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"The Dorothy B"
Posted On 03/29/2020 18:18:50 by Buffalogal

"The Dorothy B."

My father liked to fish better than anything except for playing chess.

My mother didn' t like fishing and would not go, so I became his fishing pal from the time I could hold a pole in my hands.

We would fish from docks, rowboats or occasionally from "party" boats  that had more people on them and would go to the bay or ocean.

Most of the time I enjoyed going along. In rowboats, we would fish off shore near Long Island, N.Y. and would see people celebrating a wedding or having a big barbecue at estates with lawns that reached down to the bay. Sometimes I would see speedboats pulling someone water skiing and thought that would be fun to do, but I never did.

We took along thermoses of coffee, sometimes sandwiches or cold fried pork chops and hard boiled eggs to eat.

There were all kinds of baits used depending on the kind of fish we wanted, such as earthworms, night crawlers, bloodworms, mullets and Fiddler crabs. I especially didn't like the Fiddler crabs that had one enlarged claw among many, and had to be broken off. They were nasty little things.

When it came to party boats, I didn't do quite so well. First, we had to travel on the subway from the Bronx to Brooklyn N.Y. where those boats were docked and that took a good hour. Since they would depart at 6 am, we had to leave our home around 4 in the morning. Only local trains ran at that hour, stopping at each station and they did not run frequently.

My stomach would already be a bit upset having to wake up and leave so early and it didn't help one bit when we got to the boat dock and I smelled the "chum", ground up stuff they used to attract fish when we anchored. More than once I spent most of the trip, seasick and lying down on a raised spot on the boat.


One time, we went fishing on the ocean for mackerel. It was a great day for everyone because we all caught plenty of fish. My dad and I caught over 30 of them and put them in a large pillowcase to take them home.

The subway attendants would not allow us on a train because the bag

was dripping blood.

What to do?

We went back outside and found a fish store that helped us to dry the bag and wrap the fish with newspapers and heavy waxed paper so we could put them back in the bag and go home.
That was a long time ago before plastic bags.
We ate some fresh fish, my dad cooked and pickled some and froze a few in the icebox that didn't have much space.

We still had many fish so my dad gave some to neighbors where we lived.


Another time we went fishing on a smaller boat with fewer people aboard. It was a nice day to start with and we caught some fish, but a sudden storm came up.The boat started to rock and pitch from side to side on the big waves. Then rain started to pour heavily and water began coming over the deck.

I was seasick of course, and my father and some men took a rope and lashed me to a vertical wooden bar to keep me from sliding and washing overboard. I was very frightened. The captain was already steering the boat back to shore but that took quite a while to get there in the choppy sea until everything calmed down.

I've never forgotten that boat and her name was "The Dorothy B".


Tags: By Buffalogal


Viewing 1 - 3 out of 3 Comments

04/05/2020 15:40:37

After all of that I do not know if I would want to eat any fish ever again, LOL.  Such adventures you had with your dad so I guess that would make it all worthwild. 

04/05/2020 14:13:24

Wow, what a memory.  You showed great courage to go with your father on fishing trips such as those.  The Dorthy B sounds terrible.  Was anyone hurt?  I wrote a blog, My Last Fishing Trip, but you got me beat for sure.  I do remember fishing off a Gaveston pier when I was young. I caught a baby shark and it scared me so bad I just threw the fishing pole in the water.  I was about 7 and the fish was bigger than me.  Yikes.  Thank you for sharing.  I enjoyed the adventure.

03/30/2020 05:44:56

It must have terrifying for you on that boat.

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