Finding Fishing in New York City

This week on Hook, Line & Dinner, I head to the Big Apple to prove that New York City is really just one giant fishing village.

One key person in tonight’s episode is my good buddy Pastor Phil. To help you appreciate him, here’s a little background. One day while I was fishing from the North 5th Pier in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I pulled some spark plugs out of the water. It was clear someone was trying a rig that involved using them as sinkers. This got me curious — I wanted to know who the man was behind this creative rig.

Flash-forward a few weeks, and I jumped into a taxi cab being driven by Pastor Phil (yes, he’s a taxi-driving pastor). The inside of the cab was plastered with laminated photos of him fishing (so add fisherman to his list of occupations). This naturally sparked my curiosity: “Why all these fishing photos, and are these really all from around here?” I asked.

“Yes, my brother. Every single one of those fish was caught right here in New York,” he replied. He then broke into a verse of “Amazing Grace”: “How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”

I sat there dumbfounded in the back seat, listening to him sing. When we arrived at my home, I was bummed to have to get out of the cab. And then Pastor Phil surprised me again.

“It’s up to you,” he said. “Whatever you can afford.”
I laughed. “Yeah, right. In New York City?”

But he repeated it again: “Whatever you can afford.” And then he asked, “Would you like some pizza?”

He got out of the cab and walked to the trunk. He opened the back hatch and there sat not only five pizza boxes and six dozen bagels, but also a 32-inch bass on ice in a black trash bag. Pastor Phil informed me that he gives the pizza and bagels to homeless people around the city.

But the bass? “Any chance you caught this guy with a rig that had two spark plugs as sinkers?” I asked.

He burst out laughing. "You’re the guy who has been pulling up my fishing rig!”

Our conversation was cut short when he realized he was going to be late getting home to his wife. “Judy is gonna be mad that we are sitting here jabbing; I was supposed to be back for supper. I have fish to clean and she hates it when I clean my fish in the bathtub."

And that is how I came to know Pastor Phil. It’s all true. And I hope for your sake, if you are ever in NYC, you’re lucky enough to hail a cab driven by Pastor Phil. Trust me, it’s an experience. And be sure to ask him for a fish tour, because Pastor Phil can show you side of NYC-area fishing that will blow your mind.

Tune in to Hook, Line & Dinner tonight at 8pm ET.
Keep Reading

Next Up

The Best Street Food In New York City

The Village Voice hosted the 2012 Choice Streets event in New York City. Check out some favorite foods, and get easy recipes to make your own version at home.

A Hilarious Tour of Indian Cuisine in New York City

Join the hungry and hilarious duo of Aasif Mandvi and Madhur Jaffrey when they visit the country's largest Indian grocery mart and explore some of New York City's most authentic South Asian food on the all new premiere of Today's Special: NY Indian, this Sunday, May 27 at 8pm ET.

See an Entire New York City Block Made of Gingerbread

Brooklyn-based blogger Renee Bauman has taken the classic gingerbread house to an awesome new level. She, along with some amateur baker volunteers, has built an entire illuminated gingerbread block of brownstones -- complete with fire escapes and candy glass.

Choice Eats: The Best Restaurant Bites in New York City

Village Voice Choice Eats Annual Tasting at the 69th Regiment Armory was packed with brisket sandwiches, ice cream, pork shoulder and more from more than 80 of New York City's best restaurants.

On TV

Chuck's Eat the Street

10:30am | 9:30c

Chuck's Eat the Street

11:30am | 10:30c

Unique Eats

12pm | 11c

Unique Eats

12:30pm | 11:30c

Unique Eats

1pm | 12c

Unique Eats

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Carnival Eats

6:30pm | 5:30c

Carnival Eats

7:30pm | 6:30c

Carnival Eats

8:30pm | 7:30c

Carnival Kings

9:30pm | 8:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Seaside Snacks & Shacks

10pm | 9c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Carnival Eats

12am | 11c

Carnival Eats

12:30am | 11:30c

Carnival Kings

1:30am | 12:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

Man Fire Food

New Episodes, Wednesdays 9|8c

So Much Pretty Food Here