Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge in Huntington

Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge in Huntington Credit: Newsday, 2010 / Valerie Kellogg

The eventual goal is to catch a big one, but for now, exploring Long Island's fishing spots is the bait that keeps me going out there every weekend.

And so it was in that spirit that my husband, son and I recently joined three other families at Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge in Huntington.

It felt like we were the only ones there that recent Sunday afternoon. There is no ranger at the entrance booth to take money and answer questions. Here you park and put $4 in an envelope at the information kiosk. You enter your car's license plate number on the top and rip off a portion to display in your car window.

We walked for about a mile through overgrown forests to get to the beach, which is on the rocky Long Island North Shore. It was low tide, but our local bait and tackle shop owner suggested we try the waters for flounder and fluke, using sandworms, squid and sand eels on our weighted poles.

Only a crab was caught that day, along with a photo of this vista from a lookout point at the 80-acre refuge. Obviously someone else had been there before us.

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