Saltwater Fishing in New York

Panorama on the Statue of Liberty and the Skyline of Manhattan, New York City
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Looking to plan your next fishing trip? If you’re an angler who loves the thrill of saltwater fishing, then New York might just be your next destination. With its vast shoreline, bays, and offshore waters, New York provides ample opportunities for anglers of all levels to catch a variety of saltwater fish. From striped bass and bluefish to fluke and tuna, New York’s waters are teeming with a variety of species. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best saltwater fishing spots in New York, share tips and tricks for successful fishing, and provide recommendations for gear, bait, and charters. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, get ready to cast your line and experience the thrill of saltwater fishing in New York.

Best Saltwater Fishing Spots in New York

New York offers a variety of excellent saltwater fishing spots for anglers of all skill levels. Here are some of the best saltwater fishing spots in New York:

  1. Montauk Point: Located at the eastern end of Long Island, Montauk Point is known for its excellent surfcasting for striped bass and bluefish. It’s also a great spot for fluke and sea bass fishing.
  2. Fire Island Inlet: This inlet on Long Island’s south shore offers excellent surfcasting for striped bass and bluefish, as well as fluke and weakfish fishing in the nearby bays.
  3. Jamaica Bay: Located in Queens, Jamaica Bay is a prime spot for bluefish, striped bass, and weakfish fishing, as well as crabbing and clamming.
  4. Shinnecock Inlet: This inlet on Long Island’s south shore offers excellent surfcasting for striped bass and bluefish, as well as fluke, sea bass, and porgy fishing in the nearby bays.
  5. The Hudson River: The Hudson River is a popular spot for striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish fishing, particularly in the spring and fall.
  6. The East River: The East River, which runs between Manhattan and Brooklyn, offers excellent striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish fishing, as well as the occasional fluke and blackfish.
  7. Raritan Bay: Located between Staten Island and New Jersey, Raritan Bay is a great spot for striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish fishing, as well as fluke and sea bass fishing.
  8. Orient Point: Located at the eastern end of Long Island’s North Fork, Orient Point is a prime spot for striped bass, bluefish, and fluke fishing, as well as sea bass and porgy fishing in the nearby bays.
  9. Great South Bay: This bay on Long Island’s south shore is a popular spot for striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, and fluke fishing, as well as clamming and crabbing.
  10. Block Island: Located off the coast of Rhode Island but easily accessible from Long Island, Block Island is a great spot for striped bass, bluefish, and fluke fishing, as well as offshore tuna and shark fishing.
Tuna Fishing in New York City

Types of Saltwater Fish in New York

New York’s saltwater fisheries are home to a wide variety of fish species, including:

  1. Striped bass: Striped bass are one of the most sought-after game fish in New York’s saltwaters, particularly in the spring and fall when they migrate along the coast. They can be caught using a variety of methods, including baitcasting, trolling, and fly fishing.
  2. Bluefish: Bluefish are another popular game fish in New York’s saltwaters, known for their hard-fighting and aggressive nature. They can be caught using a variety of methods, including casting lures, trolling, and bait fishing.
  3. Fluke (summer flounder): Fluke are flatfish that are found in New York’s bays and nearshore waters during the summer months. They can be caught using a variety of methods, including drifting bait or lures along the bottom.
  4. Black sea bass: Black sea bass are found in New York’s nearshore waters and can be caught using a variety of methods, including bottom fishing with bait or jigs.
  5. Weakfish: Weakfish are another popular game fish in New York’s saltwaters, particularly in the bays and estuaries. They can be caught using a variety of methods, including casting lures or fishing with bait.
  6. Tautog (blackfish): Tautog are a popular bottom fish that can be found around rocky structures in New York’s nearshore waters. They can be caught using a variety of methods, including bottom fishing with bait or jigs.
  7. Porgy (scup): Porgy are bottom fish that are found in New York’s bays and nearshore waters during the summer months. They can be caught using a variety of methods, including bottom fishing with bait or jigs.
  8. Atlantic cod: Atlantic cod are found in New York’s offshore waters and can be caught using a variety of methods, including bottom fishing with bait or jigs.
  9. Mahi-Mahi: Mahi-mahi are a pelagic fish species that can be found in New York’s offshore waters during the summer months. They can be caught using trolling lures or bait.
  10. Yellowfin Tuna: Yellowfin tuna are a highly prized game fish that can be found in New York’s offshore waters during the summer months. They can be caught using trolling lures or bait.

Best Time of Year for Saltwater Fishing in New York

The best time of year for saltwater fishing in New York can vary depending on the species of fish you are targeting. Here are some general guidelines for the most popular species:

  1. Striped Bass: The prime season for striped bass fishing in New York is typically from April through November, with the peak of the season occurring in the spring and fall.
  2. Bluefish: Bluefish can be caught in New York’s saltwaters from May through October, with the peak season typically occurring in late summer.
  3. Fluke (Summer Flounder): Fluke can be caught in New York’s bays and nearshore waters from May through September, with the peak season typically occurring in July and August.
  4. Black Sea Bass: Black sea bass can be caught in New York’s nearshore waters from May through September, with the peak season typically occurring in August.
  5. Weakfish: Weakfish can be caught in New York’s bays and estuaries from May through September, with the peak season typically occurring in June and July.
  6. Tautog (Blackfish): Tautog can be caught in New York’s nearshore waters from April through December, with the peak season typically occurring in the fall.
  7. Porgy (Scup): Porgy can be caught in New York’s bays and nearshore waters from May through October, with the peak season typically occurring in August.
  8. Atlantic Cod: Atlantic cod can be caught in New York’s offshore waters from January through April and from October through December, with the peak season typically occurring in the winter months.
  9. Mahi-Mahi: Mahi-mahi can be caught in New York’s offshore waters from June through September, with the peak season typically occurring in July and August.
  10. Yellowfin Tuna: Yellowfin tuna can be caught in New York’s offshore waters from June through October, with the peak season typically occurring in August and September.
Surf Fishing – Montauk, New York

Best Bait for Saltwater Fishing in New York

The best bait for saltwater fishing in New York can depend on the species of fish you are targeting and the fishing method you are using. Here are some popular baits that can be effective in New York’s saltwater:

  1. Bunker (Menhaden): Bunker is a popular bait for striped bass, bluefish, and other predatory fish in New York’s saltwaters. It can be used whole or cut into chunks and fished on a variety of rigs.
  2. Squid: Squid is a popular bait for fluke, black sea bass, and other bottom fish in New York’s saltwaters. It can be fished whole or cut into strips and used on a variety of rigs.
  3. Clams: Clams are a popular bait for weakfish, blackfish, and other bottom fish in New York’s saltwaters. They can be used whole or cut into strips and fished on a variety of rigs.
  4. Sandworms and Bloodworms: Sandworms and bloodworms are popular baits for fluke, blackfish, and other bottom fish in New York’s saltwaters. They can be fished on a variety of rigs, including a high-low rig or a fish finder rig.
  5. Eels: Live eels are a popular bait for striped bass in New York’s saltwaters. They can be fished on a variety of rigs, including a simple hook-and-sinker setup or a specialized eel rig.
  6. Artificial lures: Artificial lures such as plugs, jigs, and soft plastics can be effective for a variety of saltwater game fish in New York’s waters. They can be fished using a variety of techniques, including casting, trolling, and jigging.
  7. Live baitfish: Live baitfish such as mackerel, herring, and sandeels can be effective for a variety of saltwater game fish in New York’s waters. They can be fished using a variety of rigs, including a simple hook-and-sinker setup or a specialized live bait rig.

Recommended Gear for Saltwater Fishing in New York

The gear you need for saltwater fishing in New York can depend on the species of fish you are targeting and the fishing method you are using. Here are some general recommendations for gear that can be effective in New York’s saltwater:

  1. Rod and reel: A medium-heavy spinning rod and reel combo is a versatile choice that can be used for a variety of saltwater game fish in New York’s waters. Look for a rod with a fast action and a reel with a high line capacity.
  2. Line: Braided line is a popular choice for saltwater fishing in New York, as it offers good strength and sensitivity. Look for a line with a test strength appropriate for the species you are targeting.
  3. Terminal tackle: Depending on the species of fish you are targeting and the fishing method you are using, you may need a variety of terminal tackle, including hooks, sinkers, swivels, and leaders.
  4. Lures and bait: As mentioned earlier, the best lures and bait for saltwater fishing in New York can depend on the species of fish you are targeting. Be sure to bring a variety of options to match the conditions and the preferences of the fish.
  5. Pliers and cutting tools: You’ll need pliers and cutting tools to handle and release fish, as well as to rig your tackle.
  6. Sun protection: Sunscreen, a hat, and polarized sunglasses can help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays and make it easier to spot fish in the water.
  7. Waterproof storage: A waterproof bag or container can help protect your gear from the saltwater and make it easier to transport.
  8. Safety equipment: Be sure to bring appropriate safety equipment, including life jackets and a first aid kit.
New York Beach Catch, Clean, & Cook

Best Saltwater Fishing Charters in New York

There are many great saltwater fishing charters in New York, offering a variety of trips for both experienced anglers and beginners. Here are some highly-rated options:

  1. Celtic Quest Fishing – Located in Port Jefferson, Celtic Quest offers a variety of trips for striped bass, bluefish, fluke, and more. They have a highly-experienced crew and a comfortable, well-equipped boat.
  2. Prime Time 3 – Based in Freeport, Prime Time 3 offers a variety of trips for striped bass, bluefish, fluke, and more. Their boat is spacious and well-equipped, and their crew is highly knowledgeable and friendly.
  3. Island Current Fishing Fleet – With locations in City Island and Snug Harbor, Island Current offers a variety of trips for striped bass, bluefish, porgies, and more. They have a highly-experienced crew and a comfortable, well-equipped boat.
  4. Miss Montauk II – Based in Montauk, Miss Montauk II offers a variety of trips for striped bass, bluefish, fluke, and more. Their boat is spacious and well-equipped, and their crew is highly knowledgeable and friendly.
  5. Captain Lou Fleet – Located in Freeport, Captain Lou Fleet offers a variety of trips for striped bass, bluefish, fluke, and more. They have a highly-experienced crew and a comfortable, well-equipped boat.

It’s always a good idea to do your research and read reviews before booking a fishing charter to ensure that you’re getting a reputable and enjoyable experience.

Fishing Regulations in New York

Fishing regulations in New York are managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). These regulations are designed to protect and preserve the state’s fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. Here are some important regulations to keep in mind when saltwater fishing in New York:

  1. License requirements: All anglers over the age of 16 are required to have a valid fishing license to fish in New York’s saltwaters.
  2. Catch limits: There are catch limits on many species of saltwater fish in New York, including striped bass, bluefish, fluke, and black sea bass. Be sure to check the DEC website for the most up-to-date regulations and limits.
  3. Seasonal closures: Some species of saltwater fish have seasonal closures in New York to protect them during their spawning season. Be sure to check the DEC website for the most up-to-date information on seasonal closures.
  4. Size limits: There are minimum size limits for many species of saltwater fish in New York. If a fish is smaller than the minimum size limit, it must be released.
  5. Gear restrictions: There are gear restrictions in New York’s saltwaters to protect fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. Be sure to check the DEC website for the most up-to-date gear restrictions.
New York City Saltwater Surf Fly Fishing

Where to Stay When Saltwater Fishing in New York

There are many great places to stay when saltwater fishing in New York, depending on where you plan to fish. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Montauk: Montauk is a popular fishing destination on the eastern end of Long Island. There are many hotels and motels in the area, as well as vacation rentals and campgrounds. Some popular options include Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, Montauk Manor, and Hither Hills State Park.
  2. Freeport: Freeport is a popular destination for fishing on the south shore of Long Island. There are many hotels and motels in the area, as well as vacation rentals and campgrounds. Some popular options include the Freeport Inn and Marina, Jones Beach Hotel, and Wantagh Inn.
  3. City Island: City Island is a small island located in the Bronx, just a short drive from Manhattan. There are many hotels and motels in the area, as well as vacation rentals and campgrounds. Some popular options include the City Island Bed & Breakfast, the Residence Inn by Marriott New York The Bronx at Metro Center Atrium, and Pelham Bay Park.
  4. Port Jefferson: Port Jefferson is a charming town located on the north shore of Long Island. There are many hotels and motels in the area, as well as vacation rentals and campgrounds. Some popular options include Danfords Hotel, Marina & Spa, Harborfront Inn at Greenport, and Wildwood State Park.
  5. Brooklyn: If you’re planning to fish in the New York Harbor, staying in Brooklyn can be a convenient option. There are many hotels and vacation rentals in the area. Some popular options include The William Vale, The Hoxton, and Pod Brooklyn.

Be sure to do your research and book your accommodations in advance to ensure availability and the best possible rates.

Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Saltwater Fishing in New York

Here are some expert tips and tricks for successful saltwater fishing in New York:

  1. Know your fishing spots: Do your research and find the best fishing spots in the area you plan to fish. Look for areas with structure, such as rocks, reefs, and wrecks, as these areas tend to attract fish.
  2. Use the right bait: Different species of fish require different types of bait. Do some research on the species you plan to target and use the right bait for the job.
  3. Use the right gear: Make sure you have the right gear for the species you plan to target. This includes the right rod, reel, line, and tackle.
  4. Use chum: Chumming is a technique where you toss bait into the water to attract fish. This can be a highly effective technique for attracting fish to your fishing spot.
  5. Pay attention to the tides: The tides can have a big impact on fishing success. Learn how to read the tides and plan your fishing trips accordingly.
  6. Fish during the right time of day: Some species of fish are more active at certain times of day. Do some research on the species you plan to target and plan your fishing trips accordingly.
  7. Be patient: Fishing can require a lot of patience. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch anything right away. Keep trying and stay positive.
  8. Respect fishing regulations: Fishing regulations are in place to protect fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. Be sure to follow all regulations and keep only what you plan to eat.
New York Saltwater Fishing Adventure

Conclusion

Saltwater fishing in New York offers a great opportunity for anglers to catch a variety of species in beautiful settings. From the shores of Long Island to the waters around the city, there are plenty of fishing spots to explore. By using the right gear, bait, and techniques, anglers can increase their chances of success. It’s important to also be aware of fishing regulations and respect the environment to ensure sustainable fishing practices. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, saltwater fishing in New York is an adventure worth experiencing.

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