1FISHING ABOARD the STEAMBOAT ANGLER, New York, NY – 1908 This 1908 photograph shows a group of anglers fishing for Cod in the bow of Captain Al Foster's Deep Sea Fishing Steamer, the "ANGLER". Most anglers used single action wooden sidewinder (knucklebuster) reels on stout wooden rods. Not much specialty garb was available to recreational anglers at the time and most wore street clothing and shoes. Caps and short-brimmed bowlers lessened the chance of losing your hat in the winter winds.
2FISHING ABOARD the STEAMBOAT ANGLER, New York, NY – 1908 The original caption for this 1908 photo was "Danger of Interference – Two Tiers of Fishermen" and it shows what anglers dealt with when fishing aboard Captain Al Foster's "ANGLER". Long fishing rods were an absolute necessity when fishing from an upper deck, and if you think this is a tough situation, the "ANGLER" had THREE fishing decks!
3FISHING ABOARD the STEAMBOAT ANGLER, New York, NY – 1908 Hauling in fish in a lively fashion on the hurricane deck of Captain Al Foster's "ANGLER" in 1908. This photo shows more examples of the gear and garb of the time. The 'regulars' preferred the topmost fishing deck since it allowed them to cast.
4FISHING ABOARD the STEAMBOAT ANGLER, New York, NY – 1908 Cleaning the catch aboard Captain Al Foster's "ANGLER" in 1908. The original caption for this photo was "Cleaning Up The Big Ones On Board Ship". It appears the mates on the left and right are eagerly waiting for the customer to slice off his finger so they can make a little cash cleaning his catch.
5Tuna Catch, Brielle, NJ – 1911 A catch of Tuna taken off the New Jersey coast circa 1911. Appropriate angler attire of the day included jackets, ties and hats. These dapper anglers are holding Albacore Tuna, but in the vernacular of this era, all Tuna were called "Horse Mackerel".
6DECK OF THE TAURUS, New York, NY – 1917 This vintage 1917 image shows a group of anglers aboard the top deck of the steamboat "TAURUS" ahead of the pilothouse. It shows the vintage angler's garb, the very long wooden and bamboo rods that were necessary when fishing the top deck, and the huge helm wheel in the pilothouse. The fishing rods are resting against part of a pontoon boat (life raft).
7GLORY Shark Catch – 1931 Captain Jacob 'Jake' Martin sitting pretty with a couple of local Florida denizens caught aboard his "GLORY" from Miami, FL circa 1931. The "GLORY" normally sailed from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY, but sailed from Miami during the winter months back in the 1930's.
8Romano's Annual Fishing Trip, New York, NY – 1936 In 1936, anglers prepared to get underway for "Romano's Annual Fishing Trip" aboard Captain Frank Nahrgang's "JACE" from Manhattan. Captain Nahrgang later relocated the "JACE" to Belmar, New Jersey.
9CHAPPIE Fluke Catch, Brielle, NJ – 1937 Frederick Perrine is shown holding a pair of 'Jersey' fluke caught aboard Captain George Chapman's "CHAPPIE" from Brielle, NJ circa 1937. Captain George Chapman was one of the early pioneers of 'Jersey Shore' fluke fishing. Photo courtesy of Fred Perrine.
10GIRALDA Shark Catch – 1939 Captain Dave Martin Sr. and son Jerry Martin show off a nice shark caught aboard the "GIRALDA", from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1939. Photo Courtesy of Bryant Martin.
11TAMBO III Blackfish, Brielle, NJ – 1939 John Wiegand Sr. (on left) shows an admiring Captain John 'Candy' Keefe the giant 16¼-pound Blackfish he caught aboard Captain Keefe's "TAMBO III" in 1939. Mr. Wiegand won the first place prize of $35 in the 1939 Jacob Rupert (Knickerbocker Beer) fishing contest with this fish. (He later became the founder and captain of the "FLAMINGO" boats from Brooklyn, NY.) Photo Courtesy of Captain John Bogan Sr.
12MANASQUAN RIVER YACHT BASIN Tuna Catch – 1940 A nice catch of 'Mud Hole' tuna caught in 1940 by the group fishing aboard the "AJAX" from the Manasquan River Yacht Basin, Brielle, NJ. The Bogan family owned the "AJAX" and Captain Frank Stires was the operator. White bucks and saddle shoes were the footwear of choice for fashionable anglers of the day. Oh yeah, don't forget to put a nice crease in your fedora hat.
13CHAPPIE Fluke, Brielle, NJ – 1944 This nice mess of jumbo Fluke was caught aboard Captain George Chapman's "CHAPPIE" during the summer of 1944. Catches like this were the norm and not the exception as fishing restrictions in local waters eased near the end of World War II.
14Fluke Catch, Brielle, NJ – 1945 Thomas E. Perrine, Sr. is shown with a nice mess of fluke that he caught aboard the "CHAPPIE". The photo was taken at Captain Charlie Frieberger's Brielle Yacht Basin in 1945. Photo courtesy of Fred Perrine.
15MIKE'S TACKLE & BAIT SHOP, Brooklyn, NY – 1946 Proprietor Mike Maffai is shown standing in the front of his bait and tackle shop located on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1946. Mike operated the tackle concession aboard the party boat "WHITBY II" before opening his own shop soon after World War II ended. Notice the bushel basket of skimmer clams on the table. Photo Courtesy of the Captain Fred Wrege and Charles VanDerVoort families.
16PARAMOUNT III Porgy and Black Sea Bass Catch – 1948 A nice catch of Porgies and Black Sea Bass made in 1948 aboard the "PARAMOUNT III" from Brielle, NJ. Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
17The TUNA FISHING NUNS – 1948 Holy Mackerel! An amusing picture of the 'Fishing Nuns' aboard the Bogan Family's "MARAMBO" from Brielle, NJ taken on July 23, 1948. The Sisters are from St. Peter's School, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ and they went out for a boat ride every year. (Alas, contrary to the heavy offshore trolling tackle shown in the picture, they didn't fish!) At the helm is Captain John Bogan Jr. and standing in the stern is John Bogan III. Under the cabin roof with his arm up is Alvis Duncan (his father ran the "DIXIE" for many years.) The young lad under his outstretched arm is Howard Bogan Sr.
The "MARAMBO" was a converted 48' Boston, MA fireboat and she was usually operated by Captain Roy Skillman. (The Bogan family converted her the early 1940's and her homeport was the Manasquan River Yacht Basin, Brielle, NJ.) The "MARAMBO" was later sold to Captain Frank Baldus and she became the charter boat "LAUREL A II" from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Picture courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.
18COLUMBIA fishing trip – 1950 The results of a fishing trip aboard Captain Jack Bogan's "COLUMBIA" in August 1950. Shown left to right are Jackie McGuire, Dave Bogan Sr. (who would later operate the "PENNSY", the "PARAMOUNT", the "JAMAICA" and the "CLAUDIA JO") and Bob Bogan Sr. (who would later operate the "GAMBLER".) Picture courtesy of Captain Dave Bogan Sr.
19OPTIMIST I, Belmar, NJ – 1951 Captain Charlie Dodd is shown here with a group of 'regulars' after returning from a day of Mackerel fishing aboard his "OPTIMIST I" in the spring of 1951. In 1939, Captain Dodd was the first party boat operator to sail from the Belmar Marina.
Ernest Feidler built the "OPTIMIST I" in 1946 at his Bergen Beach Boatworks at Brooklyn, NY. She was sold in 1952 and became Captain Doug Macintosh’s "IDEAL I" from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Photo courtesy of Ray Dodd.
20FRISCO Bluefish Catch – 1952 A young Captain Jack Endean (far right) and his mate (far left) pose for a photo and a 'Good Humor' ice cream after a successful day of fishing for Bluefish and Bonito aboard the "FRISCO" from Brielle, NJ in 1952. Photo courtesy of the Endean family.
21Captain Clair's Fish Market, Brooklyn, NY – 1953 Captain Clair's Fish Market, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY circa 1953. In the foreground from left to right are Captain Eddie Clair, a young Michael Maffai Jr. of Mike's Tackle & Bait Shop, artist Jon Gnagy and Abe Seltzer. Photograph by Cecil Clovelly.
Along with a big love for fishing, Jon Gnagy (1907-1981) was a self-taught artist most remembered for being America's original television art instructor, hosting "You Are an Artist", which began on the NBC network and his later syndicated "Learn to Draw" series. His shows aired from the early 1950s throughout the 1960s. Over fifteen million of Gnagy's drawing kits have been sold and the Philadelphia-based Martin F. Weber Company still manufactures Gnagy's drawing kits.
Along with the fish market, Captain Eddie Clair operated the party boats "ROVER", "TAMBO" and "VICTORY" from Sheepshead Bay, and was the son of New York's Circle Line sightseeing cruises co-founder Frank Clair. Mike's Tackle & Bait shop was a familiar fixture on Emmons Ave in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and run by the Maffai family for forty-five years before closing in 1997.
22CHARLYN II Swordfish, Freeport, NY – 1953 New York fireboat Chief and Captain of the charter boat "CHARLYN II", George Versfelt, prepares to iron a swordfish from the pulpit circa 1953. George Versfelt was also a member of the Freeport Tuna Club and the 80 pound Sailfish he caught in 1951 still stands as a club record. Photograph by Cecil Clovelly.
PS – This and the next four photographs were taken by amateur photographer, Cecil Clovelly. Along with being an avid saltwater angler and very good amateur photographer, Cecil Clovelly was a stage, film and Broadway actor, stage manager and director. British-born, he performed in movies such as "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", released in 1920 playing Edward Enfield, "So Young So Bad"(1950) as Mr. Riggs, and "Two Gals and a Guy"(1951) playing Herbert. He appeared on Broadway opposite John Barrymore in "Peter Ibbetson" (1917) and "The Jest" (1919), and as the Gravedigger in "Hamlet" (1922). He later played Dr. Sommers in the long-running Broadway show "Life With Father" in 1947.
Now here is the dirt… Cecil Clovelly was his stage name; his real name was George Cecil Lovely. He was a drinking buddy of actor John Barrymore and seller of bootleg liquor; was influential in the early careers of actors Bette Davis, James Stewart and Fred McMurray; ran an arts theatre in Woodstock, NY in the early 1940s and an acting school in New York City in the 1950s. With his background, Cecil had a good eye for photography and was probably a great guy to hang around with and have as a fishing buddy. Cecil passed away in New York City in 1965.
23CRICKET II, Montauk, NY – 1953 A Mako shark coming over the side of Captain Frank Mundus' "CRICKET II" on a stormy day off Montauk Point circa 1953. According to the note on the back of the photo, this is a little one, weighing only 96 pounds.
The "CRICKET II" was built in 1948 by Chesapeake bayman Tiffany Cockrell at Burgess Store, VA. Captain Mundus originally sailed the "CRICKET II" from Brielle, NJ before relocating to Montauk, NY in July of 1951. Photograph by Cecil Clovelly.
24DIXIE Bottom Fishing, Brielle, NJ – 1953 This nice mixed catch of Black Sea Bass and Porgies was taken aboard the "DIXIE" sailing from Bogan's Basin in 1953. Shown in the background is the "REX". Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.
25HALCYON Tuna, Belmar, NJ – 1953 Not a bad days work for these successful anglers aboard the charter boat "HALCYON". Shown in this photo are mate Joe Galluccio to the far left and Captain Gus Gavalas to the far right. Photo courtesy of Captain Joe Galluccio.
26IDEAL I Cod, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ – 1953 This large catch of school-sized Cod was caught aboard Captain Doug Macintosh's "IDEAL I". The boat concentrated on Fluke fishing during the summer months and fished for Cod during the winter. It should be noted that the "IDEAL I" was a 45-footer with a single engine and was still able to produce catches like this on a regular basis in New Jersey waters. Those were the days! Photo courtesy of Captain John Bogan Jr.