It's hard to believe that Montauk's become a social destination - a place for which a certain type of city person packs heels and flashy watches to visit, braving all the traffic and all the crowds in the desperate hope of seeing and being seen, of grabbing a table at the right place, of happily laying down $97 for a Lobster Cobb Salad...
Though the scene may try, it still can't shake the true spirit of the town, which sets out early each morning and drifts back late each evening with the tides - forever a quaint fishing village, now with a party problem.
Captain Skip Rudolph is one of many in the lively community of Montauk fisherman angling about the Atlantic. His charter boat, The Adios, is a favorite for those in search of inshore, offshore and bottom fishing adventures.
Seeking out tight lines and good times? Next time you're out East, give him a ring. Until then, enjoy this town staple's hot take on all things Montauk, fishing and more.
So, what lured you into the fish business?
I was born and raised into the fishing business on my Father's drift boat in Miami, Florida.
From Miami to Montauk, how'd you find your way up to the very end of Long Island?
Capt. Joe Ritsi brought his boat down to Miami for the winter of 78-79. When he went to go back, he mentioned that he hadn't heard from his mate, so I said I may be interested. He said why? You're running a boat. I said I needed a change of scenery! Best decision of my life!
What's kept you here all these years later?
The fishing and the small town close community.
How would you describe the fishing community in Montauk?
Very tight knit, a family so to speak.
Anything in particular people should do or bring to prepare for a day on the water?
A cooler with food and drink, sunscreen, light jacket, hat and maybe a change of cloths.
What are the craziest things you've ever pulled out of the water up here?
A Surfer swept out with the tide, numerous lost rods and reels, one with a live fish still on the line!
Considering you know all too well what's swimming around out there, will we ever find you swimming at the beach?
Do you consider Montauk part of the Hamptons?
What do you make of this sceney shift that the town has seen in the past decade, with people now coming not for the beach nor to fish, but instead, for nightlife and luxury?
We're seeing the nightlife party crowd fade, but Montauk will always be a popular fishing destination.
What would you say is the general attitude locals have towards summer city people?
A necessary evil.
Do you prefer Montauk in-season or off-season?
Both, all year round.
Where do you go to eat seafood in town?
At home, The Dock, or Inlet Seafood.
Any other restaurants or spots you particularly love?
Sammy's, Sail Inn, Star Island.
What's your ideal day off look like?
Not going near the boat, tending the garden and chickens.
Would you ever want to live in any other town out East?
Where do captains and mates go to hang after a day on the water?
Home! But if not too tired, The Dock or Star Island.
Bananas on a boat - you buying that superstition?
Bananas are actually good luck on my Boat!
What's your clientele for charters like these days?
Repeat customers for the last 30 years. Second and third generations taking over. Families and business, personal, white collar, blue collar....
How much is it customary to tip?
No less than 20%.
What's the worst charter experience you've ever had?
Fortunately, I really haven't had any worst charters, but one time the guys got too drunk, and I had to advise them that if they didn't calm down they were either going to jail or to the hospital. They ended up apologizing profusely!
What's one of the best charter experiences you've ever had?
Catching a 937 pound Giant Tuna with my Captain, Phil Lewis, former owner of the ADIOS.
Who are some of your favorite Montauk locals?
All the locals are my favorite, can't name a bad one in the bunch!
[Photos courtesy The Adios]