Brooklyn Fishing

Brooklyn Fishing

Brooklyn Living

and the fishin' is good!

Brooklyn Fishing is the website for Brooklynites and visitors to discover the rich seafaring roots of our city and its fishing heritage. Brooklyn is a seaside town and fishing has been a key part of it's culture. From the time when Native American tribes showed the European settlers how to use and catch Scup and Tautog, through the Cod and Oyster economies of the early 19th Century, onto todays modern comercial and recreational fishing centers mostly about Sheepshead Bay, fishing has been central to our welfare and lives.

Fishing is a four season activity in our city. While Summer is great for fishing all long our water front, our fishing ground and shore lines are busy all year long. I've spent considerable time, over the years, as a passenger on most of the Brooklyn based boats including the old Pilot , Explorer, and Brooklyn, just to name a few. Our family has fished around the entire calender. The purpose of this website is to help put Brooklynites into the water, to get them at the rail of our boats, and on the water. It is to help connect all our residents to this essential resource for work, fun, and pleasure. We live on one of the worlds greatest fisheries, and are we are striking distance from furtile fishereies in the Hudson Canyon, Jamaica Bay and the Gateway National Park and the entire Long Island Sound. If you live here, you owe it to yourself to explore what Brooklyn has to offer in its marinas, peirs and beaches.

Hot Links

This site is the result of many years old of reports and has hundreds of images and essays. It takes a bit of time, depending on your platoform, to download the complete page, so be patient. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns, you can email me at My contact informations is at my home page -

In order to reach many of the internal reports directly, I started identifying them with unique tags that you can see. This is a list of all the tags, to many of the write ups and stories. I try to make the tags desriptive, but there is more to the write ups than the years and dates that often serve as flags. You can wait for this to download comletely and hit a tag to jump to a section. Or just enjoy the site as it is and browse.

The best boats of the current fleet is, IMO What makes a boat great is the captains and mates. Over time, you will build your own friendships, and develop your favorite times and places to fish.

Fishing Knots

Pro Challenge is a great source for quality inexpensive flourocarbon line

Stella Maris Bait & Tackle

is the main bait and tackle shop that I use.
2702 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 646-9754.

They are open at 5AM every morning and serves as something of a club house for many of the captains in Sheepshead Bay. Get there in the morning and ask for "Stretch". He's about as warm of a person as you might ever meet

This is a pamphlet that describes most of what you will find in NY waters

The Bow getting ready to fish

Brooklyn Weekly Fishing Schedule

Too Cute to Eat

Note: This schedule is only generally accurate - to help a user chose the type of trip they might want to take. However, captains change there minds and make special trips that might not be listed here. See the individual boat websites for bookings and actual schedules
Current Daily Schedule
6:00AM - 3:00PMBlackfishHunter Pier 6
6:30 - 2PMStriped Bass and BluesThe Lady FamingoBehind the UA Movie Theater off of Knapp Street
7AM - 3PM Blackfish, Porgies and Seabass Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
BlackfishOcean Eagle VPier 5
7AM - 12Noon Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
7:30AM - 2PM Striped Bass Marilyn Jean IV Pier 6
9AM - 4PM Blackfish Captain Dave Pier 3
1PM - 6PM Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6PM - 11PM Stripers at Night Captain Dave Pier 3
7PM - Midnight Striped Bass and Blues Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6AM - 3PM Blackfish Hunter Pier 6
6:30 - 2PMStriped Bass and BluesThe Lady FamingoBehind the UA Movie Theater off of Knapp Street
7AM - 3PM Blackfish, Porgies and Seabass Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
BlackfishOcean Eagle VPier 5
7AM - 12Noon Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
7:30AM - 2PM Striped Bass Marilyn Jean IV Pier 6
9AM - 4PM BlackfishCaptain Dave Pier 3
1PM - 6PM Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6PM - 11PM Striped Bass Captain DavePier 3
7PM - Midngiht Striped Bass and Blues Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6:00AM - 3:00PMBlackfish Hunter Pier 6
6:30 - 2PMStriped Bass and BluesThe Lady FamingoBehind the UA Movie Theater off of Knapp Street
7AM - 3PM Blackfish, Porgies and Seabass Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
BlackfishOcean Eagle V on Pier 5
7AM - 12Noon Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
7:30AM - 2PM Striped Bass Marilyn Jean IV Pier 6
9AM - 4PM BlackfishCaptain Dave Pier 3
1PM - 6PM Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6PM - 10PM Striped Bass Captain Dave Pier 3
7PM - Midngiht Striped Bass and Blues Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6AM - 3PM Blue Fish, Bonita and Albacore Hunter Pier 6
6:30 - 2PMStriped Bass and BluesThe Lady FamingoBehind the UA Movie Theater off of Knapp Street
7AM - 3PM Blackfish, Porgies and Seabass Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
BlackfishOcean Eagle V on Pier 5
7AM - 12Noon Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not aroundSea QueenPier 5
7:30AM - 2PMStriped Bass Marilyn Jean IV Pier 6
9AM - 4PM BlackfishCaptain Dave Pier 3
1PM - 6PM Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6PM - 11PMStriped BassCaptain DavePier 3
7PM - Midngiht Striped Bass and Blues Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6:00AM - 3:00PMBlackfish Hunter Pier 6
6:30 - 2PMStriped Bass and BluesThe Lady FamingoBehind the UA Movie Theater off of Knapp Street
7AM - 3PM Blackfish, Porgies and Seabass Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
BlackfishOcean Eagle V Pier 5
7AM - 12Noon Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
7:30AM - 2PM Striped BassMarilyn Jean IV Pier 6
9AM - 4PM Blackfish- Captain Dave Pier 3
1PM - 6PM Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6PM - 11PM Striped BassCaptain Dave Pier 3
7PM - Midngiht Striped Bass and Blues - Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6:00AM - 3:00PMBlackfish Hunter Pier 6
6:30 - 2PMStriped Bass and BluesThe Lady FamingoBehind the UA Movie Theater off of Knapp Street
7AM - 3PM Blackfish, Porgies and Seabass Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
Blackfish Ocean Eagle V on Pier 5
7AM - 12Noon Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
7:30AM - 2PM Striped BassMarilyn Jean IV Pier 6
9AM - 4PM Blackfish Captain Dave Pier 3
1PM - 6PM Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6PM - 11PM Striped BassCaptain Dave Pier
7PM - Midngiht Striped Bass and Blues Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
6:00AM - 3:00PMBlackfish Hunter Pier 6
6:30 - 2PMStriped Bass and BluesThe Lady FamingoBehind the UA Movie Theater off of Knapp Street
7AM - 3PM Blackfish, Porgies and Seabass Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
Blackfish Ocean Eagle V Pier 5
7AM - 12Noon Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
7:30AM - 2PM Striped BassMarilyn Jean IV Pier 6
9AM - 4PM Blackfish Captain Dave Pier 3
1PM - 6PM Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
4:30PM - 10PM Porgies, Sea Bass Hunter Pier 6
6PM - 11PM Striped BassCaptain Dave Pier 3
7PM - Midngiht Striped Bass and Blues Marilyn Jean V Pier 7
Porgies Sea Bass if Stripers are not around Sea Queen Pier 5
Note that Davie and the Hunter have special trips that intercede this schedule and will be announced
Brooklyn Fishing!! Get in on the Action!

Opening of the Blackfish Season 2020

ID open_blackfish2020

Early this week I took a couple of early season blackfish trips on the Marilyn Jean V. I hope to catch a trip with the Ocean Eagle a little later in the week. I can report that the fish have been biting nicely and I'd taken more than a few keepers, as has the rest of the boat. I was puzzling over the gear to use for the adventure, and settled on my new custom blue Hercules Seeker powered by my black Torque 12 Star drag outfitted with a 4.8/1 versa gear replacement. The low gear with the extra power killed at pulling the blacks out of the rocks. I pucked dozens of Tautog out of the water, with many keepers. The fridge is full.

In addition, we were hitting on big porgies. These fished seemed all but gone, but on the East Reef they were attacking the Crabs and I pulled in a few on the 3/0 hooks. Surprisingly, my friend Tommy pulled in two buckets of Porgies by 11AM this morning Tue Oct 20 2020. Tourists on the having trouble blackfish did well with the Porgies. I had Gil and his father from Pennsylvania who came in for his fathers birthday that whaled on the Porgies, pulling in a bucket, and taking home fillets and whole fish. I was a good time and we had some rain and even a rainbow. My friend Felix, the head mate on the Rockfish, fulled in a monster fish that I hope to get an image of later. Meanwhile, enjoy these pics including yesterdays pool winner.

Rainbows on the Water
Doc with a KEEPER Black!
Yesterdays Pool Winner by on MJV regular!

Ocean Eagle Bottom Fishing - 2020

ID ocean_eagle_progies2020

I had a free Friday morning when the docks were very quiet, but I managed to get a ride out to the Porgy Grounds with my friends, Greg Nardiello, Chris and the old man, Tommy (who is the oldest mate I know of in the tri-state area) on the Ocean Eagle and took a trip out to the Porgy grounds about the lower harbor and Coney Island. There is a few interesting wrecks in the area which are more like Blackfish grounds, but we did find some really large and nice Porgies at a steady pick both in the Rockaway Inlet of Jamaica Bay and out past Norton's Point.

Tommy, one of the most experienced and friendliest mates on the eastern seaboard

During the earlier part of the trip, during the pick, I was pulling in, to my suprise because of our location, some of the largest Porgies of the year, steadily over 13 inches and very fat fish. The rate of the pick bothered Greg, so we moved inevitably to another local near the community wreck, until we hit "Drop and Stick" Porgy Fishing, but the fish were smaller on the 10 inch size, moslty keepers. I pulled in an endless stream of fish, bang bang bang, almost boring for me, but the rest of the boat was very excited.

Captain Greg Nardiello taking an uncommon turn at the rail, porgy fishing.
Yossi with two of his prize fish at the end of a long day of fishing

One of the most interesting part of this trip was the arrival of huge schools of bunker into our local waters. It was seen previously and the docks on Emmons Avenue had been hot with bunker and blue fish attracting in the know fishermen. But this was well beyound that. It is often seen that bunker move in before the big fall striped bass runs. These are the largest bunker schools I'd ever witnessed, that were stretched accross miles of harbor, as of about October 10th. This video I took lets you see the fish expanssively about the Ocean Eagle. This is a massive display of nature in action, which most folks are completely ignorant of.

Bunker About the Ocean Eagle in New York Harbor

The Hunter: Tuna Fishing in the Hudson Canyon - 2020

ID hunter2020
Ralphie - he can occasionally catch fish...

This Succus holiday, in the middle days (Chol Me-od), I decided to take a long range fishign trip on The Hunter that went from 6AM on the 5th of October until last night, Tuesday at 9:30PM. For me, it was a long trip on a real fishing platform, no cabins, and no gallery (although they had plenty of food). Tuna fishing has been good, and the previous trip was washed out by the weather. But this run was set, and although the swells were consierable heading out to the Hudson Canyon, the weather when we arrived was spotless

I had always wanted to see the Canyon, and we've heard stories that at times it is like an ocean wild life TV show. Whe did see whales and the dolphins disrupted out fishing. It was interesting to look out to the ocean calm and to see the horizon with nothing but ocean and sky, and no city skyline. It was nearly a 10 hour ride to where we were going, and we spent nearly 13 hours in the deep water. We had targets Tuna and Mahi Mahi, which use too highly different types of tackle. The boat had 10 passangers on a boat that can carry twice that at least. And even with that, there was barely room for all out sticks. I had friends on the boat, including Ralphie (who was somewhat grumpy) on the trip, and Anthony, the dutchman, and of course Mike, the captain. We stopped on some lobster pots allong the wall of the Canyon and found plenty of Mahi Mahi. We hit these fish on lighter tackle, nearly no weights (I had a 1/2 ounce bead on my line just to prevent the line from eagle nesting in my Torque 40 reel on 40 pound braid), and drifting small bait into the water from 10 to 40 feet below the surface. This resulted in plenty of action on 2 drops.

I'd had been excited to get one of these gorgeous and tasty kosher fish, but I hooked up with 11 of them, even after taking time out for picture and video taking. It was awesome, and my United Composit stick got a bit of a work out. We got GREAT video:

Ralph, Mike, Bobby and Doc on the Mahi Mahi in the Hudson Canyon
I did really well with these tasty fish. and at the end of the trip we pulled in a huge bull. The change rainbow colors on the deck, trying to match the background. They turn blue, green, and red, with dots and spot.

After the first Mahi attack, we turned our attention to Tuna. We switched to heavy and short sticks with huge reels. I borrowed from the boat a rod and senator reel. All night I sat and watched my reel, waiting for the big hit in the wake and the cool fall winds. By day break, after about 11 hours of watching, waiting and changing bait, I grew tired and retreated into a bean bag and slept for about 4 hours. No fish were picked up. Mike called around to other boats in the area, but the normal canyon locations where all but barren of tuna. We did hit then a second Mahi shot. We hit them hard and had a great time pulling these fish up, and then tried one more unsucessful tuna run before packing it up and heading home, after a very long ride home.

Mahi Mahi or Dolphin Fish - well in Hand on the Hunter
Lined up on the Hunter and ready for action
One ON!!
A Happy Captain
Gaffing the Fish
The Dutchman with a Mahi
A big bull taken at the end of the trip - great pic - click on it and see the original

Flamingo Jigging - 2020

ID flamingo2020

With the COVID-Wuhan-19 Pandemic locking down much of NYC during the summer, once the docks reopened, they made a ralitively safe haven for all walks of life in a city with every other activity closed down. Crowds on the weekend boats, even while limited to covid-19 level passangers, were routy. With some new sticks I wanted to try out, I looked for new places to fish, and hit on the Lady Flamingo for a number of trips. This is a Jigging boat that hunts for blues.

The Lady Flamingo is parked off the Belt Parkway behind the UA Movie theater. Since it is not right with the other boats in Sheepshead Bay, I take this boat less frequently than other boats, but every time I have taken this boat, it has been an outstanding experience.

There are a few things that make this boat different than any other in the City. First of all, it is primarily a Jigging boat for Blue Fish. Blues has been harder to get the last few years as the population has migrated away from North America, but they can and are found, and the Flamingo finds them often. Blue fishing is a higher risk fishing, that it, it is easier to skunk out on any given trip. The captain keeps close tabs on the Blues all year, and nobody is more aware of there location than on the Flamingo. The last 4 trips I took, I nailed good fish every time, and the boat ran all the way down the Jersey Shore to as far as Point Pleasant and into the ocean to track Blues.

I am not an experienced fisherman with jigging, but I nailed fish. The boys on the crew helped with jiggs and even helped me adjust them to get a chance at the fish. The old men in the bow always outfished me :). But that is OK.

This is one of the cleanest boats I'd even been on. It is amazingly clean and the boat rides rock solid, even is heavier seas. If your a beginner and you willing to chance a truly supper great day out, to learn from the pros about jigging and fishing, but possibly go home without fish but great memories, then this is a perfect boat to venture out on. You will get the full experience of the thrill of the hunt, and you WILL likely catch something fun. If your experienced, this boat is as good as getting you on the meat as any boat on the south shore of NYC.

This boat tends to be less crowded than any other in the city. That might not be great for the owner, but it is terrific for the fisherman. There is a ton of space. If you are looking to spread out during the Pandemic and be and feel safe, this boat is ideal. It is not packed in at all, and you have a ton of space to social distance and the clean ocean breeze to keep you from contact with the virus. I love fishing here and wish I could do so more often.

Pool Winning Blue by a sharp shooter on the Famingo
A Bundle of Fish
Young and Old pulled in keepers - this one a Mackerel by a young boy
Just another afternoon's workout
I usually fish in the bow, and on the Flamingo, that means I am fishing with the most experienced dudes on the boat. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes not. These guys don't share their secrets. The Flamingo attracts suburbanites more than other Brooklyn boats, and this gives the trip a whole different feel, which is a welcome change after a few weeks fishing with new immigrants, and locals from Coney Island and East New York. It can be a nice change to not fish with hip hop blaring from radios. On the Flamingo, it is all about the water and the Fishing.

I loaded up onto the boat with my new 8 foot Hercules Seeker rod made by Micael Cho, outfitted with a Torque 12 Star Drag which I lowered the gear ration until it is now about 21 inches per rotation on the handle. That is good for my bottom fishing, but for jigging, the downgrade of speed doesn't match the jigs they use, which are designed for high speed retreival. The result is that I caught fish, but I could have done better. It also helps to practice jigging. It's been a while since I regularly did this. The old timers were using ugly sticks and Newells. The kids in the back of the boat that had high hook were using light weight spinning rods. So this is a whole other world for me both in terms of tackle and technique, and I need to learn a new vocabulary.

Doc with two Blues caught on the Flamingo - That is a Micheal Cho built Hercules Seeker in the background in Blue.
One Cobie picked up on the Flamingo on jigs.
Jigging at the Rail on the Flamingo

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Fall 2020

ID fall2020

Mid Fall Fishing

Doc's Double Header in the Bow
Happy Fisherman all around the Marilyn Jean V - Day and Night

We've spent a week dodging offshore hurricanes and fading Porgy runs. We've still eeked out good fun on all the boats in the harbor. Meanwhile, while the Fluking season is coming to a close, the Ocean Eagle and the Captain Dave continue with successful regular trips, picking out fluke, which at times can be quite good. The Ocean Eagle split the docks a bit early on Thursday and pulled in late with a lot of happy fisherman. I am still looking forward to the reports. Mike, the owner of the hunter, keeps getting excited with good long distance trips and blows apart the schedule. I have trouble keeping up. As of now he has a mid-range trip on Wed the 30th of Septembet from 9PM to 9PM. At this point it is fair to say he has no regular weekly schedule with long trips punctuating his calender on the 30th, the 2nd, and October 5th! He is really turning the boat into a long trip vessel.

By the way, I promised to get a couple of pictures up for Jessica, a regular on the Marilyn Jean V, mostly on night trips. She came out one evening on her own and pulled in some outstanding fish...

Jess and her Mackerel
Jessica holding up her eel. Check out the Mawl on that thing.

Speaking of special customers, we get, from time to time, extraordinary folks that come down to the boat, and I am always happy to meet them and learn something about the world and our city. On this day, we had a repeating customer who I had met once before, who was celebrating his 90th birthday on the MJV on a Thursday night trip. This fellow spent the evening (7PM to Midnight) catching Porgies near Norton's Point, on a warm fall night. His name is Bill and he was in the Navy during the Korean War, when the cold war was boiling over and the US and China squared off with real guns and not just trade tariffs. They felt safe enough to fish at the rail without masks. In truth, the constant clean blowing winds on the open water protects them and they mostly fished a good 12 feet from everyone else on the boat. They caught more than a few fish, and left the boat smiling.

Bill's 91st Birthday

On that day trip, I fished in the bow with a gentleman from the West Indies who is a novice at the sport and just purchased his first reel for $50. It seems it didn't come with a manual and he fished it all morning with the clicker on. I finally got a little worn out hearing it whine all day, so I leaned over to him and said, "You know if you leave it on the clicker all day, you can damage it. The clicking noise is not for free. It has a ratchet That wears down and it slows your cast." He reluctantly allowed me to show him how to operate his reel correctly and when I picked up the rod, I also found that the reel wasn't sitting in the seat holder tightly. I fixed everything and he casted out nice and smoothly and had a big smile. I turned my back on him, and right off the bat, with his gear now adjusted, he pulled in a nice whopper of a Porgy! And he remained on fire for the rest of the trip. I still can't forgive him, though, for wearing thick socks with sandals. It just make me crazy.

Big fish breaking in new gear!

September 2020 Fishing Picks! Trips to Norton's Point 2020 October Brooklyn Fishing Pics Porgies for Rosh Hashana

Weakfish this Fall

ID weakfish

Weakfish are more plentiful now than at any time I can remember. I pulled up with this really nice one tonight on the Marilyn Jean V while loading up on some decent sized porgies. We had a bunch of plesant young adults on the boat tonight who pulled in 5 buckets of Porgies amongst themselves and they smiled when they got off the boat. The nice West Indian women to my left in the stern limited out her porgies, as did most others on the boat. It was just a plesant night, with no stress, and some hot coffee for the entire boats on the new moon.

Doc's Weakfish on the last pull of the night Post Rosh HaShanana

ID Rosh_HaShana2020

The Jewish Holidays are here and the tides have slowly been rising. We have had weather and water conditions dominated by a hurricane out in the North Atlantic which has caused increased winds and swells out in the ocean. This has pushed us into the protection of Jamaica Bay where we have loaded up on Porgies and Weakfish. On Tuesday and Wednesday we finally checked out the Ocean and the porgies and blues have been abundant and large about the tin cans. On my last day out on the water before the Holiday, Wednesday, we killed the porgies. It was the kind of day fisherman dream about on the night before a trip. I pulled in nearly a 100 keepers and kept only 10 of the largest, and took home a snapper for dinner. I hooked a good 20+ inch fluke and lost him on the rail when I lifted him over. I should have called a net. That would have made the week. All in all, a racked up 6 consecutive trips, day and night, loading up before the holidays.

The largest keepers of the afternoon, to take home scaled and gutted
The same Porgies soaking in Brine in a 4 Quart Soup pot
An unsuspecting victim of the Porgie Blitz!

Among the trips I'd taken, I went out with my friend, Dr George Moskowitz, who had a pleasant day on the deck while we were in Jamaica Bay. It was a pleasant day and George pulled in a few keepers on my new tackle. This included a very unkosher by cool Puffer and nice Weakfish. Dr Moskowitz has been burning up his hours taking care of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. His office is in Boro Park, in the highly dense and Orthodox Jewish community. He has needed the days off and so we gave him a break.

Dr George Moskowitz and his puffer fish catch
Dr George Moskowtiz

Being pressed into Jamaica Bay for a couple of days has reminded me of something that often happens on the boat. It is the preconceived notion by paying customers that the best fishing is out "in the Ocean". There are so MANY problems with this, so lets start to break them down. First of all, people really need to learn the geography of New York Harbor and the surrounding New York Bite. Here is a map of the area's water.

The most commonly fished area for our local fishing fleet within about 10 Nautical Miles of the dock at Sheepshead Bay

Between Coney Island and Sandy Hook is the traditional boundaries of New York Harbor and the open ocean. For this reason, Coney Island is one of the most exciting locals on the world. Its unique position jaunting out into the open ocean from the protected harbor gives it not only a world class beach, but the coolest of evening breezes that tend to switch direction as the sun sets. Unfortunately, it also exposed Coney Island, Brighton and Manhattan Beaches, and Sheepshead Bay, to terrible flooding and storm surges. There was a natural protective system in that Jamaica Bay was, prior to European settlement, a vast Everglades like, salt water marsh, which the Dutch immediately started to landfill as they arrived. Today nothing remains of the original shore line and in an attempt to protect Coney Island, and South Brooklyn, the Rockaway Peninsula was extended from today what is the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge to Breezy Point. Even today most boats find the water about Coney Island, outside of the Coney Island Channel, to be too shallow to routinely navigate and waves crash over a shoal just outside of Coney Island when the tide is low. But when you reach the Breezy Point Jetty, the Hudson River flow and the tides of the open ocean take controls and you can feel the wake of the waves as you reach the tide lines that run between Breezy Point and Sandy Hook. Likewise, Sandy Hook is in very narrow, but exposed surf. This makes it idea for surf fishing, as is Rockaway.

Surf Fishing off of Sandy Hook, and seen from the Lady Flamingo on our jigging trip in the summer of 2020 during COVID.

This gives Jamaica Bay extra protection, and despite being dredged, and reshaped, this large body of water that runs from Nassau County to New York Harbor is filled with fish habitat and big fish. It is over 25,000 acres large, and nearly 5 million people live near its shores. It is filled with fish and bird life. Porgies, Weaks, Stripers, Fluke, Blues, and a dozen other fish live in the waters, swamps, and creeks all along the bay. It is a protected zone that has Osprey, Bald Eagles, Crabs, Horseshoe Crabs, and Egrets. And it is a great place to fish. Often, it is the best place in our area to fish. And that might include a day when you are on the boat. And if you are there that day, be glad that we have such a wonderful option to go and fish, because otherwise we would likely be either without fish or left at the dock because of the weather.

Typical Scenes from Jamaica Bay

Are we going out to the Ocean

id goingtotheocean
This is the general fishing areas a fishing boat can reach within an hour to an hour and a half on a normal day trip
Immediate Fishing Area South-East of Breezy Point
Immediate Fishing Area South-West of Breeze Point (upper right)
Immediate Fishing Area within Jamaica Bay
Immediate Fishing Area south along the New Jersey Shore
Map of the NY Bite to the Hudson Canyon that regional boats can makes on 24 hour or greater off shore trips
Labelled Oceanic Map of the NY Bite up until the Hudson Canyon

People often come up to the boat and ask if we are going out to the Ocean and the answer is usually yes but...
and here is the but. Fishing boats can travel normally between 8 and 15 knots, and the fast ones can top up near 20 knots. The old Brooklyn VI super cruiser could hit 23 knots, if memory serves me right. A small six pack charter like the Rock Fish can also reach the low 20's. So if you are looking at a 8 hour trip (7AM-4PM), and your anticipating going out to the Hudson Canyon, a good 70 Nautical Miles South West of Sheepshead Bay, you will be disappointed. Those are long trips best done in at least 3 days on the ocean. And they cost a lot of money. After all, you are on the boat for 3 days.

But one should not fret over this. We have plenty of fish within reach of day trips and even midrange 11 and 12 hour voyages can put one in reach of Tuna, Mahi Mahii, and Blues. Closer trips can reach Cod grounds, Ling, Sea Bass, Striped Bass, Weakfish, Scup, Tautaug (Blackfish), Drums, Game Sharks, and more. One just needs to go where the fish are, and fish with the weather and season in mind.

The question one should be asking crew when deciding on a boat to take out is "What have you been catchings and where". There is always the risk that any trip can bomb out, and fishing out in the ocean, to the Canyon, Cholera, etc., is no guarantee of success. Even 3 day trips can, and often do, bomb out.

The captains try to catch fish. Customers want fish. Captains prepare for it all the time and there is a network of informal information that they all share. If you want to catch big game fish, you need to go in the right season and in the right phase of the moon, and then follow the reports. If you want to go for fish with less risk of a bust, porgies and bottom fishing is probably your best chance, and you might well end up fishing in Jamaica Bay, or near the Jetty. Fishing for Fluke can lead one to a trip both near and far. It depends on where the fish are. Fluke can be near the Marine Parkway Bridge or out at the MacAlister Reef. Blue fishing comes in many forms, off shore and near shore varieties. They both have seasons and conditions. Stripers can be targets near shore or further out. Past the 3 mile state line, in Federal waters, keeping stripers is illegal. The more you know, the better one can chose as to what trip to take. Don't be arrogant. Ask, listen and learn. Captains and Mates often like to share there knowledge. But just walking up to the boat as asking if they are going out "to the Ocean" just puts the crew in a difficult position. They want to tell you yes, but they really just want to catch fish and spending 6 hours to head out to the Canyon, on a 8 hour trip is no way to catch fish.

Worst than not asking a sensible question when selecting your boat to fish on is when the passenger has completely unrealistic expectations about the nature of a trip or the procedures and chances of finding fish. If for some reason, they have a hard day at the rail, they get surely and nasty, as if it is the crews fault. It happens that indiviudal passengers can just have bad days, and that happened to us just the other night. The weather truly prevented the boat from heading out past the Jetty into the open ocean currents. There were 8 foot waves, a huge swell and high NE winds come off an off shore hurricane (Pamela if you want to look it up). We had reports of an abundance of giant Porgies and large numbers of Weakfish inside Jamaica Bay, not far from the Canarsie pier and the Padeget creek. And we hit fish. Most of the fish were in the swift currents of the bay, and fishing was hot along the sides of the boats. But the fools who were drinking far too hard in the stern of the boat were clueless on how to adjust to the conditions and skunked out. They then started shouting at the captain, and blaming him for not going out to "The Ocean". These bores deserved to go out into the rough seas and fail to catch fish, because bottom fishing in gale conditions is nearly impossible, but it will even make veteran fishermen feel sea sick. You can't keep the bottom when your rocking so hard and you can't feel for fish when trying to hold onto the rail with your hands vomiting. They would have caught nothing out there in the open water. The fish were right in Jamaica Bay and I caught 17 porgies, 2 weaks, and a blue fish. It was not a super night, but it was good fish in our bucket. Thinking that you Know more than the captain is a HUGE error. Those captains do this all day and all night around the clock. You don't come close to their background and knowledge. Talk to them. They are great sources of information, but never tell them where to fish. They are your best chance to bring home fish, and if it doesn't work out, sometimes it just doesn't. There is no magic formula and certain fishing "out in the ocean" isn't a foolproof solution to every fishing problem.

September Fishing Run
ID Sept2020

Running into the fall months of 2020, fishing continues to still be on of the few activities available to the public in New York. Scup fishing contines to entertain and the offshore boats have picked up a run of Mahi Mahi and Tuna, not far from shore, as close as the mudhole, but also on longer trips into the canyon. Fluking has been at times very good, although never a guarantee. Lots of Week fish have made it into Jamacia Bay.

The Ocean Eagle has had a productive late summer and early fall, with Pories and Fluke. I had the pleasure on Thursday to take her out, with Greg and Chris, on a fluke trip. I hooked 5 decent Fluke between 15-18 inches. The minimum is 19 inches, so none came home. But I scored 7 keeper Black Sea Bass, and the boat as a whole caught quite a few keeper fluke about the boat. Greg gave us a tour of the harbor making nearly 12 stops, hunting for the sacred fluke spot. We picked at keeper or two on each drop. And at the end, we ended up with a someone hooking a bull head ray. It was a big heavy ugly fish with about 15 barbs in its tail and back. It is not a fish to be messed with, but the entire boat got in the act and we had out share of laughs and fun.

Pulling in a Bull Ray

Aside from that, the Ocean Eagle has a new mate, who is fun to be on the boat with, and is a decent seaman. His biggest fault is that he fails to let anyone other than himself to take pictures with fish. Here is Chris with all the fish:

Chris with a Sea Bass
Chris witha Fluke
Chris with an Artic Tern - Nasty species of bird
This is NOT Chris, but it is a bullhead Ray - quite a bit of work
This is ALSO not Chris - because Chris was busy taking pictures. It is Billy with the Bullhead Ray on the Gaff

The Hunter is landing good Tuna and Bonita's and more on there long trips. I wish I could afford these trips. Michael, by his own admision, is a very loud Italian, and he has been having the time of his life with the Hunter, and his son, chasing the Tuna, and the Mahi Mahi on inshore and offshore trips. He shared with me some terrific pics of his catches.

Abacore on the Hunter
Ralphie on the Hunter with some Albacore
On the Hunter - Eveyone can be a HERO
Mike JR showing off his fish..

I had my son of the boat last week, two weeks before Rosh Hashana. The weather was terrific, but he still was a little wheezy on the ocean. He did a great job of pulling in fish on the MJV, and the boat brought in Porgies and Triggers,


Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Summer 2020

Late August 2020 - fading summer action

The dog days of summer are turning into fall. This has been a particularly hard summer and nerves about the harbor are getting freyed. We witnesses a 30 minute stand off between two people arguing over a parking space on Emmons Avenue right in front of Peir 6, blocking traffic for a half hour from Ocean Avenue until the Belt Parkway entrance. sll but stopping business and the boats as they were trying to leave at 7PM. And that is just one example of many that are happening.

Fishing has also slowed a bit, although it is diversifing with more Tuna, Bonita, and Blues entering the mix of Fluking and Porgie Fishing. Captain Dave is making a few special Sea Bass / Fluke marathons and the Hunter is running out to the grounds to go after Blues, Bonita and Albacore. Porgie trips are also continueing although that has slowed somewhat.

Shmuelie Bear Safir - and his flying Porgies!
Trigger Fish!
Doc and Ralph very much engaged in god knows what..
Glen's Double Header

Here is a close look at my Abu Garcia MGX2 Revo reels after nearly 2 months of solid usage on the salt water boats of Sheepshead Bay

Cleaning and inspecting the Abu Garcia MGX2 Revo

Late August 2020 - fading summer action


In the late August run the whisper of fall has reached the waterfront and the fish are being affected. It seems that the record sized scup are gone, althougth there are still plenty of nice size fish available. The Jewish community is deep into its cycle of repentance and the month of Elul, and its new moon has come and gone. The new moon brough roaring and nearly unfishable tides and currents. But now in the middle of the lunar phase the currents are much more fishing friendly and the Porgies are biting, as well as many blues and fluke. We've also seen an inordinate amount of puffer fish and real sharks, the ones with teeth, about the harbor. Accordingly, fleet captains have been making some adjustments to there schedules, especially Michael on the Hunter, who is squeezing more Blue Fish runs. The crowds on boats are still thick. The best day to fish is still Friday mornings, with light crowds.

Our new friend - John and his double header

Today, Friday morning, I got on the boat and I had the warm company of young John, from Staten Island, and his family. They were somewhat experienced anglers with there own tackle and rods. They were expereinced enough to pull in a few buckets of fish between them, but only bringing home about 10 fish to cook. The rest were exchanged on the dock to friends. John managed to loose a record number of Scup at the rail, losing 5 fish in the air, which is breaking rule number 3 (the fish is not caught until it is over the rail and onto the deck). I think he was having fun annoying us every time he lost a fish. Such is life for a 16 year old boy. He was also stealing my bait, but we pretended not to notice.

Meanwhile, Nick, who was fishing the bow, pulled in a terrific triple header. He and his buddies had a bit of fun on the boat. And then there was the young women who regulary comes to the Marilyn Jean V and kills the porgies. She is quietly, perhaps, the best fishermen that comes on the boat. She is slowly getting notices as she pulls in the largest and most fish, and does so regularly. I have no picture of her from today, but Pelican started to notice her, as she pulled in a huge double header.

Friday's Triple Header

Doubles: Fri 28 Aug 2020

Big Porgies load tonight Monday 24 Aug 2020 - I had 46 fish before 10:30PM and then quit when I ran out of bait.
August 2020 Fishing Picks! Trips on the Flamingo 2020 Study of water in the night Fishing off the East River in Queens

Review of Fishing Equitment used on the Party Boats

Friday Morning Trips Continue to be the most fun

id = fridays_cont

If you are serious about having a positive day on the water front, Friday Mornings continue to produce the most regular fun. This morning (Aug 14th, 2020) the weather report called for some late morning rain with thunderstorms. So it was not suprising to show up at the dock and to find the boat largely empty. I've been trying to learn how to work out of the stern of the boat after years of fishing the bow, so I grabbed the sterns, portside corner. The new on-line ticketing requirements has all but guaranteed that patrons now who used to show up at 5AM to get the best spots, now show up 5 minutes before the scheduled time the boat was to leave, especially beginners. This makes it hard for the mates to set everyone up, but it is the new reality. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, on-line ordering had created this dynamic. At 6:45, we worried about having enough to go out because we only had a just a few diehearts on the boat. By 7AM we had about 25 customers, all of them on the boat for the first time, and none of them read my instructions for beginners. Still, we had a few seasoned hand, myself, Glen, the head mate, Ralphie had time to fish, and Pelican came out of the pilot house after we were anchored to collect a few fish.

We anchored near the tin cans, and waited out the current. We had a moderate bite until about 11AM. Prior to that, we pulled in a moderate number of porgies on a nearly slack tide (which was good for the beginners), but we were overwhelmed by small sea bass, sharks, and even a baby thresher which was released. But then the current picked up, and we found ourselves in what felt like a river in the harbor, with the water flowing powerfully past us. I started casting out up into the current emptying nearly my entire small spool, about 100 meters, and found fish. They were tide running porgies, being hooked on the run. At first, I thought I wasn't hitting the bottom, but I actually hooked porgies on the run, double header porgies, as a matter of fact, swimming as fast as they could. When I ran out of spool I hit the drag. Low and behold, I felt fish on the 4 ounce weight I was casting. I pulled them in and brought in a whopping double header!

With such a surprise, we casted out again, and bang, more fish in the current. In a 20 minutes, most of the best fisherman on the boat are casting out into the current, a great distance, catching hard hitting scup in the current, and pulling them in against the water. It was hard fishing, which required skill and a lot of fun. We ended up with smiles all about the boat and pulling in more than a 100 fish, or maybe in 200 fish, all which fought for hard in a white water that raged about the boat as much as a river. Finally, twirls of whirlpools formed about the stern of the boat, so quickly did the current pick up, that I had to switch from my lightest porgy killers sticks to my new United Composite GUSA 7ft 9 inches MEGA stick that is specified at 20-40 pound line and 1-5 ounce lures. This extra power let me pull in fish with a 6 ounce weight, at about 100 yards distance, and when matched with my low gear pen torque 12 reel, it had no troubles navigating even the height of the current. We never ran out of fish. We did, however, run out of time and we pulled up the anchor at 2:30PM and headed home, completely satisfied with our work for the day. Unfortunately, there are no pictures today as I decided to leave the camera at home. Besides, how many more pictures of fish do you need?

Ralphie on the Hunter from a long range trip and the Hunter Blue Fish - pictures compliments of Mike from the Hunter

The Dutchman has arrived

id = the_dutchman

During 2012, when I first began to me seriously fish out of the boats on Emmons Avenue and Dooley Street, most of the nighttime fishing trips, and many of the day time ones as well, was manned by a young boy who was aptly named Little Antony. It so happens that we have so many Anthony's on the doc that we need to segregate them. We have Boss Tony, the owner, Pelican, the captain, and Little Ant, Anthong Van Utretch, who I affectionately call, "The Dutchman". Little Antony was commonly paired on night trips with an older, more experienced fellow by the name of Tommy. Tommy ran a commercial lumber yard by day and did some night Mate Work on the Marilyn Jean IV. He took credit for training Anthony, and also claimed to have a Korean Wife. I am not sure of either, but Anthony did learn a lot from Tommy, and absorbed everything he could from nearly anyone else who would teach him.

Pelican, Anthony and Felix - Black Fishing in the dead of winter

In short time, Anthony learned and practiced nearly every function on the boat. He worked with the anchor ropes continually. It is dangerous and physical work, that the captain calls for routinely. He built up strength, and stamina, and eventually absorbed more and more duties, working in all weather, day and night. In time, he made the job look easy, and passengers barely noticed the expertise that he functioned with, from shucking clams, to scaling fish, untangling lines, setting up rigs, straight through the customer service chain, and even learning about the engines.

One day, the first mate tells me, Anthony is going to be a father. Anthony is a young pup, and so was his girlfriend. This put a jolt into Anthony's thinking, and he was desperately trying to conjure up a future for himself where he could afford a family. He joined a few unions, and faded from the docks, which was, all in all, good for him. He needed the pay and benefits. But his heart was on the boats, and we would continually show up again, maturing into an adult man, while gaining more and more skills.

When the Brooklyn VI was sold, its main captain, Mike Ardolino, went into business for himself, settling on the new boat, the Hunter, a smaller boat which is marketed torwards big game fishing on the scale of a charter boat business, but with the flexibility of a regular party boat, carrying about 15 passengers at premium prices, regularly running with individual ticket sales. Mike was targeting the fishing market of people who view themselves as advanced fishermen going for the big show. And he largely succeeded in this market. And much of that success is because of the hard work of the Dutchman and Big Ralfie, who followed Anthony the Hunter to fish (which is not to understate the hard work of Mike , himself and other members of the Hunter team).

One of the things Mike was smart enough to do was to encourage and enable Anthony's passions to advance, and he brought Anthony up to the wheel house to captain the ship, and to learn the ropes of piloting a fishing vessel. Anthony had already taking the Captains classes and passed the exams, but needed hours behind the wheel. He has begun to rack up those hours on the Hunter. And this week, we got more hours as the captain of the Marilyn Jean IV, returning home full circle. And so, yet another Sheepshead Bay Captain has been minted, in the long tradition of the docks.

id = begiiners_sunday

Sunday is usualy crowded on the boat and these Sundays, in the post COVID-19 apocalypse, the boats fill to max quickly and people are turned away at the dock because of restrictions. I went down to the boat on Sunday morning and decided to forgo arguing for a spot on the stern or the bow. For years, Doc fished on the bow of the boat. It is the hardest place to fish but it had several advantages for dock. First, the wind is breezy on the bow. That means that it is better for his stomach, which likes to get wheezy on the ocean. Secondly, nobody fishes there, so he has room to spread out. The wind also means he is not bothered by cigarette smoke and such, and it is comfortable. But other the years even the causal fisherman has come to notice me there, and catching fish. This is not because the bow generally produces, but because over the years, I have developed a little skill at catching fish in the bow of the boat. So now, they come to the bow and crowd me, especially on Sundays.

So on this Sunday, I conceded the bow and moved to the middle of the starboard side rail, smack in the middle of all the beginners. I thought it might be fun, and in the morning, it was fun. The fishermen about me were clueless and they tangled with each other pretty good. I worked with all the passangers, the married couple on my right, and the family of Mexicans on my left, including a young boy, and we got them all hooked up with fish and happy. In the meantime, I was somehow managing to squeeze around all the tangles and avoid the hanging lines, and pulled in a bucket of fish.

Smiling Newbie with a nice fish
Young Pup with a victory fish on a pole that weighed more than he did

By the afternoon, the newbies were exhausted, leaning on the rails, getting fustrated with the increasing outgoing tide, tangled lines and soogy bait. They kept hanging there line down the side of the boat. I was fishing through a spider web. It became all but impossible for me to continue to fish. SO I learned a new lesson about the mid-ship fishing on Sundays.

Fishermen down the side of the boat, pulling in Porgies
The Ocean Eagle, piloted by Captain Greg Nardiello - filled on Sunday to legal capacity under COVID-19 regulations

id = drum

Fri 07 Aug 2020
This Friday we had overcast skies and light rain in the morning, which kept the crowds light. We hit the water not knowing what to expect, since the was a decent tropic storm earlier in the week. But when we made it out into lower New York Harbor, the fish were hungry, and in the morning I crushed the porgies, logging 21 fish over 15 inches. I made few new friends, especially Philip, which we quickly dubbed, King Philip. He was heading out for a fluke trip that was cancelled, so he grabbed a Porgy/Sea Bass trip instead and had a blast.

Everyone ended up with near limits of fish. 3 keeper Sea Bass made there way onto the boat. And we capped of the trip with an exciting run at a 26 inch Red Drum, by King Philip. It was a great great day at the rail. After stuggling with the fish, we took it in and meaasured it up, at 26 inches, it was one of the nicest catches of the season.

For those that have never had the experience, this is a picture of what it looks like when you stare into the water with wonderment, astonished about what you actually got on your hook, and knowing it is huge.

There is SOMETHING in the water
King Philip graciously taking accolodes for his Monster Fish
Captain Pelican in action Porgy Fishing - One On!!
Buckets of Fish!!

id = aug2020

We had a bizarre night on August 3rd. The weather reports have been threatening us with a tropical storm for 3 days, but the hurricaine was downgraded toa tropical strong, and the weather keeps coming up cherries, sunny with light winds. Early in the evening the sky was blue and nearly cloudless. the weather report was for scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon, clearing out by evening. Instead we had blue skies and the evening boats headed to the Tin Cans to pull in fish and we were having a banner night. Buckets of porgies before 9:30PM. All the passengers and families were happy. I gave out a bit of Meclizine (Dramanine) to folks before pulling out of port. At 9:30PM, all hell broke loose. First we had a minor thunder bumper that passed but that blew off slthoguh it did blow us off the fish. Then the seas got rough, and the wind picked up. No more fish. The boat near us was caught up in particularly rough swells, and had to cut its anchor to get into Jamacina Bay safely. We followed them in, and the night ended a bit early. It was quite an adventure though, a few hundred feet off of Breezy Point

We finished up this weekend by burning into August, much as a continuaiton of July. Porgie life has been mostly large fish and buckets of them. This is one of the greatest porgie runs I'd ever witnesses, not because we have had endless fish, which is normal in the summer, but because the fish have been consistantly huge. I can honestly tell you that there is no need to run all the way to Montauk to get big fish. They have been right here in Jamacia Bay and at the tin cans, espeically at night when the gates of Hell seem to open up and we get Demon Scup, fish 17 inches and bigger, coming in on a current of cold deep water..

Early Morning Jamacia Bay Scup
Night Time Porgies and Sea Bass Loot
Another HUGE Scup. Everyone on the boats, including the expereinced mates had to stop and look at this fish. It measured at 17 inches, but was fat, and seemed much larger. The eyes are nearly larger than mine.
Fish Cleaning Duties with Mega Porgies

Additionally, I am reminded, especially with the Sunday morning trip, that one doen't need a bunch of fancy equiptment to catch a bucket or two of porgies. It is not unusually for me, with all my fancy gear, and fancy casting, to get out fished by a boat rod holder fishing for the first time. This big guy here, we smart enough to take advice from the crew and fill his full limit of Porgies for the day, and wasn't cheated a fish.

The DUDE with a boat rod, a double header, and a bucket of fish

id = end_of_july

The fishing weekend begins tonight and the porgie fishing has been up and down. It was sluggish until the tide changed. Then I was able to pick a few fish up at the Atlantic wreck and I enoughage the rest of the boat to join the feed. The result was ending the night with lots of smiles and I pulled in a modest 11 fish on miss matched gear, so I was happy.

Friday Fishing - best in the week

Fishing on the party boats is best on Friday's. The crowd is usually enthusiastic but light. Mates are feeling friendly and the captain, because he is setting himself up for the heavy weekend, is usually willing to take extra risks to find new fertile fishing grounds, so that he can fill up the boat with fish for the weekend passangers. The overall result is usually a happy trip.

This Friday we set out with a light crowd on the Marilyn Jean V with about 30 passangers. The boats capacity is about 95 passangers or more. Our mates were Rojas and Ole grizzily Frankie. The morning it rained and the weather was a bit rough so the captain tried his luck about Jamacia Bay and we hit Porgies hard. I connected with an old firend, Anthony Van Utrecht, who was a young pup when I first met him, but has grown into a full man, and gentle father. He mates and captains for the Hunter now, and we rarely get to fish together, but this is FRIDAY, so things that otherwsie can't happen, turn out to be possible on Fridays.

Anthony Van Utrecht - Captain and Mate of the Hunter out of Sheepshead Bay

After tooling about Jamacia, we steamed off to the Atlantic Reef. The captain of the Marilyn Jean, Pelican, wanted to see how things looked, and Anthony is in need of hours at the pilots wheel for his certification as a captain, so blowing an hour or more on the travel to the reefs where a good investment. The Atlantic Reef was a dog house (all sharks), so we pushed forward to the McAllister Reef, which produced well for us. We had a full ecosystem of fish to try for, Scup, Sea Bass, Spanish Mackerel, Fluke, and Puffers all showed up on the decks today. Acrobatic mackerel did aerial shows on the sufrace, flipping out of the water, seemingly for the fun of it. I had a Guyanese family sharing the stern with me. The fellow closet to me was a COVID-19 survivor who had spent 3 weeks on a ventilator. They are Indian Guyanese. And he was happy to be alive and to be out on the water. I like the Guyanese people. They are calm, and friendly, and he used WD40 on his bait, which, while cancerous, is very effective at attracting fish, and essentially turned off my fish as he pulled in buckets of Porgies.

Guyanese Family of Fishermen at the Rail

In all seriousness, despite that they come from the, "Kill Everything" school of fishing and loved sand sharks, they seriously kicked ass at the rail and went home with coolers of fish!

This fellow further down the starboard side woke up to find himself with a most improbable double header Spanish Mackerel Delight on his line. This was very cool, and these fish eat well.

Spanish Mackerel Double Header
Fishing Mascots saved from our Guyanese Cooler. They watched over us and sent us many fish.

id bellmar07
Wild Sunday on the Jersey Shore

So what do you do in NYC when the theaters are all still closed and no jazz Clubs are open? You head for the Jersey Shore and do some fishing. I packed up 4 rods, a cooler, kosher fried chicken, and some tackle and took the 11:07PM train to Bellmar, which arrived at the docks at 1:05AM. I went to the boat and tossed my gear on the deck, then followed the dock to the beautiful bar and dining facilities that was still roaring like the 1920's. I had a few beers, and at 3:00AM walked down the beach, which was quite busy with walkers on the boardwalk. It's a nice little beach, nothing like Coney, Island, but clean, and well maintained, and the police station is right on the boardwalk.

I turned around, headed back to the docks and stopped at the 24/7 7-11, picked up some water and soda, and headed back to the Bellmar Princess which is the boat I was booked for. To my surprise, there was already dozens of people jockeying about for the best spots on a variety of the boats. I nodded out for about 2 hours when a mate showed up at the boat about 5:30AM. We exchanged greetings and I took a choice spot on the stern of the boat, in the starboard corner. By 7:30AM the boat was decently packed, within the COVID-19 regulations. The boat was scheduled for blue fishing, and a Mexican family boarded the boat with young children and loaded with jigs with treble hooks. They caught a lot of blue fish, but children and treble hooks is a deadly combination. Sure enough, a 2 year old daughter got a treble hook in her hand which the mates needed to cut into pieces to remove from her hand. It is extremely stupid to allow children on the deck with swinging jigs, especially treble hooks, and this situation could easily been much worst, and it wasn't pretty to begin with to hear the child screaming and the mates gathers around her trying to remain calm until the situation, fortunately, resolved. The Mate on the Bellmar Pricess, Billy, is an experienced old salt dog and experienced handling hook injuries with the skill of a nurse. He is the reason I return to this boat again and again.

Despite the hysterics, I had a good time using my new stick, a Hercules Seeker, outfitted by Michael Chow. It was the first time I had used it and it has a new Fuji Painted seat holderi, in a blue design. I fitted it with my faster Torque 12 Star drag, and the reel didn't sit well in the housing. It got loose with a fish on, which could be disturbing. Bill brought over a pipe pliers and tightened the reel to the seat. I will need to look at this more closely. It seems that the paint is interfering with the seating's. I'll see what happens going forward. I still took in 4 blue fish and dropped many more. This boat is high off the water and this new rod has a lot of spring in it. Blues popped off and the pole recoiled twice before I finally started to learn the pole and get things under control.

The boat had a lot of blue fish, some Spanish mackerel, albacore, and then we switched off to bottom fishing. That is a skill I know well, and I hit multiple Black Sea bass, and a very nice ling. Overall, I had a lovely take and my bottom fishing was the envy of the boat. I shared a few fish which soothed ruffled feathers, and then we headed home.

One Happy Double Header

Bellmar's party boats dock in the Shark River estuary, and when I arrived at the docks, it was high tide, the water level almost up to the dock. I'd never seen that before and it seems like a guaranteed way to get flooding. The piers at Sheepshead Bay are several feet above the average high tide and you need to step down the stairs to reach the boat. It makes it a little harder to get on the boat, but it is much safer for the community, which will suffer from periodic flooding. The boats are also backed into the dock, a difficult maneuver in my eyes, but it makes boarding very easy. The estuary is behind 3 draw bridges and when the boats leave in the morning, they do so in a parade, until there reach the open ocean. Along the parade route are many homes, and fancy edifices, and lot of small boats enjoying the water. Check out the morning parade out of Bellmar:

Boats heading out to the ocean in the morning from Bellmar, NJ

There also seems to be a ritual parade of dogs at the Dock in the morning. I've seen this before, and it seems almost like a fishing dock tradition that the local dog walkers can bring there dogs to the docks in the morning and Fido get a treat.

Its a dogs life - every moring at the Bellmar Docks

Overall, this was a terrific Sunday trip, and much better than the zoo that exists on Sheepshead Bay. Conversation was easy, and drinking was moderated. The Cabin on the Miss Bellmar is enormous and air conditioned. More than a few passengers spent there day cooling off, and even sleeping in the cabin. The upper deck is a lounging area and some children were up there, with mom, kids, and young adults sunning themselves. While all that was going on, the boat was sailing in the Klondikes, and we were clobbering the blue fish. Over 100 Blues come on the boat. And even the captain was impressed with the fish.

Spanish Mackerel on the Miss Bellmar

At about 3PM we arrived back in port. I grabbed my gear and ran off to the railroad station. At about 3:40PM, the train arrived and at about 5:50, I was at Penn Station. I looked at my watched and realized I could take a cab from Penn Station, directly to Pier 6 on Emmons Avenue, and enjoy an additional night of fishing. And I did just that. We hailed a cab, and headed through the tunnel, up the Prospect, and down Ocean Avenue to reach the docks at 6:41PM, more than 15 minutes before the Marilyn Jean IV was ready to pull out for its night trip. That night trip itself one one for the ages.

id bellmar07.2

So when I arrived back at Penn Station in Manhattan, the time was about 5:30PM and I had relized that if I hop in a cab, I could make the Sunday Night trip on the Marilyn Jean fleet. I got out on the 8th Avenue exit, carrying a small cooler of fish, 4 fishing poles and a messanger bag full of gear. At that point, I was fairly loaded and tried to find a cab with enough room to handle my poles. This wasn't easy and the city taxi attendent at railroad station was of little help. In fact, he gave away the cab I needed. Finally he fished out a cab that could take my gear. The problem is that the poles are long and the cabs now have plastic divders to protect drivers from COVID-19 (More Bullsht).

I hopped into the cab and a West Indian fellow was driving and he asked me the address, and I told him Peir 6 and Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn. He couldn't find it on Google and he couldn't spell Emmons, and I got flustered because the clock was ticking. We came to an agreement of $60 for the ride, including the tip, cash, and told him to just drive downtown, and use your eyes, and brain and forget about the damn GPS. He did so, and we finally hit the West Side Highway, and took the Battery Tunnel. We negotiation about the route, and settled on the Prospect Expressway and taking Ocean Parkway to Avenue N, and then into Ocean Avenue. Ocean Avenue, with the damn 25 mile an hour speed limit was the slowest part of this. Getting from Kings Highway to Emmons was a major difficulty. Meanwhile, the driver and I chatted quite a bit and finnaly when we arrived, with 20 minutes to spare, we were friends, I paid him his $60 cash, and we hugged, and I got on the boat.

Albert and Ralfeal on the Stern of the Marilyn Jean IV

I wanted to tell them all about my exciting adventures in New Jersey, but frankly, nobody was interested. But Ralf came stacked with bait, which was nice. Then Mikey showed up. Jessica and Louie, two more regulars, showed up at the boat, and a fellow named George, another semi-regular. So we settled into the boat, and Pelican, the Marilyn Jean Captain, set us a sail to the tin can grounds. When we stopped on the spot and we immediately started hooking up with big vampire porgies on shrimp. These fish were pushing 14-16 inches, and biting hard. Lead by Rafeal, we had them in a frenzy for the next 4 hours, and loaded up with a huge quantity of dinner plate sized porgies. We had them hitting on shrimp and worms, and then as the nigh wore on, they got a little finicky and would only take worms. To cap off the night Rafeal pulled in the largest Porgy Double Header I had ever seen. He wouldn't let me take a good clean picture of it. But we had a streak going of 4 of my last MJ trips, we kept hitting the biggest scup I had ever seen, night after night, going from 17 inches, to 18 inches, to 20 inches, and Ralf continues this street with TWO 20+ inches, the biggest being about 22 inches. This was the best photograph I could get of it, because it disappeared into the buckets.

Yes - that IS a porgy a good 4 inches bigger than diameter of the pickle bucket.

We limited out the boat, and finally sailed home in triumph on the biggest Porgy Night I have ever seen. We could have fed the homeless.

id wrecks
Wreck Fishing Far and Wide

There are several kinds of fishing that one can participate in from surf fishing to long range bottom fishing. One of the most popular types, especially on the party boat circuit, is wreck fishing or reef fishing. The New York Bight, before European settlement and the industrial revolution, was largely a sloping mud plain carved out with a large canyon by the Hudson River, and lined with barrier islands. The continental self is relatively far from New York Harbor, unlike on the West Coast, and we have a distinctive inshore fishery in waters less than 80 feet. In addition, we have water that is cold in winter. This gives the fishery lots of natural structure, boulders from the Hudson Rivers breakthrough of the narrows, and rocky shores on the Long Island north shore in the sound, and numerous rocky islands in and around the harbor, such as Ellis Island, and Liberty Island, most of which is not gone because of activity about the harbor. Little of the natural waterfront remains. What you see is largely an artificial of a construction as artificial as Central Park. Jamaica Bay was largely a swamp, or a salt water marsh, not much different than the New Jersey Meadowlands. Rockaway Peninsula extended no further than where the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge stands currently. Coney Island was largely exposed to the open ocean, which made it dangerous. In addition, other barrier islands existed which we still see traces of today. But now, Jamaica Bay is a swallow bay, with deep pits dug out around JFK airport. Channels are dug through it and it has small islands. Natural reefs about New York existed, but were not a dominant feature of the Bight. The major exception to this was the shallow water oyster beds that formed reefs throughout Brooklyn and Long Island. At one time Brooklyn was the leading oyser exporter of the world and the many small barrier islands about the south shore supported billions of oysters in oyster reefs.

In order to sustain a fishery and to provide fish habitat, the city and states of New York and New Jersey have created a number of artificial reefs all around the waters of Long Island, and up and down the New Jersey Shore. The artificial projects are well documented and provide safe havens for recreational fishing boats, and scuba divers. In addition to the reefs, there are a large number and historically interesting ship wrecks through out the area. Intelligence of these wrecks, from small fishing vessels to large commercial ships, are tightly held by fishing captains and the sharing and holding of this intelligence looks much like a war. Today, with GPS identification of fishing vessels and tracing of there movements, much of this discovery and intelligence is an open book. You can follow hot spots on GPS marine maps around the web. Still, the knowledge of a good piece of fishing bottom is a treasure to be shared carefully among captains.

Artificial Reef System in New York State - Map from NYS - DEC

Artificial Reefs are created by artificial debris such as old subway cars, construction material, and even ship wrecks. The scientific merit of these reefs have been debated but there attraction to the fish that we target for recreational fishing is impossible to deny. The reefs consistently produce scup, black sea bass, cod, and fluke. A boat of 90 fisherman can fill up buckets on the long island reefs, and the Rockaway Reef, which is the one closest to Sheepshead Bay and New York City, is very crowded on a weekend. When other spots to fish fail, the Rockaway Reef is usually a safe bet for captains to allow there passangers to fill up before heading home. Reefs to the further east are less easy to reach and often have more action. I think I have never fished the reefs about Fire Island.

An Evening off the Rockaway Reef

This Friday, July 24th, 2020, we motored over to the distant McAllister grounds to see what was on the reef. There was a prediction for a chance of rain, and as we swung about Breezy Point and headed east along the Long Island shore, skies got continually threatening. It was a light crowd on the boat, perhaps 25 people, small enough to become familiar with each fisherman. A few of the regulars where on the boat, including Glen. The first mate, Rafeal, and myself, settled in to the starboard side of the boat near the stern. The captain and crew were determined to catch some fish today, since the crowd was light and it was likely for the boat to be anchored up. It took over an hour to cruise to McAllister, and when we did, the sky grew ominous, but we settled in anyway, with now expectations for it to rain.

Skies turn ominous over the McAllister Grounds

The fishing was excellent. I pulled in more scup than I could count, more than 2 buckets. We then worked on Fluke. I limited out on the Fluke with 3 keepers and 4 shorts. As we continued to pull in fish, a man lost his fishing pole in the rain. He leaped after it, and ended up on the worng side of the rail, hanging on for dear life with the surf and the rain pounding on him. His buddy pulled him back onto the boat. This was the closest I'd seen anyone come to ending up in the water. Meanwhile, a would be hero yelled man over board, and ran through the cabin, and naturally enough, with all the water, he slipped and injured his knee. He spent the rest of the day with ice on his knee, killing his fishing day. The captain missed the entire event, since he was on the far side of the boat, but the mates were on it right away. This entire event reminds me to state some rules:

  1. Don't run on the boat for any reason ever.
  2. Never reach over the rail. You can end up in the water.
  3. Leave the mates to handle all and any emergencies.
  4. Be safe on the boat, always.
  5. Mates and crew are trained for emergencies and have procedures to follow. If necessary, they can reach the Coast Guard. You are not trained, so stay out of the way and follow instructions.

We caught more than a few puffer fish at the McAllister Reel

id patience
Fishing is all about patience and focus

People ask me all the time why is it that I spend so much time fishing. It is not obvious to them, and I've given this thought over many years, and I've drawn some conclusions. It seems that fishing particularly is psychologically healthy for men. Women can enjoy it, but men seem to be hard wired to the hunting and gathering process is a way that women rarely are. I know that this is considered heresy in the intolerant environment which we currently live under which we are asked ignore the some thousands of differences between the anatomy and physiology between the genders, in order to reach political goals. And regardless of solid hard science that exposes neurological differences between the genders, I'm sure that my observation that men enjoy fishing more than women will be attributed to some kind of bigotry.

Regardless of the culture wars, it seems that men get more out of fishing than do women, although both genders can benefit from the process of fishing, and can learn important life lessons from the experience. The fishing experience causes people to settle their minds, and to focus on the task in front of them. It forces them to curb there anxieties, and to be patient. Focus and patiences are the two great gifts of fishing. Every cast is a chance to learn a little bit more. You have to subtly adapt in a catatonic like state which leads to an epiphany of minute actions that lead to catching a fish. And if you do things well, you can be rewarded with a fish..or even a bucket of fish.

I was reminded of this last night when I went out on a night trip on the Marilyn Jean V, captained by Frankie and accompanied by the two night time mates, Alex and Julian. We had 41 people on the boat last night, making more than enough room to social distance and maintain WUHAN-19 Coronas SAR2 viral disease protocols. To my left was an older gentleman, who was struggling with a boat rod. And to the right was two gentlemen guzzling Henesy and catching Scup.

The gentleman on my left had a profound tremor in his left hand. He was out with some friends, and we were all at the rail in the stern of the boat. His tremor was so pronounced, that he had trouble holding the reel steady, and this resulted in a large number of minor tangles in his reel. And after each tangle, he patiently loosened the reel, untangled the mono filament, set up his bait and rig and casted out again. This went on most of the night and we talked. Evidently he had a spinal injury that gave rise to the tremors, but he just fished right through it with a minimal fuss. And then, to my surprise, late in the night, he caught a porgy and brought it up. He was damn happy, and it was the fruit of nearly an entire nights work. And it reminded me that patiences is a critical trait to success in all matters of life, not just at the rail.

My new friends overcoming physical disabilities to catch a porgy

The two gentlemen on my right also had a very rewarding day. For the last 3 trips, we have pulled up progressively larger pool winning Porgies. I hooked one 17 inches. Last night we had one 18 inches long. Tonight, these fellows on my right pulled in a porgy nearly 20 inches long. It was one of the largest Porgies I'd ever seen pulled from our inshore boating and fishing. They enjoyed it very much and had a few belts of liquor and caught even more fish.

A huge porgy and a big porgy

id latejuly2020
Cow Nose Rays are about

Cow Nose Rays are huge venomous Rays that we never bring on the boat. I avoid them but customers enjoy the fight. This Friday I got out on a terrific day trip, and fished through a morning rain with a light crowd on the Marylin Jean. We had new friends from Orange County, and Queens. And everyone had a great time. Friday mornings are often wonderful trips. The boat is usually light and crowds happy. These guys had a great time and I pulled in my limit. We had Weak Fish, Rays, Porgies and Sea Bass. The Sun came out by 10AM and the weather was cool and breezy on the sea, even though we spent most of the morning inshore in Jamacia Bay.

With the clam shortage, bait has been a constant problem in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown, I picked up blood worms from Stellas Maris at $13 a dozen, and Shrimp, which from the bait shop is $6 a pound and $8 a pound on the boat. Porgies have proven to love the shrimp. It just can't be denied. Without the extra bait, one is left with the Free Clam Bellies.

Clams Bellies catch great fish, but destroy your hands since it is liquefied goop in a stew of digestive enzymes. It is also very difficult to get on the hook without practice. The fish do love it though. But at a dollar a fish for worms, this can get expensive quickly.

As the weekend rolled in, fishing continued at a workman's steady pace with lots of happy patrons on the docks. Saturday night nearly everyone on the in the bay limited out at the tin cans. This is an area of fishing at the mouth of the harbor just south of the Breezy Point Jetty. On Sunday the heat war war beating down, but the fish cam up along the Rockaway Reef. I personaly didn't do so well. Sometimes it just seems I have a bad day for inexplicitable reasons, may it be tiredness, or a bad match for equiptment. But the boat filled up on a stready beat of porgy, with some triggers and sea bass in the mix. Everyone walked off the boat with smiles.

My New French beer swiggling Friend, 16 year old Hadasa who, it turned out, is actually 31 years old, and her family working hard to catch fish at the rail

Steady Pick at the rail this Sunday at the Rockaway Reef
Experience the Action of Hooking a Cow Nose Ray
Double Headers Around the Boat
Fri 17 Jul 2020
Evening Porgy Fishing Has Been Red Hot

The Mates of the Marilyn Jean V working the Anchor at Dusk

Besides that the nights have been unsually beautiful, fishing has been mostly very hot on the Evening and Night trips around the New York blight. It seems that we have had more than our normal amount of boozing on the boats, a response to people trying to find outlets post the COVID-19 lockdown. Weekend trips have been very unruley. Weekday trips have been more managable. Porgy fishing has turned on and at times we have had buckets of fish. I spent a great deal of time thinking about my Porgy fishing gear and it has performed wonderfully. The results have been not just great catches, but huge Fish.

My Monster Porgy Catch - with broken glasses
Couples Fishing on the Marilyn Jean V on a Night Trip

Yosef - and his prize catch!
Mike show off some of the boats Porgy Slaughter
Mom at the rail
July 2020 Fishing Picks!

The Lady Flamingo - Jigging Boat out of Knapp Street

id july42020

Friday morning of the 4th of July Weekend and for a change of pace we decided to do a little Jigging out of Sheephead Bay for Blue Fish. We headed out to the Lady Flamingo. This boat is docked off of Knap Street behind the UA movie theater on the Gerritsen Creek. The ride out to the fish grounds give a unique view of the fishing village of Gerritseon, coming out of Brooklyn and into Jamacia Bay. At one time the Borough was riddled with these salt water creeks and marshes, but today we are down to a few. You see plenty of public and private boat slips allong the shore and the Snowy Egrets and water Fowl.

I took this trip largely to give my United Graphite GUSA RUSX79MEGA 20-40Lb rated fast stick a work out. I set it up with a Penn Torque 12 refitted to a low ration vesa gear to be slow 4.8:1, loaded with 30 pound Braid at about 10 foot of 30 pound top shot of Flourocarbon. We were jigging with 3-4 ounce gold and silver Jigs.

I had a back up rod with me, my Shimano Terarmar Inhore Series TMC-E70MH designed for 20-50lb power pro with a lure weight of 1-4ounces, and a medium action. I had 20+ foot of 30lb flouro top shot and outfited with a standard Penn Fathom 12 with a 6:2 ration on 40 pound braid and the 20 ft of topshot.

The GUSA set up didn't perform well. It didn't seem to like the jigs, and the slow speed reel didn't help. Most often my fishing problem is to slow down the hook and not rip the hook out of the fishes mouth. So I lowered the speed of this torque. But this doesn't work well with Jigging and it works less well, with such a small top shot. And the graphit stick seems to absorb the bounce, slowly the jigging motion of the artificial bait. It casted, if not even out casted, everything on the boat, but the jigging motion just wasn't there. The jig pulled in from the bottom like a dead fish or a lead weight. The back up Shimono stick did much better and I pulled in a few snappers when I changed sticks.

I learned something and still came home with a few fish. A few folks on the boat came home with a nice cooler full of blues. A Cobia was caught on the back of the boat. It is a fun trip and I will be collecting my "data" on my trip and rethinking my jigging technique and try it again.

id sunday_half20
Half Day Trips on the Marilyn Jean IV

I had a chance to take a rare Sunday half day afternoon trip on the Marylin Jean IV run by Captain Boss Tony. The weather was fabulous. It was a lovely crowd hitting on the porgies. The great thing about these half day trips is that you get a chance to fish with other fishermen who you might not normally run into on the boat. You see folks who have families killing a Sunday afternoon. You meet a few brothers or friends looking for a low commitment and fun afternoon. It is a low stress and highly fun afternoon.

Young Women with her afternoon prizes. Catching fish made her smile

Big Smiles!

Champion Porgy Slayer

One ON!

Bringing in the fish!

Reeling it in!

Happy together

Bad Ass Porgies!

Both Day and Night fishing has been terrific at times this week. On the Marylin Jean V we had a truely wonderful groups coming down to the docks to fish. At other times, it seems that the boat has become a booze cruise, and routy. The boat has moved from Striped Bass and Blues to Porgy fishing at night. When the fish have been on, we are getting some of the largest fish I've seen in the local waters. When they aren't there, we are doing a lot of work to bring home a catch.

Prize Sized Scup caught in the 3rd week of June
Pool Winning Scup caught in the 3rd week of June
Although this is the pool winning, I hooked several fish in this size class on this Thursday afternoon. In the morning we were just hammering on the drift and my new porgy rods proved to be leathal weapons on the Porgy hunt. The custom built rod, specked out with an MHX composit blank and 11 guilds, is matched with an Abu Gacia MGX2 low power reel to make a light weight, but powerful tool and pounds on Scup at 30 to 80 feet of water.

Ruben with a double header

At times, we've had excellent clients hitting the boat. Here are a number of folks having fun on the Marilyn Jean V, which I have mostly been fishing both day and night.

The Porgies Princess!

The boats now are running at all hours. Friday and Satuday over nights, 9PM-4AM trips are being added to the Marilyn Jean IV. In additiont to these, other fine boats fish at various times including the Flamingo on Knapp Street, and the Sea Queen with 2 half trips a day.

Summer 2020 Fishing Picks!

Thu 18 Jun 2020 12:11:10 AM EDT
This week, the boats out of Sheepshead Bay have been in full fishing mode with folks showing up at the docks in large numbers, especially at night. Captain Dave made a great special Tile Fish Trip. The Ocean Eagle has been hammering Fluke and Cod. The Hunter has had excellent nights with Striped Bass. The Day trips on the Marilyn Jean 5 have been off the hook Red Hake and Cod fishing. We have fished the New York Bite, about 17 and near the Pilot Boats general location. I pulled out this terrific Cod this week, and it made it home to my Shabbos Table.
My Beautiful spotted Cod Caught Friday Morning - Being held by a friend
Same fish Baked! Check out the white meat

Sun 12 Jun 2020
Watchya gonna do? Some days it just RAINS Red Hake all over the boat... what a mess...
Firemen Tony and Dicky showing a few of their huge catch on the Marilyn Jean V on Friday
A young couple taking a break from the stress of COVID-19 with there family
Buckets of Fish

Thu 11 Jun 2020 08:44:38 PM EDT
Yesterdays Marilyn Jean 5 trip was the supurb fishing for Ling with a mix of other great eating fish tossed in. Fishing was breezy eay, in a rare way, with everyone heading home with bags of delicious fillets. The weather was very cooperative, and the ocean warm and inviting. This is the break you've been waiting for and the MJ5 (and the MJ4) have both produced only the best reults in this opening week of the 2020 season. Both customers and mates were friendly and helpful. The COVID-19 spacing rules gives you extraordinary elbow room.

This Window Pane Flounder shows off its colors
Big Ling on an excellent Marilyn Jean V trip on the Morning of June 10th - Excellent Weather, and great fish!. Fun and Safe in the post COVID-19 world

Likewise, the night trips have been filled, and fun, shooting for Striped Bass and Blues. We also filled up, quite accidently , on a score of bottom fish to put meat in everyones coolers. More that a few keeper bass have apeared, and so have some nice snappers and big blues. Old friends have gotten together and rekindled our love for each other and fishing! So join the MJ5 in the post corona lockup events, going on now at the Marily Jean Fishing Fleet!

With New York still locked down I wandered down to the New Jersey Shore and landed in the seaside town of Belmar fishing for 2 days on the Miss Belmar Princess, a 120 foot luxury fishing machine that has wonderful accommodations, much of which is closed for the Coronus lockdown. They have a full grill, for example, lawn chairs on the upper decks, a huge cabin with Mcdonald's like seating with cushioned seats. The full size capacity for the boat is probably capable of carrying nearly 100 passengers, but it was working at maximum allowable capacity under the lock down, with a limit of 25 passengers, spread out nicely on the deck. Usually, the day trip is a Bass and Blues trip but the stripers are already gone for the season and the blues are still sparse in the area, although a few show up sparingly. So the captain has wisely targeted Black Sea Bass, which have been in abundance this May. We headed out for about a 40 minute ride off shore and hammered on Sea Bass all day. In New York, Black Sea Bass are extremely limited, but Jersey keeps them open at 10 fish at 12.5 inches from May 15 - June 22. Since in New York, these delicious fish are out of season and restricted to be only opened from June 23 - Aug 31 and set with a 15 inch minimum and a 3 fish limit, it makes it hardly worth it for NY boats to target these fish, even though boats from both states fish the same exact waters. NY also allows a late season September 1 until Dec 31 with Seven fish limit. That is better, but still hardly worth the run. As a New Yorker I had stepped into heaven. I love Sea Bass. Sea Bass are extremely delicious and have been the backbone of bottom fishing for decades before New York State inexplicitly put a halt to it. We hit them hard at about 80-100 feet depth and limited out the boat. I limited out early and switch over bait and rod to target Ling and Cod. I hit more than a few few ling and brought home, over 2 days, nearly a freezer full of fish. This has been some of the best fishing I've experienced in quite some time, with minimal fuss. Thank You New Jersey.

I overnighted at the the nearby motor lounge (not to be recommended) for about $65.00. The town as all but closed, to my disappointment because Belmar is a genuinely pleasent vacation spot, with a sporty bar scene, and warm summer breezes. It left me little to do for the evening other than to wait out for the next morning.

The deck hands let me leave my gear on the boat overnight, which I was much obliged to them fori, and Billy even had me up an staked out to a prime stern spot in the morning when I arrived at the dock. He is a good man, and the whole crew were curtious and kind, to newbies, youngen ones and us old sea dogs one and all. They even handled a minor medical event without incident when "mom" got a hook in her finger. Everyone was well taken cared of and there were 4 mates to only 25 passengers, which is a ratio that even a charter vessel wouldn't match. So we had a great amount of attention, and time. Fish cleaning was offered free, but tips are expected. I'd personally recommend to ships that cleaning be attached to a fee, but in wealthier areas of New Jersey, I suppose a more reliable tipping behavior might be in expected. For myself, I tripped $30 on the first day and $40 on the second day. That included filleting about 60 fish of mixed species. Normally I tip $20 but I know that everyone on the docks are having a difficult time, so I tipped what for me is a little heavy, just to show my support for the community.

Doc with a pool winning size Black Sea Bass and Mate Billy in the background...properly masked for the Pandemic... of course

It was an excellent trip and I hope to do it again soon, with or without the virus pandemic. The docks are 2 blocks from the trains station to Pen Station in NYC, which makes this an easy hop on NJ Transit from the city. The trick is to travel light, which I failed to do, but I will remember better next time. There is a fully stocked bait and tackle shop at the marina, with a full line of reels, and rods and tackle. I picked up some grubs and blood worms for the trip, which, in truth, I probbably didn't need. Clams ruled the day for both Ling and Sea Bass.

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Winter and Spring 2019/2020

This has been a most unusual winter of fishing in New York. The Blackfish season came and went rather quietly, and then we hit Cod and Ling. The Cod fishing has beem rather exceptoinal and the Ocean Eagle has been pounding Cod all winter, as has been Cpt Dave and the Marilyn Jean. The Ocean Eagle has fit cod on the regular 7AM to 4PM runs. The Captain Dave has had several 18 hour trips off shore which has reculted in piles of fish. The Marily Jean has focused on Ling and has been able to keep a regular flow to its customers. Meanwhile, the boats have been steadily catching all winter long, as long as the weather has held up.

Winter Ling on the Marily Jean V March 2020

Earlier in the winter, the Ocean Eagle pounded Backfish, which is very much the strongest part of their boating experience. Geoff and greg are world class Black Fish specialist. Greg has an encyclopedia of blackfish wrecks and spots, with intimate knowledge of just about the entire NY/NJ Blight. This winter that knowledge base was puit to good use for his clients, those lucky enough to fish with him. Everyone took home prized fish.

Happy Fishermen on the Marilyn Jean V the last day before the city was locked down for the Pandemic

On a sad note, one of the oldest and highest rated fishing boats out of Sheepshead Bay has been retired from the fleet. The Brooklyn V Bass and Blues boat, which is famous for its off shore adventures, has been sold and is gone from the bay. It is sad to see this boat leave and it makes a hole in fleet. Fortunately, both the Marilyn Jean V and the Hunter are filling in some of the vacancy. Additionally, the Ocean Eagle had new engines installed about a year ago, and it is more than capable of picking up some the slack. They have a new mate, Chris, who is wonderful with clients and makes everything pleasant. The Captain Dave has been largely handed to the next generation, and Paul Paris is an expert seaman, with fishing in his veins. Additionally the MJ IV is having it's engines completely overhauled. In some regards, the fleet is in the best shape it has been in for years, and folks should come down and hop a ride.

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Fall 2019

Fall Fishing in Jamacia Bay

The fishery in Jamacia Bay is often underated. Much of the bay is under the jurisdiction of the Gateway National Park, which has brought an interesting degree of strife between Brooklyn fishermen, and the National Parks Department. Most of the shore line is closed to comericial fishing, but the waters are all open. Overall, the conservation efforts around the bay has been good for fish. We've seen a run of weakfish and herring this year, and the striped bass are always exciting. This fall, the bay produced some nice porgies and other bottom fish. Even the Kayakers have been out.

Kayak Fishing in Jamaica Bay
Kayak Fishing in Jamaica Bay, Brooklyn. Fish ON!!
Lower Manhattan from Jamaica Bay
Lower Manhattan from Jamaica Bay
Lazy Day on the Ocean Eagle
Lazy Day on the Ocean Eagle
Buddies on Small Boat fishing
Buddies on the boat
Double-Crested Cormorant
Double-Crested Cormorant
Duck filled inlet
Duck filled inlet along the Brooklyn Shore Line
Fat Jamaica Bay Scup
Fat Jamaica Bay Scup
Jamaica Bay Porgy Bounty
Jamaica Bay Porgy Bounty
Small Marina with Manhattan in the background
Small Marina with Manhattan in the background
Ocean Eagle
Ocean Eagle and the living is easy
Canarsie Peir
Canarsie Peir
The Deck of the Marilyn Jean V
The Deck of the Marilyn Jean V

Fall 2019 Jamaica Bay Fishing
The Leaves are turing and the Porgies and Blues are all over the waterfront
Porgy and Blue Fish take on a recent Fall Trip

School has started and while the summer was full of a great fluke run, the flatties have seemingly turned off and the Porgies and Blue Fish have exploded both in Jamaica Bay and in the Ocean, especially along the Long Island South Shore.

The Brooklyn VI and The Flamingo has seen blue fishing unlike what has been seen for a couple of years. Last night I was out on the Marilyn Jean IV, as the MJV was having maintenance being done on it, and the porgies near the buoy's past the Breezy Point jetty have not just been strong, but it has seemed to attracted a great deal of dolphins during the day, making fishing difficult.

Good sized Porgies coming on board

The weather has largely held up, minus a brush with a hurricane earlier in the month that was off shore. The result is crowded Sunday boats as word s getting out that the fishing has been exceptional. Good spots are available on the Ocean Eagle, which is an outstanding boat. Other boats have space as well, but it just seems that the Eagle has been running excellent trips and have lots of room on a large boat. Night trips on the Marilyn Jean have been very productive and the Captain Dave is running a number of interesting long range trip including one trip up the Hudson River into fresh water, hunting for Striped Bass.

Poor Joshua is being killed by the Porgy Fishing and by 2PM was exhausted!
Night time fishing is the best so far of the year. If you enjoy fishing under the stars, this full moon has fish rocking off the Long Island reefs and the harbor. Blue Fish are jumping around the boat and I caught over 8 blues my accident, as they tore through much of my end tackle. My 30 pound test leaders for porgy fishing is no match for the sizzler teeth of snapper and large blue fish. If you are a fan of the big blue fishing, both day and night, now is the best time to step out and go for the action that it has been for 3 or more years.
One evening's take of Porgies on Septmeber 15th from Doc

Fall 2019 Fishing Picks!

Your First Time Fishing on a Party Boat

I recently had a chance to reflect on the experience that a new and inexperienced patron of recreational fishing boats goes through. Fishing is a very enjoyable experience, when it is done right, and with a little bit of help at the beginning. It can be completely miserable otherwise. Often, new patrons to the boats are caught by surprise by getting sea sick, or by the lack of amenities on a fishing boat. These are not pleasure craft, or dinner boats. They are stocked, and built for catching fish, and this is a bit like camping, not like touring the countryside with credit card in hand, and hot showers at the motel.

That being said, you can have a great time on a fishing boat. They are called party boats for a reason, there are a lot of laughter on these boats. And while different boats have different ease of access for new users, overall, none of them are the Circle Line or Carnival Cruises. And this misunderstanding can cause a number of negative reviews on internet platforms, and forums. I am going to review some things one can expect when fishing for the first time on a party boat, and how one should prepare for a trip in order to maximize your enjoyment. Then I am going to review a day I had on the Ocean Eagle V, to give life to some of these tips for newbies.

Loading up the boat for a great day on the water of fun and adventure!

The first thing one needs to do is contend with is the weather. Weather on the open ocean is not quite like it is on shore. The ocean is flat and there is no protection from wind and rain. And weather patterns can be more abrupt, and most of all, it is always wet. Salt water is the element of fishing and you need to bring clothing that is ready for ocean spray and salt water. Rubber boots are a good idea, even for newbies. I see folks come with flip flops, and I don't recommend this. At minimum, have a decent pair of sneakers which you won't mind getting ruined by the exposure to salt water. The salt gets into shoes and corrodes the material and leaves rings. Best to bring the cheap sneakers and leave the expensive ones in the house. Bring a sweatshirt in the summer and otherwise over dress. Except for heat waves in July or August, you always end up colder than you think you are because you are exposed to the wind. You can always take off cloths as needed, but it sucks to be at the rail, shivering because of the wind.

On the same token, there is also no place to hide from the sun. You are on the open ocean and on an open deck. Bring a hat with a brim, and perhaps sunglasses, and if you need, sunblock. Hats with brims, especially on weekends when the boat is crowded, is a necessary safety precaution. Aside from the sun, a brimmed hat can protect your eyes from flying hooks or flying fish. I never go on the boat without a hat and if you look at all the pictures posted here, you will see me with a broad rimmed hat in every picture.

The end of a great day on the water of fun and adventure on the West Coast in San Fransico!

That being said, don't let bad weather put you off from making a trip. Some of the best fishing I had ever experienced has been in the rain, and even in the dead of winter with 20 degree air temperatures. Thunderstorms in the ocean can actually be cool. The boat has modern weather radar and the captains are well trained. They know what their boats can do and have handled passengers for decades. The boat will not go out in unsafe conditions, and I've seen us dock the boat perfectly in a deep fog with almost no visibility, almost completely on instrumentation. You won't melt in the rain, so take a poncho and head out to the dock and catch some fish!

Expect to get sea sick. Unless you are a salty sea dog, everyone can get sea sick, especially those without experience on boats. A certain rocking motion at a particular rhythm will set off the nausea and vomiting trigger zone in your brain. So take meclizine (Bonine or Dramanine) before coming on the boat. And it is a good idea to eat lightly before coming on board. Why ruin your whole day getting unnecessarily sea sick? Also, carry some pretzel rods with you an stay hydrated. Old fashioned pretzel rods have baking soda in them that nicely buffers the stomach and reduces nausea. If you do get sea sick, try to fish through it. Its not easy, but really the nausea is all in your head and you can gain control over it and fight through it. If you give up and just lay on a bench, you make it worst. And vomit over the rail into the ocean. Don't use the bathroom for that. It is not really a toilet on the boat. There is no water pressure and minimal plumbing. Vomit over the rail and do everyone a favor.

A little Meclizine (Dramaine - Bonine) will assure you of a fun day at the rail instead of being sea sick

Safety on the boat is job number one for the crew and it should be yours as well. While fishing boats are regulated by the coast guard, and the state, they are mostly reviewed for sea worthiness, and emergency equipment. But this is not a school yard, and in that sense, fishing boats are not safe. You need to use more than a little common sense to remain safe. You need to actually think about safety all the time. And for this reason, the boats crew and mates are in charge absolutely. Follow the instructions of the crew always. Anchor ropes, ladders, wet decks, fishing hooks, knives, and live fish all present potential dangers. The mates are there to protect you. Let them do their job. You will not just catch more fish, but you will get on and off the boat safely, intact, without any missing body parts.

Don't do unsafe things. Don't overhand cast...ever! Don't run on the deck. Don't jump ever. The boat moves and you can end up with a serious injury if you jump and the boat rises unexpectedly. Climb down ladders slowly and facing the ladder when coming down. Hold the rail and come down the ladder like a ladder, backwards, not like a staircase, facing outward. Hold rails with two hands. Don't get drunk. I don't know why people come to the boat, drink hard liquor or even beer, get drunk, then sea sick and then can't fish. This is stupid. Limit yourself to a couple of beers at most. Smoking doesn't help you either and while it is permitted, in truth cigars and cigarettes on the boat suck and make others around you nauseas. Give everyone a break and don't smoke on the boat and never in the cabins.

When you arrive to the boat, let the mates help you on and off. After a long trip, your legs can get very wobbly. The boat doesn't line up perfectly with the stairs. You can fall into the bay .. and it has sadly happened. Let the mates help you. We have had wheelchairs and cripples on the boat, and everyone has been safely brought on and off the boat, with the help of the mates. They will also help you with any coolers you have or equipment. Let the mates do their jobs. They will optimize your safety while coming on board or disembarking. Never get impatient and jump over the rail onto or off the vessel. I mean really, why would anyone ever think that is a good idea? The mates are busy after docking, tying the boat securely and tightly to the docks. And some young rambunctious kid jumps the rail with his tackle and lands face first into the cement dock, breaking his rod in the process, and ending up with a hook embedded in this scalp. Don't do that! A momentary bad decision like this can cause a life altering event. Be safe.

Upon boarding the boat, you will be set up near a pole station on the rail. The rail has rod holders along the boat, each one a spot, theoretically, for a fisherman. When the boat is crowded, it can be tight. Everyone gets one spot per fare, although on weekdays or nights, often passenger crowds are thin enough where one can spread out a bit. Chose a spot and set up. If you need a pole and rigs, they can be available from the boat for a $5.00 rental (like renting bowling shoes). Lost tackle costs about 3 dollars a rig. It is expected to go through a rig or two on the trip. So, you should factor that into your trip. As a newbie, even if your have your own pole, let the mates tie you rigs. Mates tie thousands of rigs a week, and they are expert on this. You can't do it better yourself, even if you looked it all up on the internet before you left for the boat. Trust me, it takes lots of practice to do the things fishermen make look so easy, like tying knots, and casting out the line. As your first experience, lean on the mates expertise. You will be glad you did. If your are lucky, you will get an exceptional mate who will teach you the ropes of fishing, and how to feel for the fish, to gently cast forward, and some of the finer points of the rigging and hooks. It doesn't happen all the time, so if it does for you, you've been blessed. Soak in as much knowledge as possible.

A broad hat helps keep sun out of your eyes and also helps protect you from flying hooks

When selecting which boat to take, there are several general types of fishing that can be done. There is bottom fishing, which is catching fish that live on the ocean floor or in wrecks. These would include, in New York City, mostly Scup (porgies), Totaug (blackfish), Black Sea Bass, Red Hake (ling), Fluke and Flounder, and some occasional Cod. Other fishing is for game fish or tide runners, like Blue Fish, Striped Bass, Mackerel, Weakfish, and offshore Tuna, Bonito, and MahiMahi. These species generally use jigs, or crocks and occasionally bunker chunks or eels to catch Striped Bass or Blues. Bottom fishing boats out of Sheepshead Bay currently include the Marilyn Jean, Ocean Eagle, and Captain Dave. Bottom fishing can be divided into Sea Bass, Porgy trips, and Fluking trips. The Brooklyn and the Lady Flamingo target Blue Fish when they can, and Stripers in season. The Sea Queen targets Striped Bass through most of the year. Through out the year, boats will change what they are fishing for according to reports and expected weather. Other boats, like the Rock Fish and the Hunter, are more like charter boats, and cost a bit more. They are smaller and have fewer passengers. They will target different fish according to conditions, but tend to go after game fish like Striped Bass or even large sharks. In my opinion, newbie fisherman are better off targeting bottom fishing boats because there are more likely to bring home fish. Although nothing is ever guaranteed, you have a good chance to bring some from Scup (Porgies) even when fishing is slow.

The folks you meet on fishing boats can be roughly broken down to two groups, dedicated fishermen, and tourists. Mates and Captains come from the pool of enthusiasts, although there are some folks with multiple generations of family in the business. Passengers come from across the entire spectrum of New York society. While you have some bankers and real estate folks, especially on high end charters, you also have many recent immigrants (West Indians, Jamaicans, Dominicans, Mexicans, Russians, Ukrainians, Chinese, and Koreans), working class Catholics, Orthodox Jews, many city workers and a large number of retirees. They come with a variety of fishing skills, and talents, from being experts to total novices. Boats also get a large number of young professionals, especially on weekends, and hipsters who are exploring their new city and surroundings. More than a few folks travel into town from as far away as Pennsylvania, and Southern New Jersey, to make a trip and enjoy our world class waters. As a composite, the composition of party boat patrons would make an interesting sociological study. Some of the hardest patrons are those with some experience fishing, lets say surf fishing with 12 foot fishing poles and spinning reels, and little background on what it is like to fish on a crowed part boat. 12 foot rods are not appropriate for party boats. They are too long and cause tangles on the boat. Likewise, techniques from the West Coast often don't translate to the East Coast with shallower water and more crowded boats. Fishing is not one size fits all.

The biggest mistake new patrons of the party boats make is a bad attitude towards the crew. This will create anxiety and trouble for folks who just don't seem to understand who they are speaking to. These crews are not working for a hotel or waiters at your favorite restaurant. These are fisherman, and they swear, and curse, and while they are in the service business, they are not in the connoisseur business. They try, but you can't change a leopards spots. These are folks who are hustlers, and pull ropes for a living. Often they gamble in their free time, never get enough free time and drink hard. They are craftsman and they will only take so much gruff before they speak their minds. They are polite with the public, but don't get into their kitchen, or be a wise guy or know it all, because they will not respond well. They will give you the shirt off their back for you, but not if you insult them. Conflict is not a means to get anything you want from these folks. They would cut off their noses to spite their faces... for better or worst, that is how it is. There are a lot of emotional issues with mates. They aren't wealthy and suffer there fair share of personal problems. These are the people who chose to be mates. They are not MIT graduates or entertainers. They are real live fisherman. So respect them, and don't toy with them. If you do this and give them a moderate tip, they will be your friend for life. Abuse them at all, and your in for a rough day on the water. You can complain about it on social media, but it won't help you. The entire dock is a large squabbling family and they stick up for each other.

Hard Working Mates on the old Pilot

Ocean Eagle V Trip

With all that background information, let me describe for you a recent trip on the Ocean Eagle V. This could have been a description on any of the other boats I fish from, and in fact, I fish most often on Boss Tony's Marilyn Jean V. But this particular day the Ocean Eagle had a nice special trip for Fluke that I wanted to make. Until this year, I had never seemed to be able to catch fluke, but with tutelage from the Ocean Eagle mates, I've begun to master this special form of fishing.

The Ocean Eagle - on of the best party boats on the East Coast

This is one of the best fishing boats on the East Coast of the US. I've taken nearly every boat out of Brooklyn for fishing and the Ocean Eagle is a hard core fishing boat that is singularly focused on catching fish and having customers catch fish. This past Thursday, August 15th, 2019, I went out with the boat for one of its epic Fluke trips. Let me review the trip and hopefully others can gain from my experience and be prepared for having the very best time on their fishing adventure.

The boat was scheduled to leave Pier 5 at 6:30AM. I arrived by cab at 6:00AM with my tackle box and fishing rods. You don't need your own equipment, as the boat is fully loaded with rods and tackle. The Mate Geoff had two huge bags of Lures, Bucktails, and rigs for Fluking and he takes special pride on the passengers landing top fish. I had a large tackle box, my messenger bag filled with line, sweaters, rags and knives, and two rods and reels I chose for this trip. I was met at the dock by the mates, and we exchanged hello's. I turned around and they had my gear already on the boat in the bow where I usually fish.

The galley was close today, which was a personal disappointment because, first of all, I enjoy talking to Kathy who is the cook, but also, it is nearly a 10 hour trip from 6:30AM to 4:00PM and Kathy makes the best French Fries in NYC... seriously. She is a master cook inside of that little galley on a fishing boat that is in no way designed to prepare or serve food (it is designed to catch fish and the galley is often for the crew). Fresh coffee is usually ready for patrons, and she makes great eggs. As far as fishing boats are concern, she runs a clean and efficient little operation. Everyday she scrubs the entire galley, and all the electric fryers and cookers to server everything from bacon and eggs to home made chicken soup. I had to giggle when I read complaints about Kathy not wearing gloved on a fishing boat where bait and clams are everywhere. She is without a doubt, the cleanest person on the boat, and you think you can find better food on a fishing boat, then maybe you should try fishing off Carnival Cruse Lines, or the Midnight Star. They have great galleys..

Once underway, Geoff adjusted my rigs so I could have a better chance to catch fish. In truth, I tend to ride the Ocean Eagle in order to fish with Geoff. He is a big man and a bit burly at times, but he is an encyclopedia in knowledge on fishing and technique. His ability to understand tide and wind conditions and to make changes accordingly is the best in the tri-state area. Together, with his brother, Greg, who is captain and owner of the Ocean Eagle, they make an unbeatable pair. As Geoff is a genius with catching fish, Greg has a near encyclopedic knowledge of the regions fishing and marine topography and oceanography. Greg has found and opened up hundreds of otherwise unknown areas for recreational fishing, and understands the details of the dynamics of each area of bottom and how it interacts with desired species and today's desired species was Fluke.

Geoff demonstrating a rig and technique as we were on our way to the fishing grounds.
My fluke rig with a teaser and ball, put together with the help of the Ocean Eagle crew.

The trip to the fishing grounds which are east, down the south shore of Long Island, took about a half hour and then when we arrived we settled over the wreck and the whistle blew. Captain Greg called for lines down. For newbies, that means fishing is to commence, and everyone was in the water. I immediately hooked a short fluke. Fluke need to be 19 inches to keep in New York State, and this first one was a healthy 14 inches and it was gently returned to the ocean. Over the next hour I landed one keeper Fluke, a Sea Bass, and I lost a rig. Geoff quickly helped me make a rig change and I was back in the water. Soon, as tide and winds changed, Captain Greg decided to move to another spot. We were mostly drifting. There are two basic ways to fish the boat. One is to let the current move the boat over an area of bottom that you want to fish. This is drifting. The second way is to anchor the boat and to remain relatively immobile over a chosen section of bottom.

We did a lot of drifting different areas, and I lost quite a bit of tackle. We used natural bait, mostly spearing fish and strips of fish skin, and artificial lures and teasers. We also used artificial bait called gulp which the fluke particularly like. The boat was stocked with all this, although technically only bait is free, Geoff was generous with tackle this day.

Success!! Fluke on the Deck!
Some of our hero's with their prize catches

Towards the end of the trip, as we got tired, the Captain decided to anchor on a particular wreck. The result was a spectacular explosion of huge fluke coming over the rail. We caught near 20 of our fish, plus large numbers of prize Sea Bass, in the final 40 minutes of fishing. It was really something to see especially as one elderly man pulled up a pool winning whopper of a fish just before heading home.

Chris Filleting Fish for patrons

On the trip home, the crew started to clean fish and scrub the boat. We hit well over 40 fish and had only 30 passengers. Everyone went home with fish and meat... sushi grade meat. When we got into the dock, folks were helped off the boat and passengers gave tips to the crew. The mates largely work for tips, and they appreciate tips a great deal. Mates work hard, and the job is somewhat dangerous. Aside from flying hooks, there is anchors, wet floors, and knives. Geoff is actually missing a finger tip from an accident years ago. People on the docks work hard, and deserve the tips they earn.

When one comes on a fishing boat, aside from the fare, one should be prepared to pay for tackle (as it is lost), food, and fish cleaning. Most importantly, remember to tip the mates. It is an expected part of the days activities, as it is with waiters and tax drivers. I always have $20 ready for mates in addition to the fare.

When trying to find a place to fish on the boat at the rail, the rear of the boat, called the stern, is often preferred. I, myself, usually fish the bow and I spent most this day in the bow. When the boat is anchored, I will move if the fish are biting elsewhere on the boat, and the Ocean Eagle is a sizable boat with lots of room. When the boat is drifting, I might move to one side of the bow to the other depending on the movement of the boat. I try be fishing under the boat.

FWIW, bathroom facilities on the Ocean Eagle are adequate, but no fishing boat will have running hot and cold fresh water, or any fresh water, until they return to dock. This is like camping, not spending a day at the Waldorf. The fun of it is in the fishing and the shared camaraderie that you make with other fishermen. Fishing is not easy, and even more so for first time or new fisherman. Just not tangling lines can be a challenge on a busy boat. Never overhand cast, and always listen to the crew. They are there to help you catch fish and to keep you safe. While they may share a laugh and a smile, never forget they are there to do there job, and the mates and crew of the Ocean Eagle is top notch!

Some nice Sea Bass came up as a by product of this fluke trip

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Summer 2019

The Heat has been pouring on
One the hottest day in years, this past Sunday, we pulled a double fishing session on the Marilyn Jean Rojas is conserving engery on this long day

Mid-July and the Porgies have finally some to the south shore of Long Island and Brooklyn. While they have been start and stop, then are now biting all along the harbor, including the east reefs, and in the tin cans area and off the Breezy Point Reef. My freezer is filled again, and the Sea Bass are making a strong presense. Unfortunately, for the Sea Bass fisherman, New York Regulations are just irresepnsible and crazy.

Sea Bass regulations in NY are making a mockery of the entire regulatory process and begs one to question if we should have any confidence in New York States abilty to pass and maintain rational law. A number of years ago, Black Sea Bass became threatened by overfishing all along the East Coast of the United States. The Black Sea Bass is a very popular sport and comericial fish with fine texture and flavor, making it one of the best eating fish in North America.

Sea Bass Catch 2018
The Federal Government stepped in and created a Black Sea Bass Management Board. To quote the board in its "FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE 2016 BLACK SEA BASS FISHERY"
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC or Commission) management of black sea bass was initiated as one component of a multi-species fishery management plan (FMP) addressing summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. In 1990, summer flounder was singled out for immediate action under a joint ASMFC and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC or Council) plan. Further action on the scup and black sea bass plan was delayed until 1992 to expedite the summer flounder FMP and subsequent amendments. The joint Black Sea Bass FMP was completed and approved in 1996. The MAFMC approved regulations for black sea bass as Amendment 9 to the Summer Flounder FMP in May 1996.

The management unit of the Black Sea Bass FMP includes all black sea bass in U.S. waters in the western Atlantic Ocean from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina north to the Canadian border. Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina have declared an interest in black sea bass; Maine and New Hampshire declared interest most recently, in 2014. The Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board (or Board) and the MAFMC Demersal Species Committee guide development of the FMP. Technical issues are addressed through the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Technical Committee and the Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee. The Black Sea Bass Plan Review Team conducts annual reviews and monitors compliance and the Scup and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel provide industry input and advice.

The objectives of the FMP are to reduce fishing mortality to ensure overfishing does not occur, reduce fishing mortality on immature black sea bass to increase spawning stock biomass, improve yield from the fishery, promote compatible regulations among states and between federal and state jurisdictions, promote uniform and effective enforcement, and to minimize regulations necessary to achieve the stated objectives. The initial black sea bass FMP was designated to reduce fishing mortality by a coastwide commercial quota allocated into quarterly periods beginning in 1999, and a recreational harvest limit constrained through the use of minimum size, possession limit, and seasonal closures. [Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission October 18, 2017 ]

In the words of the Commision itself, Black Sea Bass Stocks are completely rebuilt, and even more than that, they are in over abundance, and yet regulations continue that make fishing even for healthy adult catches to be illegal in New York State. The Commision said in 2017:

Retrospectively adjusted values of SSB and F from the ASAP model are being used for stock status determination. The stock of black sea bass north of Cape Hatteras, NC is not overfished, nor is it experiencing over fishing (Figures A169-A170). The retrospective adjusted estimates of F, SSB and B from each area were combined for comparison to biological reference points. The retro-adjusted 2015 biomass (32,010 mt) is currently 86% above BMSY proxy and retro-adjusted 2015 SSB (22,176 mt) is 129% above the SSBMSY proxy (9,667 mt). Retro-adjusted fishing mortality in 2015 (FMULT = FAges 4-7 = 0.27) is 25% below the F MSY proxy = 0.36.


The black sea bass stock from Maine through Cape Hatteras, North Carolina is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. Abundance has increased and is currently very high, particularly off southern New England. As a result, recreational catches have been relatively high, even under restrictive regulations.

The most recent stock status information comes from the 2016 stock assessment. Spawning stock biomass (i.e. the abundance of mature females and males) was estimated to be 48.9 million pounds in 2015, which is 2.3 times the target spawning stock biomass level. A recent increase in spawning stock biomass was driven by the 2011 “year class” (i.e. the fish spawned in 2011), which was nearly three times the 1989-2015 average. [ Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Website 2019 ]

And yet, Black Sea Bass are more tightly regulated this year than previous ones, and New York's regulations are far more restrictive than regulations in New Jersey, where fisherman fish the same waters. In fact it is more restrictive than any other state in the Management Council. New York is NUTS and the council is an example of a bureaucracy that is more interested in preserving their own jobs and prestige than doing the public good. There is a whole corrupt federal industry now of statisticians, researchers and university centers on the Black Sea Bass gravy train, producing truly incomprehensible documents, that read like undergraduate research papers, and impossible to understand regulations which are completely detached from public need or useful to the fish or the fisherman.

The fact is that there are too many fish! It is impossible not to hook them. The constant dazed and confused look on the faced of fisherman, novice and experienced fisherman alike, when they put down a baited hook and bring up a nice healthy, sexually mature 13 inch, 3 pound meaty fish, and are demanded to return it to the water, repeatedly, over and over along the boat, is causing anguish and resentment because it is obviously an unreasonable request! The whole thing is like a skit out of Saturday Night Live. To throw these prized fish back is too much for the public to bare. The excuses for the 15 inch size limit in the face of historically high populations of Sea Bass comes down to pages and pages of stats with faulty data that conclude, "well since we don't know what tomorrow will bring, we will just stop you from fishing!" It is OUTRAGEOUS.

Customers are outraged on the boats, and mates and fishermen and knocking heads trying to comply with regulations. Fisherman city wide are in full revolt.

Nobody believes Black Sea Bass are endangered.

So then why are we over regulating them? According to our professional taxpayer paid beaurocrats, we don't know their future, so we punish fishermen. This is an important moment for all of us to make a stand against unjust over regulation by the government!

Porgy Fishing on a hot day!
Bucket Fishing on the Marilyn Jean V by some newbies on bat rods!
NYC Summer Evenings on the Ocean

Summer 2019 Fishing Picks!

Schools are graduating and the kids are on the streets. Restaurants about New York City are fillings up and the roads are clogged. The inflation bug has reached the Emmons avenue piers, and prices are moving up. This has been good and bad. The good part is that the market ground that has been plowed by the Hunter, longer trips with few passengers on a smaller boat, geared for those craving a raw fishing experience and bigger fish, as a good price of $75 dollars a head, has taken notice now by the other boats in the Sheepshead Bay fleet. The Ocean Eagle has been offering outstanding fluke trips that have produced fish at a cost of $65 a head. Now, Captain Greg Nardielo has decided to convert that offering to a longer 6AM trip with a higher pricetag for more hours in the morning at $75 a head.

Mrbrklyn on the Ocean Eagles Fluke trip with his first keeper flukes

The same vein, The new Marilyn Jean V, being run by Tony "Pelican" Reyes, has been doing scheduled longer trips from 6AM until 5PM that have had decent crowds and have been quite enjoyable. We just finished one this past Friday, June 29th,2019, and we tried for a trifecta of Fluke in the morning, Sea Bass in the afternoon, and the late afternoon with buckets of Ling. The NYS regulation on the Sea Bass has spoiled the Sea Bass fishing with limits of only 3 fish at least 15 inch inches long. The regulation is not only doesn't making any sense ecologically, but it is creating an artificial imbalance into the Sea Bass population because only male fish are pulled out of the water. In order to be of any use, the Sea Bass limitation needs to be dropped back to 13 inches. It is the only logical thing to do both scientifically and for the industry. 14 inch Sea Bass are big fish, and fat bulldog, fully mature, blue colored males.

Grilled Striped Bass from a resent spring run at night on the Marilyn Jean V

The Story of Big Ralfie

Over time on the docks, one inevitably makes a share of friends, and acquaintances. Not everyone you meet here in the docks are the gems of the societal class. They come with their hair down, often pumped up to fish. I've had a friend on the docks for many years, named Rafeal - "Big Ralfie". He is a huge guy, who is a huge man. He lifts weights, and works at the airport moving luggage. He is a brute. He likes to quietly come onto the boat, drink a few beers, and fish. And he is one of the best fisherman on the docks. I have seen him consistently win the boat pools, and he never interfaces with anyone but his most trusted associates. And he can growl when he is upset, like a rockweiler. He is an intimidating presence not to by toyed or trifled with.

One time, for whatever reasons, the crews of the Brooklyn and the Marilyn Jean, who shared a dock, had an old time Brooklyn scrimmage with the crew of the Sea Queen over marketing techniques and how they hawk for customers on the docks. Without getting into the details, this erupted into a fight that ended up with Ralfie taking down a few crewman of the Sea Queens mates, and Captain Frankie pulling Ralfie off the pile before someone got more seriously hurt, and someone else ending up in the clink. Needless to say, this sealed Ralfy's reputation on the docks, keeping the peace, and all that sort of good stuff. He is respected as a fisherman and revered for his friendship and loyalty.

this is not to paint Ralfie as a violent man, because he is for sure a man of peace. He just happens to just be there sometimes when things happen, and he is also a man of justice. My first time that I met Ralfie was on a night trip on the Marilyn Jean. We were in a huge run of night "Vampire Porgies" and we piled up buckets of night time fish. Ralfie was in the stern and pulled in a decent size fluke on top of nearly 2 buckets of oversized porgies, out-fishing me by a bucket. I'm watching him carefully and trying to figure out what he is doing better than me. I finally decide I needed a closer look. And I walked behind him and looks down at his bucket and his flounder to admire it. Ralfie didn't find this flattering and he growled at me, "Hey, why don't you worry about your own bucket and mind your business". It was enough to make my heart jump a beat. But undeterred I arrogantly stepped one step closer to him, and smiled, and said, "I'm sorry, I wasn't going to take it. I'm just amazed and looking at it. Hey, I am just trying to learn from the best." This act of contrition didn't win me any points with him, but he didn't hit me, so we were now friends. He is one of my beloved friends.

Another character, who I might write about at another time, is Matt the Fireman. He is a loud mouthed, brag abound, who is also one of the friendliest people you would ever want to meet. He is truly a nice guy and the two of us, when we are together, can make a lot of noise... the opposite of Ralfie to say the least. But on this particular night last week, Ralfie moved from his usual quiet spot in the stern to fish between Matt and myself, and we had a classic laugh session. 5 hours of straight chatters and loud laughing and teasing and jovial moments. Most of the time Ralfie fished between us, barely moving his facial expression, and occasionally smiling an nodding his head. This is a huge emotional outburst for stoic Ralfie. All of a sudden, I look over my shoulder and Ralfie is missing. I'm think, of God, he couldn't take any more of us and slipped away in anger. It was a slow fishing night. I looked through the window into the boats cabin and I couldn't believe my eyes! There was Ralfie in the Cabin helping a newbie stranger tie a knot on the tackle of a boat rod. I almost fell over the rail in astonishment!! And I took a picture of this remarkable event to prove it happened!

Big Ralfie helping a total stranger with his knot on a boat rod

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Spring 2019

Dateline: June 20th in the pouring rain all day and night
It was a big day last night for the Marily Jean Mates and Crew. The boat didn't go out so the Mates had a field day all over NY Harbor! Alex Caught a 52 pound monster Striped Bass on the Hunter, and Joe caught about 5 monster Fluke on the Ocean Eagle. It poured raining the entire day. I got home at 2AM soaked to the bone and crashed on the couch.

Dusty Shark
Not every shark pulled out of the water is a dogfish :) This Dusty or mayby Tiger Sand Shark was returned to the water, but hooked and photographed on the Marilyn Jean V on a night trip

ALEX and his 52 pound Striped Bass
Alex and his 52 pound Striped Bass caught last night on the Hunter

Raining Doormats on the Ocean Eagle

Ocean Eagle V - Fluking Fluking in the Rain on the Ocean Eagle V

Fresh Striped Bass Meat
Filetting Fresh 40 pound Striped Bass!!

More Pics from Spring 2019! Including these Bass and Fluke pics! More Spring 2019 Fishing

Porgies Bigger than a dinner plate caught on the Morning Star
Porgies Bigger than a dinner plate caught on the Morning Star

With the new year a lot of changes have happened at the Emmons Avenue Peirs in Sheepshead Bay. For starters, two new boats have arrived to the docks, run by the partnership of Mike Ardolino and Larry Patrin. Mike is the experienced captain of the Brooklyn, and has struck out on his own. I first went fishing with Larry and Mike on the small 6 man boat called the Morning Star. That trip was a 12AM to 4PM off shore run that finished on new years eve, December 31st, 2018. I pulled in a huge haul of Porgies and Sea Bass, some of the largest I'd ever fished. We were largely in 200 feet of water, around the Texas 4 Tower wreck amoung other nearby spots. It was great run and highly recommend

The second boat that Mike and Larry are collaberating on is The Hunter which is a fabulous 15 passanger Striped Bass open boat. They have been hauling in the Stripers all spring without a break. It has been one of the most impressive Striped Bass runs of our lifetime. Huge fish have been landed every day by the clients

Striped Bass Trophy on the Hunter

In addition to these two new attractions to the bay, the Marilyn Jean Ownership sold the Capt'ns Lady and made a purchase of the former Captree Princess, renaming it the Marilyn Jean V. This is a much larger and faster boat than the Marilyn Jean IV and makes routine trips to the Ling and Sea Bass grounds easy rumpts down the coastline and into the open ocean.

Marilyn Jean V

I have now had a chance to fish on the new boat day and night. It is very comfortable with a huge cabin, with a stocked galley and vending machine. It makes the trips to the Red Hake (Ling - Mud Hole) grounds much easier than on the old MJIV. Even in rough seas, it is stable for a fishing boat. I've pulled in a lot of Red Hake (Ling) in addition to Blues and Bass at night. In fact, this has been one of the best Ling seasons in a long Time.

2019 Ling Fishing Pics on the MJV More Spring 2019 Fishing
Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Fall - 2018

Blackfish Season has begun, and just in time the temperaature is dropping although the water temperature is still unseasonably high. Get ready for the Striped Bass and Blackfish seasons as they launch.

The Marilyn Jean, Ocean Eagle and Captain Dave are all hitting Blackfish and Porgies. The Brooklyn is hitting Albies, and Blues.

Porgy Fishing this October has been steady on. Here is little Anthony filleting the night catch on Sunday Night October 14th.

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Summer - 2018

Trigger Happy Father and Son on Son's Birthday

My son came into Brooklyn Friday for the first time in many years, so we went out a caught some fish on the Marily Jean IV. We pulled in between us 60 porgies, and then we took a knap. We woke up a half our later and I pulled out my rig as the captain searched around for some sea bass around Coney Island, and then WAHMM!!! Fishing for porgies I was using 20 pound leader tipped with gamakatsu 1.0 circle hooks. They are a little large for porgies, but I thought they might help pull in a stray sea bass. I'd lost a few hooks are what I thought was a huge shark. I was wrong. This time I dropped the drag and let the fish pull out. The fish tired and I finally brought in the biggest trigger fish I had ever seen. And that was just the bigging. Over the next 45 minutes will killed the trigger fish, bringing in well over 60 of them, many of them the largest I'd ever seen. I pulled in 19 of them myself. Unfortunately I left my camera at home but these are a few pics that the boat took.

Happy 22nd Birthday, Schmuel-Lieb Eliezar

Fathers and Kids Day

Weekdays are often family and kids day on the boats around Brooklyn. This week I had the pleasure of fishing with Emily, Kaitlyn, Chistopher and their Father and Grandfather in the box of the Marilyn Jean IV. The kids did great!! as they always do. On the otherside of the bow was a young Jewish family of boy's who I didn't get their names, but I did hear they squeling and squauking as they picked up their far share of fish

Overall, August has shaped up to be nice month on the water. At one point the crews on the ships decided to do a little snapper fishing off the peirs. Everyone seemed to get into this rare closeup of snapper blues chasing peanut bunker into the inner bay

In the middle of the month, the Ocean Eagle had a dramatic sea rescue for a medical emergency, with helicopters and everything

On June 30th, this last Sunday. I headed out to the days at 4AM and waited for the boats to fill. And fill up they did. Word have gotten out that the Porgies on on parade. The rails on the Marilyn Jean IV were packed. When we left the dock, we had over 60 passangers and my favorite spot on the boat was surrounded ny weekend warriors. Instead of squeezing on the rail, I took a nap for 2 hours and then woke up to see a boat overloaded with fish. The mates were being run into the groundfixing tagles and cleaning fish. I took a position on the bow and couldn't help by give a hand, which made the weekend wariors and first time fisherman happy.

Flying Porgies

The Marilyn Jean IV - Filled to the rails

I also had a chance to pull out my camera and the entire Sheepsbay Fleet was on the water and catching fish. I got great pictures of the Brooklyn, Ocean Eagle and the Captn's Lady. Everyone was having banner days. These are the days that you will be talking about when your an old man.

The Brooklyn VI

Captn's Lady

Ocean Eagle

ID oejun30

Ocean Eagle Brooklyn VI Captian's Lady Marilyn Jean IV

I just spent a full day, morning (July 16th, 2018) and evening of fishing on the Marily Jean IV. The morning trip had huge thunderstorms which allowed me to catch a ton of porgies. This morning trip was one of my great trips on the water, with these four young folks, racking up on their first trip, huge numbers of fish and a prize Sea Bass.

We managed to pull in a huge Striped Bass from another young women, to the shock of the entire boat

The night time 7 to midnight trip was likewise productive, although without the thunderstorms.

See the Entire Day in Pictures

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and Brooklyn has now seen its first heat wave of
the summer after a few days of rain. The result is that we are seening huge porgies thoughout
the waters in the lower New York Harbor and blight. Fishing has been anything from off the hook
to moderately heavy, with huge fish coming over the rail. This is the days of summer that locals
come to cherish, quiet, productive, mind clearing. Grab the kids and your girl and head to the docks
because life moves on quickly, and you should milk it for all that you can. Just ask Elias!
Elias - showing off his fish!
Elias Showing Off His Fish!!

Fish On - Porgies in the Bucket
Fish On - Porgies in the Bucket
Women and Men all get to the rail
Everyone get to the rail
Full Day of Fishing
Full Day of Fishing
Ocean Eagles

Check out our great day on the water

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Spring 2018 and Summer 2018

Starting this year we had the great oppurtunity for the firs time in over a decade to fish legally for Black Fish in the Spring Time. Unforuntately we also suffered a very cold winter into early Summer. The result was lots of fishing, not many fish. The Ocean Eagle, Captian Dave, and Marylin Jean all tried to get in on the action, and a few fish were caught but nothing to get really excited over. Hopefully next season with be more promising

In light of these changed, our local captains have made some adjustments to their regular schedules.

Captain Dave will continue with 9AM - 4PM Fluking and added an early evening trip from 5PM to 10PM for Stripers, Blues etc.

The Ocean Eagle has been running great Fluke trips all Spring and into the summer, after the Blackfish runs. Greg, Glen and Geoff have had some great success. I caught 4 shorts on my trip on Thursday June 7th (2018). The boat brought in a decent 24 keepers with about 25 passangers, along with other species. It was a very decent trip.

The Brooklyn VI has hammered Blue Fish all season. They are definitely back in the local waters. The Brooklyn is running Sundays from 5PM to 9PM for Porgies which is actually a boon for many looking to squeeze in a trip with a workday following up. Otherwise they are running their deep sea fishing 7AM-3:30PM all week and 7PM-Midnight otherwise. I see a lot of smiles coming off the Brooklyn of late.

The Marilyn Jean has been running mostly Ling Fishing early in the season, with night time Bass and Blues. This weekend, the first week of June, we hit a large number of Ling with a huge number of Black Sea Bass that had to be returned to the water, and large blackfish, that also had to be returned. DEC was waiting for the boats at the docks on return. They searched the Brooklyn, Ocean Eagle, Sea Queen and the Marilyn Jean. They didn't find much, but it was unpleasant enough.

In addition to DEC, the Federal DEC was also on the docks. Why? I don't know. But law enforcement has been choking the docks all season. The Coast Guard ticketed Frankie, the Caption of the Marilyn Jean for being to close to the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, which is a regular spot for decades to catch stripers. This was a $30,000 fine. The presure put on these boats for fishing near the bridge is just morally repugnant. These are the known registered professional boats that not only pose zero security risk, but also are the eyes and ears of any kind of terrorist activities that might be in Jamacia Bay. If anything suspecious was to happen, they would be the first to know. Targeting and manhandlng them by the Coast Gaurd is just flat out wrong. Instead of wasting time harassing the party boat captains for fishing, they could be doing their jobs for once and crackdown on the rampant Striped Bass pouching that happens at night all throughtout the bay by small boats fishing without lights. But the coast guard is just to lazy to tackle real issues when they can harrass a big target like the licensed recreational vessels who won't fight back because they make their living off the water.

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Spring 2017 and Summer 2017

Fishing starts this week. As we have moved into early summer good sized porgies have come alive and we are picking out buckets of them again on the Marilyn Jean IV and the Ocean Eagle. In early July, the Ocean Eagle has pulled out Trigger Fish and Tuesday and Thursdays have had decent Fluke.
There has been some unusually artistitic sunset along the waterfront that is worth noting. These shots are taken with my Cannon T3 Rebel and a telephoto lens while I was fishing on the Marilyn Jean IV's night trip. That trip is often wonderful and runs from 7PM until about midnight. We've had some great times on these night time cruises, especially during the week when the crowds are thinner and crew and passangers have time to talk,

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Summer 2016

I spent a good portion of this summer over seas, and not fishing much. However, when I returned, we were in the greatestg Porgy run in the history of NYC Fishing. The Porgies have been coming over the rail at limits, 45 fish a man, every day like clockwork. In addition, we have been limiting out early in trips, and heading back to the dock with nothing to do by 1PM. The mates have been suffering, filleting fish from 8AM until 3PM. I've seen cooler after cooler of porgies being taken off the boats. I had to buy a new freezer to store all the fish!!
Porgies in the Freezer
This is the new freezer

Porgy Take for a single day
Daily Take of Scup

Brooklyn Fishing Reports - Spring 2016

With the coming spring and after a rather mild winter with only one cold spot, we started out early fishing in March. We caught nothing after several trips, hunting for Cod, Ling and even Summer Flounder. The best spring fishing, Black Sea Bass and Black Fish are off limits in New York State. The law is crazy, especially with regard to the Black Sea Bass whose numbers are enormous in New York State waters, and have never been in danger. The main benefactors of this spring moratorium on Sea Bass is the Jersey boats who come and take our fish. Left with left overs, nothing was biting in the water. But then, on the first week of April, the Striped Bass started to make their presence known. There season didn't open until April 15th, but a lot of catch and release was taking place around the harbor. After the season opened, my Son came into town from overseas and we booked a trip on the single best Striped Bass boat on the East Coast, the Rockfish Charter Boat, run by Richie Colombo, the most knowledgeable Striper Fisherman, probably anywhere... and Felix, the most knowledgeable Mate on the Sheepshead Bay Docks.

I've known Felix for years. A soft spoken, kind hearted individual, which hides his tough churning interior, and brilliant intellect, Felix introduced me originally to the Marilyn Jean IV. His migration to the Rockfish and teaming with Richie was a natural. He is open to learning, the best knot tier on the docks, a passionate fisherman, who is a master craftsman in all things fishing. He also has a near encyclopedic knowledge of fishing, local waters, technique, and species. In combination with Richie, they make a lethal dual for the fish. Staked to a powerful small sporty boat, you will (almost) always catch fish on this boat. And big fish.

On the Monday in April here is my son and his catch just before Passover.

Here is the Trips take. We are limited to one fish each to take home

By early May, the weather had warmed up and the fishing situation has brightened. The fishing fleet in springtime has been confronted with an idiotic regiment of closed seasons on non-endanger fish which are popular and good eating from our local waters. Among the fishing seasons that have been closed in Spring are Black Sea Bass and Tautog. Additionally, Striped Bass are limited to one fish per person. In fact, we have so many Black Sea Bass, that the juvenile fish are a nuisance and in the way then targeting other species. And they are now so abundant in the local waters that they are attracting predatory species, like trigger fish into our waters, where they had never been here before.

That has left up fishing for Ling and Cod. When the water warms up, the ling particularly, liven up. We have had some decent success with the Cod. On one trip on the Marilyn Jean IV I hit a very decent Cod, one of 4 that day on the boat, with only 9 passengers. I fish dived into the rocks. I was in the bow of the boat and I couldn't release the line of the rocks. So I passed my pole under the anchors to the other side of the boat, and gently played the fish out of rocks from the new direction. The fish came out, and I hauled in this decent catch.

In addition to the Cod Action, night fishing has been filled with Blue Fishing, and very decent size fish at that. It has made for some fun evening. In addition, Greg, on the Ocean Eagle has been hitting Porgies in modest numbers.

Brooklyn Fishing Report 2015

The summer of 2015 has been busy on the Bay. I have largely fished out of the
Ocean Eagle V which is owned and run by
the Nardiello Brothers, a very experienced and professional family which has
the pulse of Sheepshead Bay fishing in their blood. Recently, the Blackfish
season opened and Low and Behold, they landed this 13 pound baby

Here are the fulls picks of this trip

Greg, Jeff and Glen are senior members of the docks, but in addition, they have the most loyal following based on years of results. I've been on this boat in near zero degree weather, and the lazy days of summer and always find an exciting take home of fish. Not just that, but they usually go after a diversity of fish, and I usually come home is something tasty I didn't expect. Jeff is on of the best and most experienced fisherman in the greater New York Harbor. He has been generous with advise and a great mentor. Glen runs fantastic ship, and a stocked gallery, and is first mate. Greg is Captain and has the deepest and most mature book of fishing spots in the city. He is like google maps, but with the fish accurately marked, including ever wreck, hot spot and seasonal location from the Snake River to Freeport.

This is a striper picked up on an evening trip on the Marylin Jean
Here you can see the photographer yelling at me to hold out the fish but my wrist barely let me lift it, let alone hold it out like the dude standing next to me

Brooklyn Fishing Report 2014

As 2014 moves in we come into the
coldest winter in my lifetime. Despite this, we fished
through much of this winter, and took several trips to the Island Current
in Snugg Harbor, Rhode Island
, where we hit Cod pretty hard.
The crew is generally stationed at City Island in the Bronx, but
in the winter they hole up in this lovely area in Rhode Island which
puts them within the same fishing areas as the Monkouk Viking Fleet.
It was 19 degrees midday on the day we went fishing, but we did hit large cod.
I caught 14 of them including a nice 30+ incher that bent my rod and
fought its way through 200 feet of water. It was a lot of fun and the
best fish I have ever eaten. Injuries to my hand made handling the fish painful
and I almost dropped the pole, getting down on one knee and using my body for
leverage to componsate for a weekened hand and enflamed elbow. Pelican
grabbed the pole at one point for extra support.

The Island Current crew, Scottie, CJ, Pelican and Brownie, were so
successful that they made the local Rhode Island Francis Fleet jelous
enough to call out the local Rhode Island version of the Fishing Police
to harrass the Island Current crew and passangers. The Rhode Island
DEM officers showed up at the dock when we came in, with the owner of
the Francis Fleet directing the local police on where to inspect the
boats and passangers. It was a pretty ugly display of local cronyism.
One can only hope that it doesn't disuade the Island Current from doing
business in Snugg Harbor next season, because it was worth every moment
of the trip.

Ruben and his Cod

A few things about fishing in Rhode Island. First, it pays to take
advantage of the Amtrak train to Westport CT and then arrainge lodging
and transport. The ticket is only $55 each way, and after 20 hours
of fishing in extreme weather, you will apreciate the availability
of electricy, wifi, and hot coffee. The train left at about 11PM and
arrived into Penn Station at 2:30AM. It beats the hell out of drive.
When we drove to Rhode Island, originally, Tony Pelican pulled us all
together into is pick up truck with all the equiptment we could load up.
It was nearly a 4 hour ride, a bit much for me. Then we stayed in
the single worst motel room I'd ever been in for the overnight before
heading out again for another 7 hours of butal fishing. We packed up
without washing into the truck and went home. Then, Pelican decided to
take more passangers and headed straight back on a second 48 hour trip.
I was glad not to go.

The second trip I did go on, about a week later, I had learned a few
things. First and foremost was to take the train home. Pelican dropped
me off in Westport, Ct right on the Rhodes Island and Connecticut boarder,
and I took Amtrak home. It was one of the best decisions I made that
week. We arrived at about 9:30PM so I had an hour and a half to kill.
I walked to the local musical venue and watering hole, a block from the
train station, and found that the women of Westport were both warm and
personable, making the time waiting very easy.

Finally, If you are going to make this trip, put away your cellphone and
follow the road signs. We found one of the great little seafood places
not far from the boat, just following the business district signs off
the highway. We then stumbled upon "The Hungry Haven", located right
off ther highway exit at 5000 South County Trail, Charlestown, RI 02813.
They might well have the best Cod Fish and seafood menu on the East Coast.
We ended up ordering just about everything on the menu and not a crum
was left between the 6 of us. When we went back the second time,
the small family owned staff was really excited. You HAVE to try this
place, and bring an appetite. Nobody should fish Rhode Island and not
stop here to eat. This place is frankly AWESOME. They're fresh cod,
haddock and flounder is unmatched by anything in NYC. They're phone
number is 401-364-3609 and you might not find them on your "smart" phone
so try using your eyes and brain to find them off of Route 1.

Moving on to March and April, I went out often with the Marilyn Jean IV,
loading up on Kosher Hot Dogs, but not many fish. In fact, my total fish
count for April was 6 Dog Fish, 6 rays, one out of season Black Fish and
several undersized thingies.... Nothing to Eat! I was looking forward
to the water heating up and May turned out a bit better with several
Striped bass hits, and a killer night for Blue Fish when I landed 14
monster Blues, all over 30 Inches.
Ruben on the Blues

My favorite fish is the Black Sea Bass and catching them in late spring is
the best time, which is before the seaon on them opens on July 15, 2014.
There are special permits that some boats buy at considerable costs to
allow early fishing. There is only one in Sheepshead Bay, that I'm aware
of, the Marilyn Jean IV. I caught some early Sea Bass, limiting
out at 8 one time, and catching a few 20 inchers on another trip.

On the up side, Captain Dave landed some decent Porgies the other night!
So summer has arrived. The other advantage of the Captain Dave is that he
has a new boat, which is an all steel vessel, 95 feet long and SMOOTH as
River Stones. The boat does not rock and is a pleasure to fish from. It is not
fast. It is not beautiful. But boy is it SMOOTH. Anyone who gets seasick
should try this boat out, and it is ideal for Newbies and Children!
Additionally, the cook is very decent on this boat. While he does not
put out the variety of food that Kathy on the Ocean Eagle does, he was still
getting 10 bucks for his Philly Cheese Steaks and they were so good he sold
out to fishermen who have a reputation for being quite cheap.

The Captain Daves ship is a good ride. The mates are not quite up to snuff of what
we experience on the Marilyn Jean or the Ocean Eagle, but they are friendly and
seem to be able to get through the night. You have to be patient with them,
though. They are just not the experienced vetrans of other ships. Davie
is a top notch Captain. They have a regular 9AM-5PM fluke run in the morning
and a night bass run at 7PM to midnight. It is not the hard hitting fishing
experience of the other boats, but an enjoyable expereince and a nice change of pace.

Marilyn Jean IV in the Cabin
Inside the Cabin of the Marilyn Jean IV on the way home from a happy trip

Spring brings RSA Permit Sea Bass fishing to Sheepshead Bay. The best Sea Bass vesel, in fact the only one in Brooklyn, is the Marilyn Jean. Sometimes the Sea Bass have been slow. Other times is has been outstanding. Now as we are reaching the end of the RSA season and moving into the Sea Bass open season, which starts on July 15th, the Sea Bass have really begun to hit the decks hard. At a minimum length of 13 inches, many 18+ inch specimens are show up and the stock looks very healthy with plump male and females showing up on the hook.

Marilyn Jean IV Porgy and Sea Bass Pics for 2014

In late August the local Porgies finally showwed up in number and size.
The best porgy of the year was picked up at the Rockaway Reef, just outside of
Bell Harbor and Riess Park.
best 2014 Porgies
best 2014 Porgies
best 2014 Porgies

The Brooklyn Fishing Report 2013

We have fished the Marilyn Jean this summer day and night, rain and shine, and the pilots of this vessel put me on the fish every time and have also attracted a very decent group of traveling companions. Tony Pelican, Frank, Felix, Anthony, Joe Joe and Ralph never fail to make good company, and to freely help with a tip or two on how to bring them in. We've had some memorable times.

Fishing overall in 2013 has been very decent with all but the Blue Fish having good representations on hooks around the harbor. In early spring we saw a lot of striped bass and we brought down 5 keeper sized stripers just on one trip on the Ocean Eagle early in the season. I had to throw three back since the limit is two. The small boat, "The Jet", also did very well with the stripers. As the season moved on, we continued to hit stripers and Weak Fish, especially on night runs at the Verrazano, and Gil Hodges Memorial Bridges. We had a great job hitting the bass at night with Tony Pelican at the helm of the Marilyn Jean, and Felix helped us catch some king size Bass in Jamacia Bay and around Gateway.

Striped Bass Striped Bass
Cooked Striped Bass

As we moved into mid-June, the big catches was with daytime ling fishing. My fist daytime trip on the Marilyn Jean IV gathered in an astonishing 49 ling, 12 keeper sea bass and an odd porgie. It was the hottest day of fishing I can ever recall. Ling, better known at Whiting about and around town, is a great cousin of the cod fish, kosher, and a great fish for frying in olive oil. A bounty like we had in early June can make gefilte fish through next Passover.

SEA BASS!! Ling Fried in the Wok

As the summer moved in we reached the a perigee full moon which I took pictures of while on the deck of the Capt'n Dave. The Sea Bass season has become ridicules and is an example of special interests groups gone wild. Before the official Sea Bass season, boats with RSA licenses were allowed to fish for Sea Bass, as the season only began July 10th, and lasts until December 31st. One can keep up to 8, 13 inch, sea bass, which is likely the best eating fish in local waters. Bite for the RSA was decent all through June and almost as soon as the season opened, they seemed to have high tailed it out of the area. July has been a good porgy month. Fluke have been off and on and the Blues have not migrated into the area until very late July.

porgie madness Vampire Porgies

In Late July Tony found what he called the Vampire Porgies. These have been enormous, the largest I'd ever seen and have sown up only on night trips to the delight of my good friend Terry who gives master classes in fishing knots before the boat goes out.
Terry of Mobile to Mobile giving knot tieing lessons

Vampire Porgies have continued for at least 2 weeks through the end of July, 2013, when finally the Blue Fish had started to arrive to the relief of many of the Blue Fish boats in town, including the "Brooklyn". While the Sea Bass and Ling seemed to reach a lull with the new moon, the Ocean Eagle found some good trigger fishing near Sea Bright, NJ, in addition to unintentional catching of eels, HUGE eels. In late June, the Marilyn Jean IV and the Jet had engine overhalls. We fished for a couple of days out of the much smaller Capt'ns Lady. I caught an American Eel of over 40 inches on the Marylin Jean and one nearly 35 inches on the Ocean Eagle. I gave both away. Eels are not kosher and we don't eat them. Usually I through them back but these two were so large that I gave them to other families.

With the coming of the Blue Fish in the last week of July, and after practicing Jigging and Casting for a week, I wandered to the Flamingo, a blues jigging boat that leaves from the Gerritsen Creek at the Sheepshead Bay Parking Lot. My fishing was terrible, but I did collect two cocktail blue fish and lost 2 others at the rail. Rob, the mate on the Flamingo, is part of the ownership family who has been at it forever. The boat was very impressive as an older model, built with Mahagony and rock solid and about as smooth in the water as you would ever expect. I loved the boat. And we ran into a large school of dolphins on the trip not far from Sandy Hook and in sight of the Verrazono Bridge.

Dolphins in NY Harbor

Dolphin Quicktime Video
Dolphin Quicktime Video
Dolphin Quicktime Video
Dolphin Quicktime Video

Now, as August comes, we continued with the good Porgie fishing, with way too many dogfish. But everyone did catch this week and even my daughter Shani went home smiling after she nailed three very good Porgies on a rainy Thursday morning. Better fishermen than I seemed to pull Porgies out of the water almost at will. Some of them were the largest I'd seen in the season, even bigger than the Vampires. But overall they were of normal Porgie size range.

How big were the Porgies? When I cooked them they looked like Chicken Cutlets

Here is the The Summer 2013 Photo Gallery. It has a few Boat goddesses, and more on it.

As we moved into fall, Striped Bass and Black Fish season approached. Although off to a slow start, Striped Bass was hammering on the small charter boats for an early run in October, before slowing down in November. The fish seemed to move off to Fire Island, and now in mid and late November have moved back into the NYC Harbor area.

Finally, we reached Black Fish Season in Mid-November when the fish really began to hit hard. Most commonly we fished for them off the New Jersey Shore line. Both the Ocean Eagle and the Marilyn Jean IV have stayed with them this late season. There is a limit of 4 Black Fish per man in New York. I have frequently limited out with some huge fish in the mix.

Black Fishing Gallery

Here is a link to the History of Ambrose Channel, one of the major features of New York Habor.

Some other fishing reports that seem to be updated