08/02/17 6:01am

A female blue crab tagged with a DEC tag. (Credit: Chris Paparo)

As we enter August, the summertime blues will slowly creep-up as the realization that we are halfway through our summer vacations begins to sink in. I however, welcome a different type of summertime blues. They have created many fond memories over the years and are the foundation of many of my summer cookouts.

My favorite is the blue crab. Another is the bluefish

This former can be found throughout the small back bays, creeks, and harbors of the Peconics and the Sound. Their olive-colored carapace (topside) allows them to go unnoticed while they lurk along the seafloor searching for their next meal. Although they are scavengers, their sharp, powerful claws can crush through the shells of armored prey such as clams, mussels, oysters, snails and even other blue crabs. Additionally, their paddle-like rear legs enable them to chase down fast moving prey, such as fish, with ease. (more…)

07/29/17 6:02am

Get out on Peconic Bay in a pontoon boat through Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

When you want to explore the bays and harbors of the East End, swimming sometimes just doesn’t cut it.

If you don’t have a boat, you may feel your options are limited, but have no fear. When you get tired of floating around on one of those hipster swan floats, consider these fun and easy ways to get out on the water around the North Fork this summer. (more…)

07/10/17 12:27pm

Local marine biologist and northforker outdoors columnist Chris Paparo spotted two notable sights just south of Dune Road last week — a pod of about 100 bottlenose dolphins slapping their tails against the water and a humpback whale leaping in the air.

Paparo saw the animals on Wednesday, July 5 and again on Thursday, July 6 in the water about a half mile south of Westhampton Beach and Hampton Bays. (more…)

07/08/17 6:05am

A blowfish. (Credit: Chris Paparo)

Nestled between the north and south forks with an eastern boundary of Shelter Island are the Great and Little Peconic Bays. These large, relatively deep bodies of water are popular places for rafting up for a barbecue, cruising from port to port, water skiing, tubing and many other summertime boating activities.

But what about fishing? Are there any fish worth pursuing in the Peconics this time of year? (more…)

07/03/17 6:04am

A scene from Dennis Schrader and Bill Smith’s garden in Mattituck. (Credit: Vera Chinese, file photo)

Get a rare look at four of the North Fork’s loveliest private gardens — including  the garden of Denis Schrader and Bill Smith, a northforker favorite — during the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour on Saturday, July 8.

The Garden Conservancy, which works to preserve beautiful gardens for public enjoyment, is hosting an “open day” on Long Island when gardens in Cutchogue, Mattituck and Jamesport will open their doors to visitors. (more…)