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Book details
  • SubGenre:Fishing
  • Language:English
  • Pages:152
  • Paperback ISBN:9781737031406

The Golden Age of Montauk Sportfishing

Interviews with Eight Legendary Captains

by Bill Akin

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In June 1994, a group of six veteran Montauk captains, all longtime friends, gathered around a table at the Tipperary Inn near the center of Montauk Harbor. Their faces were all permanently tanned, rutted, and scorched, evidence of lives lived on the ocean. For hours they laughed, told fish stories, remembered some of their best days fishing, and shared a few solemn moments. As witnesses to both the good and bad, they did not hesitate to criticize actions they thought had hurt the fishing in Montauk. All had been on the water the day the Pelican capsized, drowning forty-five souls, and each had played a major role as Montauk was transformed from an obscure commercial fishing port into a world-renowned sportfishing destination.
This book includes personal stories from rumrunning in the 1920s, and the "Golden Age of Sporfishing" from the early 1950s through the 1970's when swordfish, giant bluefin tuna, white marlin were plentiful. A third section of the book addresses how overfishing with longlines, driftnets, and foreign factory trawlers resulted in severe declines in pelagic game fish stocks, and how regulations put in place since 1980 have impacted both the fisheries and the lives of modern fishermen. The book is told as an oral history in the words of eight Montauk charter boat captains who fished the Montauk as well as the east coast from Bimini to Cape Cod. The author first met these captains as a young boy fishing with his father in the early 1950s and developed friendships with each of them as he grew older and made Montauk his hometown.
About the author
Bill Akin began fishing in Montauk in 1950 with his father. Over the following decades, he fished the Atlantic coast from St. Thomas, V.I. to St Johns, Newfoundland, and in the Pacific out of Costa Rica and Australia's Great Barrier Reef. He was on the Board of Directors of Wild Oceans, a marine fish conservation organization, from 1995 to 2012. Bill lives year-round in Montauk where he was President of the local environmental organization, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, for ten years and founded the classical concert series Music For Montauk in 1980.