Looking for something new to do with the kids now that summer's more than halfway over? How about fishing? Long Island has a plethora of places to dangle a line - party boats in the ocean, bay or Sound; freshwater lakes; docks that jut like fingers into the various waterways.
All you need is a basic, well-made fishing rod and appropriate bait for the kind of fish you're seeking. Make sure you go for only a few hours, so kids don't get bored, and try to pick somewhere that the kids are sure to catch something so they don't get frustrated.
"When you take them on their first trip, they should come back with a fish story," says Angelo Peluso, director of editorial and marketing for The Fisherman magazines, based in Shirley.
Here are some angling outings to try:
COST $8 park entrance fee; $3 with Suffolk County Green Key Card
Fish from the shoreline of Hards Lake, which is part of the Carmans River, and you may catch brook or rainbow trout, largemouth bass, perch or bluegills. If they meet state requirements for length, you can take the fish home. You can also fish off a rowboat, which costs $6 for the first hour and $4 for each additional hour, with a $10 refundable deposit. Life jackets provided. Bring your own rods and bait.
ALSO TRY Lake Ronkonkoma parks run by Suffolk County and the towns of Brookhaven and Islip, Belmont Lake State Park in Babylon, Hempstead Lake State Park in Hempstead. You can also rent rowboats to fish in Belmont Lake State Park on weekdays only.
COST $40 per adult, $37 senior citizen, $25 for 12 and younger. Reservations not necessary; but if you book online, you get a $3 discount. Trips are rain or shine.
The boat sails three times a day, seven days a week; each trip is four hours. Trips at 7 a.m. and noon hunt for fluke; 6 p.m. sail is for bluefish, striped bass and weakfish. The boat holds 90 people. Bait, pole and tackle provided. Snack bar on board; bring your own cooler. Staff cleans fish.
ALSO TRY Many other boats also leave from Captree State Park
COST $45 per adult, $25 children ages 5 to 12, 4 and younger free; rods, tackle and bait provided. Reservations not necessary.
For children, the half-day trips are recommended, either from 8 a.m. to noon or 1 to 5 p.m. daily. This fishing boat fishes for fluke in the ocean waters around Montauk. It can carry up to 100 passengers, with each one having a rod holder at the rail. Food and beverage available for purchase; coolers allowed. Staff cleans fish for you.
COST $10 Jones Beach parking fee
Four "finger piers" jut into the Great South Bay. Bring your own rod and other necessities, and there's a bait station that sells bait, tackle and snacks. This time of year, fish for fluke, Northern Kingfish, porgies and bluefish.
COST $65 per adult; $55 for seniors, $45 for children 12 and younger. Reservations not necessary. Rods, tackle and bait included. Dockside parking is free.
The Angler II sails from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day, and 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 to 7 p.m. Sundays. The boat holds up to 40 people. The day trips are primarily for fluke or porgies, the night trips for striped bass and bluefish. Soda, water and chips are available; bring your own cooler. Staff cleans the fish.
Where to drop a line
THE RULES: NYSDEC says that a child under 16 does not need a fishing permit. However, if a parent or adult touch the bait, takes the fish off the rod or helps in any way that person needs a permit. Fishing boats carry the permit for all passengers.
Cost: Free, $8 parking fee
Get a rod and reel and go fishing for snappers, prizes awarded.
Cost: $8 parking fee on weekends and holidays
The lake has mostly large mouth bass and small mouth bass, but you can also fish for chain pickerel, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, yellow perch, white perch, carp and brown bullhead.
Cost: $8 parking fee
Fishing anywhere around the lake. Boat fishing is only Monday through Friday. Boat rentals are $10 per hour and a $10 refundable deposit. Fish for bass, bluegill and other kinds of fresh water fish.
Cost: $8 parking fee
This park has three places where you can fish. Fish on the lake or at South Pond or McDonald Pond. Trout is stocked in the lake once a year.
Cost: $59 adults, $49 seniors and $39 children.
Hours: 7 to 11 a.m. and noon to 4 p.m.
Fluke fishing in the Shinnecock Inlet. Also striped bass and shark/tuna fishing one day a week based on weather. The boat holds 49 people. Cold drinks and snacks on board. Bait, pole and tackle provided.
COST: $37 adults, $32 seniors and $27 children. 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. $2 rod rentals; bait and tackle included. Kids' day Tuesdays $20 per child. Fishing excursions on the waters of the Great South Bay and the Atlantic Ocean for fluke, when in season, sea bass, blackfish, porgies, mackerel, cod, pollock, hake, haddock, bluefish, weakfish, striped bass and tuna. Parking is free.
Purchase a 24-hour permit to drive the two miles down to the water ($15; only 10 sold a day); otherwise, walk to the fishing spot. Bring your own rod, tackle and bait. Fishing allowed in the Long Island Sound but not the pond. Additional parking fee is $8.
This dock is available for everyone to fish for snappers and bluefish. Parking lot by dock is open to everyone for no charge until 6 p.m. After 6 p.m., only village residents can park in this lot. There is also on-street parking.
ON SATURDAY, AUG. 14, Patchogue village has its 27TH ANNUAL SNAPPER DERBY, sponsored by J&J Bait and Tackle. Ages 6 to 10 fish from 1 to 2 p.m., ages 11 to 14 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. $3 in advance/$5 day of derby.
Cost: $5 parking fee on weekends for nonresidents
Fishing pier is on the south end of the park. Bring your own rod. Fish for large mouth bass, bluegill, carp, pumpkinseed and brown bullhead.
Fluke fishing, half-day, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. or noon to 4 p.m. daily. Bluefish and striped bass fishing, 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. Adults $45, seniors $43, kids 12 years and under $30. Free parking. It's recommended you bring your own cooler, sunscreen and extra layers of clothing.
Cost: $40 per adult, $37 senior citizen, $25 for 12 and younger. Reservations not necessary, but if you book online you get a $3 discount. Trips are rain or shine. The boat holds 90 people. Bait, pole and tackle provided. Snack bar on board; bring your own cooler. Staff cleans fish.
Cost: $10 Jones Beach parking fee
Four "finger piers" jut into the Great South Bay. Bring your own rod, but there's a bait station that sells bait, tackle and snacks. This time of year, fish for fluke, Northern Kingfish, porgies and bluefish.
WHERE THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE YOU'LL CATCH A FISH
COST Admission to hatchery is $6 adults, $4 children 3 to 12; to fish is an additional $5 per person; $2 to rent a rod (you can bring your own), $2 to purchase bait (you can bring your own, but they must be night crawlers). Everything you catch you must take home, and it's $3 a fish. Clean your fish at home.
Fishing takes place only Fridays through Tuesdays. Fish from 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m. on all fishing days. Saturday and Sunday there's an extra session from 4 to 6 p.m. in August. Only 12 people can fish at any time; no reservations accepted. Fishing is from a platform deck with a railing; hang the line over the side (no casting). Fishing is into what's called a tidal raceway, a body of water that flows from an underground spring to Cold Spring Harbor. You'll catch either brook trout or rainbow trout, which you can take home and prepare to eat.