Where to Fish This Summer in the New York Metro Area
These fishing spots are open—cast your line and have a great time with the family!
Get kid-friendly activities sent to you!
Get the Best Family Activities
Want the up-to-the-minute scoop on where the fish are biting and what types of fish you'll find where in New York? Check out the DEC's fishing hotline.
Drop a line in one of the largest manmade lakes in the United States (it’s 5,400 acres!). Candlewood Lake, which is surrounded by Brookfield, New Milford, Sherman, New Fairfield, and the city of Danbury, houses a large variety of fish, including small- and largemouth bass, crappie, perch, trout, carp, catfish, and rock bass. If you opt not to release the fish you've caught, be sure that you are not in violation of Connecticut's marine recreational fishing regulations.
As with any activity out of the home these days, it’s important to follow proper social distancing guidelines, and wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible. Another important health safety factor? Protecting yourself from the sun.
“Fishing is about spending time outdoors. And more often than not, most people enjoy fishing when the weather is nice and the sun is at its strongest. That puts many of America’s 50 million anglers at risk for skin cancer,” says Sam Economou, M.D., who leads Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd., a plastic and reconstructive surgery practice located in Edina, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. “The more time you spend outdoors fishing, the greater risk of exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation and sunburns.
Apply sunblock. Always apply sunblock lotion at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun, before you start to perspire, allowing the sunblock to soak into your skin. Apply sunblock lotion frequently throughout the day. Use a sunblock with a SPF rating of at least 30 an arms, legs, face and neck and a water-resistant SPF of 50 or higher on your nose and the top of your ears.
Wear a hat. The most susceptible place on your body for skin cancer is your head and face. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy out, at the very least, wear a cap with a front bill. Ideally wear a cap with both a front bill and a back bill to cover up the back of your neck.
Use polarized UV-blocking sunglasses. Wear sunglasses to protect your retinas from harmful UV rays. Sunglasses that wrap around your face offer the best protection. Polarized lenses help cut the glare, help you see more fish, and protect your eyes from flying fishing lures.
Wear protective clothing. If you have a high risk or history of skin cancer you should look into protective clothing. Wear shirts and pants that are specially made to block the sun, and wick away moisture to keep you cool while out on the water. Look for shirts and pants that offer a UPF rating of at least 30, as recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays. Remember, UV rays are present even on cloudy days.
Avoid sunburns. Repeated sunburns over time can cause significant damage to your skin. That’s why it’s important to avoid them. Take extra care to prevent your kids from getting sunburned. Severe sunburns as a child are a leading risk factor in developing skin cancer as an adult. Sunburns happen though, despite our best intentions. If you do receive a severe sunburn, treat the sunburned area with an aloe-based lotion, take cool showers, and if you’re experiencing headaches, take a pain reliever.
Stay hydrated. To maintain healthy skin, don’t forget to stay hydrated while fishing by drinking plenty of water. When your skin dries out or is not hydrated properly, it’s more susceptible to sunburn and long term skin damage.
New York State Fishing Licenses
There are two types of licenses for fishing in New York:
Freshwater Anglers: Fishers ages 16 and older need a sporting license for freshwater fishing. Cost for NY residents are $5 for a 1-day fishing license; $12 for a 7-day fishing license; $25 for an annual fishing license ($5 if you’re 70 and older. Lifetime fishing licenses in New York, which are only available to residents, are $380 for children younger than 5; $525 for children ages 5-11; $765 for ages 12-69; and $65 for ages 70 and older.
For frequently asked questions, regularly updated info about fishing conditions, and license fees for nonresidents, visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.
Connecticut Fishing Licenses
For fishing in Connecticut, three different licenses exist depending upon location (both are a must for any anglers 16 or older).
Inland: Purchase an inland license if you'll be dropping a line in freshwater only. For residents, inland licenses are $14 ages 16-17; $28 ages 18-64; and free for anyone ages 65 and older.
Marine: Purchase a marine license if you’ll be fishing exclusively in saltwater (this license also covers those "landing marine fish or bait species in Connecticut from offshore waters"). For residents, marine licenses are $10 for Connecticut residents ages 16-64 and free for residents ages 65 and older.
All Waters: This is the one to buy if you’ll be fishing in both fresh and salt water (or if you just want to cover your bases). For Connecticut residents, all water licenses are $16 ages 16-17 and $32 ages 18-64.
For more information (and license fees for nonresidents), visit the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection website.