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!
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For more information (and license fees for nonresidents), visit the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection website.
Depending upon how far from home you want to venture, here are some highlights from around the New York City area.
Check out Prospect Park’s 55-acre, 7-foot deep lake, which offers a variety of warm-water fishing opportunities, including what is probably the best largemouth bass fishing in NYC, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. You can also catch black crappie, yellow perch, chain pickerel, bluegill, pumpkinseed carp, and golden shiner. Fishing in Prospect Park is catch-and-release only, so anyone looking for a grilled bass dinner might want to choose a different spot. Barbed hooks and lead fishing weights are not allowed (use needle-nose pliers to flatten the barb). Littered fishing lines can entangle birds and other wildlife and result in injury or death, so fishers are asked to discard fishing line fragments and hooks in marked fishing line bins or trash cans.
If you're looking for largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, common carp, American eel, or yellow perch, the 8½-acre Kissena Lake might be your watering hole of choice. This fishing post is catch-and-release only. Don't be too surprised if someone reels in a turtle—the lake hosts a large population of the sea creatures, and they're infamous for taking almost any bait on the line. Barbed hooks and lead fishing weights are not allowed (use needle-nose pliers to flatten the barb).
Finding great fishing in the Big Apple seems unlikely, but the Harlem Meer offers an intimate setting for parent-child bonding at the north end of Central Park, though it’s currently closed due to the coronavirus. Other than the usual carp and largemouth bass, The Meer also houses chain pickerel, golden shiner, and a variety of sunfish. If you have a valid ID, but no fishing pole or supplies, a limited number of free bamboo poles are given out daily, along with corn kennels or dough balls for bait.
One of Long Island's most popular beaches doubles as one of it's best fishing destinations. Jones Beach State Park not only has an area for surf fishing located on its West End, but it also boasts a bait shop, multiple saltwater fishing piers, and stations designed to organize fishing tours complete with boats and equipment. Although you should anticipate a possible fee to fish on top of the $8-$10 vehicle entrance fee in the summer, off-season fishing is free. Species at Jones Beach include flounder, striped bass, fluke, weakfish, porgy, sea bass, and blackfish. Want to fish later in the day? A special Night Fishing Permit is required for fishing after sunset.
For a day of fishing that spans sunrise to sunset, visit Blydenburgh County Park's Stump Pond. Freshwater species such as pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth bass, and perch populate the water. Rowboat rentals are also available from mid-May to Labor Day, and hand-launching of personal boats is allowed when the park is open at the boat dock located at the south end of the lake. The fishing follows the New York State standards, so it’s catch-and-release only.
For outdoorsy adventures mixed with a plethora of flora and fauna, make the trip to Piermont Pier and Marsh on the Hudson River. Although the river's striped bass tend to congregate more in the spring, visitors love to fish off the pier in the summer too—you can try your hand at catching blueback herring, white perch, and banded killifish. Boats, canoes, and kayaks can be rented if anyone wants to laze along the river while waiting for bites. Visitors who are unfamiliar with the area should head directly to Piermont Pier for the ultimate fishing opportunities. While taking in breathtaking views, visitors can enjoy a pleasant day sitting by the water, even if they aren't having any luck with the fish.
If trout fishing tickles your fancy, head over to the Cross River Reservoir. Among the yellow perch, chain pickerel, and large and smallmouth bass, the reservoir offers prime brown trout fishing. The reservoir is stocked annually with more than 6,000 brown trout. It is common for anglers to even catch ones weighing more than 5 pounds. Anglers have success targeting browns trolling spoons or using sawbellies. Although boating constitutes the only other activity available at this site, the area boasts lush vegetation along the shoreline and remains a perfect spot for families looking to lay back and enjoy a quiet afternoon on the river.
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.