Archived striper History from as early as George Washington
George Washington was a Striped Bass Fisherman
Following the Revolutionary War and early in George Washington’s first term as President this country faced a serious problem - Debt. The United States owed millions it had borrowed to fight the war against King George. Worst of all, it’s soldiers and officers had not been paid - many for up to five years. Thinking back, it is amazing that those citizen soldiers carried the fight for independence while going deeper into debt every mile they marched.
Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton a Federalist leader had proposed a tax measure to raise the funds to retire the nation’s debt. Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, led the Republican effort to oppose any new tax. Washington’s biggest problem, was to find a way to reach a compromise between the two political factions.
His solution was to invite Jefferson and Alexander to a three-day fishing trip off the New Jersey coast. Washington chartered a small schooner and the three discussed Hamilton’s proposed tax measure while spending their days fishing off Sandy Hook and their nights in port. The excitable and hyper Secretary of the Treasury continually paced the decks of the small ship, spending little time fishing and much time arguing his point. The laid-back Jefferson countered every argument with equally pointed rebuttal. Washington, while moderating the discussion and trying to find common ground for compromise; caught the most fish. Employing sea worms as bait; the three caught many Striped Bass and Blackfish (Tautog).
According to history, and shortly following their fishing trip; Hamilton and Jefferson reached a compromise and Congress eventually adopted this country’s’ first national tax. The measure paid down America’s debt to foreign countries along with the back wages owed the soldiers who fought the Revolutionary War.