Fishing in Sheepshead Bay

25. July 2007 New York 1

I opened my eyes when the subway crossed the Brooklyn Bridge. The sky had that blue morning glow tint with the sun rising behind one of the old warehouse buildings. I wondered how many New Yorkers have not seen this sight. I checked my phone and saw that it was only 5:15am. We’ve been on the subway only since 4:50am and yet, we were already halfway towards Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn.

The Dr. had the weekend off and he really wanted to go fishing. The last time I met up with Sean and Jane in Staten Island, she mentioned that she wanted to go fishing for the first time. I told her about our last-minute trip on Friday night, and by 6:30am, the four of us were sitting together in the Brooklyn VI boat ready to fish for bluefish.

We spent the next eight and a half hours on the boat dropping our sinkers and lures and reeling in. In between boat stops to look for the perfect spot to fish–we were following the sea gulls–we would go inside the boat and nap. We bought several beers and a hamburger from the kitchen when it was time to eat lunch.

It was a beautiful day to fish. We had our sunblock on, but it wasn’t too hot to be outside the boat waiting for the fish to bite. Once in a while, someone would scream that they got something and the deckhands will go around the boat announcing that there was one aboard. There was a lot of pep talk and rah-rahs to encourage all of us to keep fishing. Even though it was Jane’s first time to fish, she caught four. The Dr. followed soon and contributed six. Sean had a few bites but none wanted to become dinner. I had one exciting moment, but I panicked that I probably helped the fish unhook itself. Before the day was over, we paid a dollar each for our fish to be cleaned. Everyone ahead of us just wanted their fish filetted. I was so horrified when I saw the deckhands dump the pail of fish heads and bones back in the ocean. These burly men have never heard of fumet! When our turn came, we asked only for our fish to be scaled and gutted out, head and bones intact.

I didn’t have beginners’ luck like Jane, but I had an awesome time hanging out on someone’s boat and thinking of our dinner prospects.

You don’t need a reservation to join the Brooklyn VI boat. Just take the Q subway to Sheepshead Bay, walk towards the water and go to Pier 6. The boat leaves every Saturday at 7am. In July, bluefish is in season, but you can also catch sea bass and porgies. It’s $45 to get on the boat and an extra $5 to rent a rod. You keep all the fish you catch. Each fish is $1 to be cleaned.

Related post/s:
Fishing in Sheepshead Bay photos on Flickr
Fumet recipe for all those fish heads and bones

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