As someone who has worked in seafood restaurants for 20 years I can honestly say I made my living off the water. Sure, I wasn't risking my life like the fishermen on Deadliest Catch, but my livelihood depended on the bounty of the sea. I've worked in landmark seafood restaurants from Manhattan to Southampton, and I always took great pride in knowing where and how the seafood I served was sourced. I am now challenging you to do the same, and the best way to see how fish are caught is to go fishing!
It's easy to forget that we live on an island, but nothing reminds you like being on the water. If you live in New York City, don't overlook chartering a boat from City Island or one of the boats out of Jersey City. Did you know that there's great fishing right off the Statue of Liberty? On the East End, we are blessed with the ability to stay inshore for smaller game or head out to the deep for the larger fish like shark and tuna.
The East End is a perfect spot for one of the tastiest fish, the striped bass. Fishing for stripers is an ideal opportunity for you to experience what it's like to be a professional fisherman. Much of the local bass served in restaurants on the East End were caught on rod and reel, tagged, and then sold to market by a commercial fisherman. You can try your luck at these fish from the rocks on an inlet, but I suggest chartering a boat. Many people consider Montauk to be the striped bass capital of the world, and I will not dispute that, but whether it's Montauk or Hampton Bays, I have had great success bringing in the striped beauties. When chartering a boat I always make it a point to ask lots of questions of the mate and the captain. Sure, this can get annoying for them, but most pros know that amateur fishermen like to learn about the water, as well as catch fish. These professionals have spent a great many hours on the water and have such a deep knowledge that you will only scratch the surface in a single charter. It's not unheard of to line up next to commercial fisherman while reeling in your bass, so relish the time. This is how your dinner is caught.
I have been fortunate enough to pair up with Capt. Brad from Someday Came Fishing Charters several times and have caught a variety of fish. From shark to fluke, Capt. Brad has always put me on the fish. Brad gives you the full fishing experience. From great stories to big fish, he's your guy for a day out on the water. He's got a ton of info and a great boat out of Hampton Bays.
Whether you used to fish or never have before, now is the time to get out on the water and get in the action. Your first fish is like your first kiss. When it happens, you never forget it and you always want more. My first fish was a "scup" caught off of Martha's Vineyard many years ago and I have never forgotten the feeling that little fish sent through my fishing rod. Since then, I have caught sharks, mahi-mahi, tuna, grouper, striped bass and so many other varieties it's hard to count, but no matter what's on the other end of the line, I'm still excited. Now go catch your dinner.