CAPTAIN BILL STEPHENS Sinker – 1925
Captain Bill Stephens was a longtime and famous party boat captain from Sheepshead Bay. During his tenure, he skippered the "YANKEE DOODLE", the "VELOCITY" and the converted steam yacht "AU-REVIOR". Veteran diver Captain Paul Hepler of the "VENTURE III" recovered this eight-ounce slab sinker from an undisclosed New Jersey coast shipwreck.
Personalized fishing sinkers such as this were very common aboard party boats during the 1920s and 1930s. Local divers indicate that these 'old style' sinkers are only found on inshore wrecks and rock structures, which agrees with the facts that boatmen of the era relied on visual shore ranges to locate their wrecks, and that the abundance of fish at the time made it unnecessary to angle far offshore. Sadly, divers collected these types of sinkers from the ocean floor for years and sold them as scrap metal, and very few have survived. We consider ourselves very lucky to have this sinker and others like it on display. Sinker courtesy of Captain Paul Hepler of VENTURE III Charters, Belmar, NJ.