This was such a fun conversation to record. Dan is one of my oldest friends and the person who introduced me to boating. Dan was on boats before he could walk and it wasn’t long after that he was fishing. My earliest boating memories are on Jinx, the Torres fishing boat Dan’s dad would take us out on in Montauk.
Dan is currently CEO of Dan Glickberg Food, a venture capital family office and media company, and a partner at Rodeo CPG, an advisory services and venture capital fund.
Previously, he was the fourth-generation founding family member at Fairway Market. This is where Dan truly became THE expert on fish and seafood as Fairway had one of the top seafood departments in the country. At Fairway he quickly earned the nickname “the face of Fairway Market.” Dan took an active role in promoting the company through his cooking demonstrations, both in the stores and on TV. He also lent his expertise on "At The Table" segments on WOR Radio’s Joan Hamburg Show and on "To The Market" segments on WOR Radio’s Joe Bartlett Show.
With Dan Glickberg Food and Rodeo CPG, Dan is actively engaged in venture capital opportunities and consulting in the food industry. He was also an investor and star on the Food Network series Food Fortunes and was named one of Gotham Magazine's Top 100 bachelors in New York City in October in 2014.
This episode features some great fishing stories, practical equipment advice, and culinary tips you don't want to miss. Enjoy!
On starting to boat…..I've been on boats since before I could remember. I started out on the docks, in Montauk where my dad was an avid fisherman. By the time I could walk he took me out on the water and I've been hooked ever since.
On the first boat he was on.....It must have been a 25 foot Mako fishing boat. My dad had already bought a couple of used boats before that but the Mako was his dream boat and once he got that, we were out fishing all the time.
On his earliest memories…..My first memory was catching a striped bass. This was back in 1990 and striped bass had not made their big comeback yet so catching a striped bass was a big prize.
On learning to boat…..When I first started off my father was pretty protective of me so I started by tying lines, doing odds and ends, obviously cleaning the boat. As I got older and I mastered all the things around the boat, my father took us out of the inlet and after a couple minutes said 'your turn to steer the boat.' We switched seats and I learned by doing it. To me there's no trick, it takes a little time, a little experience, but once you do it often being on a becomes second nature. It's really about putting in the time.
On fishing in Montauk…..We were usually fishing for striped bass, fluke, porgies, and sea bass. We would go out for tuna once or twice a summer. The Atlantic Canyon, where the continental shelf is, seems to be a great place for not only tuna, but also Mahi Mahi.
On catching tuna…..We'd go out there, we'd fish for mahi for a couple hours. They tend to hang around lobster pots and buoys. We'd spend the whole night chunking for tune. We'd get them to bite sometime after midnight and we'd spend the morning hours pretty much non-stop fish. It was an amazing experience.
On time spent on the water.....Being out on the water is really about the people you are with and the stories you tell. It's really a time when you can put everything else going on in your life away, put your cell phone away, and detach and focus on being in the moment.
On his favorite place to fish…..I love the Florida Keys. I love backcountry fishing. I really enjoy sight fishing where you see the fish you want to catch and you throw your bait in the line you think that fish is gonna go. We'd go tarpon fishing, bone fishing. We'd go fishing for snook. If I could only go fishing one place the rest of my life, that would be it. Catching a tarpon is something that, if you haven't done it before, you go out and do it. It's similar to tuna except they jump and they have nowhere to go but straight out.
On where he hasn't fished but would like to…..The Bahamas, that's supposed to be the epicenter of bonefishing. The bonefish are so thick that you don't even have to go in a boat, you can actually just wade by the shore and you have schools of hundreds of fish coming by every five to ten minutes.
On his most embarrassing moment on the water..…I was seven or eight, we were coming back to shore from a shark tournament, and we caught this huge thresher shark, over 200 pounds. As we hit the inlet, you're supposed to call the dock and tell them what you caught. My dad told them I caught it. So as we're pulling into the dock, everyone is cheering, we had this huge shark, and I would not come out of the cabin. I was hysterically crying and my mom had to come onto the boat to get me to come out of the cabin.
On his dream boat…..My dad had a boat maker down in the Keys named Claude Torres, and obviously his boat was called a Torres. That was really his first heavy duty fishing boat. He went through two or three of those, 38 feet. They took to the sea really well. I have way too many childhood memories on that boat to want anything else.
On boating as part of his family lifestyle....It has to be. The water is too big a part of my life. I can't imagine my life without boating. I'd do the same thing, as soon as my kid can walk I'd get him or her a life jacket and get out there learning at a young age.
On boating equipment…..One thing people might forget, and to me it's the most important item that you can have when you're out on the water, is a good pair of sunglasses, definitely polarized. I think you tend to forget how much the sun reflects off the water. Do not leave the dock without a good pair of sunglasses.
On seafood.....Most of the seafood I ate growing up was caught that day. We'd go out, catch a bunch of fish, and then eat it that night. So I was always really into seafood. It's a great source of protein, very healthy. Because fishing and seafood were such a big part of my life growing up, it seeped into the family business and we had one of the best seafood departments in the city, if not the country.
Favorite fish to eat…..It changes from season to season and it depends on what part of the country I'm in. I definitely like local seafood, if it's line caught even better. In New York my favorite fish is fluke or flounder. Very mild, love the flavor. You don't need much more than butter and fresh herbs and lemon. If I'm going out on the West Coast I'll probably do something like halibut. Down in Florida my favorite fish is yellowtail.
Easiest fish to cook…..Salmon is probably the easiest fish to cook. You can just put some olive oil, some lemon juice, and some fresh herbs on it. Put it on the pan, brown both sides, and put it in the oven for 5-10 minutes depending on how big a filet it is. With any fish, especially if the skin is on it, put the skin side down first, and then flip it to the filet side and you want to cook them for about the same amount of time. If you cook it well enough on the skin side, you can actually eat the skin. It tastes pretty good, very high in protein and Omega-3's.
On what to drink with fish..…What I love, especially in the summer, is we have this somewhat new brewery called Grimm. I'll take a good, light Grimm Sour Ale. With fish you definitely don't want anything that's too big. If you want to go with wine you could definitely go with white wine or if you want to go with red wine you could do something like a Pinot Noir from Oregon which tends to be on the lighter side.
On lessons learned on the water..…I think being aware of your surroundings is very important. It's always important to be safe. That's something I've carried with me, always being aware of my surroundings and what's going on in the world around me. As we've gotten older and we have more and more technology, being able to unplug and disconnect from the outside world and enjoy being in the moment is extremely important.
On success in the boating world..…Frank Mundus (passed away 2008). He was a fisherman in Montauk, best known for being the #1 Great White fisherman in the world. He was the basis for the captain in JAWS.
Final advice for boaters…..If you are thinking about getting out on the water, definitely go and do it. There is no time better than the present!
I had a great time speaking with Dan and remembering some of our best times on the family boat…and can’t wait to go bonefishing in the Bahamas with him! Leave any questions or comments below.