Sharing the Wealth Page 2

Sportfishing Digest — July 2005
By Capt. Patrick Sciacca

Sharing the Wealth
Part 2: “We love to help people catch fish.”

 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Canyon Runner
• Part 2: Canyon Runner

 Related Resources
• Sportfishing Digest Index

I found the presentation a breath of fresh air, and it eventually got me thinking about my own position on information sharing. I, like LaRosa, remember many days as a kid when the sharpies were as tight-lipped as migrating bluefin. What was great about the seminar was the detail that these crewmembers gave out: lat/lon positions, dates, and logs of all their catches. They demonsatrated how they rigged their baits, the speeds at which they troll, where they placed their rigs, and how they turned a single hook-up into a multiple rod-bending frenzy. I looked around the ballroom and noted several wide-eyed kids with their dads watching videos of those multiple hook-ups as they looped on a big screen behind the stage.

The enthusiasm of this highly experienced team, which also includes mates Brad Burgess (more than 120 canyon trips), Mike Zajac (boated more than 4,000 tuna), and Capt. Justin Nighan, is impressive. These guys wouldn’t leave the room until every question was answered, and if someone wanted to see a spreader bar retied or ballyhoo bait rerigged, they did it until every attendee was comfortable doing it.

And while Burgess and Zajac have moved onto “real-world” jobs, they still manage to get back to Canyon Runner for the offshore bite during the summer season, as does LaRosa. A tax attorney by day, LaRosa works as a mate onboard his own boat (he is not a licensed captain) when he can because, as he says, “I want to be where the action is.” He doesn’t get to fish the 60 or so days at the edge like he used to do, but this grown-up kid still manages about 20 or so bluewater excursions a year. To date, LaRosa has logged nearly 500 canyon trips.

Following the seminar I asked LaRosa why they’d spend early-spring weekends—downtime—hanging out in a hotel ballroom after putting in a full season of more than 100 days at the canyon, an additional 60 days for inshore charters, and another 15 or so sailfish/swordfish charters out of Lighthouse Point, Florida. His answer was simple: “We love to help people catch fish.”

His statement made me think. Keeping secret where and how I’ve caught fish has always been part of angling for me. I admit that I’ve hid fish from other boats as my crew brought them in and purposely avoided screaming and high-fives so as not to be noticed. However, after spending a day with the Canyon Runner crew, I asked myself, why have I been so selfish? Is it because that’s what I learned on the docks as a kid? Maybe. But no more. Now, if you fish the waters off the south shore of Long Island, New York, you can get me on 68, and if I know where the fish are, I’ll tell you. That’s a lesson even long-time anglers could learn from this crew.

You can learn more about the adventures of the Canyon Runner crew at

Previous page > The Canyon Runner crew catches a lot of fish, but unlike some old-school anglers, these guys will tell you where and how. > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the July 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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