Catching blackfish, also known as tautog, in the waters around New York City can be a rewarding experience for anglers. But blackfish are not a year-round fish, nor are they something that you can assume will be there any time you are on the water. You have to understand the optimal water temperature for blackfish fishing, so you know both what seasons to catch tautog and what time of day is best.
Optimal Water Temperature for Blackfish
Blackfish thrive in specific temperature conditions, and knowing these can greatly enhance your fishing success. These conditions include:
- Ideal Temperature Range – Blackfish are typically most active and feed aggressively when water temperatures are between 55°F and 65°F.
- Seasonal Variations – In the NYC area, these optimal temperatures are generally found in the late spring through early fall, peaking during October and November, although the change in the seasons means blackfishing can go well into December and January.
- Temperature and Depth Relationship – As temperatures vary with depth, blackfish may move to different depths to find comfortable conditions, affecting where and how you should fish.
Typically we at Marilyn Jean go out on the water for blackfish only during specific seasons and times, and the rest of the year we catch other fish like porgy and striped bass. If you follow our Facebook page, we keep you updated on what fish we’re catching, along with reports on the quality of the water.
Factors Influencing Blackfish Behavior in Different Temperatures
Temperature, of course, is just one factor influencing blackfish activity. Other considerations include:
- Breeding Season – During spawning seasons, typically in late spring, blackfish may be less responsive to bait due to their focus on breeding activities.
- Cold Water Slowdown – In colder temperatures, blackfish become lethargic and less likely to bite, making fishing more challenging.
- Food Availability – The presence and type of prey in various temperatures can also affect blackfish feeding habits.
This is why temperature is only one part of the process. You also have to worry about everything from how hungry the blackfish are to where they prefer to be. At Marilyn Jean, we typically know where the blackfish are biting, and have many feeding spots to help when the location is not clear.
Plan Your Blackfish Fishing Trip with Confidence
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, understanding the optimal temperature for catching blackfish can greatly improve your fishing experience. Contact us for more information on blackfish fishing in New York City, and come out with us for your next fishing adventure. With our knowledge and insights, you’re set for a rewarding blackfish catch in the dynamic waters of NYC.