ESTELLA F, Atlantic City, NJ – 1905
The "ESTELLA F" with a group of anglers showing off the day's catch. She was built at Atlantic City in 1900 and is a good example of the sailing sloops that made up much of the southern New Jersey party boat fishing fleet at the turn of the century. At the time, several ports between Atlantic City and Cape May were occupied by these small vessels that offered daily trips to the fishing banks.
Unlike the larger and faster steamboats of New York City that sailed year round, these small vessels did not fare well in the rough fall and winter weather and most of the boats only sailed during the spring and summer months. The vessels were very slow, but they did not have to travel far to the inshore fishing banks with their abundance of Fluke, Porgies, Weakfish and Sea Bass. On weekends, trains from Philadelphia, known as "excursion trains", would bring hundreds and sometimes thousands of anglers to these shore towns that were near to productive inshore fishing banks.