Meet the Fleet
We are proud tointroduce you to the best fishermen in the fleet.
Captain Brian Rade is a family man who comes from a long lineage of artisanal fishermen in Montauk. He is one of the few captains who fish all year long, despite the often harsh coastal conditions of winter and early spring. Captain Rade believes all fish have value and he practices “whole-haul utilization” which means instead of fishing for one popular species exclusively and discarding unwanted fish, he fishes for a spectrum of species and applies light harvest pressure to a broader constellation of local fish populations. As such, his landings typically consist of targeted fish (with high market demand) and non-targeted fish (lesser known, less popular, but very abundant) species, which is the most balanced philosophy and technique for managing ecosystems sustainably.
Captain Bruce Beckwith has been a major contributor and driving force behind the Dock to Dish program since day one, and his family has been fishing off of Montauk for many generations. “On my mother’s side, we can trace our family roots back to the original nine founding families of East Hampton, I can even tell you the name of the boat they sailed here on over three hundred and fifty years ago, it was named the Plough.” Captain Bruce is consistent, reliable and wise, no matter what the season he braves the local waters to bring home the finest local catch.
Captain Stephen Doyle comes from a long lineage of Celtic fishermen and he grew up fishing the rough waters around his homeport of Galway on the west coast of Ireland. He moved to Montauk to become co-captain of FV Seacapture, and participate in the Golden Tilefishery which has gained international recognition for being the best managed and most sustainable fisheries in the world. He and his crew work hard year round harvesting tilefish quota assigned to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s region. These Tilefish captains and boats often go out for five to ten days up to 125 miles offshore, and those onboard work long hard shifts in grueling conditions. Captain Doyle credits his Celtic seafaring ancestry and his experiences working the rough seas around Ireland as a boy and teenager that allow him to feel at home while very far out at sea.
Captain Fromm is a local legend who follows a strict landing regimen to catch bigeye and yellowfin tuna from his vessel, the Flying Dutchman. Capt. Fromm has developed a protocol that keeps his catch in its purest state. He kills and bleeds them while still in the water, which prevents the buildup of lactic acid and the toughening effect that bouncing around live in the bottom of the boat can have on the flesh. Once in the boat, the fish remains in the same position while it is field dressed, and a wire is run through its spine to eliminate any further movement. The cavity is scoured with a wire brush and then the carcass is packed in ice and seawater; it will not move again until Dock to Dish picks it up.” This season Capt. Fromm has developed a small team of offshore rod-and-reel fishermen, who have agreed to use his strict techniques and work together as part of the Dock to Dish Alliance to supply the cooperative with the freshest, highest-quality and most sustainably harvested tunas available. Captain Fromm is a family man, and we are all very grateful for his wife Danielle who is the Patron Saint of Patience and keeps him in check. The Fromms are raising two young seafarers in their clan who will one day take over for their dad, and since a very early age both Carly and Brayden Fromm have been learning from the best.
Deena Lippman is one of the most widely-known and highly-respected fishers on the East End and has a long history of contributing to the Dock to Dish program in myriad ways. As our operations director for three full seasons, Deena trained much of our staff and split her time between fishing duties and managing operations at the dock. She is revered for having “the fastest fillet hands on the east coast” and is capable of filleting flatfish with laser beam precision in under 60 seconds. Deena has also pioneered many advanced handling techniques for the Dock to Dish program including the use of crushed ice for creating slurry baths, which she discovered is a much better ingredient than traditional cubed ice (which tends to clump and can become jagged).
Captain Mike is a seasoned veteran in the Dock to Dish Alliance who has a well-known knack for finding large squid, silver hake and sea bream in deep waters. Recently overcoming an ankle injury which had put him out of commission temporarily, he has also just had rebuilt and restored an older fishing vessel after his previous vessel was lost in a fire a few seasons ago. His new vessel, FV Braedon Michael, is named after his two sons who can often be seen waving Captain Mike home through the inlet after his long overnight trips offshore.
Captain Charles “Chucky” Morici is an all-season commercial fisherman and steady contributor to the Dock to Dish cooperative during certain times of the year. A true local family man, his two daughters can sometimes be found by his side working on their boat the FV Act I during inshore fishing trips, and his parents are sometimes waiting at the dock when he returns from a long day at sea. Captain Chucky is a legendary beer drinker and holds many records at The Dock Bar for various drinking accomplishments. He is best known for his sheer fearlessness of weather, and has a reputation for preferring rough conditions at sea which tend to keep less adventurous fishermen seeking shelter in the harbor.
Captain Jason Hewitt is a Montauk native and multigenerational fisherman with a broad range of experience working in both inshore and offshore fisheries. He is well known for his exceptional handling of fish which includes Ikejime techniques. Jason is also Director of Operations at Dock to Dish Montauk and handles all transportation processes, connecting the fleet to area restaurants. He is also a skilled surfer and free diver who has recently launched the first wild harvest program for “Diver Quahogs” where he goes out to secret locations at dawn and free dives for the best Montauk Quahogs imaginable.
Captain Charlie Etzel is one of the youngest and most reliable fishermen in the Dock to Dish alliance, who has honed his craft with his father Captain Richard Etzel since a very early age. Over the years Captain Charlie has come to specialize almost exclusively in dayboat Montauk Monkfish.
Captain Charlie Etzel Sr. is one of the most consistent fishermen in the Montauk fleet, and has been working on the water for the past 40 years. He is well known for using traditional fishing strategies that have been handed down by previous generations. One such example is his tactic of fishing alongside various shark species, which corral the fish Captain Etzel is fishing for making them easier to catch.
Captain Chris Miller has been on the scene with Dock to Dish since the early days and is one of the premier spear divers in Montauk. Often making appearances late in the summer as more southern species make their way north, Captain Miller is known for landing loads of spear-caught mahimahi and rod-and-reel tuna and triggerfish.
Captain Chris is a career Montauk fisherman with one of the coolest beards in town. Unlike many scallopers who prefer to bring a mate to sea with them, Captain Chris prefers working solo and performing the tasks of two by himself. As the name of his vessel accurately indicates, his affinity for loud rock and roll music means his vessel is sometimes heard before it is seen.
Captain Chuck fishes inshore for Striped Bass using umbrella rigs with eel lures, and works as both a commercial fisherman and a charter boat captain for recreational trips. He is well known for successfully catching bass when other fishermen are having bad luck. During certain times of the year Captain Mallinsen also works as a commercial lobster fisherman, setting and retrieving traps in deeper offshore waters in between his inshore fishing trips.
Captain Dan Fagan has been fishing in Montauk since he was 4 years old and would go on day trips with his father all through his youth. Growing up in and around the harbor Captain Fagan has learned to fish all types of boats in all kinds of weather, and uses important handling techniques—such as brining and bleeding fish out—in order to keep his catch in pristine condition. He is among the younger class of captains in the fleet and has eagerly embraced Dock to Dish traceability and tracking technologies.
Captain Danny Lennox is revered as “Mr. Fix It” in the fleet and is not only a skilled and experienced fishermen—but also a trained and certified electrician and welder—and this collection of skills and expertise keep him very busy fishing and also helping maintain some of the aging fishing vessels in the fleet. He prefers steady inshore fishing throughout the year — but occasionally ventures offshore when certain fisheries are migrating or in a boom cycle.
Captain Dave Aripotch is among the most experienced and well known fishermen in the Montauk fleet. His career began, like many local fishermen, as a clammer in the 1960s and 70s. He then slowly and painstakingly worked his way up to become a local leader and trusted voice throughout the harbor. His vessel FV Caitlin and Mairead is named after his two daughters. His wife Bonnie is the Executive Director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, and is one of the most prolific advocates for small scale fishermen and traditional fishing communities in New York State.
Both Bonnie and Captain Dave have served as foundational pillars and mentors of the Montauk Dock to Dish program, and always take extra care to ensure that only the most sustainable and highest quality fish are contributed to Dock to Dish members.
David Tuma is a mainstay of the Montauk fishing community as an experienced, well-known local and part of the ‘next-generation’ of American fishermen who welcome technological advances into their workplace. Captain David Tuma is also one of the youngest captains in the Montauk fleet and he has steadily supplied Dock to Dish with line-caught Golden Tilefish for nearly a decade. Captain Dave is a Montauk native with ocean water in his veins, and he comes from a long lineage of community fishermen. His vessel, FV Kimberly, is owned by the Farnhams, one of the most respected families in the Montauk fishing community, and this bright blue boat was designed for long overnight voyages to the deep ocean waters where Golden Tilefish live, an area known to local fishermen as “the canyons.”
Upon arriving at the offshore canyons, Captain Dave and his crew deploy a deepwater hook-and-line system often using squid for bait which is a favorite prey species of Golden Tilefish. These fish also prey on juvenile lobster, and crabs of all sizes, which gives the fillets of Golden Tilefish a sweet flavor. These are a very abundant deepwater species and Captain Dave can catch large hauls of Golden Tilefish on his overnight trips, braving all types of weather and dark of night far out at sea, saving the best of his catch for Dock to Dish members.
Over the past fifty years Montauk has earned the title of Golden Tilefish Capital of the USA, because we land so many of these colorful and flavorful fish here. Because Captain Dave’s hook-and-line method is used at such profound depths, there is rarely any instance of bycatch — and never any instances of interactions with marine mammals or sea birds — making this one of the most well-regulated and sustainable fisheries on the east coast.
Over the years, Captain Dave has built a strong relationship with the chefs and culinary team at Blue Hill through the Dock to Dish Community Supported Fishery program—and he is often seen at the docks when the Blue Hill chefs came out for their annual fishing trip each year, a traditional outing that often ended up going from a day out at sea to an evening back at a local Montauk pub with chefs and fishermen exchanging adventure stories.
Captain Dave is one of many Montauk fishermen who have embraced technology and the “Know Your Fisherman” mantra of the Dock to Dish program, and he has come to be a well known friend and fisherman to many of the chefs. He would be happy to virtually meet you too! To connect with Captain Dave on social media and let him know how you prepared his Golden Tilefish this week you can find him on Instagram @Capt_dtuma
Donny Ball is a mainstay of the Montauk fishing community and can be found on his boat, Kammy B, (named after his wife) fishing with his daughter and first mate Brittney Ball. Captain Don always catches fish, and has some of the best handling techniques in the fleet.
Captain Eben Ball is a longstanding contributor to the Dock to Dish cooperative. Hailing from the well-known Ball family of fishers from Amagansett, he often fishes with his father or sister — and is always known to have the Ball family fishing dog, Beau, by his side. Captain Eben is also an East Hampton police officer and known for his strict interpretation of local fisheries laws and conservation practices.
Captain Ed Rennar is considered a member of the old brigade and has been fishing the waters off Montauk for over forty years. He is one of the last remaining independent rod-and-reel fishermen on Long Island and has a developed a meticulous routine for handling his fish once they are on board which includes precision bleed-out techniques and use of a saltwater ice-brine-slurry-baths which keep his fish in immaculate condition.
Captain Hank Lackner is one of the most experienced fishermen in the fleet and is known up and down the coast for his work ethic and strict adherence to laws and regulations. He is a year round offshore fisherman who specializes in large squid, Butterfish and John Dory although he is very versatile and often changes up his target fishery dependent on weather and regulation shifts. Since 2017, Captain Hank has served alongside Dock to Dish founders on the Marine Resources Advisory Council at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Captain Hugh Chancey III is a seasoned rod-and-reel veteran who is known throughout the Montauk small boat fleet for having a legendary ability to find fish in all weather conditions, and for his historical ability to land larger than average fish. He is also known for his sense of humor and for breaking other fishermen’s chops over the 2-way radio waves where competitive chatter and antagonistic teasing among fishermen is welcomed and exchanged regularly.
Captain John Aldridge came into fishing in his mid-20s, moving east on Long Island from the suburban sprawl where he grew up. He and longtime friend Anthony Sosinski purchased the F/V Anna Mary in 2006 which they used to build a thriving business with up to 800 traps in circulation.
Captain Aldridge recently wrote a bestselling book, A Speck in the Sea, soon to be a major motion picture, detailing his 12 hour fight for survival floating in the Atlantic after falling overboard.
Possibly the most widely known fisheman in the fleet, Anthony is revered for his crab and lobster fishing prowess—but also has a wide spectrum of additional interests and talents including unicycle riding and poetry—he is also a seasoned traveler who enjoys spending the off season on various tropical destinations. Most recently he has begun to pursue a vigorous yoga regimen and spent more time pursuing his passion as an equestrian and American QuarterHorse trail riding enthusiast.
John Nolan Jr. is one of the youngest captains in the Dock to Dish Alliance. From a family who has pioneered the development of nylon hook-and-line fishing, John is often at sea for overnight trips that can last up to ten days. Since going on his first overnight trip over twenty five years ago at the age of eight, John has been learning his trade from his father, Captain John Nolan Sr.
Captain Mario is a longtime veteran of the offshore silver hake fishery, and often steams the FV Gabby G out into the deep cold waters beyond George’s Bank where the fishery is rebuilt and robust. His onboard ice making capacity is state of the art and uses ocean water to create pristine and ample supplies of crushed ice which he uses liberally in his brine baths to preserve the delicate silver hake.
Captain Mike Scarimbus is a lifelong commercial fisherman in Montauk who has specialized his career to work with Sea Scallops. For decades he has charted and tracked the next sandy-bottom areas to find large sea scallops, and he is revered in the fleet for being the “Montauk Scallop King”.
Captain Stinchfield started commercial fishing at the age of 14 working in surfclam boats and has spent his whole life working on the Atlantic Ocean, up and down the Eastern seaboard from Maryland to Maine. After becoming a licensed boat captain many years ago, he went back to school to study marine engineering and is now a licensed engineer. Silver Hake are Captain Stinchfield’s favorite fish to bring home for dinner, where he fillets and sautés larger fish; and butterflies smaller ones to roast whole.
Captain Havens is part of the legendary old Brigade of Bonac Boys and he hails from over a dozen generations of local baymen named Havens. The Bonac Boys are the last remaining independent community of Amagansett fishermen who have their own slang vocabulary and carry on fishing traditions learned from Native Americans before the American revolution. The Bonac boys often rely on the most traditional fishing techniques, wisdom and recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation since the 1600s, and are also known to use wooden skiffs and small outboard motor boats in their craft staying closer to shore than most of the modernized Montauk fishing fleet.
Captain Paul Stern first entered the Dock to Dish scene at the end of the 2017 season. Although he is an expert with a variety of gear types, he caught our attention by being an early adopter of NOAA approved gill nets used to catch large striped bass during the Fall run. These gill nets are deployed for a short time when large quantities of fish are running and are sized to catch only the largest fish while letting smaller fish swim through.
PJ Beckwith is known as “Captain Hasselhoff” on the docks and is among the most photographed fishermen in the fleet. Hailing from a very long line of Beckwiths who have farmed and fished local waters since the 1600s, PJ and his family are often featured as models in various magazines and advertising campaigns. His techniques for both fishing and for handling fish after they are caught are steeped in age-old traditions which make his hauls among the most sought after by everyone in the surrounding community.
Captain Ron Onorato started commercial fishing in the waters of Montauk Point in 1973 as a rod and reel striped bass fisherman. When he’s not out catching diamond quality fish for Dock to Dish, Captain Ron runs a charter fishing business bringing out locals and tourists from the east end to try their hand at catching some of the best fish that the waters off of Montauk have to offer. Since starting his charter fishing business, his customers have landed twenty four striped bass over 50 lbs.
Rudi is an original founder of Dock to Dish and a visionary who helped the program get off the ground and succeed over the years. He has set new standards for taking extraordinary steps in the handling of his fish, from bleeding fish out to using ice brine slurry baths, he is among the most experienced fishermen in the fleet and has a legendary reputation working with a rod-and-reel, sometimes reeling in three fish at a time while using only two hooks. Over the past decades Rudi has developed an intuitive ability to find fish, has mystified other fishermen with his techniques and is known for always returning home with a healthy haul of either inshore or offshore species. An original visionary behind the Dock to Dish Montauk program, Rudi has supplied the cooperative with the finest fish since before it was formally launched to the public, and has been the most steadfast pillars of support in the effort to reconnect chefs and restaurants with the Montauk commercial fishing community. He also has one of the most patient and understanding wives in the fleet, Rita, who keeps him in check.
“I was born and raised in Montauk, growing up on the Viking dock. In fact I sailed on my first two day Tuna Trip at age five. By age eight I was working as a mate on a charter boat and by age eleven or twelve I was a regular mate on the Viking Fleet party boats. At age eighteen I earned my Captains License and by age nineteen I had upgraded to my 100 Ton License. That Fall I began running the two day Tuna Trips and have never looked back. I love all kinds of fishing, but offshore fishing is my passion. My family has been involved in the Party Boat fishing Industry for Four generations. I currently work in our family business with my Grandfather Paul, my father Steven and my cousin Carl.
Captain Terry Wallace came on the scene with Dock to Dish in the summer of 2017 with a load of pristine large squid. Captain Wallace is well known for bleeding and icing his fish in onboard cooling vats that contain a mixture of cold ocean water, crushed flake ice and kosher salt. This technique suspends the fish in an icy slurry bath and prevents them from being bounced around and damaged in transport, and it also quickly puts his fish into rigor mortis that greatly helps to maintain their pristine condition.
Captain Tom is a legendary rod-and-reel fisherman who comes from a long lineage of local watermen. His boat, FV Driftin N Dreamin is a 41′ Custom Hatteras Sportsfisherman fully equipped with a suite of 2018 Furuno electronics including 3D bottom imaging. This is the most comfortable, twin Diesel fishing boat in Montauk with an air-conditioned salon, refrigerator and sofa seating — Tom says it was designed for both fishing and relaxing, or drifting and dreaming, his two favorite activities.
Captain Travis Kelly was born and raised in Montauk and has been fishing local waters since shortly after he learned to walk. He frequently visits his favorite fishing locations in deep waters surrounding Block Island where certain species congregate throughout different seasons. Captain Travis is well known for being amongst the best rod and reel fishermen in the fleet, and has developed one of the most refined saltwater ice brine slurry baths aboard his fishing boat FV Amy Lee. His boat is named after his wife, Amy Lee Duryea, who also hails from a well known fishing family here in town.
Captain Vinny Damm is a Montauk Native and one of the most experienced fishermen in the fleet. He has been working in the local fishery since he was a small boy and has over thirty years of experience as a full time commercial fisherman. Captain Damm is primarily an inshore fisherman but also revered for being a jack of all trades, and sometimes works on larger offshore vessels during certain times of the year. He is a diehard hockey fan and tries to never miss a Rangers game, and comes from a big family of fishermen and hockey fans here in town.
Vinny Geidraitis is a veteran of the commercial Montauk fishing fleet and can be found captaining the F/V Leona targeting a range of species as they become accessible through the seasons. Captain Vinny has earned a reputation for his dedication to innovating sustainable gear types (modified gill nets for Monkfish and Skate, traps for whelk, and a variety of fish) and expert handling of his catch, resulting in the pristine quality that is associated with Dock to Dish fish.
Captain Wesley Peterson, pictured here with daughters Ann (in his arms) and June (being a handful) is a life-long local fisherman. After graduating from East Hampton High School in 2003 he earned his undergraduate degree from Johnson & Wales University in 2005. These days you can find him captaining the F/V Two Seasons where he primarily harvests squid and scallops, two of the most resilient and abundant species in the Montauk fishery.
Billy “The Kid” Carman is one of the younger captains in the Montauk fishing fleet and has made a name for himself by bringing in a haul of trap-caught black sea bass late in the season, a surprise treat as they are harder to reach as they move further out to sea with the cooler Fall water temps.
Captain Richie is a Montauk Native who hails from a long lineage of local fishermen named Rade. His father, Richie Rade Sr, is remembered throughout town for being among the most respected fishermen in the fleet and formerly operated the Marlin fleet of boats before he passed on years ago. Now Captain Richie II carries on the family tradition and works on the water all year round—landing impressive hauls of abundant seafood throughout all seasons. He is best known for his epic offshore voyages for tunas, wahoos and Mahi Mahi, and is most frequently seen fishing with another local legend (and an original visionary behind the Dock to Dish program) Rudi “Rudolphin” Bonicelli. This fearless duo packs up the offshore vessel FV Marlin and heads out to sea for days at a time to grapple with highly migratory pelagics out in the Gulf Stream. They have over 70 years of fishing experience between them and have mastered the finest handling techniques for their catch, which they supply not only to members of Dock to Dish, but also to their close friends and family once they return home. Captain Richie is also proud to be teaching all of the tricks of his trade to the next generation of Rades, and often fishes with his son Richie Rade III who is quickly becoming one of the best younger fishermen in the fleet. Although Richie III is capable of catching all of the top offshore pelagics and inshore favorites like Fluke and Black Sea Bass—being a true salty Rade fisherman that he is, young Richie prefers wrestling with big gator bluefish on rod-and-reel because they are some of the hardest hitting and toughest fish in the sea pound for pound. The Rade family represents the very best of Montauk Family fishing traditions, and we look forward to supplying you with their daily catches for many generations to come.