Fluke is a delicious white fish with a delicate flavor and texture. How it tastes ultimately comes down to how you choose to cook and season it. Simple is better, as adding just some butter, lemon and herbs can make a tasty dinner.
Montauk has some of the best fishing waters to catch these summer flounders. What makes the Montauk fishing scene special is the friendly local fishermen who form a community at the docks. There aren’t many that embody all that’s good about this community better than Captain Mike Vegessi and his wife Kathy, owners of Lazybones.
Lazybones is the name of the boat, and their business, which takes customers out on the water for half-day fluke fishing sessions. Hidden on West Lake Drive just before Gosman’s Dock, Lazybones has been serving Montauk locals and vacationers for 34 years.
Two things stand out about Lazybones the boat—how easy it is to fish from and how friendly the captain and crew are.
Fluke fishing is fairly simple, and Lazybones makes it even easier by providing you with everything you need to catch your dinner. The fact that anyone with the right rod, regardless of experience, can catch fluke is the main reason Captain Mike started his business.
“When I started [Lazybones], I knew I wanted to do something simple and easy,” Captain Mike says. “That’s why we do it. We got guys who spend their whole lives trying to catch a large fluke, and we have kids on their first time out, they cast the line in the water and they catch that large fluke that that guy’s been trying to for 20 years. That’s what fluking’s about, it’s easy.”
Lazybones makes daily trips in the spring, summer and fall, though summer is peak fluke season. During the fall, fishers can also haul bluefish and striped bass.
Captain Mike takes customers out on his boat twice a day, with sessions from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It takes a while to get to the optimal fishing location, but the ride out gives you a chance to take in beautiful views of the Montauk coastline. He takes the boat around the Montauk Point Lighthouse and lines are cast with a view of the Montauk bluffs on one side and open ocean and the Block Island windmills out in the distance on the other.
Once the boat gets about a half-mile offshore and the depth is around 60 feet, the horn sounds and the lines are dropped.
Fluke fishing is easy, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to have something to take home. The fluke this year have to be 19 inches or longer for you to keep, and you never know when you’re going to get a bite.
What’s the key to fluke fishing? “Patience,” Captain Mike says. You can catch fluke “as long as you can feel the bottom. They’re bottom feeders, they’re flat. You feel that sinker on the bottom and you have just as much of a chance as anyone to catch it.”
Lazybones gives you everything you need to reel in a catch. The boat provides 34 rods, bait and buckets for the catch. Mates are always patrolling the deck ready to net fish, untangle lines and quickly solve problems that would give beginners headaches. The crew will even fillet your fish so you can bring it straight home to eat.
As someone who’s been catching fluke most of his life, Captain Mike says he’s tried most recipes for fluke. His favorite way to eat it, though, is simply fried.
Lazybones has always been a family business. For years Captain Mike’s daughters made the daily fishing trips as mates while growing up. Since they’ve moved on to start families, Captain Mike has had a reliable network of mates, many of whom have stuck with him for more than a decade.
It doesn’t get much better than hanging out on a boat and catching fish with friends, family, food and beer. Lazybones takes all the hassle out of fishing, giving you the freedom to enjoy the day on the water.
Bring a hat, cooler, sunscreen and a camera to take pictures of the amazing views—and hopefully of the day’s catch!
Call Kathy at 631-668-5671 to make reservations for a day on the water with Lazybones. The fare is $50 for adults and $35 for children 12 and under.