Enriching the lives of Disabled Veterans and
combat-wounded warriors with fishing adventures aboard the Cricket II
Restoration & Preservation Project, Inc.
Save the merchant fees charged for online transactions and send your donation directly! A receipt will be sent by USPS. Make payable to
Cricket II Project, 295 Johnson Point Road,
New Bern, NC 28560.
...... As the crew chummed up some big blues, suddenly, mako sharks began to appear. The sharks, each weighing several hundred pounds, began jumping 15-20 feet out of the water. A shark was hooked and landed onto a boat full of excited and terrified customers. Back at the dock, Mundus made a sign that read “Shark Fishing Today.” This sparked no interest. He made another sign that read “Monster Fishing Today.” That sign worked!
In the summer of 1961, Mundus and the Cricket II brought to the dock a 3,000 pound great white shark caught in 75 feet of water off the beaches of Amagansett, New York. The boat was met by hundreds of gawkers, as well as reporters and photographers. An expert fisherman, Mundus was also a marketing genius. “Monster Fishing” had arrived and Frank began calling himself the "Monster Man".
Author Peter Benchley made numerous fishing
trips on the Cricket II. Benchley later said his
trips aboard the Cricket inspired his novel
“JAWS” and the blockbuster movie that followed. It was no
coincidence that the character Captain Quint bore much resemblance to the real-life Captain Mundus.
In addition to inspiring the book and movie JAWS, the Cricket II is the subject of several books. Her adventures have been featured on television programs and in documentaries including The Wild World of Sports and Blue Water, White Death.
Rescue at Sea Saturday, Labor Day weekend, 1951, dawned mild and cloudless over Montauk where the fishing business was booming. A favorite skipper steered from the docks headed for a day of fishing. Aboard his fishing boat the Pelican were
sixty-two passengers - some thirty more than safe capacity. A few hours later a sudden storm capsized the Pelican. The captain and forty-five souls perished. The only survivors were
rescued by the Cricket II and another vessel. Additionally, the Cricket II towed the disabled ship to meet the Coast
Guard arriving from New London, Connecticut.
World Records A record-breaking encounter came in 1964. Already two sharks were hanging from the Cricket II’s block and tackle. A third fish was hooked when a huge shadow was spotted alongside. "I harpooned him, and he took off for the horizon," Mundus told The Daily News in 1977. Six and a half hours later, Mundus and the Cricket II landed a great white - 17 1/2 feet long, 13 feet in girth and weighing 4,500 pounds.
The Cricket II holds nine world records including the largest fish ever caught on rod and reel, a 3,427 pound great white shark --- caught on 130# test line in 1986 (pictured left).
Warmer Waters In 1995, the Cricket II was skippered by Captain Joseph DiBella and relocated to Morehead City, NC. Joe has fished on the Cricket as a young boy. Remodeling commenced and included new synthetic composite decking, updated electronics, hydraulic steering and a tuna tower. A Detroit, turbo-charged 8V-71 engine --- bought from an insurance company after recovery from an over-turned cement truck in Florida --- was installed. Boat and captain conducted a successful charter fishing business between 1995-2005 in Morehead City, Beaufort and Carolina Beach. Local communities, fellow captains and customers alike marveled that the slow, old boat always produced. Shiny, fast yachts flew by her, heading miles out to fish. No need. In the bountiful Carolina waters, one can catch nearly every kind of fish just offshore. The Cricket II proved this over and over again.
Send Veterans Fishing!
Captain Joseph DiBella
252-725-4277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to being the inspiration for the book and movie JAWS, the Cricket II is the subject of several books -Sportfishing for Sharks by Captain Frank Mundus and Bill Wisner (1971); Captain Frank Mundus, Shark Man: Master Hunter of the Deep by Robert F. Boggs (1977); and, In the Slick of the Cricket by Russell Drumm (2008). Her adventures have been the feature of television programs and documentaries including The Wild World of Sports and Blue Water, White Death.