Charter a North Fork fishing boat: 6 things you need to know

Porgy North Fork

It’s porgy season on the North Fork. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file photo)

Happy porgy season! The catch is on for the North Fork’s star spring fish, but you might want a boat to reel them in. We caught up with Captain Bob Busby, whose Eaton Lobster III charter boat takes dozens of fishermen out each season from Greenport. We asked Captain Bob what fishing newbies need to know to get out on the water.

1) Pick a boat that fits the experience you want:

Big boats will have amenities like a galley serving snacks and will have a team of mates to help, Busby said. But smaller boats will have more “personal attention.” “Bigger boats are going to be more crowded, but all these guys are knowledgable,” Busby says. “They’ve fished forever.”

2) Is it okay to bring alcohol? Find out first:

“Some boats really frown on it,” Busby says. “Other boats don’t care as long as you’re reasonable about it.” Either way, make sure you pack snacks and something to drink like water or soda.

3) Bring extra clothes, even on a warm day:

It may seem comfortable on the docks, but out on the water, the temperature will drop, Busby says. It’ll also be windier than you think, so grab an extra jacket. “You can always take clothes off, but you can’t put them on when you don’t have them,” he said.

Among the items to bring? Rain gear if there’s a remote chance of rain, sunglasses, hats and suntan lotion. “It’s like going to the beach,” Busby said.

4) Some boats will include fillet service in their fares. But they won’t include tips:

When in doubt, tip like you would at a restaurant: somewhere between 15 to 18 percent of your total fare. And don’t expect the boats to pack up your fish for you. They’ll provide the plastic bags, but bring a cooler for your fish fillets, Busby says.

5) If you want a specific date, reserve it as early as possible:

“Most people will take a deposit to reserve the date,” Busby said. But don’t get discouraged if you’re trying to catch a boat last minute. “But really, you can try the day before. Some have called the day of.”

6) Don’t worry so much about the time of year or finding the best spots. Just go fishing:

“There’s always something to fish for,” Busby said.

Check below for a list of which boats you can charter with this season.

• Joe Angevine, Dolores from Orient

1 to 6 passengers

Contact:, 516-702-4381

• Mike Boccio, Jenglo from Orient / Prime Time 3 from Orient Point

1 to 26 passengers / 49 passengers

Contact:, 631-323-2618

• Dave Brennan, Peconic Star II from Greenport

150 passengers

Contact:, 631-289-6899

• Dan Buckley, Orient Star IV from Orient Point

1 to 49  passengers

Contact:, 631-747-7056

• Bob Busby, Eaton Lobster II from Greenport

1 to 6 passengers

Contact:, 631-765-1768

• Vinnie Claps, Challenger from Greenport

1 to 6 passengers

Contact:, 631-477-0110

• Andrew Derr, Long Island on the Fly from Greenport

1 to 3 passengers, (212) 495-9062


• Sloan Gurney, Black Rock from Orient Point

1 to 6 passengers

Contact:, 631-323-3813

•  Ken Holmes, Brooklyn Girl II from Orient

1 to 36 passengers

Contact:, 631-395-7055

• Marcel Israel, Reaper from Greenport

1 to 6 passengers

Contact:, 516-699-8811

•  Rich Jensen, Nancy Ann IV from Orient

1 to 20 passengers

Contact:, 631-477-2337

• Phil Kess, Fishy Business from Orient Pt.

1 to 23 passengers

Contact:, 516-316-6967

• Ron Lajda, Coyote from Orient

1 to 6 passengers

Contact:, 631-734-5754

• James Montalbano, Montyman II from Orient Point

1 to 6 passengers

Contact:, 631-363-2020

• Joe Paradiso, Nautic Lady from Greenport

1 to 6 passengers

Contact:, 631-786-8418

• Bob Rocchetta, Rainbow Charters from Orient Point.

1 to 6 passengers

Contact:, 631-765-4314

5 Comment

  • Do any of the fishing boat Captains specialize “Inshore Fishing?”

  • You make a good point about finding out if it is ok to bring alcohol before choosing a fishing charter. Understanding what kind of policies that a boat has would be really helpful in planning your trip. My husband loves to fish and his birthday is coming up next month. As a present, maybe I should look into chartering a fishing boat for him.

  • i live in setauket and recently bought a home in mattituck on the water. i purchased a 27 ft center console beginning of last season . i have not boated or fished much for about 20 yrs . i did get out a lot last year but still struggle a bit with the details using the gps properly , anchoring to fish getting a good drift docking in some situations . i am not a complete lost cause i did spend a lot of time boating with my father and had my own boat for about 7-8 yrs. i can handle the boat fishing was never my strength but I am really enjoying it. So i am looking to see if there are any captians interested in helping me learn the waters some basic fishing techniques etc… ion my boat .I will pay the going rate and i have a flexible schedule but i would like to set up something consistent .
    please email me if you are interested