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Brooklyn Fishing Derby — oh, it’s on! • Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn Fishing Derby — oh, it’s on!

Casting call: Ben Sargent runs the Brooklyn Fishing Derby from Oct. 1-Nov. 21 — because there’s nothing like a fish hauled in out of the East River.
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

And now for something completely fishy.

The Brooklyn Fishing Derby kicked off at midnight on Oct. 1, beginning five weeks of big hauls, ones that got aways, plenty of outright lies and lots of fun.

“It’s a great way to prolong summer and surprise yourself by catching huge sport fish out of the East River!” said Greenpoint’s lovable lobster roll maven Ben Sargent, who founded the annual competition three years ago.

All it takes is a $40 entry fee and a dream. But to win, you’d better bring your A-rod.

Last year’s winner, Yan Gorz, roped in a 47-inch striped bass off the N. Sixth Street pier. And two years ago, winner John Ruffino fought with a 45-inch striper.

And the fish are already biting.

“These two months are the best fishing months — mating season is beginning of October, and then they feed in November,” said Barbara Piskorska of Dream Fishing Tackle, which hosted the opening night party.

The key is the bait. Piskorska recommends gunk clams or bunker fish.

“You cut the head of the bunker fish, the tail, and slice it down the middle and you just hook it onto your hook,” she said.

Veteran fishermen recommend casting lines after 9 pm when the East River Ferry has stopped running, and sticking to piers such as N. Sixth Street in Williamsburg, Pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights, Red Hook Pier, or the new India Street pier in Greenpoint.

“I used to like the pier off of Green Street, but I might try India Street this year,” said Louie. “A bunch of older people fish there, hang out there all day and watch girls to the ferry. It keeps them entertained between bites.”

Brooklyn Fishing Derby, through Nov. 5. For info, visit www.bkuaa.wordpress.com.

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