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Hook, line and stinker! Ridge fishing pier is a smelly mess!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Summer must be coming — because Bay Ridge’s bustling 69th Street pier smells like dead fish.

On bad days, the foul reek can waft inland to Third Avenue four blocks away — and there have been too many bad days so far this year, residents say.

“It’s back and it stinks!” fumed Ridgite Derek Zaragoza on Monday.

The stench comes from decaying fish carcasses, which are often used for bait, but then left on the pier by some fisherman.

It really does stink.

“We got more than a dozen complaints last year — and I expect more,” said Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, who put some of the blame on the anglers.

But not all of the fish fanatics are at fault, said Barb Kelly, a regular fisherman on the pier.

Kelly claims it’s only a few bottom-feeders who are giving the fishing community a bad name — and a messy reputation.

“Some people just don’t clean anything,” he said. “Us regular fishermen put up our own bait-boards to cut on. We don’t use anything else.”

Kelly also claimed that this fish stinks from the head down — the city is actually to blame!

“The Parks Department should help take care of it, but they ain’t good for [fish excrement],” the fisherman said, displaying a sailor’s mouth.

A Parks spokesman said the agency cleans the pier as regularly as the tides themselves.

“Every day, our maintenance crews clean [the pier] of litter and empty the trash cans,” spokesman Phil Abramson told The Brooklyn Paper.

But some fisherman are as relentless as Captain Ahab in scorning the agency (though, “Moby Dick” fans might well remember that Ahab wasn’t all there).

“A truck comes around maybe one or two times a week. One truck, one guy, that’s it,” said an angler who gave his name as Bob.

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Reader Feedback

Drew from Bay Ridge says:
Kudos to the chicken cutlet for bait guy. He caught a 2 footer yesterday using only fishing line tied to a stick of wood. Other fishermen use up to 4 rods at once and don't come close to this guy!
June 11, 2009, 7:28 pm
joey bots from Bots Ridge says:
why was i blessed with this musical talent?
June 12, 2009, 1:04 pm
Sam from Bay Ridge says:
Its not the fish that smell all the way up to 3rd Avenue, its the waste water treatment plant in Owls head park right around the corner from the pier.

This is NY. Its smells bad. Worse in the summer. If you dont like it, beat it.
June 16, 2009, 4:54 pm
flounder from Dyker Heights says:
Ive fished 69th st pier alot. What I have noticed is that there are actually a small percentage of actual fishermen on the pier. By actual fishermen I mean people who know and RESPECT the waters they fish in. Last weekend I was there next to a family of 5. Young dumb father His equally young dumb wife or girlfriend and 3 young dumb kids. They ate, fished yelled at eachother for a few hours. When they went to go home the trash family left all there trash. Plastic bags,plastic cups ect. All of which would have ended up in the water. I yelled to them to take their garbage with them but aparantly speaking English isnt their strongest quality. I had to clean up after them. I respect my ocean and will continue fish its waters till I die. Stop dumping garbage in my water and stop keeping the short fish. Your killing the things I love.
Aug. 1, 2009, 9:29 am
Tony from bayridge says:
the pier never stinks with rotten fish. that's a blatant lie. most anglers don't leave bait behind. the foul smell comes from owls head. 3rd ave residents who complain are free to move away from the water for all i care. what is it that you want exactly?
Aug. 9, 2010, 12:26 am
luis m from sunsetpark says:
Want to share the joy and peace of spending a morning viewing our great vista sans Towers from our pier whitch my daughter never beheld. But Lady Liberty is still there. And so is USA!
Sept. 10, 2011, 11:08 pm

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