Social media star and pro angler Darcie Arahill — best known as Darcizzle — quit her day job behind a desk a decade ago to pursue her passion for fishing and has been reeling in a huge following ever since. The self-proclaimed leading angler in America started snorkeling and lobstering with her parents at the tender age of 3 and, thanks to her prowess with a rod and reel — and popular videos and photos of her trolling Atlantis — has netted more than 150,000 followers on Instagram and more than 350,000 subscribers on YouTube. Along the way, she fished all over the world — including, of course, off the shores of Long Island, so we caught up with her to learn how the Florida native — whose boyfriend is from Bellport — does what she does, whether or not tackle boxes are still in fashion, and of course, her new favorite Billy Joel song.
LI Home: We live on an Island, but not all of us fish. How would you convince the landlubbers among us to get out on a boat and cast away?
Darcizzle: I think the key is just to go out there and do it. There is no wrong way, so don’t worry if you are not an expert or clueless your first time. I’ll tell you a secret… fishing is not at all about fishing. It’s about the outdoors, spending time in nature, conservation, time with friends and family and creating memories. So whether you can’t cast or don’t catch a fish isn’t the point. And go visit your local tackle shop, just walk right in and say “I don’t know what I’m doing but want to catch a fish, what do I need!”
LI Home: What fish are you catching on Long Island? What should Long Islanders be looking to catch?
Darcizzle: When I come to Long Island there is such a great variety. I’ve caught fluke, stripers, all the bluefish, and delicious sea bass as well. Newbies can go out on a drift or party boat from Shinnecock and lots of other places.
LI Home: Did you ever find it hard to make it to where you are now because you’re female?
Darcizzle: It’s easier in some regards, harder in many others. It is easy to get social media “likes” and engagement as a female, but a portion of that attention is not focused on the fishing aspect but simply on me being a female. I get harassed more online and people simply don’t believe that I caught such and such fish. That is why we started the Youtube channel so that people could see me actually fishing and to help quiet the naysayers. I was one of, if not the first, females to post their fishing online so before that men in large part had no reference point and I think it surprised them that women can actually fish. Now when you look online I’m happy to see thousands and thousands of female anglers. I still to this day get more interest from sponsors outside of fishing than in the fishing niche. I think that’s a shame.
LI Home: What is your proudest achievement as an angler?
Darcizzle: Fishing is an actual sport so anytime you put in the effort to catch a different fish you’ve never caught or a bigger fish than before, it’s always a proud moment and I relish those gifts. My father, who got me started fishing, used to do a lot of mangrove snapper fishing with me, and he passed away several years ago. So when I catch a big mangrove I always think of my dad and how proud he would be of me now, sometimes I’ll literally start crying. So those are some of my best times. My biggest achievement publicly is just being out there doing it for a decade for other girls and women to see it. They have to “see it to be it” and I’m proud that I’ve been the one many girls have seen to start them on their own journey.
LI Home: What are your favorite places on Long Island?
Darcizzle: I’m not objective on this one as my boyfriend grew up in Bellport Village and I’ve grown to love it there. The town, the people, the dock, the beach and now the new “breach” make it so great!
LI Home: Do you prefer fishing, clamming, or crabbing?
Darcizzle: Oh absolutely fishing, then crabbing. The surprise of opening the crab pot and seeing what is inside is addicting.
LI Home: What are the essentials in your tackle box and backpack? Do they still have tackle boxes?
Darcizzle: Lots of hooks and leaders mostly! The more you fish, the more you learn that the basics are really what work, don’t get involved with all that new stuff, use what that salty looking dude with the hands covered in cuts and calluses uses and you’ll be okay. We have mostly tackle trays and bags now. LOL!
LI Home: Can you explain the importance of covering up with a wet shirt and using sunglasses in intense sunlight?
Darcizzle: Sun protection is of the utmost importance as a fisherman. Everyone makes dri-fit “performance” shirts these days that block the sun, we love the ones with hoods even. They make a huge difference. Sometimes they are not that femine or “cute” so I have a bunch that are like crop top, with long sleeves. We put sunscreen on before we leave the house, and include the hands … very important. The best sunscreen is the kids stuff — the harder to rub in the better so you get that chalky look. Naturally re-apply. For sunglasses, polarized quality shades are a must to prevent eye damage and to see the fish better. I’m sponsored by REVO.
LI Home: Are there any surf and turf, clam bars, or crab shacks on Long Island that you like?
Darcizzle: My favorite restaurant on the island is Avino’s in Bellport Village. My boyfriend has been friends with the owner for decades and the food and outside apps are the best. It’s my favorite place for Friday happy hour in the summer. I do know also that you can’t go to Montauk without visiting that lobster roll place, I think it’s just called Lunch? It’s awesome. too!
LI Home: Because we are a Long Island publication, we ask this question to everyone: What is your favorite Billy Joel song?
Darcizzle: I literally had to ask my boyfriend because I was born in 1989 and not from Long Island! He tells me no real Long Islander does not love Piano Man. I did listen. Great song.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.