Capos Go Surfcasting: Tony and His Kinky Boots

Tony wore the poofiest shoes ever seen on a fishing beach.

Kinky Boots: Tony wore the poofiest blue shoes ever seen on a fishing beach.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013: It must have been his footwear. Tony wore the most godawful poofy blue Topsiders any of us have ever seen when the Brooklyn Capos came to surfcast for their 7th year in a row. And don’t you know, it was he alone among these childhood buddies who caught fish—micro-striper though it was.

Anthony or Santiago?

Old Man and the Bass: Tony or Santiago?

Not that anyone has a right to knock baby bass. In mid-September, when the fall striper run should be ramping up to its peak, the fish, instead, are certainly distracted as we all are by Indian Summer; Lollygagging, sipping pink drinks with umbrella stirrers, reading the New Yorker. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration. Maybe they’re reading the New York Post. Whatever they’re doing, the fish are definitely not feeding because there is bait EVERYWHERE and not a predator upon them. So, a fish caught is a fish caught, no matter the size, and despite the fact that it was a catch to be released, not filleted.


Dan nailed micro-bass at Billy’s Beach.

My son, Can’t-Miss-Dan, was a 24-hour drop in and he too nailed a striper in diapers on light tackle. Both were caught during a tailgating respite at “Billy’s Beach”–so called for our own Tenancious Bucktailing Billy–a placid sliver of shoreline along the channel leading into Three Mile Harbor.

Having shaken the skunk off himself and the rest of the Capos, Tony and the boys chowed down in a nearly celebratory mood on eggplant parmigiana sandwiches and roast chicken that I packed in the truck. And when, for our last dinner, I conjured up a batch of black bean soup and grilled a half dozen rib-eyes, there was nary a complaint. Like the old joke about the hunter and the bear, the fact is, my guys didn’t really come for the fishing.


Dr. Charley cutting bait like a surgeon.

Except Dr. Charley Boyz. Once I roused him from bed at dawn, he willingly stayed on the beach and cast the whole day through. He even put his doctoring skills to work cutting up clam bellies when, in a desperate move that I am none too proud of–and is never to be spoken of again, you hear?–we resorted to “meatstick” surf-fishing, using bait instead of lures on Napeague Beach. Needless to say, the change of tactics did not change the fish’s minds. They were having none.

But at least I was able to serve up the sea’s bounty on two evenings. Before the full complement of Capos arrived, Felix and I chased down a handful of cocktail blues that hopscotched in and out along the sandy beach near the White Sands Motel just before sundown.

Five of these cocktails Blues fed the masses.

Five  cocktails blues fed the masses.

Within hours, we dined on one tasty two-pounder which I left on the bone and grilled whole, wrapped in prosciutto, a trick I borrowed from my trout fishing friends. When the full Capo crew was on hand, I served up the rest of the fillets baked in the BW’s marinara sauce along with the requisite linguine. Throw some broccoli rabe and escarole braised in olive oil and garlic at these guys and they soon forget this is a fishing trip.

Especially Vinny. It’s a major accomplishment for him to actually make it to the east end of Long Island from the Oakland suburb where he lives.

Vinny sweeps a poker pot.

If he only fished like he played cards, Vinny the Taxman would have swept the surf.

Frankly, the only time Vinny seems coherent the entire weekend is when he is playing cards. Vinny is still a virgin in the surf. I’m not sure he actually believes there are fish to be caught and that these weekends are not a conspiracy to take his money at the poker table.

Bluefish grilled whole on the bone wrapped in prosciutto

Trout Fishing Trick: Bluefish grilled on the bone wrapped in prosciutto.

Wounder Warrior: Bobby cast between coughs.

Bobby A.:  casting between coughs.

Bobby A. was a wounded warrior on this trip, fighting off a budding case of bronchitis and an ear infection. Still, he cast valiantly between coughs. But it was Felix, who chased after, cast for, and saw more fish than any of the others, and proved gamest of all.

He fished with all his heart and might only to come close but never connect.

Most likely, Felix just wasn’t wearing the right shoes. And that left Tony, thanks to his kinky boots, as the only Brooklyn Capo with a true FishTale to tell for 2013.

We’ll get them next year guys.  Just don’t ever stop coming back.

Felix's casting form was near perfect in the surf

Felix chased blues on the beach with nearly perfect surfcasting form.


Capos Surfcasting 2013: Fred, Dan, Big Bob, Tony, Dr. Charley Boyz, Bobby A., Bucktailin’ Billy, Felix, Vinny the Taxman











4 Responses to “Capos Go Surfcasting: Tony and His Kinky Boots”

  1. Juliet says:

    Looks like a great outing – glad to see the capos aren’t SLEEPING with the fishes…

  2. Fred Abatemarco says:

    Juliet–Indeed, such might have been the case if Tony was wearing “concrete shoes”. So, we’re thankful for the poorness.

  3. Vincent DeNave says:

    Unconscious NO, I just wasn’t sure where I was– Unfortunately I will try to be awake the next time, all weekend–

  4. Felix says:

    Bred-finally had a few minutes to enjoy this, only surpassed by your hospitality. Thanks again & Happy birthday in case I don’t get to call you-heading to Atl for a 2 day show!

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