04/09/19 6:00am

The cover of the September issue photographed by David Benthal.

For the second straight year, the September issue of northforker was awarded Best Magazine in the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The special “Working Waterfront” issue paid tribute to the North Fork and Shelter Island fishermen, boat captains and others who rise early each morning to make their living on The Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay. (more…)

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 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…)

09/04/18 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…)

09/01/18 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…)

08/31/18 6:05am

Jimmy Hayward of Commander Cody’s on Shelter Island. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

As the sun rises, Jimmy Hayward is already on his boat, checking his pots.

The fisherman goes out three or four times a week, leaving the metal baskets in the water and returning to see what he caught. At 83, Mr. Hayward, owner of Commander Cody’s Fish Market on Shelter Island, still baits for porgies, weakfish, bluefish, blackfish and sea bass. 

But he’s not limited to catching just those species. (more…)