Captain Al Foster, New York, NY – 1907
Captain Al Foster was one of the early pioneers of the Party Boat Fishing industry. His career began at the age of 23 and spanned over 45 years at the helm of several New York City party fishing vessels. Early in his career, he skippered several of the earliest known party boats and later served as a hired Fishing Pilot, directing the Captains of vessels to the prime fishing locations, many of which he had discovered and named himself (17 fathoms, Seagull Banks, England Banks and Middle Banks to name a few). He later served as Captain and Pilot for other operators and eventually went on to purchase his own steamboats.
In 1888, he purchased the steamboat "MARY MORGAN" and modified her for Party Boat Fishing and renamed her "ANGLER". In 1892, he had the "AL FOSTER" built and both vessels formed the "Al Foster Steamboat Company".
He later sold the "AL FOSTER" and returned solely to the helm of the "ANGLER", where he continued to sail to the fishing banks until 1910 when he became ill. He died on July 6, 1911 and his obituary in the New York Times read "CAPT. AL FOSTER, FISHING PILOT, DEAD – Since 1865 he had been taking New Yorkers down the bay on daily trips – Knew all feeding holes". One hundred years after his death, he still is still recognized with legendary status, and is arguably the greatest party boat captain of all time.