If you want to hit the beaches like Montauk, Smiths Point...you hit up the county for a beach permit. It will cover all the county beaches. It's best to get the permits anound beginning of year, as they are a yearly permit...
On the island every permit requires fishing equipment and other shit.Remember 99% of the people there are fishing ,please be respectfull.Plenty of room for every body.It doesnt say that you need expensive stuff.Just get what you need to be there.once you pass the check point ,you are in.Just dont mess with the hardcore fisherman and you are golden .
surf casting is actually quite fun. I used to go out with a group from LI and get permits and fish a few times a year. Sadly most of that group has moved or had kids so we didn't fish at all this year.
If you got up early before the sun came up ,with the right tide the fishing was really good this year.All you had to do is cruze the beach and look for bunker floping on the sand.Go over and pick up the biggest one ,put it on a hook.Count to 10 and you were hooked up.