Cholera Banks are a high section of a larger structure that runs from Angler Bank through Middle Ground, and ending at Cholera. The depths vary and the area consists primarily of irregular and rocky bottoms. Such structure draws an abundance of sea life such as crustaceans, bivalves and baitfish, which make Cholera a fish magnet for migratory species throughout most of the year.
Starting with January, anglers who employ skimmer clams and cut fish baits on hi-low rigs and fish them on the high spots will find cod for the taking. Blackfish may sprinkle in, particularly along the rocky lairs. Depending on the severity of the winter, the action can last well into March. By mid-April, ling make their presence felt as anglers fishing clam baited bottom rigs keep busy with the unattractive but extremely tasty species.
As the waters of Cholera warms, sea bass and fluke join the ling. Anglers drifting fluke and sea bass rigs along rocky terrain are treated to some fine action on quality size fish. Predictably, when drifting over the rocks, many rigs will hang up and succumb to the bottom. Therefore, be sure to take along plenty of extra rigs and sinkers. Speaking of sinkers, the current can run moderate to swift depending on the lunar phase here. Carry an assortment between 6 and 10 ounces, which should handle just about any situation.
From July to well into November, bluefish, bonito and false albacore are the main quarry at Cholera. Anything from casting artificial lures to chumming and baiting hooks will catch the speedsters.

As fall approaches and the waters cool, blackfish take up residence among the rocks and anglers fishing green, hermit and white crabs play tug of war with some outsize togs, along with a good pick of quality size fish.

Before you take the hike out to Cholera, you should have a plan. First off, safety should be the main concern. I would suggest a seaworthy boat, no less than 21 feet to handle any sudden change in sea conditions should potentially dangerous weather develop. Try to plan your days when sea conditions and the weather should be stable for at least 48 hours prior to setting sail. For more info about Cholera, stop in at Bernie’s at 3035 Emmons Ave in Brooklyn and tell them we sent you.

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