New York Fishing En Masse: An Average Trip on One of the Daily Boats to the Fishing Grounds., Daily Racing Form, 1918-12-04


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NEW YORK FISHING EN MASSE An Average Trip on One of the Daily Boats to the Fishing Grounds GroundsLow Low bridj means more to me tonijlit than it lid this morning Say it in any tono of voice you choose from a whisper lt peremiitorv command and I will jump nervously I am Mire writes L W Hutching in Outers Hook HookNo No I havent spent the day on a canal boat Ilather have I essaped with my life in a battle of leaden missiles I have been fishing at the Cholera Banks I have been fishing on a boat with upward of five hundred fishermen fishermenFor For a long time I had this trip in mind believ ¬ ing that it would be worth trying once at least so when my plans for a xhorebird shooting trip fell through I decided to go fishing on one of the many boats that leave each day from New York and the Long Island harbors for the fishing banks that lie off the Jersey and Long Island shores shoresTo To find out about the boats I turned to their advertisements In the daily press only to find there were so many that to choose was difficult Each had its special inducements I began checking off Schwartz lias Worms was the headline on the first Realizing that it would be necessary to get bait somewhere I read further only to find that while Schwartz had many things besides worms he didnt have a boat boatNot Not interested in your case today Mr Schwartz I remarked and checked him off the list 530 a m from Sheepshead Hay read the next Pretty early for the first trip I thought and read on 3 a m for Fluke Gee but there are some nuts ia this game and so on I went down through tlie columns columnsAt At last I decided that it would be better to leave from the Uattery anyway Only two boats left from there but as both were large and as both were scheduled to depart at the respectable hour of 8 a m I felt certain that I could get aboard one of them and not have to go without my break ¬ fast either eitherIt It was not quite 730 when I hurried up to the ticket window at the Iron Steamboat Companys docks plunked down a dollar for my ticket and passed out on the dock Many of my fellow fisher ¬ men for the day had arrived ahead of me and were all quietly waiting for tlie boat to dock dockPromptly Promptly at 8 oclock the gang plank was drawn off and without more ado our fishing boat steamed down the bay And for you who think of a fishing boat as a flat bottomed scow or at best a small motor l oat let me give you an idea of our craft the Taurus by name She is a side wheeler and she has three decks with a restaurant and bar on the lower Yes there is a bar The other large boat leaving from the Uattery advertises No Liquors Sold SoldWhen When I mentioned this to a friend and asked it life wouldnt be safer on her he said That doesnt mean there will be no liquor aboard It s just a warning warningMASSED MASSED FISHERS AND THEIR TOOLS TOOLSBut But to return to our bit of a boat she makes I understand between twelve and fifteen miles an hour and is licensed to carry 540 persons This may not seem like a great number for so large a craft but its enough when you consider that nearly every person finds it necessary to heave a good sized chunk of lead with heavy hooks attached over the rail every so often oftenWhere Where are we headed for I asked a friendly looking fisherman who was engaged in setting up his rod rodKlondike Klondike I guess he replied Fluke and ling today todayXae Xae me by luk at th ead of er I heard from behind and turning I surveyed the happy countenance of Jack whom I afterward met Shes pintcd for the Cholera Banks Mebbe we 11 be gettin bass bassAnd And the Cholera Banks it was Through the narrows and past Coney Island llockaway and Far Kockauay we finally dropped anchor at 11 oclock well off the coast from Lons Beach BeachIt It was a licautiful morning The first touch of fall was in the air the sky cloudless and the at ¬ mosphere so clear that the horizon was etched sharp and clean in the distance Old Ocean on whose bosom we now rocked was only ruffled by a light breeze and there was so slight a swell that it was scarcely noticeable It was altogether a wonderful day to be out worth while fish or no fish fishOn On the way to the banks the fishermen and women for there were several aboard had slow ¬ ly and methodically prepared for action They had set up their rods those who had them fitted reels in place narrow wooden affairs of large diameter and after attaching the hooks had gone below for bait Meantime several of the ships crew had been cutting up fish and opening clams for this purpose so that by tlie time we reached the banks each fisherpian had his little wooden butter dish full of bait baitThus Thus prepared we dropped anchor at the Cholera Banks and the fun began at once onceLow Low bridge someone called and the next in ¬ stant his line went whistling from the reel reelLow Low bridge piped a second and a third and so on until all lines were out and tlie ships sides resembled the bristling quills of a porcupine All was quiet for a minute two minutes possibly five minutes Then someone shouted excitedly Youve got him and Iull er up came from some ¬ one else elseSEA SEA BASS BUT NOT APLENTY APLENTYIt It was a sea bass of some three or four pounds and as it came flopping up the side all turned to see the first fisli of the day But u minute more and a second fish was caught this time a fluke and so the sport progressed Fish were bit ¬ ing although slowly and each one tended closely to his line lineFor For perhaps an hour all was quiet but as the bites became fewer the fishers tired and from here and there came the call Lets move moveThe The captain held out for a while longer but as the men became more restless the whistle sounded all lines were pulled in and the boat steamed farther out A few fish wcre caught here but the fisher ¬ men were not satisfied so another move was made However it was an off day the fishermen said and although we moved from here to there back and forth along the banks the luck did not change Still the fishermen took it philosophically know ¬ ing that this was part of the game and that another day they would get enough to make up for it itAs As the men lost interest in fishing I noticed some ¬ thing that had attracted my attention when I first boarded the boat at the Battery the friendly goodnatured feeling among all Many I found were friends of former trips but whether they had met before or not was all the same to them themTo To you who live outside of Xew York City this may not seem strange A stranger to you is a possible friend and to treat him as such is only natural In Xew York it is different As O Henrys Bud Kingsmiry says This here New York was inaugurated on the idea of abstemiousness in regard to the parts of speech And his friend explains that Nice day is about as far as New Yorkers care to go with a stranger strangerIn In New York all are strangers and all remain so To speak to one is perhaps to excite suspicion So it would have been to all of ns there aboard the Taurus had we met on Broadway in the subway or even on a ferry But here all seemed to stand on common ground to have a common interest and it was but natural that formal barriers should be lowered that all should exchange greetings dis ¬ cuss tlie luck of the day and swap yarns of former trips And this too when there were men aboard from all walks of life laborers saloon keepers professional men rich and poor it made no differ ¬ ence The whole was a fine lesson in the de ¬ mocracy of fishing the brotherhood of the rod

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