One of the greatest tragedies off the Atlantic coast didn’t involve a ship, but rather a unique structure – the Texas Tower.
That Air Force early warning radar structure was called “Old Shaky” by its crew, and was damaged by many storms before the end came as the aircraft carrier Wasp raced to the rescue on Jan. 15, 1961.Unfortunately, the Wasp didn’t get there in time and all 28 men aboard were lost.
As with most other maritime tragedies, the Texas Tower wreckage has become a great attraction for sea life and those seeking everything from cod and pollock to bluefin and yellowfin tuna, sharks and white marlin. It’s located about 75 miles east of Barnegat Light, and I was able to get out there with charters a few times when I was running Sheri Berri –a 28-foot Aquasport out of Manasquan Inlet. Indeed, I was near there while winning the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers High Rollers Tournament as Mike Koblan reeled in a tiger shark over 700 pounds.
The NY/NJ Bight forecast includes a small craft advisory from Friday morning to night. However, the 15-20 knot winds with gusts to 30 are from the favorable west direction.
The Jamaica from Brielle is taking reservations for offshore wreck porgy trips departing at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Call 732 528-5014.
Nick La Bella with a wahoo at Bud’ N Mary’s Marina (800 742-7945) in Islamorada, Florida Keys.