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Wall Street Goes Fishing

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New York City's most ambitious fishermen got together late last month to fight for the 15th Annual Manhattan Cup. Sponsored by the Fishermen’s Conservation Association, the Cup is one of the most prestigious catch and release tournaments in the Tri-State area. Plus, it's for a good cause: It benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, as well as charities for Autism awareness and the local fish industry. And Wall Street is all over it.

Over seven hours, anglers dotted just about every inch of water from south of Sea Bright, NJ to the western Long Island Sound off Port Washington.

Chris Palmeri took home the top prize aboard Cheap Shot, a beautiful 34’ Fountain with triple 250hp outboards that only had to travel a chip shot from the Jersey City marina to Lady Liberty to find the winning striped bass.

Urban angling in New York is a rush, and not just among the blue-collar guys tossing their reels over the side of the FDR, Belt Parkway and West Side Highway. Quite a few Wall Streeters bring up fish around here: Some of the best captains in the New York area are commonly wetting lines at dawn with clients all across the finance world, and dropping off them off at any of the east or west side piers before the bell. For some, setting the alarm clock for 4 a.m. isn't just to get an early jump on overseas markets.

While most equate "wining and dining" with Madison Square Garden luxury suites, celebrity chef restaurants and the black course at Bethpage, the water is becoming a more and more popular spot to entertain. One competitor in the Cup, a sell side equity managing director, told me how taking clients out on the water is more enjoyable - and - effective than hockey, steaks and golf.

“Even if you come back and the fish weren’t biting, you can’t beat being on the water with the city all around you,” he said. A fishing trip can be a hard sell to a few, but they' always come back happy they said "yes." It’s no wonder the ranks of Wall Street are fishing more and more these days.

Way back when, it didn't take so much convincing to get people out. Overfishing, pollution, and ignorance have led us to what some conservationists call a drastic time for the fish in our waters. It's that urgency that spawned the Manhattan Cup. And while the money muscle of New York’s finance world has been a key factor in its success, equally as important is the generosity and dedication of our local captains, crews, and friends of our waters.