What is Party Boat Fishing?

MIDDLEBANK II offers party boat style fishing on the western Long Island Sound. Party boat fishing is a popular and fun way to combine the sport and pleasure of fishing while gathering delicious sea food. The class of recreational fishing boats known as party boats perform an important function; these are the boats that cater to the general fishing public, anglers with a strong desire to fish for sport or for food, yet cannot or do not wish to own boats specifically for fishing.

In operation party boats charge a flat fee per person and work on an "open boat", first come first served basis, where reservations are not necessary. This informal service enables impromptu trips and for the ability to pick and choose fishing days based on weather conditions or the anglers personal preference. The number of passengers allowed aboard is regulated by the United States Coast Guard and varies form one party boat to another. Some large party boats are licensed to carry upward of 100 passengers while smaller vessels may only be allowed 20. Party boats limit the type of fishing method to bottom or drift fishing so all on board can participate at the same time. Adequate fishing tackle is included or available for rent on board, however passengers are encouraged to bring their own rods and reels. Tackle for party boat fishing usually consists of a short, stiff-action boat rod carrying a star drag multiplier reel with a capacity of 200-300 yards of 20-40 lb test line. Lead sinkers of various weights are used depending on the depth of water and strength of tidal currents. The bait is usually supplied as part of the fare. Baits include sea worms, clams, squid, crabs, small fish and similar items. Metal jigs are sometimes used as well. The boat's crew helps the passengers by rigging the tackle, cutting bait, offering fishing tips & landing fish. The catch should be iced or frozen in warm weather so as to be in prime condition for home consumption or freezer storage. Passengers bring their own food and beverages or purchase these from the boat's galley.

Most party boats adhere to pre arranged schedules in order to take advantage of various types of fishing that develop during the season. Far from being haphazard, party boats take advantage of modern electronic aids for navigation, communication, and fish finding. These electronic tools add to the success of any fishing trip. Many good wrecks, for instance, lie far from shore, completely out of sight of land. They are located first by such electronic navigation means as Loran or GPS, and then pin-pointed by the use of sensitive sonar equipment. The most productive party boat captains are often, understandably, secretive about the locations of their best wrecks and visit them only when other vessels are not around. As a rule, however, party boat captains cooperate with each other concerning safety, weather, and fishing information.

Party boat fishing in most areas is a single day operation, however, in a few regions "long range" party boats make trips out to sea for up to a week or 10 days. The boats used in coastal sounds and bays are typically smaller and shallower in draught then ocean going vessels. This class of party boat seldom fishes more then a few miles from shore and frequently makes two trips per day; morning and evening. Many anglers like these smaller boats and find that the protected inshore waters in which they operate offer a large variety of sport and table fish. MIDDLEBANK II is one of such vessels hailing from the port of historic Black Rock Harbor at Captain's Cove Seaport in Bridgeport Connecticut and fishes the Western Long Island Sound.

Sails daily from Captain's Cove Seaport, plan your trip today!





OFFICE: 203-550-5967 between 6am and 7pm