Be Your Own Charter Captain and Follow the Fish!

Pete DeVilbiss and his son show off a nice false albacore caught aboard a Freedom Boat Club boat. Photo by Tom Schlichter.

By Staff

It’s no secret that the salty waters surrounding Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island are some of the fishiest in the world. From bottom-feeding favorites like tasty fluke, sea bass, scup and blackfish to inshore gamesters including stripers, blues, weakfish and false albacore, the depths in this region are particularly fertile. Even better, there’s something to catch every month from May through December – and many recreational fish species attain lunker status.

Of course, the action with each species rises and falls based on a variety of factors such as time of season, water temperature, abundance of baitfish and even fishing pressure. That means different ports light up with action at different times of the year. Some anglers do their best to follow the action by hopping on party or charter boats throughout the region while others trailer their own vessels from one end of Long Island to the other or up and down the New England Coast. Shore-bound anglers, meanwhile, do their best to find access from beaches, docks, jetties and parklands, hoping the fish will come to them rather than powering off to intercept the best of the action.

Peter DeVilbiss and Dick Cromwell of Freedom Boat Club ( think they have a better way to stay on top of the best fishing. They own and operate a total of 11 locations within our Coastal Angler coverage area where you can join-up, be your own captain and head out on your own schedule to find the best fishing. Become a member at one Freedom Boat Club location and you have access to the boats at all 154 Freedom Boat Clubs across the country – including over 110 vessels between Long Island, Connecticut and the Rhody coast. Freedom Boat Club also plans to open some European locations in 2018 for members to utilize at no additional cost!

“Being a member really gives you the freedom to head out when you want and from the port that’s nearest the fishing action you hope to enjoy,” notes DeVilbiss. If you’re looking for fluke you might sail from Freeport, Babylon or Port Jefferson, NY in May or June; from Stamford, Bradford or Mystic, CT or even Newport, RI in July and August. Scup fans will appreciate the Long Island Sound and Rhode Island access in July, August and September, while the fall run of stripers, blues and false albacore allows anglers to actually follow the schools from Portsmouth to the New York Bight. With a Freedom Boat Club Membership, the possibilities are endless.

Fluke are a summertime favorite and available just a short ride from all of Freedom Boat Club’s NY, CT and RI locations. Photo by

Naturally you’ll want to hammer the fish, but you’re the captain in this program so if you just want to do a little cruising, dock and dine or spend some down time in a secluded cove, it’s all good. Grab the family and cruise the waters of Long Island Sound. Take a spin through South Oyster Bay and then dine on Freeport’s Nautical Mile. Head out of Babylon to the Fire Island National Sea Shore, or cruise up into Narragansett Bay for the ultimate boater’s weekend. The choices are yours – and there’s no need to trailer, dip, clean or tow your boat throughout the region. Simply call ahead to say you are coming, step aboard your choice for the day, and be on your way. Want to boat but have never driven a one before – no problem, comprehensive boating training is provided with your membership.

Starting with our May edition, we’ll be exploring local fishing possibilities using the various Freedom Boat Clubs as our jumping off points. Each month we’ll call out the hottest action in the region and note which points are closest to the chase. We hope you’ll follow along, take our suggestions and score with the fish of a lifetime during your pursuit.

We’d also like to get your feedback so we are going to add a drawing to make things even more interesting. Anyone who clicks on the Freedom Boat Club link on this page or submits a photo to Coastal Angler throughout the series will be automatically entered in a contest to spend a day fishing with our very own “Outdoor Tom” Schlichter aboard a Freedom Boat Club vessel.

Talk about bragging rights….

For more information, contact Freedom Boat Club at: Long Island: 516-699-8420, Connecticut: 860-934-6175, Rhode Island: 401-626-1272.