Catch Your Dinner at City Island

Riptide III

Don't eat this bluefish if you're pregnant!Photo: Daniel Maurer

So what’s the best way to blow these precious last days of short-sleeved weather? Those with cars should grab a windbreaker and jet up — like, now! — to City Island. After you’ve indulged in the obligatory fried lobster tails, frog legs, and mai tais on the waterfront deck of the inimitable Johnny’s Famous Reef Restaurant, board the Riptide III, leaving at 6:30 p.m., for seafood straight out of the water rather than out of the deep fryer.

Rest assured, the six hours on Long Island Sound are a breeze: A betting pool makes things interesting and gives the person with the biggest catch the chance to win back their $55 boarding fee (that includes gear and bait). And, yes, they do bite. Despite being under the influence of more than a few Buds (that’s beer — not the kind of BYO bud that our shipmates enjoyed), we landed — with the help of some salty but helpful crew members — a few bluefish. Our mates reeled in some striper that ended up on the grill (burgers and hot dogs are also served by a crew member who, when she isn’t cooking, nonchalantly stomps on fish heads to take them off your line). At the end of the journey, your catch is either scaled and gutted or filleted and bagged for you so you can take them home without completely stinking up your car. (Trust us, you don’t want to take 60 pounds of bluefish on the bus.)

Riptide III [Official site]