Inside A Big Charity Fishing Tournament That's Quietly Stacked With Wall Streeters


On Friday, we went to the Fishermen’s Conservation Association’s 15th annual Manhattan Cup — a “catch and release” charity tournament.

The event raised funds and awareness for the Wounded Warriors Project, superstorm Sandy relief, Hooked-for-a-lifetime (taking inner city kids fishing), Catch A Cure (cystic fibrosis research), Grace Foundation (helping families with autistic children), Jacob’ s Team (autism awareness and support) and many beach clean up efforts.  

The FCA bills it as a fishing tournament where participants “represent a veritable who’s who of Wall Street and the ‘pro fishing’ circuit.”

We met a bunch of professional fishermen and a handful of Wall Streeters.

We’re told by a well-connected Wall Street source that it’s an event big names on the Street “quietly support.”  For example, the source told us that a well-known money manager lent his boat for a team to use for the day and he’s been supporting the event for years.  

“It’s very informal, not like Robin Hood,” our source explained referring to the philanthropic organisation backed by Paul Tudor Jones and other top hedge fund managers. 

Per our source, Wall Street’s involvement with the Manhattan Cup goes back to when a bunch of the traders and hedge funders used to go fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli, who is the chairman of the FCA’s board. 

These Wall Streeters would go with Crescitelli early in the morning before going to the office.  Our source said he used to go fishing with him at 4:15 p.m. right after the closing bell.  

There were apparently some tough years right after September 11th when the Hudson River was off limits and people moved out of downtown and then when the financial crisis hit and a lot of folks lost their jobs.  

He noted that this year was challenging because superstorm Sandy wrecked the marinas in Staten Island, but it was still a “tremendous accomplishment” to have so many boats and people turn out this year.  

There were about 50 boats and around 200 anglers fishing in the Manhattan Cup.  

We checked out the event at Chelsea Piers and if you missed it, we’ve included highlights in the slides that follow.  

We arrived on the docks outside the Chelsea Brewing Company at Chelsea Piers around 7:30 a.m.

There were probably around 250 people participating in the tournament.

Inside the brewery there was a feast for breakfast — eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast, bagels, etc.

Meanwhile, others prepped bait on their boats.

Paul Eulner (a.k.a. 'Captain Walnuts) and Captain Brian Rice. They were on the Jersey Devil boat and have spent their whole lives fishing. Eulner is a probation officer and Rice works as a broker with Raymond James.

Louis DeRicco, Brian Larkin and Eugene White. They were the defending champions after winning in 2012.

Robert Cunningham, Bryan Hekemian, Sean Davis and Chris Kunisch

Johnny Stavola and Ken Gallop. They said they would be catching striped bass and bluefish.

Friends Bryan Peiros and Chuck Manny. They have known each other for 10 years.

The Wounded Warriors team.

Bryan Goulart, Anthony Davino, Stuard Levine and Michael Levine.

Getting prepped to go out on the water.

A lucky Buddha.

Professional fisherman Greg Myerson. His aunt Bess Myerson was Miss America.

Myerson caught the world record Striped Bass. He's seen posing with a model of it. The record winning fish weighed nearly 82 lbs.

Former Miami Dolphin wide receiver Jim Jensen and his wife Darlene with Myerson.

We also ran into CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.

Capt. Frank Crescitelli, who is the chairman of the FCA's board, went over the plan for the day.

Then the teams boarded the boats.

And headed out on the Hudson River.

We love the name of this boat.

Then the harbor was pretty much empty.

Around 4 p.m. the boats returned.

Those who caught fish that were contenders to take home a prize had them weighed. That's Chris Cuomo's striped bass.

Cuomo's was the biggest catch of the day.

The score board.

Posing for a photo-op.

It was a catch and release.

There were a bunch of different awards for the categories.

After a day on the water, there was another feast on the dock — oysters, shrimp, corn on the cob, buffalo wings, you name it!

A band played music, too.

Inside there was a silent auction.

And a live auction.

FCA chair Frank Crescitelli giving his remarks. 'The question was asked...'Are we going to have a Manhattan Cup this year?...We all got our arse kicked in plain English by that storm...And then you look around what's going on in the crazy world we live in and what happened in Boston. I want to say two things — F that storm and f those terrorists. This is America, baby! Yeah!'

Of course, all the fun was for a much bigger cause — raising funds and support for the Wounded Warriors Project and many other non-profits.

Now let's check out another Wall Street charity event for veterans...

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