— March 2003
By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
Just Call Him Brew
|For one hard-core tuna fisherman, offshore angling is much more than a hobby.|
I gazed at the two black marks with awe. They were nearly 11 feet apart and etched into the side rails of Brewster Minton's fish-rigged-and-battle-ready, pale green, 31-foot Bertram Bahia Mar, Cormorant Princess. Like something out of a Hemingway novel, the marks denoted the 129-inch measurement of a behemoth blue marlin that Minton's crew caught and released as a brilliant by-catch to tuna fishing in the far-off canyons of the Northeast.
An almost-11-foot blue marlin is a big fish, but it's certainly not Minton's first, nor is it likely his last. This angler--complete with worn baseball cap, tried-and-tested rubber boots, and a Capt. Quint-like air about him on the warm May morning we met--is arguably the ultimate in hard-core. In fact, Minton says if he could get in 50 two-day-plus offshore trips in a year, it still wouldn't be enough. When weather permits, he'll go out for a couple of days, load up on fish, come in to offload his catch, and go right back out, taking time only to refuel and fill his boat with as much bait as it can safely hold. (This often works out to be three or four times what weekend warriors carry.) But, like most fishermen, Minton's extraordinary zeal for fishing had humble beginnings.
Minton, who most just call Brew, started fishing as a kid in a 12-foot Sears Gamefisherman that he used to explore his native Oyster Bay, Long Island. Back then he was catching "snappers" (baby bluefish) and fluke (a.k.a. summer flounder). He loved to fish, but he also loved to snow ski, and so he worked for a ski company demonstrating skis and, on occasion, racing downhill. However, a bad fall at 50-plus mph resulted in a major knee injury, ending his tenure. Soon after, he opened a health club in Hoboken, New Jersey, but made time to fish, albeit not for tuna, at first.
Minton's dedication to fishing was reflected in regular trips (sometimes five nights a week) from Hoboken to Montauk, New York, to work the surf for striped bass. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, that's almost 250 miles round-trip. Minton would throw on a wet suit, swim out to his favorite rock, and cast all night, then drive back to Hoboken and work, napping when he could in his office.
Minton soon learned through the grapevine that some formidable big-game action--tuna fishing, to be specific--was taking place about 70-plus miles off of Long Island. Names such as Hudson Canyon and The Dip were tossed about as tales of big tuna were told. Once he learned of this fishery, which reportedly held 100-, 200-, and 300-plus-pound tuna, he says, "I read everything I could about offshore fishing." Soaking up as much knowledge as he could through books and talking with experienced captains, Minton was poised to start his offshore adventures.
This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.