In 1986, 18 miles off Montauk, two fishermen caught the largest shark ever recorded on rod and reel at 3,427lbs. Today excellent surf casting at Montauk Point or along the ocean beaches and inshore or offshore trips on party and charter boats make Montauk one of the premier fishing destinations in the world. A trip to the Chamber of Commerce on Main Street or to the harbor area (off West Lake Drive) yields the information you need to choose from the many fishing options. For summer trips, make reservations well in advance.
Breakaway. This 43-foot Torres sportfisherman can be chartered for up to six people for inshore fishing for striped bass and fluke, or offshore for tuna and shark. Full-day and half-day trips are available. Montauk Harbor, Fairview Ave., Montauk, New York, 11954. 631/668–2914; www.breakawaysportfishing.com. $650–$1,150. May–Nov..
Johnny's Tackle Shop. In business for more than 65 years, Johnny's is the place to go for custom-designed rods and a comprehensive selection of fishing tackle and bait. The service here may be a bit rough around the edges, but if you're looking for excellent surf-casting advice, you can get that here, too. 786 Main St., Montauk Hwy., Montauk, New York, 11954. 631/668–2940. Closed Dec. 1–Apr. 1.
Lazy Bones. A party boat that offers some serious fishing, Lazy Bones, owned and operated by Montauk's Mike Vegessi and family, provides two half-day fishing trips per day for up to 40 people. You might catch flounder, fluke, striped bass, or bluefish, depending on the season, and you'll always have fun. Reservations are recommended. 474 W Lake Dr., Montauk, New York, 11954. 631/668–5671; www.montauksportfishing.com. $50. Daily 8–noon and 1–5.
Montauk Sportfishing. Tide tables, fishing reports, marinas, charter boats, tackle shops, and other information is available here. Montauk, New York, 11954. 631/668–2019; www.montauksportfishing.com.
Oh Brother. Choose from deep-sea fishing or a half-day inshore haul for bass and bluefish on the Oh Brother, which welcomes families. Montauk Harbor, Montauk, New York, 11954. 631/668–2707.
Paulie's Tackle of Montauk. Paulie's Tackle sells lures, hooks and tackle, and fresh and frozen bait. You can also have your rod or reel repaired here or a custom rod built. Paulie’s also sponsors spring and fall tournaments. S. Edgemere St. , Montauk, New York, 11954. 631/668–5520; www.pauliestackle.com. Closed mid Dec.–Apr..
Star Island Yacht Club. Here you'll find a marina, a restaurant, and the East End's largest nautical store, which is filled with bait and tackle, clothing, footwear, and supplies. Star Island hosts Montauk's famous shark tournaments in summer. You can charter full- or half-day sportfishing boats for up to six people. 59 Star Island Rd., Montauk, New York, 11954. 631/668–5052; www.starislandyc.com.
Viking Fleet. Half- or full-day offshore or night-fishing trips are available aboard the Viking Fleet's party boats. Whale-watching trips are given on Sundays in July and August. 462 W. Lake Dr., Montauk, New York, 11954. 631/668–5700; www.vikingfleet.com. Fishing trips $50–$120; whale-watching $75.