It’s easy to assume that fishing opportunities are scarce in the big city, but New York has plenty to offer anglers. Whether you want to chase stripers on the Hudson River or cast for bass and bluegill in a secluded pond, these New York City fishing spots are some of the best around.
- Van Cortlandt Lake – Nestled among the trees and fields of Van Cortlandt Park, this 18-acre Bronx lake is best known for its high populations of yellow perch, though you can also catch crappie, largemouth bass and bullhead. Spring and early summer offer prime fishing conditions. The lake is strictly catch and release.
- Breezy Point Jetty – You’ll have to park a ways away and hike to the pier, but if you don’t mind the walk, the breezy point jetty at the end of Rockaway Peninsula is one of the best and most secluded saltwater fishing spots in the New York City area. Some of the best action takes place in May and June with the arrival of stripers, bluefish and fluke. If you prefer surf fishing, the nearby beach is also a productive spot.
- Baisley Pond – This 28-acre Queens pond has some of the bigger largemouth bass in the New York City area, and some monsters over 20 inches have been pulled from the water. Lots of lily pads can create a challenge in summer, but the pond is great for paddling around on a float tube or casting a topwater lure among the vegetation.
- Sheepshead Bay Piers – The piers along this Brooklyn waterfront offer a ton of great saltwater fishing access. The neighborhood feels like an old fishing village, with anglers trying their luck up and down the piers and all kinds of boats coming and going. This is also a perfect place to book a guided fishing trip, with dozens of charters that depart regularly from the piers.
- Prospect Park Lake – Surrounded by its namesake park in Brooklyn, Prospect park Lake spans 55 acres, and provides arguably the best freshwater fishing in the city. Two- and three-pound largemouth bass are common, but that doesn’t mean the fishing is easy. The bass in this popular lake have seen every lure under the sun, so expect to work for your catch. Prospect Lake Park also offers sunfish, bluegill, crappie and several other freshwater species. Fishing is catch and release.
Wherever you go, don’t leave home without a valid New York fishing license. You can get a license and a complete guide to New York’s fishing regulations through the New York Department of Environmental Conservation website, and at most bait and tackle shops throughout the city.