[Know Your Fisherman] Kevin Maguire of F/V Evening Prayer and Tyler Maguire of F/V Tomahawk

Tyler Maguire. Photo: Grant Monahan

Good ol’ Montauk, NY. A quaint drinking village with a fishing problem. Winter population of a few thousand or less. Summer population around tens of thousands or more. The ebbs and flows of the population growth have been fluctuating since the days of Carl Fisher in the 1930s. What has been consistent during the decades since has been the hardworking, blue-collar commercial fishing community.

Many have been attracted to Montauk because of the benefits this industry can provide, but it’s not for the faint of heart or anyone that lacks perseverance. I was recently fortunate enough to have a few of the local commercial fisherman allow me on their boats and tell me a few stories about their times on the sea. Before you jump, I’d like to say thank you to the men and women of the Montauk commercial fishing industry and the families that support them.

Kevin Maguire | F/V Evening Prayer

Kevin Maguire. Photo: Grant Monahan

GM: How long have you been a commercial fisherman?

KM: 43 years.

GM: What made you become a commercial fisherman?

KM: I just always liked fishing. I started clamming as a kid, then moved out to Montauk to chase girls and surf and ended up getting into commercial fishing. I started working in the restaurants and realized I would rather be on a boat. I started working on the party boats, then I bought my own with Richie Jones, a 28-footer. Then we bought a 35-footer, a 55-footer, a 90-footer, a 70-footer, then a 55-footer. So, we are working our way back down (laughs).

GM: What do you like the most about commercial fishing?

KM: A big bag of squid is pretty enjoyable. I guess, just catching fish!

GM: What one thing should the everyday person should know about commercial fishing?

KM: Well, it is probably the best food you can get, there are no additives or chemicals. It might be our last pure food source. It is a lot of hard work and there are so many regulations out there. It seems like the government is trying to put us out of business. They seem to think that they are the experts and that we don’t know what we are doing, but we have been doing this a lot longer than they have. It is a tough way to make a living.

Tyler Maguire | F/V Tomahawk

Tyler Maguire. Photo: Grant Monahan

GM: What made you become a commercial fisherman?

TM: My dad has been a commercial fisherman for the past 40 something years. We live in a small fishing village and fishing always intrigued me. Like I said I have been jumping on and off the boat since I was a little kid. It was really intimidating as a little 7- or 8-year-old, but seeing the life my dad provided for my family showed me that you could make a pretty good living as a fisherman and enjoy life as well. That inspired me to do the same.

GM: What do you like the most about commercial fishing—your favorite story or memory?

TM: Pulling up a big bag of squid on my little boat for the first time.

As featured in the 2017 Water Issue of Whalebone Magazine, out now.