If you think party boat fishing is for rookies only, think again. Pay-to-play vessels offer the chance to learn new fishing tricks from an experienced crew or preview waters you've yet to fish. They are also ideal for introducing youngsters and novice anglers to the pleasures of fishing.
What it costs: Party boat fares vary depending on trip length and distance to the fishing grounds. Expect to pay $40 to $50 for half-day trips, and $60 to $90 for full-day adventures. Many boats discount children's and senior citizen tickets. Tip 15 to 20 percent, adding extra for fish cleaning. The optional pool ante, usually $2, goes to the angler hauling aboard the day's biggest fish.
Capt. Bob VI: Mattituck Inlet Canal, Mill Road, Mattituck; 631-298-5522: Fishing charter that sails from April through December.
Capt. Bob V: Mattituck Inlet Canal, Mill Road, Mattituck; 631-371-9835: Fishing charter that sails from April through December. Rods, reels and tackle are included.
Prime Time III: Orient by the Sea Marina, 40200 Main Rd., Orient Point; 631-323-2618: Fishing charter that sails from April through December.
Peconic Star Fleet: Railroad Dock, Third Street, Greenport; 631-875-2631: Fishing charter that sails from May through November. Offers full-day trips, bait, tackle and charters.
North Shore fishing boats
Angler Fishing Fleet: 405 Main St., Port Washington; 718-659-8181: Dock with boats for cruising charters and fishing trips. Boats sail from April through December.
Celtic Grace: Port Jefferson Harbor, Port Jefferson; 631-928-3926: The Celtic Grace sails from April through December. Rods, bait and tackle are provided. Special rates are available for children and seniors.
James Joseph III: Halesite Dock, North end of Route 110, Huntington; 631-651-8235: This charter fishing boat sails April through December.
Osprey Fishing Fleet : 118 W. Broadway Town Dock, Port Jefferson; 631-331-4153: This fishing boat is open to families; offering private sessions from May through December.
Black Rock Sport Fishing: Orient Point; 631-323-3813: Sails for striped bass, bluefish, blackfish, fluke and porgies during full-day and half-day trips.
Blue Fin IV: Montauk; 631-668-9323: This charter can be called upon for both inshore and big-game expeditions (tuna, shark, marlin). Rates vary based on season, location and intended catch.
The Codfather: Freeport; 516-868-9073: Capt. Mike operates the 32-foot custom J.C. boat year-round out of Freeport's Nautical Mile. Offshore species include bluefin and yellowfin tuna, mahi-mahi, false albies (little tunny), shark, cod and tilefish.
Miss Freeport V: 85 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport; 516-378-0555: The Miss Freeport V yacht offers all the amenities you'd expect from a charter boat. The 72-foot yacht has day and night cruises available.
Blackfin Fly Fishing: Montauk; 908-797-5779: Capt. Chris Jensen offers fly fishing, light tackle fishing and more.
Blackfoot Fishing Charters: 222 Old Neck Rd., Center Yacht Club Marina, Center Moriches; 631-874-0070: The 30’ Sea Ray Weekender, run by Capt. Jeff Roye, fishes for fluke, flounder, stripers, blues, sea bass, porgies, and blackfish. It accommodates up to six people, with all equipment provided.
Cujo: Montauk; 631-678-2127: The 38-foot boat with a six-passenger maximum sails out of Star Island Yacht Club in Montauk. It fishes for jumbo striped bass, huge fluke, tiger sharks, tuna, bluefish and porgies.
Eastern L.I. Sportfishing Charters: 1410 Manhasset Ave., Brewer Stirling Harbor Marina, Greenport; 631-786-8418: This charter boat provides customers with reels, bait and tackle.
JC Charters: 352 W. Lake Dr., Montauk; 914-466-8954: Offering a fishing boat charter service, the ship available is a 35-foot craft (The MI-VI) equipped with a turbo diesel engine, two fighting chairs and updated navigational electronics. Rates vary per duration, time and distance of excursion.
Lady Grace V: West Lake Fishing Lodge, West Lake Drive, Montauk; 516-768-6849: A fishing charter boat, this vessel can handle up to 16 passengers for either half- or full-day trips. All tackle and bait is provided; the ship is available for both inshore and offshore outings (between May and December, depending on intended catch and location), and whale-watching trips are possible for contract from June through August.
Rainbow Charters: Southold; 631-765-4314: Capt. Bob Rocchetta's 28-foot sport fishing vessel can do trips with up to six people. Tackle and bait provided. It sails for striped bass, fluke, flounder, bluefish, porgies, blackfish, shark, cod and tuna.
Reel Action Charters: 7 Dunes Rd., Oakland's Marina, Hampton Bays; 516-848-9631: Sailing out of Oakland's Marina, this 44-foot boat is available daily for chartered fishing.
Sea Otter IV: 440 W. Lake Dr., Montauk; 860-739-1882: Fishing charter available for night and overnight trips as well as day trips and sightseeing. It has a heated cabin and includes poles, bait and tackle.
Seawife IV: Montauk; 631-668-6894: Fishing charter available for night and overnight trips as well as day trips and sightseeing. It has a heated cabin and includes poles, bait and tackle.
Sorry Charlie Charters: Woodcleft Avenue, Freeport; 516-369-1646: Capt. Mike's 35-foot boat accommodates up to six people and runs half-day, full-day and overnight tours out of Freeport's Nautical Mile. Inshore and offshore trips available, going after fluke, flounder, tuna and more.
Weejack Charters: Montauk; 631-668-1007: Inshore and outshore trips for 1-6 passengers aboard the 38-foot Duffy.
Ebb Tide: Salivar's Dock, West Lake Drive, Montauk; 631-668-2818: Open for fishing charters, this 65-foot custom-built vessel has twin diesel engines, a heated cabin, updated navigation equipment and can handle 85 people. It sailed from May through October.
Lazy Bones: 474 Westlake Dr., Montauk Harbor; 631-668-5671: This family-friendly fishing boat heads to calm and settled waters. It makes two trips daily at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Bait and tackle are included. The Lazy Bones sails from May through December.
Miss Montauk: Montauk Marine Basin, Montauk; 631-668-1545: This family-friendly fishing boat is available daily from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. It sails year-round and also has sunset cruises that allow for sightseeing.
Viking Star: Viking Dock, West Lake Drive, Montauk; 631-668-5700: This year-round fishing boat has an onboard tackle store, bunks and showers. It also has heated rails to keep guests warm while fishing during colder months.
Viking Stariper: Viking Dock, West Lake Drive, Montauk; 631-668-5700: The Stariper sails from May through October and has indoor and outdoor seating.
Hampton Lady: Hampton Bays; 631-521-3366: This 60-foot fishing boat is chartered by reservation and leaves as early as 4 a.m.
Shinnecock Star: Oakland's Marina Dune Road, Hampton Bays; 631-728-4563: This fishing charter and party boat sails all year. Rod, bait, tackle and reel are included.
South Shore fishing boats
Bay Princess II: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-587-6024: This party boat is available for moonlight sails, private events and half-day or full-day boat trips. It sails April through November.
Capt. Al: Point Lookout; 516-623-2248: Bottom fishing every day on Capt. Al includes sea bass, porgies, blackfish and ling. The boat is also available for parties.
Capt. Gillen: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-586-5511: This boat sails daily for fluke fishing on the bay and in the ocean. Trips are offered May through September with three sessions between 6 a.m. and 8:15 p.m.
Capt. Gregory: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-957-6855: This boat sails daily for open fishing. Bait and tackle is provided and groups are welcome.
Capt. Lou Fleet: 28A Woodcleft Ave., Freeport; 516-623-5823: The Capt Lou VI and the Capt Lou VII are open for half-day or full-day bay and ocean fishing. Bait and tackle is included. Moonlight cruises are also available.
Capt. Rod: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-587-7316: Fishing boat with morning, afternoon and evening trips. Fishing rod, bait and tackle are provided. Children, senior and group discount rates are available.
Captree Princess: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-859-8799: Fishing boat sails daily with morning, afternoon and evening trips. Bait and tackle are provided. The Captree Princess sails year round.
Captree Star 3: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-669-0065: The Captree Star 3 is open for corporations, schools, parties and day and night cruise trips. It sails from spring through fall.
Capt. Whittaker: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-587-7087: Capt. Whittaker sails between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. from May through October. Bait and rods are included.
Dolphin: 540 Guy Lombardo Ave., Freeport; 516-382-5777: The Dolphin sails from April through November offering moonlight and day cruises, bay and ocean fishing and special events. Bait, rod and tackle are provided.
Fish Finder: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 516-287-3704: This party boat offers bay and ocean fishing from April through December. It sails on two five hour trips daily, for fluke, striped bass, weak fish and bluefish.
Fishtale: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-766-9578: This boat offers private charters, bay and ocean fishing or cruising. Bait and tackle are provided.
Island Princess: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-587-6024: The Island Princess sails from April through November in morning, afternoon and night. From May through September, the boat fishes for weakfish, bay blues and stripers.
Laura Lee Fleet: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-661-1867: The Laura Lee Fleet sails daily at 7 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., fishing for fluke, sea bass, weakfish and striped bass. The boat sails from May through November.
Nancy Gee: Captree State Park Boat Basin, Babylon; 631-265-3731: Sail the Nancy Gee for charter fishing, birthday parties, day and night cruises or corporate trips. It sails from April through December.
Super Hawk: East Marina Point Lookout; 516-607-30004: Sail the Super Hawk for charter fishing, or day and night cruises. Bait, rod and tackle are provided. It sails year round.
Trade Winds II: Captree State Park, Babylon; 631-419-1212: This 78-foot boat is dedicated to fluke fishing. It sails for parties and saltwater fishing trips between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.