While the intersection of Flamingo and West Lake Drives touts Montauk's
fame as the Fishing Capital of the World, another sign greeting
recreational fishermen is being proposed further west at the entrance to
Star Island. Photo by Aaron Boyd
- Though monumental plans for the Cricket II
have been usurped by its sale to a Rhode Island collector, plans for another memorial to Montauk's fishermen two years in the making may soon come to fruition. In similar homage to Montauk's moniker as Fishing Capital of the World announced by the sign at the intersection of Flamingo and West Lake Drives, a new monument is soon to be erected near the entrance to Star Island on West Lake Drive heralding the hamlet and its waters as the Sports Fishing Capital of the World.
's and Captains' Association's (MBCA) legislative representative Captain Joe McBride is moving forward with plans to construct a sign welcoming recreational fishers to Montauk and a memorial to fishermen who have passed in the practice of their trade. The MBCA was presented with a $4,000 grant from the State of New York for the project and have requested a parcel from the town to build on.
McBride sent a letter to East Hampton Town Supervisor William McGintee asking to use town-owned land at the triangle at the entrance to Star Island or the intersection of West Lake and Flamingo Drive, though a sign already stands at that eastern entrance to the harbor while the plot further west would greet travelers coming from the other direction.
McBride envisions a sign reading "Welcome to Montauk - Sport Fishing Capital of the World," with the proper thanks to the town and state representatives who contributed to it being built, and a memorial wall with brass plaques or a similar remembrance to the local heroes of the seafaring industry. The grant will cover the construction expenses and the MBCA will maintain the site themselves, McBride assured, at no cost to the town.
The striped bass, a Montauk legend, is among the coveted sport fish caught
in waters off Montauk.
The New York State Assembly awarded the $4,000 grant for the sign as a means of touting Montauk's recreational fishing and tourism industry, according to Assemblyman Joe Saladino (R-12), who sponsored the legislation as co-chair of Ecotourism for the Assembly
and is an avid sports fisherman himself. Recreational fishing brings $4 billion in tourism to Long Island each year, Saladino explained, with "Montauk being the destination of choice." The grant arrived on the heels of legislation naming striped bass the saltwater fish of the State of New York and the relaxation of recreational catch limits as the stock rebounds. Striped bass fishermen can now take home two fish per outing, which means fishermen can hold out for that trophy catch knowing they'll have something to bring home that evening, Saladino pointed out.
The striped bass is the ideal representative of Long Island according to Saladino, who compared bass to similar symbols representative of industries in upstate New York, adding that all the other state symbols speak to areas further north of the Island. Though Saladino represents a district in Nassau County, as a fisherman he asserted that "Montauk is the best of the best in the world."
With the grant money secure and the land poised to follow, McBride stated that preparations are coming along smoothly and the memorial could be built as early as this summer.
View from the car: Drivers traveling eastbound on West Lake Drive in Montauk may soon be welcomed by a sign heralding Montauk as the Sports Fishing Capital of the World. Photo by Aaron Boyd