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What a beautiful day it was, and this afternoon I made my way down to the Bay to see all the captains and pass out the UNITED BOATMAN OF NEW YORK - Progress Report & Membership Drive handout.
It was great talking to both the boat owners, old time friends and customers and getting their feedback on both the fishing, regulations and if they bought a SWL! Either way, everyone enjoyed their day on the party boats, but there was some pretty rough language about the sea bass closure by those who knew about this lousy situation NOAA imposed on the fishing industry on this coast.
What you will see here are some of the people and all the captains running boats down in Sheepshead Bay, which for decades was the largest party boat fleet in one port on the east coast.
Take a good look at these people....they are just like you and I and represent what this party boat business is about...taking customers fishing to catch fish to eat.
So here is the scene in the Bay from 3 oclock this afternoon on.....
I went right down to the Captain Dave as it pulled in, and saw one of the old time regulars standing there, George Krauss. George is one top fishermen, and used to fish for Captain George O'Connell when he had the White Chin a number of years back. I know George has a couple of those Fenwick 968s which I always said had an action as good as the Lamiglass MB 1143F, and I always would bug him, 'when are you going to sell a few of those sticks'. George was part of the crew along with Car Service Bob, Perry, Jack the Greek, Big John, and Teddy D that would either be in at Mikes Tackle, Stella Maris or Dunkin Donuts everyday. If you wanted to know what happened down the Bay, these were the guys who could fill you in.
Though I talked to Captain Dave Paris for a few moments, he did not run the boat this day. Old time fishing Captain Bobby Blieki was behind the wheel. This man has forgotten more fishing then I have seen, and he had a long history of working on the old America and Holiday.
While there, I saw one of my old time fishing partners, who I spent more time with then anyone else fishing all along the coast. Ted Dachs probably had as much influence on me then anyone else in making me a true tackle-ho. Ted and myself along with Sudsy, would pin hook up in Buzzards Bay, long before Joe Huck brought the Helen H to those beautiful waters. I have countless stories of fishing with both of them, but one that always sticks out was getting caught in monstrous seas with him and Sudsy right off Nobska Point, and Teddy just turned around in the small boat we were in and would not look at the walls of water that were coming at us and into the boat....yes we survived, but he never said anything about that, even after all the years I know him. Scared the bejesus out of me though! Yes that's the old Sea Wolf behind Teddy, and old time fishing Captain Eddy was not around to talk to.
After that, I made my way down to one of the living legends of the Bay, and a Captain who without a doubt I would consider the best small wreck/rockpile fishermen around, and the deadliest captain when it came to ranging you up on a piece, Bill Doll. Captain Billy is still running the boat, and along with Captain Chucky are the most knowledgeable of the party boat captains from this area. I and others have the highest respect for what Captain Billy who learned the business from his father Adam, and Chucky have done since post World War II.
Next I was down at the Ocean Eagle with a person who has been family to me for many years and who I spent a great deal of time pin hooking with, when you could still catch some blackfish without worrying about some DEC guy breaking your boats or crews ballzzz. Captain Greg has become one of the best on this coast catching all bottom fish, and to let you in on some history, he was the first to find and fish the flounders at both Hoffman and Swimburne Islands an area we called Valley of the Giants and later at Romer Shoals. Ask him about those days and the numbers of blackbacks he used to catch there. I always tell him he is 25 years to late.....take it from me and a number of people in the know, Greg is as good as it gets...and Ps Greg, thanks for the fine pastries you gave me today...my son and wife loved them!
While there, Captain Greg pointed out what happened to be one of the finest if not the finest big bottom fish I saw this day, a jumbo sea bass that put a big smile on Augies face. Augie happens to be one of the sweetest people around and is a regular on the Ocean Eagle. He was so happy catching his biggest sea bass since he has been fishing. Yes, that's a true Bo'!
Another regular down at Ocean Eagle, and well know fishermen in this region, Joe Mohawk who is known as one of the better black fishermen around.
As I was walking away, guess who I see but 'Demolition' George, who has a set of legs that some of the Russian girls in the Bay were starring at. George is another regular on the Ocean Eagle and he definitely turns heads when he gets into his outfits!
The Brooklyn then came in, blowing horns like they beat on the fish, and everyone started to run over. Sure enough, happy customers were seen coming off the boat as the bluefish and albacore filled the pails.
Thats Captain Mike Ardolino who was running the boat, with I believe Joe the mate. Fishing was good....really good....Here he is reading the UBNY Progress Report.
One of the regulars along with his family rolling some fish down the dock in a cooler. Remember when that was a common occurrence on every dock in the Bay?
That's a tote of bluefish and albacore having a Bud and working on their tan. C'mon guys, get some ice on those beautiful fish instead of displaying your catch like that on the dock, though it was nice to see everyone with some big blues and nice sized bloody marys.
I then walked over to the Blue Sea with my son and saw Captain Keith on board. Everyone had bluefish there too!
Then it was a car ride down to the other end of the Bay to see Captain Jeffery of the Bullet, one of the nicest and most polite people around. He had some fishing day and it was a excellent mixed bag of scup, sea bass and blackfish for the boat load of customers. Customers were so happy and thanked him for the great fishing this day.
Finally the last boat pulling in for the day was Captain Tonys Marilyn Jean, but Tony was under the weather the last few days and I did not see him there. Get better Tony!
Captain Tony Pelican was running the boat, and like the Jet, Ocean Eagle and Bullet, customers were happily walking off the boat with fish.
Well it was time to go home, but I enjoyed spending time in a place that shaped my life, Sheepshead Bay. Though there are fewer boats, and the old days when the likes of the Pilot II with Captain Tommy & Harvey, and Captain Mike and Stevie Eagle on the Ranger, Charlie Becker who would be running the Oil King, the Helen H with Joe Huck and so on who would be seen every day running their boats and catching fish and carrying customers are surely missed.
I also want to send a big thanks out to Captain Paul Risi of the Tradewinds out of Captree who has been doing tireless work along with Dennis of the Princess Marie and Phil Curcio who are fighting for fishermen and the fishing fleet here in New York.
Don't thank me for this thread, thank these captains and support them and their boats. It is all we have left, and as much as fishing sites love to talk about the fishing tackle and every other thing under the sun, as you see here fishing is about the people and friendships you develop through fishing on the party and charter boats on this coast.
Take a trip with these captains and boats, and the fleet from City Island, Huntington, Port Jeff, Orient Point, Montauk, Moriches, Captree, Freeport and Point Lookout.
I have seen many changes since the seventies in fishing, and one thing I hope never changes is these ports and boats carrying people fishing.
EC Newell Man
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LMAO really hard at George, teh only male I've ever seen with camel toe. HE is a CHARACTER and a half. Augie is always smiling nad laughing, and that's a nice Sea Bass he's holding up there.
NIce write up, I'm headed down tomorrow to get some Blackfish with CAptain Greg on the OE.
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enjoyable read Steve, great pics too
Capt. Rick - MISS BERYL CHARTERS
516 359 6462 - www.missberyl.com
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Actually George works on teh Jeanne dive boat behind the OE. HE is ALWAYS, and I mena ALWAYS dressed like that - and quite often even worse. IT's one of the funniest things to see peoples reaction when he drops somehtign and bends over to pick it up. Only in NY.
Spent the day with GRegg on teh OE, he told some of the funniest stories this AM before the boat left the dock. THen he put us over some good Porgy fishing, then sick Sea Bassing - I made 3 casts in a row which resulted in 6 fish none less than 13".
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I really enjoyed reading this post. It reminds me that even though there are fewer boats in Sheepshead than in years past, there are several boats that I still need to spend time on.
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