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Attending seminars or fishing courses like the one offered by Suffolk County Parks during the winter months is a great way to improve your fishing skills for the upcoming season.

By Fred Golofaro  |  December 26, 2018
Capt. Bob McGrath has conducted Suffolk County Park’s Sport Fishing on Long Island course for more than two decades.

Regardless of your level of skill, attending seminars at boat and sport shows or registering for a fishing course at a local library are good ways to expand your knowledge of the fishing game. One of the better fishing courses available to Long Island anglers is Sport Fishing on Long Island, an eight-week instructional course offered by Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation. It is hosted by Capt. Jerry McGrath, a former Montauk charter skipper, school teacher, avid angler and acclaimed instructor, who provides first-hand instruction and tips for planning a rewarding day of fishing.

County Executive Steven Bellone, a strong supporter of the fishing program, stated that “participants will learn numerous techniques to sharpen and improve their skills for catching a variety of species common to Long Island waters.” Among the species covered in the course are striped bass, fluke, blackfish, bluefish, black sea bass, weakfish and porgies.

Captain McGrath has designed the classes to educate novices as well as more advanced anglers in all aspects of fish finding, bait and lure selection, chumming, fishing locations, hotspots, anchoring, tackle selection, knot and rig tying, and safety. Students will benefit from the extensive use of audio-visual materials including Power Point slide presentations, videotapes, and detailed handouts. Guest speakers, many of whom are experienced charter captains and expert anglers, will address the class participants over the course of the program. Optional fishing field trips will also be offered at an additional cost.

Classes will be held on Tuesday nights from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. beginning January 29, 2019 in the Media Room (Room #184) of the H. Lee Dennison Building, located at 100 Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge (at the end of Northern State Parkway). Flexible make-up classes are also available for those people who have conflicting schedules. The regular course fee is $150 per person, with discounts available for children who are 14 or younger ($95) and accompanied by a paid adult registrant, as well as Veterans or Senior Citizens 65 and older ($115). For more information or to obtain a registration form, please contact the Suffolk County Parks Department at 631-854-4947.