A man visiting from Canada died Sunday while fishing on the Manasquan Jetty with his two sons.

The boys tried in vain to save their dad after he hit his head and plunged into rough water. There's generally heavy boat traffic there on a weekend in September and any fall into that water is treacherous. The rocks there are an unusual shaped man-made concrete in the shape of jacks. They're very uneven to walk on and very difficult to keep your balance even for the most nimble of folks. Put a long fishing rod in your hand and try to cast your bait past the rocks to the open water and you'll easily find yourself off balance.

Dennis Malloy photo
Dennis Malloy photo

Jetties can be found up and down the Jersey coast and you've usually find people fishing from them almost any time of year but the dead of winter. They're a good spot for fish feeding on varieties of shellfish that inhabit the rocks below. I've done it many times and it can be very productive, but it's not easy or very safe. These are generally unguarded and rarely have much of any warning.

It may not have helped in this case as the sons did not speak English very well which hampered rescue efforts. A lot of people do this kind of fishing alone and even if you do bring a buddy, one false move on the often slippery rocks can end in disaster. I love fishing and I get the idea of going for fish that are hard to get at, but none of them are worth losing your life over. If you want to try it go with someone who knows what they're doing, wear the right kind of footwear and be very careful.

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