One of the pioneers of Belmar fishing has passed on to elestial fishing grounds. His obituary follows:
His friends and family called him “Bob”, but to those within the New Jersey fishing community he was known as “Finchaser” or “Rod Wrapper”. He casted his last line on Friday September 10th, 2021 at the age of 72, a sea of fish peacefully swimming following the news. He leaves behind the catch of his life, his wife of 27 years, Michelle Caracozzo.
He raced cars as a teenager in Clifton, NJ and as he grew in age, he would never lose his edge, enrolling at the Culinary Institute of America at 19 to become a skilled chef, and eventually a traveling salesman or as he would say a “Road Warrior”. Bob would be the recipient of a quadruple bypass at age 41, stents at 52, cancer at 63, none of which were any match for him. A few decades of cigarettes, brushes with boat fires, eating whatever his appetite desired, Bob never slowed in his pursuit of his next catch and attributed his long life to dragging fat fish onto the decks of boats or over the sand dunes caught in the surf at the Jersey Shore. He was a craftsman, a chef, a father, a husband, a brother, a son, a man of God, a proud Sicilian-American, an angler, who willfully made his presence and opinion known.
His hands were permanently curled from decades of holding a fishing pole and calloused from whipping mashed potatoes. A man of many words and notably few pauses, he found peace in the kitchen, and embraced the chaos of cooking an Italian Christmas Eve dinner, or a grilled cheese for one of his toughest critics, his four children. He is survived by his children Scott and his wife Tammie, his daughter Kim and her husband Chad, and his sons Nick, and Cenzo. He is also survived by his grandchildren Dominic and Anthony, and his nieces and nephews.
Bob watched all 52 Super Bowls, credits Sean Connery as the best Bond, listened exclusively to ZZ Top on cassette, and indulged in the explorations of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau.
Despite the facade of a curmudgeon, he was a sentimental soul who was profoundly impacted by genuine gestures of kindness, a smile, a wave, a simple gift, a hug. He would exchange those gestures openly with anyone that would accept them.
He also leaves behind a collection of fishing maps with secret coordinates, an arsenal of fishing tackle, generations of family recipes, his personal mug at his favorite breakfast spot KLOTZ’s Kitchen, and his many fishing buddies notably from Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club, Jersey Coast Shark Anglers, Shark River Surf Anglers, and Steven’s Surfsters, from 50+ years of time spent at sea.
A memorial visitation and celebration of life will be held from 5pm – 8pm on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at the O’Brien Funeral Home, 505 Burnt Tavern Road, Brick.
In lieu of flowers, Bob wishes for you simply to catch and release or consider making a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital to help preserve life in all its forms for future generations.”
The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands had little fluke action when forced to fish in the bay due to yesterday’s wind, but it was a lot livlier today in the ocean. One angler limited, and some others managed two keepers.
Jon Falkowski of Linden was aboad the Golden Eagle from Belmar today, and said he had to work hard for blues that were all small and hitting near bottom; He caught eight plus a chub mackerel and two sea bass. One of the latter would have been a keeper if the season was open.
Vinny D’Anton did well with school stripers and small blues in Shark River over the weekend, but I joined him this morning and the black cloud shut down the bite. He had two missed hits on his Chug Bug, while I only had a swirl. We finished up at Spring Lake catching short fluke on Gulp in the surf.
The forecast is for south winds at 5-10 knots –going southeast in the afternoon.