Since the beginning of June, we have been in hurricane season and the entire Atlantic Coast is likely to see several storms as we approach the peak of the season in September. Ideally, none of these storms will make landfall here in NYC, but the intensity of a tropical storm will have a range of effects on local water conditions even when the storm occurs further south.
All of these conditions will directly impact our saltwater fishing season in NYC. These are some of the ways hurricanes along the coast can change fishing conditions and why you should keep an eye on the weather this summer before heading out on your next fishing trip.
Hurricane Conditions that Impact Fishing
A tropical storm can have a large impact on the oceans it moves through. With winds up to 300 miles an hour and waves over 60 feet, it is understandable that fish far beneath the surface will be impacted by hurricane conditions and respond accordingly.
For the summer of 2022 in particular, the NOAA has predicted a higher than average hurricane season that is estimated to contain 14 named storms along the Atlantic coast, making it almost a guarantee that the waters around NYC and the local fish populations will experience at least some hurricane-related effects this summer.
These are some of the changes that you might expect to see preceding and following a hurricane in the waters near NYC:
- Movement of Fish Populations – Depending on the type of fish, particularly with larger fish, an approaching hurricane can prompt them to leave the area. If a hurricane comes through NYC, this could result in a drop in local fish populations. But a hurricane further south could push additional fish northward into local waters.
- Altered Activity Levels – The rise in barometric pressure that precedes almost any storm causes most saltwater fish to become more active in terms of feeding and biting at bait. If a hurricane is passing at a significant distance and therefore causing more limited effects, the rise in barometric pressure could potentially make fishing before the storm extremely rewarding.
- Change in Salinity – The intense waves, wind, and freshwater rainfall will alter salinity levels throughout the water column. This can be damaging to fish that are more sensitive to salinity changes, causing either death or forcing these fish to go elsewhere.
- Change in Water Temperature – Additional rainfall and mixing of water at different heights can cause cooler than usual temperatures near the surface and warmer temperatures at greater depths. This may also force fish to change their locations in the water column.
- Lower Oxygen Levels – With any storm that passes near NYC, there is a potential for a post hurricane fish kill as oxygen levels significantly drop. This is caused by wind and waves that bring sediment from the bottom up to the surface of the water where the bacteria in that sediment will begin to use oxygen to decompose. A long period of cloudy days that often accompanies a storm can also cause oxygen producing plants in the water to falter. This is extremely destructive to fish.
Any effects of a hurricane on fish in NYC or on your fishing experience will depend on multiple different factors, including where the hurricane is, the intensity of the hurricane, and the particular fish that you are trying to catch. A hurricane that moves directly through NYC could potentially cause an early end to the fishing season, but smaller summer storms and more limited effects from nearby tropical storms could provide a potential boost to local fishing for a few days.
For the most rewarding fishing experiences in the summer it is generally a good idea to go often so that you do not miss out on top early season fishing days. But it is also helpful to know what local weather conditions mean for saltwater fishing and the fish species you want to catch so that you can plan your fishing excursions accordingly.
You can also join a fishing trip on the Marilyn Jean for NYC fishing for striped bass, porgy, cod, ling, and more. We have almost daily fishing trips on all of the days when weather is good and extensive expertise in navigating to the best fishing spots based on daily weather conditions to give you the best possible fishing experience without you having to worry about current weather conditions. Book your NYC fishing trip on the Marilyn Jean online to join us for an upcoming excursion.