Interview Highlight Bookmarks
Derrick Batts, 50, has been a resident of Coney Island and an avid fisherman since boyhood. In May, he and his son Derrick Jr. opened Coney Island Hook and Bait Shop on West 24th Street just off Mermaid Avenue. They sell an array of bait and fishing equipment and are open year round. Batts recounts learning about life from fishing and gardening, both of which he was introduced to as a boy by older members of the community. Today, he passes on that knowledge to young people and their families who visit his shop, where he hosts fishing classes and contests. Batts vividly describes the bounties of nature in Coney Island, from the varieties of vegetables harvested from the community garden to the kinds of fish that can be caught from the pier and the creek.