Back in the day, loving to fish and not owning a boat, boarding your favorite “open party boat” was the next best thing. I would like to tell you about my favorite at that time. It was the Captree Princess, out of the Captree Boat Basin.
Putting a smile on your face, seemed easy for Captain Rob Andresen and his crew. At that time the
Princess was a 65ft. twin diesel “low profile” boat with a full galley and separate restrooms. The traditional rods, bait, tackle, and instructions, for those who needed them, were all included in a day of fishing.
Like many of his day trips, he had his “regulars”.
Like family they were on a first name basis, discussing the weekend plans, the past vacation and of course, what they caught their last time out. It was not strange for one of these folks to bring aboard a snack for all, from the favorite box of donuts to an enticing homemade dessert. The coffee pot was always on in the galley and the boat always clean. We ladies appreciated the “scented soap” and paper towels handy in our head.
As we headed out, some were armed with their favorite rigs and poles, others used the boat’s equipment. Robbie is persistent, we moved as many times as necessary in a search for the most fish. He’s not happy, unless his patrons were catching; he strived to fill those buckets.
Going under the Fire Island Bridge, he would glance at the Coast Guard station, always anxious to
point out where he had resided for his 5 years in the Coast Guard. Growing up on the bay, working with his Dad, Tim Andresen, who at that time owned and operated the Capt. Whittaker out of Captree, he beamed with pride loving the career he has pursued.
On this day, as on a previous trip, my husband Bob had caught a small blue fish. Capt. Rob advised,
“great bait for ocean fluke” so keeping that in mind, Bob adorned his lower hook with just the right size strip. He drops down his line, about 50ft. and soon he is reeling in, at a patient pace, smiling and hoping this not a “ray” he has hooked. Sure enough, the fish appeared and all were excited, the Captain, the mates, me and, of course, Bob. Netted and safely on board, most came to take a look. It’s a beauty. Rather than let it jump out of the pail, into the cooler it goes. Our mate, Hank is teasing with me, “Come on Ginny, don’t let Bob beat you,” but it’s not my day. Bob had just caught the pool fish for that trip.
I remember a fall day of black fishing off the reefs and wrecks, where every patron came home with fish overflowing out of the pails. We did so well, Robbie announced to the neighboring boats as we docked, “Now, is this a fishing boat, or is this a fishing boat?” That day of ocean fishing was a new experience for me. I mentioned to Capt. Rob, “What fun, I had never been out that far”; he chuckled and jokingly answered, “me neither”.
Our fish were cleaned and bagged and we were off to enjoy a feast of a supper. Isn’t that what it’s all about. Happy Fishing.