New York City is the ultimate American Metropolis. A forest of glass and steel reaching up to the sky, filled with people from every walk of life and every corner of the earth. New York City fishing charters are the perfect way to take in the sights as well as the fish, and they’re more than worth it just for the view of the skyline. Spend a little time on the Big Apple’s murky waters, though, and you start to see a side to the city that has barely changed in a hundred years.
Fishing in New York City is as impressive as the town itself. Both the rivers are full of big fish, and the experts say they’re still good to eat! Head out past Coney Island and into open water, and you hit one of the best big game fisheries on the East Coast, with Tuna, Sharks, and even Marlin in the deepest canyons offshore.
There’s enough action to keep even the most fast-talking New Yorker entertained and you won’t be short of big hits wherever you drop your hooks. But that only tells half the story. What makes this such a great place to fish is the change of pace it offers. It’s a chance to truly relax in The City That Never Sleeps.
NYC Fishing Spots
It should come as no surprise that a place formed of over forty islands has good fishing. What may surprise you is where these hot spots are. From the middle of downtown Manhattan to the furthest reaches of the Atlantic Ocean, you can fish just about anywhere and come up trumps. Here are some spots which are well worth making time for, even on a New York schedule.
If you want to take in the Empire City’s skyline the best way to do so is from the water. Don’t let the view distract you, though. The real action’s beneath your feet. Striped Bass, Bluefish, Tautog, and Fluke all call the East River home. The best hookups happen at night, fishing around dock lights and under barges for monster Stripers. Fishing from shore can also produce big hits, and you never know who you’ll be rubbing shoulders with when wetting lines in the shadow of United Nations HQ.
If you get bored of one river, just head across town and enjoy a whole different cast of A-list game fish in another. The Hudson River is full of both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, as well as Shad, Stripers, and American Eels. You can also get a great view of the Lady Liberty if you head down towards Battery Park.
The noise and concrete getting too much for you? Feeling in need of open sand flats and calm wetlands? That’s exactly what you get in Jamaica Bay. Jamaica Bay has some of the best Striper fishing trips Long Island can offer. Huge numbers of Menhaden swarm the shallows just as the Striped Bass roll into town. Forget Coney Island, this is Brooklyn’s biggest playground!
New York Bight
If you’re looking for big game in the Big Apple, you don’t have to go as far as you’d think. The New York Bight is a vacation point for Bluefin Tuna and monster pelagic Sharks. This is deep sea fishing to rival anything the Outer Banks can give you. During the heat of summer, big Sharks come right inshore and on most Shark fishing charters Brooklyn will be well within view.
The best deep sea fishing NYC has access to is out at the canyons, a hundred miles from shore. Out here you’ll find Bluefin Tuna and 500-pound-plus Sharks. Time your trip from July through September and you can also enjoy one of the most underrated Blue Marlin fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard.
But let’s reel things right back in for a minute. You can enjoy awesome sportfishing without stepping foot on either boat or boardwalk. Central Parks lakes and ponds are full of Bass, Carp, and much more, just waiting for a fly or a lure to go their way.
You can get a lot out of New York’s rivers with some pretty simple gear. Stripers will take poppers, jigs, baits, and pretty much anything else, as long as you’re fishing in the right spot. You won’t need anything fancier than light spinning tackle, but having an experienced guide is key, as the fish pack tight into certain spots on the river.
Spinning gear can win you some great catches offshore, but you’ll need something a lot bigger than you’d use for Stripers if you want to stand a chance against Bluefin Tuna in the Bight. If you’re after Sharks, you’ll need to crank things into overdrive. Expect 80-lb stand-up rods and matching lever-drag reels spooled with Monofilament and with huge, 250-lb wire leaders. Oh, and chum. Lots of chum.
Need to Know
Fishing licenses are usually included on New York City fishing charters. If you’re fishing on your own, things get more complicated. You need a freshwater license to target local species like Bass and Carp, and a saltwater license to fish the bays and the ocean. Regulations in the Hudson’s tidal waters depend on the species. You can’t catch migratory fish like Striped Bass and Shad without also enrolling in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry.
There are closed seasons for many species throughout the year, both in freshwater and saltwater. You guide will be able to talk you through all this and more on your trip, but we’ve summarized the basics in our calendar below.