You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘winter fishing’ tag.

A surprising feature of the sixth boro in winter is the fishing, dragging for clams.  And many thanks to Steve Turi for sending along this article about this fishery from north

Here are some previous winters’ posts about these boats.  And right about exactly eight years ago, I saw the greatest concentration of fishing boats here.

Successful fishing relies on knowing habitat;  famous statues have nothing to do with it.

The other day I thought about the irony of fishing here:  might be hazards near a tanker named

for a fierce reptile, Densa Alligator.

But it must have been a productive location.

Next time you enjoy a delicious bowl of clam chowder, think about these fisherman.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wonders whether there are more crude tankers like D. Alligator coming in this winter than usual.



Superlatives:  Ti Oceania, largest working tanker at 441,000 dwt and 1246′ loa.  Oasis of the Seas, largest cruise ship at 1181′ loa and 234′ air draft;  ie., it cannot be shoehorned under the Verrazano Bridge.  Berge Stahl, largest bulk carrier at 365,000 dwt and 1125′ loa and draft of about 75′.  Here are other sites on this trio:  TO,  OS, and BS.

Immense!  Like these cranes, the likes of which you saw arrive in this March 2007 post.

Look closer and

eventually you see a dock worker, miniscule way up there.

And considering the scale of machinery and vast number of containers that need to be moved, it might interest you to see

what a crane operator sees, between his or her shoes.  Really . . . the operator booths have glass floors so that the spreader bar with flippers seems to shrink as it descends toward a container.

Sorry there was no ship in place when this foto was taken.  For an outside view of the operator booth, see the last foto here.

Here is scale difference of another sort, and because of

foreshortening, the distance between these two ships–Cielo di Napoli and Americas Spirit–seems recklessly small.

First three fotos thanks to Jed;  last four are mine.

of which, of course, there are already many both inside our very selves and all around.  But guess the name of the tug and barge below and


its location.  A clue, other than familiar color scheme, is the fact that the fotos were taken this week, third week of April 2009, and I can attest that foliage in the sixth boro does not currently look that lush.  So what and where?  Answer below.


The fotos below,  taken this week in our home waters, present a mystery of another kind.  Each winter and early spring brings small fishing boats into New York harbor aka the sixth boro.  What are they fishing?


This is a bonafide question.  I don’t know.  Everyone I ask claims ignorance.  I’m about at my wits end.  What


sixth boro life do these boats harvest?  Who would imagine


commercial fishing happens right between Manhattan and Hoboken?

And the mystery tug in K-Sea colors:  Nakoa (shown here in pre-K-Sea colors?) and barge Rigel taken in the Carquinez Strait near Benicia, California.  Barents Sea works out there now too.

Sixth boro fishing boats taken by Dan B.  More of Dan’s fotos soon.

Nakoa taken by Easan Katir.  Easan, a portfolio manager explains how the foto op happened:  “I was in Benicia to have lunch with a client.  We sat upstairs and enjoyed the view.    I was going through their portfolio.   I got to K-Sea (KSP), and told them about this wonderful company which pays high dividends.    I saw the tugboat outside the window, and said “and by the way, there is one of your K-Sea tugs right there.”   They were pleasantly surprised, as was I.  This kind of coincidence has never happened in my 27-year career.   So, serendipity.”

Great story.

Thanks, Dan and Easan.

What gets dragged up? Herring have schooled in the bay recently. Seals have followed them in.



Dutch Girl, Lobster Boy, and Miss Callie follow whatever harbor fish in from outside the Narrows themselves. Notice the hourglass dayshape in the rigging above denoting that trawling is underway.



What else might come up in the trawl nets? What deep harbor life or trash? What off-limits areas are there? Any submarine habitats of the Captain Nemo luxury condo sort? Have any exclusive underwater hotels  opened their doors–er… hatches–under the bay, as Peter spotlighted recently in his fantastic Sea Fever blog?



Question for longer-term witnesses that I am:  was there a time when NO fishing happened here in –say–the 50s?  For now, there’s some reassurance to see fishing fleets, fuel barges, and our Lady juxtaposed.

Photos, WVD.


All fotos, Will Van Dorp

FLASH UPDATE: YouTube of USCG video of Orange Sun/dredge collision here. How could this happen??  Nonsequitur:  Don’t ever think anything happening in the harbor goes unseen.

I toyed with putting the term “UFO” in the title, but that would be a red er… herring. UFO expands to “unidentified fishing objective;” as in what could this fleet possibly be netting from the Bay? If I were a fish, that statue with the long arm would spook me.



Here’s a closer-up of the same boat. I can’t quite make out the name.



My guess is bait fishing: mossbunker aka menhaden, or



what some call porgies.



I believe Miss Callie comes out of Belford, or at least once did.

Kurlansky in The Big Oyster cites a 1620 Dutch description of harbor life as including, “bass, cod, weakfish, herring, mackerel . . . whales, porpoises, and seals” (22) Later in the book he describes New York harbor oysters exported around the world.

Joseph Mitchell begins his 1959 essay “The Bottom of the Harbor” with these sentences: “The bulk of the water… is oily, dirty, and germy. Men on the mud suckers, the big harbor dredges, like to say that you could bottle it and sell it for poison.”

Fifty years beyond Mitchell and 30 years beyond the Clean Water Act, I’m happy to see evidence of improved water quality. I might swim here, keeping my head out of the water, but I’m not ready to eat the fish yet.

Photos, WVD.

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April 2023