The North Fork is an ideal place for fishermen of all abilities

Summer seems to come and go in the blink of an eye, but I’m always struck by the lasting memories they leave behind.

Some of the oldest of these games are closely related to water exploration: watching a heron along the Piconic River, learning to swim in Long Island Sound, digging for oysters during low tide or fishing at “Creek” in the woods near my uncle’s Pennsylvania home.

I can still picture my dad’s tackle box full of hand-drawn bait and can laugh back at memories of a faulty line, hopelessly tangled in a tree, knee splinters from the crumbling Aquebogue sidewalk, and of course the big moment: the feeling of being pulled on the line and reeling at my first guard.

Admittedly, I wasn’t completely hooked and can’t even remember the last time I fished. That’s why I’m adding it to my summer bucket list—and you should, too.

As the weather warms, local Captain Ben Savercool will set sail to pass on the tradition to the next generation.

He plans to host a fishing camp for kids ages 6-12 on June 18 in honor of #NationalGoFishingDay. A morning and evening session is planned in the bay, and the $175 fee includes everything from snacks to equipment, ice, fishing licenses, and life jackets.

Captain Ben Savekoul explained his love for fishing and shared his knowledge of the sport with others. (credit: David Benthal)

Hungry for the outdoors, Savercool has held similar programs unofficially in the past and hopes to branch out into making this a regular show.

“Kids are very excited when they get a fish on the line and that brings me a lot of joy as well,” he said. “I like passing it on in honor of the people who taught me how to fish.”

Savercool, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, remembers fishing for gill fish in small neighborhood ponds before moving to Mattituck as a teenager and experiencing saltwater fishing.

“Once I moved to Long Island, I fell in love with saltwater fishing,” he said. “The fish are bigger and they fight harder.”

Soon after earning his captain’s license at the age of 18, Savercool, now 23, founded Fish the Fork, a fly-fishing and light-fishing charter. It mainly specializes in shallow water fishing for striped bass and bluefish and can accommodate all levels.

At this time of year, purgis, luck, weaklings, striped bass, and bluefish can all be found in the waters of the Piconic River Estuary, where many species spawn in spring.

As a teenager, Savercool started fishing primarily with porcelain.

“It’s a great way to fish for beginners. It’s a plentiful fish, easy to catch and will eat pretty much anything in terms of bait.” “They are not that picky.”

In this magazine, we’ve documented the endless options for enjoying the North Fork’s freshly caught culinary dishes, from striped bass to blowfish. But getting to your own area is a time-honored way to connect with the area and perhaps appreciate its bounty in a new way.

Whether you prefer a lazy afternoon on a small stream or are hungry for adrenaline in the Atlantic, North Fork has it all.

“It’s a serene experience on the bay and you’ll get a nice perspective to see the North Fork from the water,” said Savercool.

If you’re not on the beach, charter boats are a popular way to get out on the water. Fish crews know where the fish are going and can increase the odds of catching you home for dinner.

One last trip in the Piconic Bay. (credit: David Benthal)

Captain Ken Holmes, who has run charters from the East with a Brooklyn girl since 1995, said joining a charter is a great way to learn the sport.

He said, “It’s a friendly atmosphere on the boat and great because the better people get, the more addicted they become.” “It would really shorten the learning curve if you could have a day on the deck.”

He said that the east is one of his favorite places in the world for fishing as there are many bodies of water nearby.

“The Peconic Bays, Gardiners, Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound all come together and really make for a great fishing spot,” he said.

This season will celebrate the third season with Karman’s new 50-foot boat, which sails at a speed of around 16 knots and allows them to expand their capabilities.

“It allows us to spread out from the east. We used to be limited to a 15-mile radius around the Orient and now we can go 30,” he added, adding that they often fish near Block Island and even Rhode Island for black hunting in the fall.

Charters aren’t the only way to get fishing.

This time of year, you are likely to see fishermen lined up on the beach, eagerly awaiting the spring courses. It’s a different – and at times more challenging – experience than sea fishing, but still a rewarding way to spend the time absorbing it all.

After all, it was Herbert Hoover who wrote the fishermen “must have a meditative mind, for there is often a long time between bites … He is by nature an optimist or he will not go hunting.”

get ready

You’ll need some inexpensive equipment before you head out. There is no shortage of bait and tackle supply stores that can supply you with gear, from rod and reel to fishing line, tackle lures, weights and weights.

If you’re not sure what you need—or need some advice to get started, we recommend asking anyone behind the counter at a local bait store. Wego fishing in Southwold is the go-to source for many local fishermen.

Owner Steve Sponza is an expert on luck and burgh, while the other staff members have expert knowledge of sea tuna or sea bass fishing.

“Everyone has their talent,” he said. “You meet a lot of nice people and that makes a huge difference. People come back and thank you. It’s kind of like family.”

“At the end of the day, it’s about hunting, not hunting,” said Craig Jobs, who helps run the store. “But getting local knowledge at a bait shop or on a local charter boat is a good way to start.”

Although permits are not required for saltwater fishing, you must register with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for free. (Freshwater fishing requires a license and fees range from $5 to $50.) You should also be aware of regulations for size limits and open seasons.

One of the most important aspects of learning to fish is having the right gear and there is no shortage of places where you can get what you need for your first great day on the water. (credit: David Benthal)
Find a place

Public piers are great places for beginners to learn about fishing and are suitable for children as well.


This pier at the end of Third Street is popular for good reason: It’s also the site of the annual Snapper Derby held over the weekend at the Maritime Festival.

new steam boat steam suffolk

A favorite place to watch sailboat races on Wednesday nights, the newly reconstructed quayside is a great spot for fishing.

Arrival on the Hashmookoc Sea Route to Southwold

This new public boat ramp was completed by the state in 2021 and provides access to Peconic Bay. You can also walk a trail on the 3.2-acre property on a fishing pier between Hashamomuck Pond and Mill Creek.

Cedar Beach County Park Southwold

This 68-acre park is limited for use by residents of Suffolk County, but it is a fishing hotspot near Shelter Island Sound.

Orient Beach State Park Orient

Fish from shore at this popular eastern point on the North Fork which is also a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, and hiking.

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