It’s days like today looking out a fogged up, snow covered window that I think about the moments in my life as a fisherman which led me to where I am today. It’s almost as there was a plan that I was unaware of, a plan that led me here, a force, I guess you could even say destiny. But I don’t believe in destiny. I believe we have choices to make, and those choices lead us all to what we have become today.
I can remember the excitement that I felt as a small child when my dad was driving us to the marina to go fishing. I remember feeling like the luckiest kid on earth. My dad wasn’t much of a fisherman but he a had a 23ft cuddy cruiser that we would take out for rides. I spent most of my time catching snappers + porgies off of the dock, and that was fine by me. I loved it!
This experience as a child had me hooked. The love for the water and fishing was imprinted on my soul. No matter what I did, the ocean and fishing always created a drive, and simultaneously it was a source of serenity. It also created a faith inside me. Now, I’m far from a practicing religious person, but I know when I look at a sunrise over a flat calm ocean that there is more than what we know and see. I know even the toughest fisherman out there doesn’t take a sunrise on the water for granted.
As I got older I progressed into surf fishing. See, my dad had sold his boat by then and I was on my own when it came to fishing. I would ride my bike to nearby hot spots. Local beaches and along the belt pkwy bike path. Chunking blues and the occasional bass. I fished as much as I could. I was the only 8 year old kid fishing with 60 year old men.
Eventually, as I got older and was able to drive, I progressed into fishing better surf spots. All the hot spots in jamaica bay, up the east river, great kills in Staten Island, and of course Montauk. I looked at the water different back then. So much mystery to me, especially when I started venturing out on boats in my late teen years. The water was a blank canvas in my mind.
Eventually, life started taking over. School, work, I was in finance back then. It all got in the way of fishing and I fished much less. Things stayed like this for a few years until my father passed. Something changed here, more than the obvious. From this point on, I fished every moment that I could. I guess it was my way of mourning. I was so focused on fishing that I didn’t have time to mourn. The strange thing was that I was catching big bass almost too easy. Now, I know there were more fish around 15 years ago, but I never caught fish like this before. The faith that I was talking about earlier, well I was certain that my dad was helping me out from above.
The next 10 years flew by. I left finance, and started mating on several boats, eventually getting my license and running charter boats. I made invaluable fishing contacts + friends, all of them helping me greatly. I was sucking in so much knowledge and learning much on my own. Everyone and everything thing around me was fishing, which leads me to today.
What’s the purpose of me telling you all of this? Well, 2 reasons. I want you to know who the man behind the wheel of the Rockfish is when you trust me with your life and your families lives. Also, to remind us that life is an adventure. Looking back at all the changes that have happened over the last 15 years, I can only imagine what’s in store for the future. I look forward to it.