09/11/18 6:05am

Sawyer Clark pound traps on the Peconic Bay off of Shelter Island. On this day he brought in serval pounds of porgies, weakfisk, blowfish, and bunkers. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

When Sawyer Clark turned 16, he bought a boat and went into the family business: fishing. In the four years since, he has graduated from high school, given college a try and returned to the profession he was born for, despite having a pretty good idea of how dangerous and unpredictable the life of a bayman is. 

“I tried to stay out, but I fell in love with it,” he said.  (more…)

09/07/18 6:05am

Stepping onto a dock, it’s easy to overlook the carefully laid wood under foot. For many, a dock is simply something you walk on to board a boat for an afternoon on the water.

Ian Crowley sees it differently, though. He’s worked in the North Fork dockbuilding industry since he was 18 and founded his own company, Crowley Marine Contracting, more than two decades ago.  (more…)

09/07/18 5:55am

Ryan, left, Jeff and Re Strong walk the dock at their marina in Mattituck Inlet. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Along Mattituck Inlet, on a dock lined with boats of all kinds, Jeff, Re and Ryan Strong stop and wave to each captain passing by. They stop and chat with the boaters and keep a close eye out to make sure the slips are clear of any floating debris. 

For more than 70 years, the Strong family has helped cultivate a community of recreational boaters on the North Fork and beyond.  (more…)

09/05/18 6:13am

‘It’s not fish you’re buying – it’s men’s lives.’’

— Sir Walter Scott

The Predator sits dockside in Greenport, behind Alice’s Fish Market, a rusting hulk of a fishing trawler, 75 feet long and with no certain future to speak of. It is Mark Phillips’ boat, but he is away most days trolling offshore for squid in his other trawler, the Illusion.

“It is not going to sea anytime soon,” Phillips said by cellphone, an edge of weary disgust in his voice. “The Predator’s days have come and gone.”  (more…)

09/04/18 6:07am

Capt. Andrew Derr at Gull Pond in Greenport. (Credit: David Benthal)

The flat skiff hugs the Long Island shoreline, its humming engine breaking the quiet of the early morning before going silent as the boat reaches shallow water. It’s so shallow, you’re tempted to reach out a hand and see if you can touch the bottom, except you’d likely scare away the fish.

Standing on the platform of the skiff, Captain Andrew Derr guides the boat stealthily through the currents with a pole while searching for striped bass. (more…)

09/03/18 6:10am

Even after spending a full day at Braun Seafood Co., general manager Keith Reda’s work isn’t always done.

Every Tuesday just before midnight, he heads back to company headquarters in Cutchogue, starts up the large refrigerated truck and makes his way to the New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point, arriving long before rush hour.  (more…)

09/01/18 6:00am

Captain Tom McGriel aboard the North Ferry. (Credit: David Benthal)

When the 5:30 a.m. ferry left Shelter Island for Greenport on Jan. 13, 2018, Captain Tom McGriel was in his wheelhouse, figuratively and literally. Cloudy and raw, with the wind predicted to blow all day and the temperature dropping into the teens, the view through the windows of his perch was stark and magnificent. 

“Just another day in the office,” McGriel said, “but you can’t beat the view.” (more…)