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Bluefish Blitz: Fishing for Blues in Winter


Despite cooler temperatures and many fish heading south for the winter, there are still many fish in the waters off NYC that dedicated anglers can head out for. But fewer fish and slower feeding can often mean that fish like stripers or blackfish are a bit trickier to hook.

Fortunately, even if other fish are giving you trouble, spotting a school of bluefish almost always promises an exciting few hours of fishing. 

Why Bluefish Can Be the Key to Great NYC Winter Fishing

Bluefish are most numerous in NYC in the spring, summer, and fall, but many will remain behind into the winter. In almost all seasons, save for spawning season when bluefish can get a little skittish, they are highly active fish that often seem to go after anything you can throw at them.

Throughout the year, bluefish can be in bays and inlets, out in the surf, and further out in deep water. It is the deep water blues fishing that often yields the best results since they tend to be bigger. Inshore blues are often between 3 and 5 pounds, but offshore blues can get up to 20 pounds or more.

Some of the characteristics of bluefish that make them dependable and in demand for winter fishing in NYC include:

  • Bluefish are Hunters – Blues often strike at anything that moves. They will often not eat everything they catch, but go after it for the thrill. If you put some bait in front of them, they will often snap it up.
  • Bluefish Are Not Picky – Mackerel, menhaden, bunker, squid, or whatever else you have on hand will often be effective for bluefish. You may even get a bluefish bite when you are casting for stripers.
  • Bluefish Swim in Schools – Blues gather together in schools with other bluefish of similar size. This means when you find one, you will have found dozens. This makes for great top water fishing as you can have fast-paced baits as soon as your cast hits the water. 
  • Blues Put Up a Fight – Many anglers find that, pound for pound, the bluefish puts up one of the best fights of all of the fish around NYC. They are often highly spirited as you reel them in with a bit of danger from sharp teeth as you remove the hook to throw them back out.

Marilyn Jean Fishing is currently running evening fishing trips for stripers and blues almost every day departing from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn at 7pm. Joining us for blues fishing often promises an action packed evening of fishing at top locations where fish are likely to be good sized for an impressive catch. See our upcoming trips and book your tickets on our calendar.

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