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Fishing Report 4-16-24 – A Good Start, But a Rough Finish

Not every day is going to be a great one. Last night started extremely promising with immediate sightings of striped bass, with both keepers and shorts. But later in the night, as the tide shifted, things slowed down considerably. We went to multiple spots throughout the Bay and couldn’t get any more catches the remainder of the night.

We expect most nights to be better, and of course, those that were able to catch some fish early still managed to secure some delicious options for their homes. We’re headed out again tonight and every night, along with our morning blackfish and ling trips that we leave for from 7am to midnight.

Even though it wasn’t the best finish to our night, it was a good start. Check out some of the photos from the outing:

PLEASE NOTE: This Sunday’s morning trip (4/21/24) is already sold out, but almost all other trips still have space available. Secure your tickets for upcoming trips at or contact Capt. Anthony at 347-952-1442 or Capt. Tony at 646-413-1643. Private charters are also available. See you soon!

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Fishing Report 4-9-24 – Unexpected Ling

Well, that was an unexpected day out. We went out on the water hoping – and expecting – to catch blackfish. But instead, our guests came home with a huge haul of ling. Maybe not what we had originally had in mind, but, if you take a look at all the photos below, you’ll notice that our guest still seem pretty excited about the whole experience!

Take a look:

Tomorrow’s forecast is looking spectacular. Thursday and Friday a bit less so, so we’ll have to see if we can make it safely on the water, but if we can, walk ons will be welcome. Looking to join us soon? You can call Captain Anthony at 347-952-1442 or Captain Tony at 646-413-1643.

See you soon!

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Fishing Report 3-31-24 – Black Fishing Was a Success!

Blackfishing is BACK! Yesterday’s opening day of Blackfishing Season went incredibly well. We saw lots of action, with both keepers and shorts getting caught with regularity by our guests. It was a great day on the water. We even caught an additional ~25 Ling on the boat!

Overall, it was a huge success. Take a look at some of the photos from the 31st:

Your turn! Come join us. We’re shipping out regularly as long as the weather is looking good (we have a few bad weather days coming up, but things should be clearing up from there) and we’d love to see you!

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Guess Who is Headed Back on the Water This Weekend!

Every year, we take a break for a month or two to clean the boat, check for safety issues, and prepare for the next season. Well, we are back from the break, our annual coast guard inspection went great, and we are headed back on the water.

We begin sailing this weekend, assuming the weather allows it, and will be out on the water from 7am to 3pm. We are going to be seeking out cod and ling.

Make sure that you’re signing up to join us as soon as possible, as we have been hearing a lot of demand to go back out on the water. We do take walk ons, but buying a ticket ensures a place. Our boat does have a limit.

Come join us! We’re excited to see you again aboard the Marilyn Jean! You can book your tickets here at or call Captain Anthony at 347 952 1442 or Captain Tony at 646-413-1643. Don’t forget that we have private charters available as well for anyone that is ready to explore.

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How Do You Load Crabs on the Fishing Line to Catch Tautog?

In the last post, we talked about the types of baits that people use for Tautog fishing, and how the best baits are usually crabs since blackfish prefer crustaceans. For newer anglers, the idea of loading crabs onto a hook can seem like an odd one, or even a difficult one. Our team is happy to help you learn how to load bait if you like, and of course we have plenty of guests that are experts and would be happy to guide you.

But, in order to help start the process, let’s talk about the different ways that we would hook a crab so that you can get an idea of what the process is like.

Selection of Crabs

Before rigging, the selection of the right type and size of crab is crucial. Green crabs and Asian crabs are popular choices due to their size, hardness, and availability. The size of the crab should be appropriate for the size of the tautog being targeted:

  • Smaller Crabs – Ideal for medium-sized tautog.
  • Larger Crabs – Can be used whole for larger tautog or halved for a broader appeal.

Most crabs are going to make great bait, since the smell of the crab will attract blackfish looking for a quick meal.

Hooking the Crab

Proper preparation of the crab ensures that the bait is attractive and accessible to the tautog. Start by removing the top shell of the crab to expose the inner flesh. This step is crucial as it releases the scent of the crab, making it more enticing to tautog.

Optionally, legs can be removed to prevent the tautog from nibbling on them without taking the hook. Some anglers, however, prefer to leave the legs on for added movement and attraction.

Then you need to start hooking the crab. The method of hooking the crab can vary, but is still important in ensuring the bait stays on the hook while also maximizing the chances of a hook-set.

  • Hook Placement – Insert the hook through one of the crab’s leg sockets, then out through the opposite side. This method secures the crab effectively and allows for a natural presentation.
  • Exposing the Hook Point – Ensure that the hook point is exposed to facilitate a clean hook-set. The crab should be secured firmly but not so tightly that it impedes the hook’s ability to penetrate the tautog’s mouth.

This style of hooking the crab will make sure the crab both stays on the hook and is placed in such a way that a fish taking a bit will latch on. To further secure the crab on the hook, some anglers use bait elastic. This thin, stretchy thread can be wrapped around the crab and hook, holding the bait in place without masking the scent or hindering the natural presentation.

Tautog are bottom feeders, so it’s essential to present the bait near the bottom. A weight may be used to ensure the bait stays down where the tautog are feeding. Tautog often reside around structures like rocks, wrecks, and reefs. Positioning the bait close to these structures increases the likelihood of attracting a tautog. We know of some great locations to take you to during blackfish season.

Keep in mind that tautog are known for their ability to steal bait without getting hooked. Regular checks and replacements of the bait ensure that your hook is always presented with an enticing offering, so that you’re not wasting your time with a line in the water and no bait to attract the fish.

Come Join Us on the Marilyn Jean!

We take countless trips to catch blackfish over the course of the year, and we’re more than happy to provide you with tips and tricks. We also have amazing guests that are happy to help as well. Come aboard and let’s get started!

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What Baits Are Used to Catch Tautog and Why Do They Work?

Tautog, also known as blackfish, is a species renowned for its wariness and the challenge it presents to anglers. Successfully catching tautog demands a combination of skill, patience, and, of course, the right bait. When you hope to go out on the water and catch a lot of tautog, it helps to make sure that you have ample amounts of the right bait in hand.

Preferred Baits for Tautog

Tautog are opportunistic feeders with a diet that primarily consists of crustaceans and mollusks. The most effective baits tend to be those that mimic the natural prey found in their habitat:

  • Green Crabs – These are among the most popular baits for tautog fishing. Anglers typically use small pieces of green crab, ensuring that the hook is well-exposed. Green crabs are effective because they are a staple in the tautog diet, especially in rocky or reef areas where tautog commonly reside.
  • Asian Crabs – Similar to green crabs, Asian crabs are also highly effective for tautog due to their prevalence in tautog habitats. They are often used whole for smaller tautog or halved for larger fish.
  • Fiddler Crabs – Fiddler crabs, with their distinctive large claw, are another excellent choice for tautog bait. Their smaller size makes them particularly appealing for targeting medium-sized tautog.
  • Hermit Crabs – Though less commonly used than other crab varieties, hermit crabs can be an effective bait due to their natural occurrence in tautog feeding grounds. Their unique scent and texture make them an enticing option.
  • Sea Worms – Sandworms and bloodworms can also be used successfully to catch tautog, especially when crabs are not readily available. Their movement and scent make them attractive to tautog, although they are often considered a secondary option to crustacean baits.

You may also need plenty of these baits available to make sure that you always have some on hand in case you lose the bait in the water.

Why These Baits Are Effective

The effectiveness of these baits lies in their ability to closely replicate the natural prey of tautog in their environment:

  • Natural Diet Mimicry – Tautog have strong, shell-crushing teeth that are well-adapted to feeding on hard-shelled organisms like crabs. Baits that mirror the tautog’s natural prey are more likely to be recognized and accepted by the fish.
  • Scent and Texture – Tautog rely heavily on their sense of smell and the tactile sensation to identify potential food sources. Baits that offer a strong scent and a familiar texture are more likely to entice a tautog to bite.
  • Visual Appeal – The appearance of the bait can also play a role in attracting tautog. Baits that visually resemble their natural prey in size, color, and movement are more effective.

Any time you’re looking to bait for any type of fish, you want to make sure that you’re using something the fish will want to eat. These baits are the same type of food they would eat in the wild and, since finding crustaceans to eat can be difficult naturally, offer the blackfish a quick meal that is far more likely to drive bites.

Strategic Baiting Techniques

Maximizing the effectiveness of these baits requires specific techniques and considerations:

  • Proper Hooking – Ensuring the bait is securely hooked while leaving the hook point exposed is crucial for successful hook sets. This is particularly important when using crustacean baits, as tautog tend to nibble at their food.
  • Bait Presentation – The manner in which the bait is presented can significantly impact its attractiveness to tautog. Keeping the bait near the bottom and in close proximity to structures can increase the chances of a bite, as tautog often stay close to rocky areas and wrecks.
  • Tide and Time Considerations – The timing of bait deployment, in relation to tidal movements and feeding times, can also influence success rates. Tautog are known to be more active and feed more aggressively during certain tidal phases.

We are more than happy to take you out on the water during blackfish season and offer help, and many of our guests are amazing anglers that are more than willing to lend a hand and answer your questions. Come with us all year and let’s catch some amazing fish!

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We’ve Put in the WORK! Come See Our Cleaned Boat!

We’ve spent some of these colder days working on the boat and friends, the boat is looking GOOD. We posted video of the boat on our Facebook. Take a look!

While it may be a bit early to say that the weather is warming and we’re all ready to start fishing again, if you take a look at the forecast, you’ll see that it’s warming from 37 to 50 over the next few days, and we’re moments away from March when the weather is more than warm enough for some morning and evening fishing excursions.

We’ve got to see what the weather is like before we can open up our event calendar, but make sure you’re keeping an eye out as we’re going to have some fun events planned starting very soon!

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When Does Fishing Season Start in NYC?

If you’ve paid attention to our schedule here at Marilyn Jean over the last few weeks, you’ve probably noticed that we haven’t scheduled many outings over the year. That’s because, while fishing is still legal for a variety of fish species, most of the fish that we catch are no longer in season.

The start of the fishing season in NYC varies depending on the type of fish, the specific water bodies, and regulations set by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Fishing seasons are designated to protect fish populations during their spawning periods, ensuring sustainable fishing opportunities for future generations.

We take the boat out to Sheepshead Bay, which offers opportunities to catch a variety of fish, which vary across seasons. These include –

  • Striped Bass – The season for striped bass, one of the most popular game fish in Sheepshead Bay, generally starts in April and extends through December. Early season catches are often rewarding, with peak activity in spring and fall.
  • Flounder – Flounder fishing in Sheepshead Bay usually kicks off in March and can be productive through early summer. These flatfish are a favorite among local anglers for their taste and the challenge they present.
  • Bluefish – The energetic and aggressive bluefish typically arrive in Sheepshead Bay around May, with the season extending into the fall. Their strong fight makes them a thrilling catch for sport fishing enthusiasts.
  • Porgy (Scup) – Porgy fishing begins in May, offering excellent opportunities throughout the summer and into early fall. These fish are known for their delicious flavor and are a common target for family fishing trips.
  • Blackfish (Tautog) – The blackfish season usually starts in October and can last until December, providing exciting late-season fishing opportunities. Their knack for hiding in rocky structures adds to the challenge and fun of targeting them.

You can read all about the different regulations and requirements for this type of saltwater fishing experience directly on the NYSDEC Website.

Regulations and Permits

Before heading out, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local fishing regulations, including size limits, catch limits, and any area-specific rules.

The fishing season in NYC offers diverse opportunities for anglers to enjoy the sport amidst the urban landscape. By understanding the seasonal timelines, adhering to regulations, and engaging with the local fishing community, you can enjoy fruitful and responsible fishing experiences in New York City’s waterways. Whether you’re casting for trout in the spring or targeting striped bass in the fall, the city’s waters provide a unique backdrop for anglers of all levels.

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Cold Weather Fishing Tips in NYC with Marilyn Jean Fishing

Winter fishing in New York City is a unique experience and a great location for finding all sorts of amazing fish. But it requires specialized knowledge and preparation to ensure a successful and enjoyable outing. Marilyn Jean Fishing, an experienced NYC fishing boat, provides fishing trips in all sorts of weather, all throughout the year, to those that want to explore the open water.

But it’s cold right now – at least at the time of this writing. That means that the experience of fishing changes, both from a safety and from a technique perspective. The following are some tips for fishing in winter in New York. We also encourage you to check out our schedule, as we do

Essential Gear and Preparation for Winter Fishing

Navigating the chilly waters of New York in winter demands appropriate gear and planning. Marilyn Jean Fishing emphasizes the importance of these elements for a better fishing experience. If you’re coming aboard one of our boats, or you plan to go out fishing on your own, consider the following gear:

  • Layered Clothing – Dressing in layers is crucial. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add an insulating middle layer, and finish with a waterproof outer layer. Don’t forget warm, waterproof gloves and a hat.
  • Quality Footwear – Insulated, waterproof boots are a must. They should provide both warmth and traction on potentially slippery surfaces.
  • Rod and Reel Care – Cold weather can affect your gear. Use a rod and reel designed for cold temperatures and check them regularly for ice buildup.
  • Bait Selection – In colder waters, fish metabolism slows down, and their feeding habits change. Marilyn Jean Fishing recommends using live bait or lures that mimic the slow movements of winter prey.

This will, of course, depend on the fish we’re going to catch, the time of day, and the weather. We encourage you to contact us if you need more details about fishing equipment. Remember, the weather is cold even during the day. On the water, in the morning or night, it can be near frigid. Worry about your own warmth to make sure that you’re comfortable and safe out on the water.

Techniques for Successful Winter Fishing

Winter fishing in NYC requires adapting your techniques to the conditions. This may mean that you need to change your approach compared to fall and summer. You should consider:

  • Slow Down Your Approach – Fish are less active in cold water. Slow down your retrieval speed and use smaller, more subtle movements.
  • Fish During Peak Times – The best fishing times in winter are usually during the warmest part of the day when fish are more active.
  • Depth Adjustments – Fish often move to different depths in cold weather. Be prepared to adjust your fishing depth accordingly.

Winter fishing in NYC offers serene environments and the opportunity for unique catches. Marilyn Jean Fishing encourages anglers to embrace the peacefulness of the season and enjoy the distinct fishing experience that winter provides.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to winter fishing, following these tips from Marilyn Jean Fishing can lead to a rewarding and enjoyable cold-weather fishing experience in the heart of NYC. Remember, preparation, safety, and adapting to the environment are key to a successful winter fishing adventure.

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Fishing Report 12-20-23 – Last Days of Blackfishing

It was a good season for blackfish this year. We had a lot of guests come home with some great catches. But, like all good things, the season is coming to an end. There are only two days left in 2023 to go blackfish fishing, so anyone that is still interested in being out on the water for blackfish should sign up for the last outings.

We’ve been out every day. Take a look at some of the catches from the past few weeks:

We’ll keep you posted about our schedule after 12/22/23, when blackfish season ends. But we’ll still be here, so make sure you follow our updates (including our Facebook page) to see what we’re catching next and how the fish are biting.

You can order your tickets right here, or you can call or text Captain Anthony at 347 952 1442 or Capt Tony at 646-413-1643.