The island’s end is known for its aquatic delights, from Peconic Bay scallops to striped bass. While many local restaurants serve locally caught seafood, the satisfaction for many is catching the fish themselves. For recent fishing reports from the North Fork, click here.
There are plenty of bait and tackle shops scattered across the North Fork, and asking the man behind the counter may be your best bet for fishing tips in the area, said Andrew Rowsom, tackle shop manger at Preston’s in Greenport.
One thing to be sure of before casting out is checking state and town fishing restrictions, so you know what you can keep and what to throw back.
The Department of Environmental Conservation website hosts a size chart for fin fish along with dates for seasons one can fish on the North Fork.
For example, summer flounder, also known as fluke, must be at least 19 inches to keep, and fisherman can only keep up to four a day. The fluking season runs from May 1 through September 29.
There are stricter restrictions on shell fishing in both state and town waters. The DEC website offers a size and possession chart for shellfish taken from state waters. Shellfish taken from Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island town waters requires a permit, while state waters do not. You can apply for town permits at local town halls.
State law limits recreational harvesters to no more than one combined bushel of clams, oysters and mussels a day.
“Once the season opens up, we may see 50 to 100 boats a day in front of the store,” said Rowsom. He said he has tips about bait for recreational fisherman, mixing certain types that will be sure to get you bites.
“There are boats out there fishing for fluke, and this year they have been getting porgies out there as well. That’s kind of the start of the season, and at this point most of the fishing that goes on is right out here on Greenport Harbor,” he said.
For those that don’t have a watercraft there are a number of charter boat companies that can take you out for a day on the water. They know the inside secrets to ensure you take a keeper home for dinner.
“We catch striped bass in May, June, and July, and we fish bluefish, fluke and we catch porgies and even blackfish,” said Captain Sloan Gurney, owner of Orient Point Fishing Charters.
“We are professional fishermen. We know where the fish are. We have custom made rods for all the different fish, and our experience tell us where the fish are at any given time – where they are going to bite,” Capt. Gurney said.
The North Fork is full of tackle shops, charter boats, marinas and a plethora of other nautical related shops. This rundown of shops, charters and marinas will have you spending more time on the water and less time on the computer doing research.
Bait & Tackle Shops, Boat Shops and other nautical shops
222 Old Neck Rd. Center Moriches (serves Mattituck area)
Celtic Horizon Charters
Compass Rose Fishing Charters
Coyote Sportfishing Charters
29745 Main Rd. Cutchogue (sailing from Orient)
Eaton Lobster II
Glory (Greenport Electric Launch) (Boat Tours)
Monty Man Fishing
Robert Hamilton Jr. Inc.
Second Chance Charters
Orient Point, NY
Other Fishing Guide Services
Captain Tony LoPerfido
40 years of experience
Click here to read recent fishing reports from the North Fork.