Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad

 Today would have been my Father's 91st birthday. Whenever I think of my Dad I often remember the fun times my family shared fishing, crabbing, and at the shore in Long Beach.

My parents began crabbing at Benjamin Beach in Bayshore while they still lived in Manhattan. Some years later my grandmothers doctor suggested that a vacation near the shore would benefit her health. So my folks began exploring the south shore of L.I. for vacation spots.

 In the summer of 1960 they decided on renting a bungalow on Pennsylvania Avenue in Long Beach. In the years that followed we rented a bungalow on Alabama Avenue.

 Eventually my grandparents bought a  bungalow on Wyoming Avenue. It was there we met the Donnellys our neighbors a few doors down. 

The Donnellys were from the Bronx and like us sought the Long Beach shoreline to escape the hot city summers.

  The Donnelly boys enjoyed stickball so my father painted bases on the street and installed himself as team manager. Frequently he would call a timeout as the Mr Softee truck was passing so he could treat the team to dip cones.

On weekends he'd announce we were going fishing. My sister and I would pile in the station wagon joined by Allie, Robbie and Billy Donnelly.

 Off we'd go to fish on the bridge next to Peters Clam Bar in Island Park. When the fishing got slow my father would treat everyone to breakfast at the Texas Ranger restaurant.


Eventually we moved from the city and became year round residents of Long Beach. 

Often our friend Bobby Kaplan would come out for the weekend and join us for some crabbing and fishing. He always got a kick out of catching and steaming the crabs. 


 Fishing for snappers was always a family favorite! I taught my niece Lauren how to cast and work a popper. She was a natural. In fact I may have taught her too well - I only outfished her by two snappers on that trip!

Occasionally we'd rent a skiff and fish for fluke in Reynold's Channel.

One Fathers Day I surprised my Dad with a family trip on a charter boat for fluke.

 We had a lot of fun fishing through the years. Though not every fishing trip went off without a hitch.

I'll never forget the time my father, brother in law Charlie and I climbed out on a jetty in the middle of a December night to fish for stripers.

As were rigging up our tackle my father lowered the bait trap containing our eels. Unfortunately he forgot to latch it! 

Our eels departed for points unknown which left three frozen fishermen without a piece of bait between us. You can bet we gave him a good ribbing over that!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Anniversary

Were getting close to the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Here in Long Beach things are slowly returning to normal. I wanted to share some photographs I took this year.

Here is my friend Chris Morrissey who has worked in the Beach Maintenance Department for the last 33 years.

As a sign of their appreciation for his years of service the City of Long Beach honored Chris by having him lay the first beam of the boardwalk rebuilding project.


It was fun to be in attendance to commemorate the occasion and to watch my friend be the center of attention!

 The City had a celebration October 25, 2013 to mark the finish of the boardwalk rebuilding project. Govenor Cuomo attended and helped set the last board in place.

While it is great to have the boardwalk back it is a sad fact that many Long Beach residents aren't back in their storm damaged homes yet! Many are waiting on funds to rebuild while tangled up in bureaucratic red tape.

As one walks through the West End of town many homes remain shuttered such as this bungalow on Wyoming Avenue. My grandparents owned it in the 60's and my family spent many great Summers there!

On the same street the home that belonged to our friends the Donnely's has been lifted to meet Fema regulations and it now towers over the bungalow next to it.

It's weird but the one place I go in town where I'm not reminded of the storm is the beach! I try to visit it every day. You never know what you'll find.

  On this particular day we had seaweed that was knee deep on some beaches.

On another day while out walking my wife and I came across this marriage proposal created in the sand for a gal named Gabby. Unfortunately we missed her reaction to it.


 While out fishing one morning I found this porpoise washed up. I came across several of them dead this Summer.

 We also had some whales in our area chasing after baitfish. I was lucky enough to spot one not far off this jetty breaching with his mouth open after bait! His head looked to be the size of a VW Bug!

Occasionally I'll find a lure on the beach. I enjoy doctoring them up. These two are my recent finds.

This one got a new paint job just in time for the Fall run of stripers!

This lure I'm going to dress with an eel skin.

The skins been added now all it needs is a new sharp hook.

When the water enters the empty tail portion of the skin it returns to its natural size and the lure imparts a life like appearance to the eel skin.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea LB NY

Tropical Storm Andrea moved through the Long Beach NY area dumping somewhere near five inches of rain on us. There was bound to be flooding when you factor in it was a New Moon and the heaviest rain coincided with the evening high tide.

This is a brief news clip showing the flooding on our main road Park Avenue in the center of Long Beach.
I went out this morning to check on conditions on the beach to see if it was fishable. Turns out the sea was all roiled up. Bad for fishing but the surfers were having a blast! Some of the waves looked to be about seven feet high - give or take.