Best Shore Fishing in New York

Two fishing rods, resting on the shoreline of a New York river.
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New York offers an array of shore fishing locations that cater to anglers of all skill levels. Steps from the bustling city streets, you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of fishing, with the iconic skyline as your backdrop. The Hudson River, accessible through Hudson River Park which extends from 59th Street South to Battery Park, presents a variety of species to target, including American eel, largemouth, and smallmouth bass. Venturing out to the piers of New York City, such as the North 5th Street Pier and Canarsie Pier, allows you to cast your line into the waters while soaking in the urban atmosphere. These spots are popular among locals and visitors alike, providing not just excellent fishing but also remarkable views of the cityscape. Beyond the immediate city limits, the vastness of New York State unfolds with its diverse fishing locations. The Allegheny Reservoir on the New York-Pennsylvania border beckons with prospects of big muskies, walleye, trout, and northern pike across its 12,000-acre lake.

Montauk Point State Park

Montauk Point State Park is a prime location for shore fishing in New York. As you set out for a day of fishing, prepare for the possibility of catching Striped Bass and Bluefish, especially around The Elbow, which is just off the tip of Montauk Point.

When targeting Striped Bass, you might find strong currents, but these conditions are known to appeal to the fish, making for potentially successful catches. Wear appropriate gear, as you may find yourself wading into the water or navigating rocky shores.

For fans of Fluke fishing, the park does not disappoint. A couple of miles off Ditch Plains lies The Frisbees, renowned for trophy-sized Flatfish and Black Seabass.

Here’s some key information:

  • Fishing Spots:

    • The Elbow — Known for Striper and Bluefish.
    • The Frisbees — Fluke and Black Seabass territory.
  • Tips:

    • Wear suitable waders or wetsuits.
    • Be cautious on rocky sections.
    • Familiarize yourself with the tides and currents.

You’ll also find the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse nearby, offering a picturesque setting. Whether casting from rocky shores or sandy beaches, Montauk Point State Park provides a diverse and productive shore fishing experience.

Jones Beach State Park

When you’re planning a fishing trip in New York, Jones Beach State Park should be on your list, especially if you’re keen on surfcasting. Located on Western Long Island, this park offers convenient access for anglers without the need to travel far from the metropolitan area.

Your fishing journey in Jones Beach can be both scenic and fruitful. Below are some key points to note:

  • Parking Availability: The park has multiple “Fields” with dedicated parking areas. Field 10 is notable for its proximity to the fishing piers.
  • Species to Target: The area is known for striped bass, but you can also find flounder, fluke, and bluefish. Some years bring weakfish into the mix.
  • Regulations: Make sure to check the specific rules for the area in which you plan to fish.
  • Night Fishing: If you possess a State Park Night/Sportfishing Permit, which costs an annual fee of $25, you may also explore the waters during night tides.

Equipment Suggestions:

  • Surfcasting Gear: A sturdy rod and reel combo to withstand the powerful surf.
  • Appropriate Bait: Depending on the season, live bait like eels or lures that imitate local prey could increase your chances.

Coney Island Beach

When you embark on a fishing adventure at Coney Island Beach, you’ll find yourself in a dynamic environment that blends urban backdrop with the charm of shoreline fishing. This popular destination in Brooklyn offers you a variety of saltwater species to target, including flounder, striped bass, and bluefish.

Location & Access:

  • Brighton Beach Pier: Stretches over 1,000 feet, suitable for all levels of fishing experience.
  • Coney Island Creek Park: Offers quieter fishing spots if you prefer a more secluded setting.
  • Coney Island Boardwalk: Explore fishing along the boardwalk for accessible spots with scenic ocean views.

Species You Can Catch:

  • Striped Bass: Striped bass are often found near structures and currents.
  • Bluefish: Known for their aggressive strikes, available in summer and fall.
  • Flounder: Bottom-dwelling fish, especially around sandy areas.

Local Tips:

  • Visit during high tide for the best catch rates.
  • Early morning or late evening often yield better fishing opportunities.
  • Check local regulations for any seasonal restrictions or necessary permits.

Facilities & Amenities:

  • Fishing gear rental shops are available nearby.
  • Restaurants and comfort facilities are within walking distance.
  • Enjoy the full range of Coney Island’s attractions once you’ve finished fishing.

Hudson River Park

When you’re looking to fish along the Hudson River, Hudson River Park offers an exceptional urban angling experience within Manhattan. With its impressive views of the skyline, this stretch of waterfront gives you not just a chance to catch fish, but also to soak in the city’s atmosphere.

Location & Access:

  • Stretching from 59th Street South to Battery Park
  • Easily accessible via public transportation or on foot

Available Fish Species:

Fishing Piers:

  • Pier 26
    • Offers generous space and amenities
    • Suitable for anglers of all skill levels
  • Pier 51
    • Peaceful angling spot away from the busiest areas of the park

Fishing Guidelines:

  • Abide by New York State fishing regulations
  • Catch and release is encouraged to maintain the ecosystem

Remember to bring your equipment as rentals are not commonly available along the pier. Bait shops in surrounding areas will stock your essentials for a day’s catch. Since you’re fishing within New York City, always stay informed about the water conditions and advisories from local government channels.

Croton Point Park

Nestled on the Hudson River, Croton Point Park is a prime location for shore fishing in New York. Offering various fish species, you can enjoy casting your line for bass, perch, and carp. The park’s 508 acres provide ample space for fishing along with other outdoor activities.

Things to Know:

  • Accessibility: Easily reached by car or train, making your trip convenient and enjoyable.
  • Fishing Areas: The bay south of the point is noted for being the best fishing area.
  • Bait: Locals often use bloodworms, especially for catching spring striped bass.


Remember, while fishing at Croton Point Park, you are also treated to scenic vistas of the river and its surroundings. The park doubles as a site for the Clearwater Festival, paying homage to Pete Seeger’s legacy.

Fishing Tips:

  • For Novices: Start from the shore to get a feel of the area and its offerings.
  • For Experienced Anglers: Consider renting a boat for an off-shore adventure.

Lake Ontario

When you’re seeking some of the finest shore fishing experiences in New York, Lake Ontario should be high on your list. Given its expansive reach and varied fish population, you have a chance to cast your line for a diversity of species.

Seasons & Timing:

  • Spring: Ideal for brown trout when they’re close to shore.
  • Summer: Warm-water species like bass are more active.
  • Fall: Peak season for salmon, as they migrate to spawn.

Fishing Techniques:

  • Drift Fishing: Use this from a boat near tributaries.
  • Shore Casting: Ideal along the lake’s edge or near mouths of streams.

Bait & Lures:

  • Live bait like minnows are effective for trout.
  • Spoons and spinners work well for salmon and trout.

Find yourself along Lake Ontario’s eastern shoreline or near the tributaries, where many anglers gather annually for a shot at trophy-sized salmon. Hotspots you might want to explore include the estuaries of the Salmon River for its renowned salmon runs, especially from September to October.

Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain, straddling the New York and Vermont border, offers you expansive shore fishing opportunities. With 500 miles of accessible shoreline, you’re never far from a potential hot spot. The lake’s deep waters provide habitats for a range of fish species, making it a premier fishing destination in New York.

Species You Can Catch:

Ideal Fishing Locations:

  • Westport: A favored spot for lake trout.
  • Cumberland Head: Another area known for abundant lake trout.
  • The shoreline stretching from Westport to Cumberland Head features deep structures suitable for trout.

Access to the Lake:

  • Roadways: I-87 and US-9 are your gateways along the western shore.

When accessing the lake, remember that different spots might be more suited for certain times of the year or specific species.

Tips for Success:

  1. Gear up: Use appropriate tackle for the species you’re targeting.
  2. Know your seasons: Some species bite better during certain seasons or times of day.

Catskill Creek

When you search for exceptional shore fishing in New York, Catskill Creek should be at the top of your list. Encompassing 37 miles before joining the Hudson River in the village of Catskill, the creek is a renowned destination for Brown and Rainbow Trout fishing.

What You Can Catch:

  • Brown Trout: Stocked annually with 6,500 yearlings and 400 two-year-olds.
  • Rainbow Trout: Naturally occurring and also stocked in certain sections.
  • Bass and Walleye: Walleye and bass are primarily at the Creek’s mouth, where it flows into the Hudson River.

Prime Locations:

  • River Town Section:

    • Mainly stocked with Brown Trout.
    • Accessible with ample fishing spots along the banks.
  • Mouth of Hudson River:

    • Good for Bass and Walleye.
    • Opportunities for larger catches.

When preparing for your trip to Catskill Creek, consult local resources to gain insights on conditions, required permits, and any seasonal restrictions. Local bait shops often provide updated information on what’s biting and the most effective bait and tackle for the current conditions.

For your best fishing experience, plan your visit during stocking periods or when fish are known to be most active. Early morning or later in the evening can be particularly productive times. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, Catskill Creek’s diversity in fish species and scenic beauty makes for a satisfying fishing outing.

Niagara River

The Niagara River offers some of the finest shore fishing opportunities in New York. Nestled between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, it presents a diverse habitat for various species of fish.

Species You Can Catch:

  • Musky: The Upper Niagara River is renowned for its Musky population. Anglers report consistent catches of fish ranging from 30 to 40 inches, with the possibility of landing trophy-size muskies over 50 inches during the summer.
  • Walleye: This species thrives in the area, and you have a good chance of hooking walleye around the river’s mouth and Lewiston.
  • Yellow Perch: Commonly found throughout the Niagara River, it offers a fun and often plentiful catch.
  • Trout: The Lower Niagara River, with its tumultuous waters, especially draws trout populations.
  • Bass: Shore fishing can yield impressive bass catches along the Niagara River throughout the season.

Best Fishing Spots:

  • Lewiston: With numerous boat ramps and shore spots, angler accessibility is excellent here.
  • Whirlpool to Lake Ontario: The Lower Niagara stretch from the Whirlpool north to Lake Ontario is known for its high-quality fishing.

Tips for Success:

  • Use live bait or spinners. Spinners have proven to be effective, especially for steelhead.
  • Check local fishing reports and regulations before heading out, as conditions and laws can change.

Oneida Lake

Your next destination for the best shore fishing in New York is Oneida Lake. Known for its richness in fish species, you’ll find Oneida Lake impressive with its vast coverage of over 50,894 acres. You can enjoy a day casting lines for walleye and yellow perch, famed for their abundance and size here.

The lake, boasting a lengthy shoreline, offers varied fishing spots suitable for anglers of all types. Consider the following for a fulfilling fishing experience:

  • Bass Fishing: Target largemouth and smallmouth bass around aquatic vegetation.
  • Panfish: Bluegills and other sunfish are plentiful, providing action-packed fishing for anglers of any skill level.

Oneida Lake’s relatively shallow average depth of 22 feet makes it accessible for shore anglers. Yet, its maximum depth reaches up to 55 feet, where you might encounter northern pike lurking in the deeper waters.

For ice-fishing enthusiasts, Oneida Lake is also a winter haven. Its clear icy surface makes for an inviting venture during the colder months. Just remember, safety is paramount, so always check ice conditions before you head out.

Below is a quick summary of key points about Oneida Lake’s fishing opportunities:

SpeciesBest Time to FishRecommended Spots
WalleyeSpring/FallNear drops and ledges
Yellow PerchFallShallow weedy areas
BassSummerAquatic vegetation
Northern PikeLate SpringDeeper areas

Remember, certain areas of the lake are better at different times of the year, adjust your plans accordingly. Equip yourself with the right gear and local knowledge to increase your chances of a rewarding fishing day at Oneida Lake.

Fishing Opportunities by Season

A serene lake surrounded by lush green trees, with a fishing rod and tackle box on the shore. The sun is setting, casting a warm glow over the tranquil scene

New York’s diverse landscape offers unique shore fishing experiences with each changing season. Whether you’re casting a line in freshwater rivers or along the saltwater coast, understanding the seasonal nuances can maximize your fishing excursions.

Spring Fishing Hotspots

Freshwater Rivers: In spring, you can expect trout fishing to be at its peak, especially from April 1, which marks the beginning of the trout season in New York. Hotspots include the famous Battenkill River, where you’ll find brown and rainbow trout.

Saltwater Coasts: Striped bass starts to make their return to the shores, and places like the Hudson River estuary become a prime fishing destination.

Summer Shoreline Fishing

Long Island Sound: Experience exciting saltwater adventures targeting flounder and bluefish. These species are abundant during the warm waters of summer.

  • Great Lakes: Lake Ontario’s shoreline is ideal for warm water species such as smallmouth bass and walleye, which are highly active this time of year.

Fall Fishing Opportunities

  • Hudson River: As fall sets in, the striped bass fishing intensifies. The Hudson River provides ample shoreline spots where these migratory fish can be caught.

Catskill Mountains: The streams in the Catskills offer not just a picturesque setting but also bountiful opportunities for catching trout before the season ends on October 15.

Winter Fishing Locations

Salmon River, Altmar: Winter doesn’t mean fishing comes to a halt. The Tailwater area of the Salmon River is renowned for steelhead fishing through the colder months.

  • Ice Fishing: Available in various lakes across the state, where ice fishing for species like northern pike and yellow perch is popular and accessible from the shore, provided the ice is safe and thick.

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