Editor’s Log: “Waters Of A Stream” - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: “Waters Of A Stream”

We lose so many today of our sportfish world leaders, story tellers and forgotten are their contributions. The pioneers and the innovators are passing like the waters of a stream that will never pass by your feet again.”   These are the words of Capt. John Pfeiffer following the passing of Capt. Bruce Miller back in January.  I’d been struggling to put pen to paper on the subject of recent passings, but Capt. John’s words put a lot of things into perspective in two short, yet profound sentences.

Capt. Miller passed on January 7 at the age of 85.  When I started at The Fisherman in the early 2000s, Capt. Miller did a lot of our shark seminars at the various boat and outdoor shows.  A proud founder of the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers Association and member of the Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association, Capt. Miller ran the Gypsy Shark from Hoffman’s in Brielle for a number of years, followed by Mirage out of Clarks Landing.  Known affectionately by friends as Manasquan Dundee, Capt. Miller was often the weighmaster at the Manasquan based tournaments.   “He was one of the pioneers in canyon fishing, as well as being noted for his mako shark catches,” Al Ristori later said of Capt. Miller.

The Hi-Mar Striper Club also lost one of their legends on March 21 when famed New Jersey striper fisherman Gene Graman passed away.  Gene was 87, an Air Force vet, and as Ristori noted, “possibly the best private skipper in NY/NJ Bight — especially when fishing the old Sandy Hook Rip in rough seas.”  A founding member of the Hi-Mar Striper Club, Gene owned an appliance store in Red Bank, but you were more likely to find him out on one of his boats, Gene-Go or That’s It.  “Gene was a founding member of the Hi-Mar Striper Club, and owned a series of wooden boats that resulted in his nickname of Capt. Wood,” Ristori said later.  I’ll miss seeing Gene at the Manhattan Cup next month.

Ed Markowski, a founding member and president of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance (NJOA) also passed away this spring.  The 79-year-old gave his service to the state’s outdoors as a New Jersey Division of Fish, Game & Wildlife conservation officer for 27 years before retiring as Deputy Chief.  Ed was president of NJOA at the time of his passing, which according to his obituary was “an organization that brought three of his greatest passions together – a love for biology and science, a dedication to law enforcement and a desire to protect and preserve our environment.”

At the ripe old age of 56, I’ve come to realize that the older I get the quicker, and more frequently, these passings come.  I’ve struggled with one in particular over the past 6 months, a mentor of mine of sorts, Capt. Barry Gibson of East Boothbay, ME who died in October after a long battle with cancer.  Barry worked at Salt Water Sportsman for 27 years, and was ever active in fisheries management circles, including at the Recreational Fishing Alliance where we got to know each other quite well.

Barry was often a sounding board for me – perhaps more like the voice of reason – reviewing some of my editorial drafts written when I was torqued about some fisheries issue. Barry always found time to read through a piece to let me know if I was on the mark, or perhaps if something needed to be “toned down” a bit, which happened a lot.   A highly respected national fishing writer/editor, I valued Barry’s input and advice, as much as I honored his work on behalf of U.S. recreational fishermen.

So long as I’m able to feel those waters pass across my feet, the contributions of these fine men will not be forgotten, nor will they.

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