A few weeks back I woke up at the ass of dawn to head out to Port Washington, Long Island with my sister, a friend from school, and my buddy Harold Dieterle, chef at the fantastic New York restaurants The Marrow, Kin Shop, and Perilla. We'd been talking about heading out for stripers—as striped bass are called—for years, but it's not always easy for a working chef and a writer-on-too-many-deadlines to find mutual time off to do it. We jumped at the chance when it arose. I woke up at 4AM, packed up the Muffulettas I'd constructed the night before (to make sure the olive salad would have enough time to soak into the bread), and hit the road. We were on the water by 5:30.
As someone who's used to fishing out in the more open waters around Boston Harbor, fishing in the shallows of the sound on our small charter boat was an interesting experience, not least because of the incessant rain. But barring hangovers and sea sickness, being on a boat is always nice, regardless of the weather, and especially when you're catching fish.
As is always the case, of course the least accomplished fisherman on the boat (my friend who'd only ever fished for minnows as a child) caught the most fish of the day. I, on the other hand, had to be content with my single striper. But honestly, that's more than any one man can eat on their own (and you can bet I didn't).
We caught fish, had a blast, then carted some back to the city to cook them up for the officemates. This is one of the reasons I don't think I can ever live far away from an ocean.
Check out the whole slideshow above »
(Warning: There are some fish guts in these photos, folks).