Looking for something new to do with the kids this summer? 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.
Here are some angling outings to try:
AT A FRESHWATER LAKE, Southaven County Park, Victory Avenue, Brookhaven, 631-854-1414; co.suffolk.ny.us
COST $7 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. Rentals are available daily from April 1 to Labor Day ($8 for the first hour and $6 each additional hour, with an $11 refundable deposit.) Life jackets are 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 and Hempstead Lake State Park in Hempstead. You can also rent rowboats to fish in Belmont Lake State Park (weekdays only).
FOR GREAT SOUTH BAY FISHING, The Island Princess,
Captree State Park, 631-587-6024; islandprincessfishing.com
COST $42 per adult, $39 seniors, $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
FOR OCEAN FISHING, The Viking Fleet, Montauk Harbor, 631-668-5700; vikingfleet.com
COST $50, $30 ages 5 to 12, free 4 and younger; rods, tackle and bait provided. Reservations are recommended.
For children, half-day trips are recommended, either from 8 a.m. to noon or 1-5 p.m. daily. This boat fishes for fluke in the ocean waters around Montauk. Food and beverage available for purchase; coolers allowed. The staff cleans fish for you. If you sail in the morning and want to go again on the afternoon trip, the fare will be halved for the second trip.
ALSO TRY Many other boats leave from Montauk and other points on the South Shore, including Shinnecock Inlet, Moriches Inlet, Captree State Park and Freeport
FOR DOCKSIDE FISHING, Jones Beach State Park, Field 10, Bay Parkway, Wantagh, 516-826-5979
COST $10 Jones Beach parking fee
Four “finger piers” jut into the Great South Bay. Bring a rod and other necessities. A bait station sells bait, tackle and snacks; and rents rods and reels.
ALSO TRY Free docks in Cold Spring Harbor, Patchogue and Wantagh County Park (Wantagh has $5 parking fee on weekends for nonresidents)
ON THE NORTH SHORE, Angler Fleet, Inspiration Wharf, 405 Main St., Port Washington, 718-659-8181; theangler.com
COST $35, $30 for 12 and younger and seniors. Reservations recommended. Rods, tackle and bait included. Dockside parking is free.
The Angler Fleet sails from 7 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. daily. More trips are added on weekends. The three-vessel fleet can hold up to 69 passengers. The day trips are primarily for flounder, fluke, porgies and blackfish; night trips for striped bass and bluefish. Food snacks and beverages are available. Staff cleans the fish. Kids Fishing Camp, a weekly program for 8 and older, is offered all summer long. Fireworks cruises every Friday all summer long. Private charters are available for one to 69 passengers on any of the vessels.
ALSO TRY Boats also leave from Huntington and Port Jefferson
SNAPPER DERBY (8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Aug. 13-14), Captree State Park’s fishing pier, off Robert Moses Causeway, Babylon, nysparks.com, 631-321-3510
Cost: Free, $8 parking fee
Get a rod and reel and go fishing for snappers; prizes awarded.
LAKE RONKONKOMA, Lake Shore Road, Lake Ronkonkoma, 631-854-9699
Cost: Parking fee: $7 residents and $14 nonresidents weekends May 28-Sept. 5; free Mon.-Fri. (except holidays) through Sept. 5.
The lake has mostly largemouth and smallmouth bass, but you can also fish for chain pickerel, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, yellow perch, white perch, carp and brown bullhead.
BELMONT LAKE STATE PARK, North Babylon, 631-667-5055, nwsdy.li/blsp
Cost: $8 parking fee
Fishing anywhere around the lake. Boat fishing is only Mon.-Fri. Boat rentals are $15 for 1.5 hours. No deposit needed. Fish for bass, bluegill and other fresh-water fish.
HEMPSTEAD LAKE STATE PARK, West Hempstead, 516-766-1029, nwsdy.li/hlsp
Cost: $8 parking fee April-Oct.
Fishing is permitted on Hempstead Lake and South and McDonald ponds. Trout are stocked in South and McDonald ponds in the fall.
HAMPTON LADY, 363 Dune Rd., Hampton Bays, 631-521-3366, thehamptonlady.com
Cost: $60 adults, $50 seniors and $40 children.
Hours: 7-11 a.m. and noon-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 48 people. Bait, pole and tackle provided.
CAPTAIN LOU FLEET, 31 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport, 516-623-5823, captloufleet.com
COST: $42 adults, $32 seniors and children. Plus a 15 percent gratuity to thecrew. From 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. take advantage of $3 rod rentals; bait and tackle included. Kids’ day Tuesdays $25 per child. Fishing excursions on the waters of the Great South Bay and the Atlantic Ocean for fluke (in season), sea bass, blackfish, porgies, mackerel, cod, pollock, hake, haddock, bluefish, weakfish, striped bass and tuna. Parking is free.
CAUMSETT STATE HISTORIC PARK PRESERVE, 25 Lloyd Harbor Rd., Huntington, 631-423-1770, nwsdy.li/fishcaumsett
Purchase a 24-hour permit to drive the 2 miles down to the water ($25); 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.
PATCHOGUE, MASCOT DOCK, South Ocean Avenue, Patchogue
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.
SATURDAY, Sept. 3, Patchogue village has its 33rd annual SNAPPER DERBY, sponsored by J&J Bait and Tackle. Ages 6 to 10 fish from 1-2 p.m., ages 11-14 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. $3 in advance/$5 day of derby.
WANTAGH PARK, 1 King Rd., Wantagh, 516-571-7460, nwsdy.li/wanpark
Cost: $10 parking fee on weekends for nonresidents
Fishing pier is on the south end of the park. Bring your own rod. Fish for largemouth bass, bluegill, carp, pumpkinseed and brown bullhead.
JAMES JOSEPH FISHING, 84 N. New York Ave., Huntington, 631-651-8235, jamesjosephfishing.com
Fluke fishing, half-day (4-hour) trips, call or check website for schedule. Bluefish and striped bass fishing, 4:30-8:30 p.m. daily. Fee is $45 adults, $43 seniors, $30 ages 12 and younger. Free parking.
PORT JEFFERSON CELTIC QUEST IV, Port Jefferson Marina, 118 W. Broadway, Port Jefferson, 631-928-3926
Offering: Sound fishing; full-day, half-day and evening trips; rods, bait and tackle included; private charters available; senior and children’s rates; group discounts.
JONES BEACH STATE PARK, Field 10, Bay Parkway, Wantagh, 516-826-5979
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.