New York City

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Fishing in New York City

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.
 

East River

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.
 

Hudson River

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.
 

Jamaica Bay

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.
 

Canyons

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.
 

Central Park

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.

Fishing Techniques

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. You can find full details of where and what you can target online.
 
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.
 
New York City
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New York City Fishing Seasons

January
If it’s too cold to fish, head to the New York Boat Show to see some of the most impressive vessels on the market. This is the longest-running event of its kind, showcasing the industry’s flagships for over a century.
February

Most species head to warmer climates during the winter months, but cold-water fish like Cod laugh in the face of winter, hitting their peak from February through April. These trips are for hardy anglers only!

March
New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a must-see in March, with a quarter of a million marchers and over 3 million spectators each year. Almost as important is the arrival of big Flounder in the East River.
April
The Tribeca Film Festival is one of the top events in world film. It started as an attempt to heal a post-9/11 Manhattan and has been screening movies, documentaries, and short films every year since then.
May
The World Science Festival offers exciting exhibitions and activities which are great for the whole family. May is also peak Striper season, so don’t get too caught up in science stuff, there are big fish waiting!
June

Ten of 5th Avenue’s best museums open their doors for free in the Museum Mile Festival each June. Once you’ve soaked up the culture, head offshore to enjoy huge hookups of Bluefin Tuna and Sharks!

July
Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are back on the menu on the Hudson River. Not to be outdone, the East River is bursting with Bluefish, Striped Bass, and Fluke. There are monster Blue Marlin offshore, too!
August
Enjoy performances unlike anything you’ve seen before in the largest multi-arts festival in the country - the New York International Fringe Festival. They won’t top the Marlin and Tuna bite offshore, though!
September
Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna are biting like crazy offshore. They’re not alone, with Makos, Threshers, and Blue Marlin tearing through the deepest waters. Inshore, huge Stripers put light tackle to the test.
October
The NYC Food & Wine Show presents fine dining from across the globe. Meanwhile, we’ll be on the water, catching some tasty Tautog for dinner. We’ve never really understood nouveau cuisine...
November
Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is the biggest event of the year, with thousands of performers and dozens of floats making their way through downtown Manhattan. It’s not something you want to miss!
December
There’s plenty to do during the holiday season in New York. Watch the lights go on as you skate outside the Rockefeller Center or count down to the new year at Times Square. It’s a magical time to visit!

New York City Fishing Calendar

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Reviews of Fishing in New York City

Half Day with Capt. Frank
Aaron F. fished with Fin Chaser Charters– Highlands on May 26, 2019
I'm a beginner and could on say the fishing was good.
5 Hour Trip with Captain Jeffrey Nagler
Peter S. fished with Midnight Fleet - Midnight Star on August 8, 2018
Have all your stuff in good order so one can focus on the fishing.
Birthday trip
Mayra D. B. fished with Midnight Fleet - Midnight Star on September 9, 2017
Bring something to eat and drink and enjoy.
Mother n Daughter Fishing trip
Diana M. fished with Midnight Fleet - Midnight Star on August 12, 2017
Do the 8 hr trip and be patient. Take food drinks. Comfortable shoes.
Full day
Seberiano V. fished with Midnight Fleet - Midnight Star on July 20, 2017
Bring drinks and snacks suntan lotion and have a great time
The Perfect Storm and Striped Bass
Richard H. fished with Moonlight Lady Fishing on June 24, 2017
Listen to your Captain and he will provide you the knowledge of how to and the ways to catch fish.
Half day trip with Captain Tommy
Andrea G. fished with Moonlight Lady Fishing on June 17, 2017
Be patient and go fishing with an expert who knows the waters and the best areas to fish.
Half day trip on westwinf
Hal (. Y. fished with Westwind Charter Fishing on October 29, 2016
Book the west wind and Capt Mike and you will have a great time

Top Fishing Techniques in New York City

Top Targeted Species in New York City