When you’re introducing friends and family to the fun of fishing, it helps to have a heated, enclosed helm—and a head. While serious fishing fanatics might not mind facing the elements in a barebones center console, casual anglers and new boaters are far more likely to form positive memories when the experience includes some creature comforts.
That’s why Long Island angler Capt. Brandon Weitz enjoys hosting fishing parties aboard the Lady Ashley II, his Pursuit OS 385.
“It’s an amazing fishing platform,” says Brandon. “And it’s also great for everything I like to do—fish, entertain, and just hang out on the water with friends.”
Getting Hooked on Fishing
Brandon discovered his passion for fishing relatively late in life, when a friend put him on a bite of big bluefish.
“I grew up on the water on Long Island, and we did some casual fishing from our family’s 21-foot Sea Ray. But after that trip catching bluefish to 20 pounds, I was absolutely hooked on fishing.”
When Brandon and his father upgraded to a new Pursuit OS 385 from Strong’s Marine, the fishing addiction grew exponentially.
“With a 38-foot boat that has a 13-foot beam, every type of fishing became available to me,” explains Brandon. “I can fish from the Bay to the Canyons, and everything in between.”
Stretching the Season
Brandon starts his season in April to take advantage of the early spring striper bite in Rartian Bay, New Jersey. It’s no wonder that the enclosed helm is one of his favorite features on the OS 385.
“The enclosed helm is a major positive for us because it makes the boat so comfortable. I can’t imagine going fishing without the heat in the wheelhouse when we’re out in 20- or 30-degree weather.”
As the bass spread out along the South Shore of Long Island to feed on bunker (menhaden), Brandon livelines bunker, casts Joe Baggs soft-plastic baits, and jigs flutter spoons to catch bass to 50 inches. Then, when the bass move on and the bite shifts to tuna mid-summer, the climate control shifts to air conditioning.
“On a hot day, we can set out a tuna trolling spread and then relax out of the sun, in the air conditioning, watching the rods and waiting for the bite. We’ve got the fridge, freezer, and built-in grill, so overnight trips to the Canyons are super comfortable.”
Along with the creature comforts, the boat is a tuna fishing machine with big fishboxes that can be loaded with ice.
“We like to fish bluefin and yellowfin, and with this boat I have the option to jig and pop. I’ll send one angler up to the bow to throw poppers while the others jig off the stern.”
Brandon keeps the boat in the water through November to take advantage of the return of migrating striped bass.
“We’ve had awesome bites of fall bass on sand eels. I’ll fish right through Thanksgiving, knowing I can fish hard and still be comfortable with the heat running.”
Fishing is Fun
The only thing Brandon loves more than fishing is getting new anglers out on the water and helping them fall in love with it. That’s why he enjoys his time working at Causeway Bait and Tackle in Wantagh, New York, and why he creates videos and fishing tutorials for his sizeable following on Instagram and TikTok.
“I try to use the bit of influence I have to push people in the right direction in the sport, to teach them and encourage them.
“Not all of my friends are die-hard anglers, but they love to get out on the water and go fishing. Having a comfortable platform with shelter from the elements and a bathroom onboard makes it much easier to create great experiences that will lead to return trips.
“For me, there’s nothing like being offshore, putting the cell phone away and relaxing with friends. As long as I’m fishing, I’m happy.”
Introducing the Pursuit OS 405
The popular Pursuit OS 385 has been one of the longest-running models in the Pursuit fleet of premium offshore boats. After a long tenure, Pursuit has replaced the OS 385 with the all-new OS 405.
Reinventing a platform as popular as the OS 385 was not taken lightly by the design team at Pursuit, as they explained when announcing the OS 405.
“When we launch a new Pursuit, we raise the bar and accept nothing less than the best. That’s the standard we upheld when we designed the OS 405. We went bigger—all the way to 43 feet. We updated the styling. And we engineered a sleek silhouette and more luxurious finishes.”