Fishing Gone

Written By: Anthony  Catazaro



By Anthony Catazaro


We can all agree uneqivakly , thatMontauk Pointis the fishing capitol on the east coast. I

learned this many years ago when I was young tadpole sucking on a fishing rod instead of a baby

rattle. Fishing onLong Island, as a matter of fact, was very good 60 years ago but has been de-

clining  rapidly since then…probably due to pollution, overfishing  and political indifference.

But like everything else in this world, change affects most everything,  one way or the other.

During the 82 years I have strolled down life’s hi-ways and bi-ways, 20 of them were spent in

Brooklynand the remaining 62 have been spent here onLong Island.

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The only fishing I was exposed to inBrooklynwas on a party boat out ofSheepsheadBay.

Oddly enough, the fish we caught were the boney, voracious, ubiquitous Porgies,  that

seemingly, were hell-bent on committing  suicide. They literally jumped on the hook, one

after the other, making you deliriously  happy to be fishing.  And as I recall at that time,

I remember thinking, “man-o-man…this is like shooting fish in a barrel.” (no pun intended)

Preceding my  discharge, my parents leftBrooklynand moved toMerrick,  Long

Island. With that, I suddenly realized that I was no longer a city slicker but a newly made

“Islander.” .. with no idea how to fish for a striper, bluefish, tuna or shark that are most

popular with local fishermen . What do you do when you want to learn about something?

Right! You go to school and you learn by reading, networking with people who know and

are in the business and doing hands on whenever opportunity knocks. However, before you

get involved with all that you need to equip yourself with the proper tools. So off we go to

Johnny’s tackle shop in Montauk.

I’m not talking tools like hammers and chainsaws, unless you’re going to clobber the fish

with a hammer and filet it with a chainsaw; I’m talking fishing rods, reels, (probably three

different types of both rods and reels) lures, hooks, line or monofilament, sinkers, knives, nets,

bait holders, gaffs, waders and tackle box to hold some of your fishing stuff. And for Pete’s sake,

do not forget to buy a five gallon pail of spackle that you use up on major wall patching jobs; and

after it is empty, scrub it clean and use it for carrying stuff,  bringing home the fish or sitting on

it at the beach. If you want be one of the guys in your fishing fraternity…make sure it’s a


Now that you are fully armed and ready for combat, you need to start learning how to surf cast,

the preferred fishing technique used by many East Enders…second of course to fishing from a

charter or party boat. The school you will attend, are beaches that stretch fromSouthamptonto

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Montauk Point, where you will practice casting until your arms and shoulders ache. When you

finally complete  your lessons, it’s time to graduate to the “mother of all famous fishing spots,”

under the famous Lighthouse, ordered built by President George Washington in 1796, for the

grand sum of $22,300. (Couldn’t buy the light bulb for that amount of money these days)

The first time I fished the Point, I nearly had a heart attack. Let me set the scene for you so you

can appreciate this narrative more fully.

Directly under the Lighthouse there are layers of massive rocks that form landings on which

fishermen can stand upon and cast their lures or live bait into the breaking waters of the

Atlantic ocean; that does a good job of nearly drowning our determined and undaunted “men of

the sea.” Usually, when the bass or blues are running ( and I thought they swam) the rocks are

crammed with casting fools who are buzzing the head and ears of the guy standing just below

them. (A good place to come to have your ears pierced, at no charge)  But that’s not the only

scary part of this story. When someone has a hit from a 20 to 30 pound bass or bluefish,