When I was a kid, my grandfather would drive me out from his place
in Brooklyn all the way to Montauk to go party boat fishing. The night
before I wouldn't be able to sleep since I was so excited.
The journey would begin with him putting the car in reverse, flooring
it down the alley way and then slamming on the breaks. The first time
he did that, I asked him what was going on (after my heartbeat slowed
down). He'd say he was just "testing the breaks". I later
learned he just wanted me wide awake for the drive so he could tell
me fishing, and other, stories about his youth in Newfoundland. The
truth was that we were both just as excited as the other.
So, it was the late 60's in his Nova...with the excellent breaks,
by the way. We'd trecked the 3 hours from Bay Ridge to land at Tuma's
dock. We would grab our Grandma-made sandwiches and head over to the
Marlin party boat. It really didn't matter what we were fishing for,
whether it was fluke, bluefish or cod. We both had the same passion
about being on the water and that is what created the excitement.
I remember looking at the boats and hoping no one would show up (we
always arrived hours early). I wanted to have that boat with just
me and my grandfather. Of course, this was never the case. As we grabbed
our gear and found our favorite spots towards the rear of the boat.
We liked the back, but not all the way since there wasn't much bench
seating all the way back there.
So, before you knew it, my dream of having the boat to ourselves
slowly dissappears while other grandsons, grandaughters, granfathers,
sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and sisters start piling on the
boat. The original smell of fish, diesel and sea begins to be replaced
by suntan lotion and breakfast sandwiches. I was still happy and my
grandfather had a look in his eye you would only see when he was about
to go fishing, fishing or thinking about going fishing.
While the boat may have been packed, it was still about spending
time with my grandfather and being on the water. The two things I
cherished most. However, I'm not sure what age I was (still under
10), but I swore to him that we would be fishing on our own boat someday.
The crowded party boats really started to get to me. That day came
a few years later when I convinced my father to purchase a 20 ft.
Mako which we trailered from our house in Montauk. Needless to say,
we fished and fished. I'll skip the next 25 years, but since then,
my grandfather has passed away, along with many other people of his
But, to this day, I still get that same excitement everytime I get
on a boat, everytime I take out a charter, everytime I put a fishing
pole in my hands. Lots of Captains lose that passion...I hope I never
That's enough about my history and why I do what I do, let's move
on to something everyone wants to know about....(page
2, surf fishing in Montauk!)