Greg Myerson has been hailed as the “Warren Buffett” of striped bass fishing.
The electrician from Connecticut holds the world-record for the largest striped bass ever caught. In August 2011, Myerson reeled in a monstrous 81.88 lb. striper off the coast of his home state.
This spring, the 47-year-old angler reeled in a deal on ABC’s “Shark Tank” with Mark Cuban. The billionaire investor gave Myerson $US80,000 for a 33% stake in his business, The World Record Stiper Company.
Myerson’s company manufactures and sells his secret weapon — the RattleSinker, a sinker he designed that makes a rattle sound that attracts monster fish by mimicking the sound of their favourite food, crustaceans.
Myerson said it’s his invention that makes him a great fisherman.
“There’s a lot better fishermen than I am,” he told me.
“He’s lucky,” Wade Boggs, a legendary former New York Yankees player and friend of Myerson’s, said. “The thing about breaking a world record in anything is you have to be at the right spot at the right time. And, preparation is part of the process. If you’re very good at that, you can break a world record.”
The Baseball Hall-of-Famer also holds the world record for the largest blue fish.
“But guess what,” Boggs joked, “His world record striper record, I’m on the hunt. I’m on the hunt…Now, I’m chasing him.”
Myerson will tell you that he’s a “great fisherman, but a horrible businessman.”
While he’s claims he’s a “horrible businessman,” after spending a day on the water with Myerson, it’s clear that he has what it takes to succeed both on and off the water.
In mid-May, I joined Myerson and his crew at the Fishermen’s Conservation Association’s 17th annual Manhattan Cup — a “catch and release” charity tournament.
I met Myerson at Chelsea Piers in New York City around 7:30 a.m. He had arrived from Connecticut on his boat at 1 a.m. He and his crew slept in the cramped space on the boat. It didn’t seem to bother him, though. He was full of energy and ready to get out on the water.
By 9 a.m. the boats and anglers made their way out in a line on the Hudson River. (On a normal day, Myerson would have been out on the water hours ago, but this was a charity tournament). When it was time to begin, we all raced out of the harbour.
Our first stop — to find some live bait near Staten Island.
We were looking for schools of bunker. To catch bunker, you cast a large mesh net that’s weighted. By the way, the net weighs about 30 lbs.
Myerson stood on the bow of his boat. He made many attempts of the course of half an hour, but was unsuccessful.
Others onboard were growing impatient, but not Myerson.
“Come on, dummy! Let’s go!” one of the crew members shouted to Myerson. On Myerson’s boat, everyone, myself included, is referred to as a “dummy” or a “dunk tank.” I’m not really sure what that means, but eventually I started referring to everyone by those names.
“He would stay and try to catch bunker all day,” one of the crew members later told me.
After some persuasion, Myerson finally gave in and we bought a couple dozen bunker off one of the Staten Island locals who had a boat full of them.
We then headed out once more.
Initially, no one was catching anything. Our bait would get chomped in half, but were weren’t getting any bites that we could reel in.
After a while, I got bored and ate my ham and cheese sandwich from ‘Wichcraft.
Then, we moved the boat to another spot. And all of the sudden, Myerson reeled in the first fish — a big, beautiful bluefish.
We started chunking the water with some of our bait. (That’s when you cut the fish into steak-like pieces.) I caught a couple of spider crabs and had one fish get away from me while reeling it in. I was growing impatient.
Meanwhile, Myerson, who was just a few feet away from me, was continuing to crush it.
And once the tide started coming in, the fish kept on biting. Myerson caught more and more blue fish, five or six, I believe. He finally reeled in a strip bass, his favourite type of fish, of course.
He ended the day with the most fish caught.
It’s not just because he’s lucky. Sure, luck is a component.
But here’s what I noticed about Myerson: He’s consistent. His pole is always in in the water. When I’d goof off and other people would too, he would remain focused. He has mental strength even when he’s being teased and called a “dummy.” He also knows when to shift strategies and move the boat to another location when he’s not getting any bites. He’s incredibly patient, too. He wanted to stay way past the mandated 4 p.m. return time.
And that’s how business works, too. You have to be in the zone to catch the big fish, and the occasional shark.
What’s more is Myerson has found where he’s uniquely gifted and has turned that passion into his business. That’s not just being lucky. That’s just being smart. Figure out what you’re really good at and work to be the best in the would at it.
“He’s a very talented person. The things he does with fishing, I can’t even explain,” Mike Fronte, one of the anglers on the boat, said.
“He knows the fish. His passion for fishing is unbelievable. The things he does. What he knows. What he’s taught me in the last couple of years … I can’t even tell you. He’s always the one who catches the most fish on the boat … He’s always the one to catch the first fish.”
“There’s bigger fish for him to catch, definitely,” Jeff Thibodeau, another fisherman, added. “Greg is so good because he works so hard at it.”
Going back to business, Myerson acknowledged that he’s been learning.
“I don’t think that I’m really a bad businessman. I don’t think I know a lot of the things that are needed to make my business as big as it’s going to go. I’m learning a lot fast. I’m learning a lot from Mark Cuban, and who’s a better teacher than him?”