A guest post from F&S Online Editor Nate Matthews
The other day I had the chance to fish New York Harbor for fall-run striped bass with Trevor Gowdy, son of the late Curt, as a guest of the Outdoor Channel, which is airing Gowdy’s new show “Monster Fish” starting in January.
Field & Stream editors don’t get to do this as often as you’d think. Usually we’re stuck commuting in the concrete jungle, dodging angry drunks and lunatic bike messengers. There’s little time to look up, and less incentive, when all you’ll see is concrete, steel, and glass canyon walls rising on all sides.
But I lucked into this invitation, and so we met at eight at a marina on the west side of the city. On the way out we motored down the Hudson, below the bridge at the Verrazanno narrows, then into the Atlantic, to the mouth of a tidal bay on the southern tip of Long Island, where we caught fresh, healthy stripers by bumping peanut bunker behind egg sinkers along the bottom of a rocky tidal rip.
We were cruising in Fin Chaser Charters’ 31-foot Contender. This boat was a beauty, an open fishing platform with the hull of a racing yacht and twin 250-horsepower outboards growling in the stern. Riding it was nearly as much fun as catching the fish. Captain Anthony Gangone let me take the wheel for a while, and it sliced through the swells like a knife through hot grits.
On the way back I spent the ride enjoying the skyline. When you’re inside the city you can’t see this; you forget how small and fragile Manhattan is. Everything on the street feels permanent. But from the outside the skyscrapers along Wall Street rise out of the water like castles made of glass.
There’s something grounding about this; seeing how the place you live and work fits into the bigger picture of tide, water, fish, and the cycle of the seasons. It’s a reminder that what goes out must eventually return. In these days of crisis and panic that’s an important thing to remember.
Maybe more people should go fishing.