It might be the best fishing spot on Keuka Lake

Loujane Johns
From left, Brian and Jeff Kennedy of Morgan Marine accept special recognition from Nick Romero, front, for providing a good fishing spot for the Yates ARC Men’s Fishing Club. With them are Bill Lozada and George Jensen.

Nick Romero, a founding member of the Yates ARC Men’s Fishing Club, wanted to express his gratitude to Morgan Marine for letting the group fish off their docks and enjoy their facilities.  

On Friday, Aug. 15 he presented Morgan Marine owners Brian and Jeff Kennedy with a beautiful mosaic plaque he had made.

The owners were in awe and very touched by the creation.  Jeff said, “You know Nick, if there is ever a fire here, this will be the first thing I grab.” 

The words brought a huge smile to Nick’s face, and tears to other people’s eyes.

Romero says he is so grateful to have a nice, safe place for the crew to fish. There are restrooms nearby and a place to eat snacks. ARC driver George Jensen used to take the group to Branchport, but Nick’s wheelchair got stuck in the mud, making the trip frustrating. Morgan’s is just the right spot with easy access and more importantly - good fishing.

William “Catfish” Lozada, Psychological Services Coordinator is very proud of Nick and the rest of the fishing club.  “At Morgan’s Nick has been able to enjoy a bountiful area full of bass, perch, bullhead and the ever-elusive sunfish,” said Lozada.

“He rarely has a minute where his pole doesn’t have some sort of catch. Even when his disability seemed to give a little reminder of pain, Nick is able to know there is a safe place to go,” he added.

Lozada said a doctor who happened upon the group while he was at the marina one day, donated $500 in fishing equipment for their enjoyment.

The Men’s Fishing Club has become one of the most popular ARC activities. 

Lozada said it started with five members and has grown to 12, with a waiting list.  Like all true fishermen, rain or shine, they can’t wait to go fishing.

So far, it has been a “guy thing,” Since many of the ARC professionals are females, Lozada said it is a chance to escape from the women. But in the list of members, Paul, Phil, Blake, Dan, Howard, Bob, Clifford, Paul C. , George , Bill, there is also Sheila. He says “don’t ask.”  The male bonding may soon end, because there does seem to be a growing number of women who want to join.

Working in the Skylarc Studio is another of Nick’s favorite things to do. 

It is there that he drew the free hand pattern and embellished his creation with sparkling pieces of colored glass.  Habilitation Specialist Dot Winger, who oversees the studio, said it took Nick a few months to complete his gift.

Although it depicts a shiny lake trout, Nick said he has never caught one.  He must have studied some pictures. 

For thousands of years fishing has offered relaxation and a source of pride in “the catch.” 

Lozada says it is a wonderful way for the men to bond.  It offers inclusion in the community and the members can participate in an activity others are able to do.

One participant with cerebral palsy, learned to hold his pole and soon became more “vocal” by telling big fish stories.

 Like Nick and the others, he can’t wait for fishing day to come.