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Nestled on the upper west end of the Mud Hole, 17 Fathoms is always mentioned by the top captains throughout the year. Water depth runs from 94 feet down to a fairly obvious 102 feet (actual 17 fathoms) but the immediate surrounding area can vary in depth 104 to 114 feet, and even drop down to 128 feet just within a half mile or less to the east.
by Nick Honachefsky

What makes 17 Fathoms so fish-friendly is the combination of shifting water depths combined with the eclectic bounty of bottom structure that blankets the area. It’s a virtual rocky road of natural broken bottom, with stretches of mussel beds, barnacles, snails and clam beds. Then, on top of all the natural stuff, is a massive amount of man-made material around the area, most notably rubble from the construction of the Holland Tunnel and subway systems of NYC. The concrete rubble, and other assorted mix of structure at 17 Fathoms will rise to about 6 to 7 feet up off bottom.