On February 13, 1908, while on a voyage from Huelva, Spain to New York, carrying a full cargo of copper ore, the 315-foot long and 44-foot wide cargo ship Roda met her fate by running aground during a brutal icy and easterly gale one half-mile south of the beach. Nearly 100 years later, her twisted remains and cargo are still spread across the seabed sitting just off Tobay Beach in 18- to 20-feet of water.
According to Bob Rose from Bob’s Bait and Tackle in Amityville, some of Roda’s remains continue to stick out of the water; therefore, he advises caution as some of the remains also sit just below the surface. Anglers planning on visiting this wreck for the first time should do so with extreme caution since the ship’s masses have brutalized many props.
Bob states while good blackfishing can be found directly over the wreck during the early fall; anglers are lured here for the influx of large striped bass that use the Roda as a smorgasbord restaurant feasting on the bounty of sea creatures nestled in the comforts of the wreck.
According to Bob, the stripers invade the fringes of the wreck by mid-May and take hold well into December. Anglers that know the wreck enjoy some exceptional action during the evening hours with live eels on 3×3 rigs being used as the best option, particularly during the summer months. Trolling along the fringes of the wreck with Parachute Jigs or bunker spoons with wire line outfits is the method of choice during the daytime hours. During the early spring or late fall, you can’t go wrong drifting live bait through the area.
For those who enjoy casting and retrieving, a large popping plug or spook-style lure fished above the wreck will also interest the stripers. Just be prepared to wrestle large fish out because they will head straight for the wreckage once hooked.
Bob says October is the primo month for all the tog fans to land some good-sized white chins with fiddlers, greens and Asian crabs leading the way. Once again, proceed with caution, especially if you are seeking out the togs. The jagged pieces of the wreck near the surface are unforgiving.
Watch the weather; since the wreck is so close to the beach, you will often feel the effects of the breakers. Winds out of the north are ideal in this area and make for the safest fishing conditions.
There’s something always brewing at the Roda, whether it’s spring, summer or fall season. Check out the piece this fall for a potentially banner day with an array of different species that are hanging around the old boat.