Photo: No Mercy On The Sheepshead Piers

Courtesy of BrooklynQ

I used to see this a lot growing up. Fish hanging, gruesome and decomposed in the summer sun, nailed to the pier’s pilings. So when BrooklynQ put it on his site, WhiteTrashBBQ, I went down to the piers to get my own photo. But no luck. They were gone. It appears the Parks Department – or some authority – asks the fishermen not to do this anymore.

But it is an age-old tradition for fisherman. Thinking maybe it had some cool story to it – a good luck charm, maybe, or warding off the evil spirits of tinier fish – I began asking around. While the truth is far less supernatural, it’s still pretty cool. Fishermen tack their catches to the pilings so customers know what they’re catching. According to one local fisherman hanging out in front of Captain Dave’s boat, Sheepshead Bay once resembled the aquatic version of the pass to Golgotha, with crucified catches on every piling of every pier.

The more you know, eh?