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Fish You Can Catch in NYC This Summer

In the warmer months, NYC turns into a fisherman’s paradise with nearly 100 different species of fish you can catch throughout the city. Depending on where you go, there are options for freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, and estuary fishing where you can catch all of the fish that make their home in NYC waters.

Where to Catch Your Favorite Fish in NYC

NYC has options for everything for a relaxing day of catch and release fishing, a thrilling fight to hook trophy bass, or a chance to catch your next meal. For freshwater fishing, some of the species that are most popular here in NYC include:

  • Sunfish
  • Catfish
  • Yellow Perch
  • Carp
  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Brown Bullheads
  • Pumpkin Seeds

Many of these are available in the freshwater lakes and ponds throughout the city and are often free to access in local parks. Several of these fish species are also available when fishing in the Hudson River. Keep in mind all freshwater fishing in parks is catch and release only.

For shore fishing and fishing by boat, you can find many different saltwater fish including:

  • Striped Bass
  • Fluke
  • Blackfish
  • Porgy
  • Ling
  • Cod
  • Herring

If you have a particular fish you want to catch or you are interested in a particular type of fishing, check out our guide on NYCs best fishing spots to determine the best places to go this summer. When you want to go after any of the saltwater fish here in NYC, reserve your tickets on the Marilyn Jean for the best shot at catching them this summer.

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Making Summer Fishing Plans in NYC

Now that the weather is finally warmed up and the official start of summer is just around the corner, you have almost endless options for outdoor plans. Because the next few months will also coincide with the height of fishing in NYC, those who enjoy being outdoors with a fishing pole and the occasional catch have a variety of options for fishing in NYC.

While the entire state of New York is known for fishing, particularly in many of the waterways upstate that support record fly fishing, you do not have to leave the city for a great fishing experience. Many great fishing spots are easily accessible from throughout NYC even when you have only an evening or single day.

NYC Fishing Spots for This Summer

There are fishing spots for a peaceful afternoon or rapid fire catches, and everything in between. Some of the local spots to check out by you include:

  • Central Park – With a range of fishing options for adults and kids, Central Park is a great destination although it can get a little crowded in the summer.
  • City Parks – Every borough has one or more parks with ponds or lakes that are traditionally well stocked with a variety of fish such as perch, bluegills, sunfish, and others available for catch and release fishing.
  • Brooklyn Bridge – Fishing around Brooklyn Bridge has great options for estuary fishing where you can get both saltwater and freshwater fish. It is also a prime spot for blue crab.
  • Hudson River – Multiple piers and parks along the Hudson River give the option to catch striped bass, largemouth bass, catfish, perch, and more than 70 other species.
  • Shore Fishing – With miles of coastline and bays around NYC, shore fishing is an accessible way to fish for many saltwater species, but you will need the right equipment.
  • Boat Fishing – Going out on an NYC fishing boat offers exciting options for offshore and deep sea fishing. Marilyn Jean Fishing runs multiple trips almost every day in the summer, with full day, half day, and evening fishing trips available to catch some of the area’s most exciting fish including striped bass, black fish, cod, and others.

With the extensive range of places to fish in NYC, you can find your perfect spot for fishing or try out a variety of new locations and fishing styles throughout the summer. Get a head start in planning by scoping out your local NYC fishing spots and booking your tickets on the Marilyn Jean online today.

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How to Fish for Striped Bass in NYC

Striped bass season is starting in New York and between now and fall, the waters off the coast of NYC and New Jersey will offer a range of opportunities to hook some incredible trophy bass.

Stripers are the favorite fish of anglers of all backgrounds. Many experienced anglers turn out every day to fish for them, but catching stripers is also exciting and straightforward enough that beginner anglers or kids will also enjoy the experience.

The most thrilling part of bass fishing is almost always the size of the fish you can potentially catch. During the height of the season, it is not unusual to have bass averaging 50 pounds and a particularly good catch can hook striped bass in the waters around NYC that are up to 70 or 80 pounds.

Although far from being a difficult fish to catch, bass still offers some challenges, particularly finding the bass and getting your setup correct to secure a bite. Here we will go in depth on the information and strategies you can use to successfully fish for striped bass around NYC, including seasonal considerations, where to go, what baits to use, what conditions to look out for, and specific regulations that will help you fish for striped bass sustainably.

Striped Bass Boat Fishing Trips in NYC

For fishermen who are completely new to striped bass fishing or saltwater fishing, or who want to get to the best striped bass fishing locations in NYC, joining a fishing party boat is the best option. Boats like the Marilyn Jean, for instance, have everything you need to catch bass, including rods, reels, and bait.

They can also get you to the specific area where fish are active at different points in the day and season. While striped bass fishing in bays and estuaries or from shore and piers can provide good results some of the time, you will often be limited in when you can catch fish and how many. This is not the case on the Marilyn Jean where our captain can take you to the heart of the action, increasing your chances of a memorable catch.

On the Marilyn Jen, we sail for striped bass nearly every day of the season, giving us first hand information about striper striper movement in local areas like:

  • Jamaica Bay
  • Raritan Bay
  • Sandy Hook
  • Rockaway Beach
  • Coney Island, and More

This way, we always know where we have recently had the best luck with stripers, limiting the time we have to spend searching them out on any trip and increasing the time that you get to spend catching fish.

Daytime and evening trips on the Marilyn Jean leave from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, providing additional convenience with a location that is easy to get to by subway.

Striped Bass Biology

Striped bass, also called linesiders and rockfish, are a native fish to Atlantic waters and a migratory species. They move up and down the eastern seaboard in the different seasons, reaching as far south as Florida in the winter and as far north as the St. Lawrence River in Canada in the summer.

This puts NYC and the coast of New Jersey in the optimal position of experiencing striped bass migration close to our shores twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, as well as fishing opportunities throughout the summer in the cooler waters further off the coast.

The fish itself has a thick body with a series of horizontal stripes on each side, hence the name. The color of the scales ranges from green to blue to black to brown with a pale underside.

Stripers in the wild can live up to 30 years and during that time reach as much as 80 pounds and 5 feet in length. In addition to their well-proportioned appearance, their sheer size makes these larger fish a very impressive catch.  A fish of this size naturally also has some fighting capabilities when hooked for an additional challenge and reward when landing striped bass.

The majority of striped bass are in saltwater outside of breeding in freshwater, but stripers have also been introduced into freshwater ecosystems, and many lakes throughout the country contain striped bass. Freshwater fishing for striped bass is different as the stripers remain in the same body of water without migrating. Water temperatures, activity levels, and food sources will also differ. For this guide, we are focusing solely on saltwater fishing for striped bass.

In terms of eating, stripers are often thought to have some of the best tasting meat in the bass family with a flaky flesh that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Generally, you only want to eat younger striped bass less than 30 inches long. Any larger than that and the fish will be several years old, meaning it has had more time to absorb metals in the water that can significantly impact the taste of the fish.

Due to this fact and regulations on the number of fish you can keep, the majority of striped bass fishing is catch and release.

Striped Bass Life Cycle and Migration in NYC

Stripers do best in water that is between 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. As seasons and temperatures change, the fish have to move around to find water with the ideal temperature.

The exact timelines for this migration vary from year to year as annual temperatures, storms, and other conditions directly impact water temperatures, but in general stripers are passing the New York coast beginning in April and lasting into May. Their second migration south happens largely in October.

The temperatures and time of year will also play some part in how far off the coast stripers are. In spring when waters tend to run cooler, they will more often be near shore and in bays, estuaries, rivers, and other inlets where shallower water will warm up sooner. In summer, they will move northward and out to cooler water off of the coast to stay in waters that are the right temperature. They will only be accessible via boat during this time.

Striped Bass Freshwater Breeding

Striped bass lay their eggs in freshwater or brackish water in the spring and for the first few years, the young stripers will stay near the location of their birth. During the spring, the smaller schoolies will be in shallow and sheltered waters before moving to beaches and other locations near shore when the water gets warmer.

Schoolers are smaller, usually less than 10 or 20 inches, and travel in schools with hundreds of other fish. Occasionally a larger trophy fish will slip in with schoolies as well and, once big enough, schoolies can provide an enjoyable shore fishing opportunity.

When is the Best Time of Year to Fish for Stripers in NYC?

Anytime between April and October can provide results with striper fishing as long as you know which area to look in. The migratory periods tend to be when stripers are most active and most readily feeding, which will often mean more lively fishing and more opportunities.

This is because stripers are in shallower waters near the surface, actively feeding on schools of baitfish. You will have many striped bass in a single area, all of which are more likely to go for whatever bait you offer.

Of these two periods, October tends to yield larger fish since the stripers are preparing for winter and eating in excess. This fish will also bite more often since they will be less picky about food this time of year.

In spring, stripers will have come off of a lean winter and will need and will take some time to reach their full size.

Best Time of Day for Striper Fishing

Once you have the right season, the next task is finding the right time of day to fish for stripers. Striped bass are eating and active throughout the day and night, so you will have some luck whenever you head out.

But they tend to be most active in the early morning just before sunrise and the evening just after sunset with about a two hour window of heightened activity at both times. The lower light during these time periods helps striped bass more easily see their prey when hunting. It also provides cooler water temperatures.

However, these times of day do have some variation depending on the season. For instance, in spring, water in the morning will still be very cold and striped bass are likely to be less active after sunrise, making the evening hours the best time to fish.

Conversely, in summertime, evenings may be too warm for striped bass and you should aim for morning fishing trips instead or go later in the evening to give the water more time to cool.

Other Factors that Affect Striped Bass Fishing

In addition to season and time of day, pro anglers also pay attention to additional signs that will impact where stripers are and how likely they are to be feeding at any given time, such as:

  • Tides – An incoming or outgoing tide will change the current of the water. High tide and low often cause the best bass fishing since the currents are strongest, but this will vary by location depending on how the tide affects a certain place, and more specifically the baitfish there.
  • Moon Phases – The moon impacts the tide and also currents in the water. The striper bite is usually best in the days surrounding a full moon when the gravitational pull on the water will be creating strong upward currents, providing the best fishing days in any month.
  • Wind – Wind will benefit striper fishing up to a point before diminishing it. Wind can help create the currents that bring bass out to feed, but if the wind becomes too strong and starts to decrease visibility by kicking up sand and mud, stripers will often stop biting until the water clears.
  • Storms – A cold front coming through usually leads to great bass fishing until the front passes, at which point the fishing quality will reduce significantly. Warm fronts are beneficial in the spring when they can stimulate activity, but will push fish out to deeper waters when they occur in the summer.

As with all fishing, conditions on any given day may have an extreme effect or apparently no effect on striper activity. Keeping up to date with weather activity, tide tables, and moon phases can provide some guidance in determining when you will fish and what techniques you will use out on the water, but there will also be some guesswork and luck needed, adding to the thrill of the perfect catch.

Where to Fish for Striped Bass Around NYC and NJ

Getting the right location will often be one of the most important factors in striped bass fishing. Even if you have everything else right – season, weather, and bait – you will still see no results if there are simply no stripers feeding in the same area that you are fishing in.

We have already explained that striped bass locations are seasonal. For fishing during the spring, you want to remain closer to shore and will have better luck in estuaries, rivers, and bays. Shore fishing will provide good results during this time, or fishing on a boat can get you to several different areas. Surf fishing and fishing from the ends of piers and jetties will provide better results as the season wears on before offshore fishing becomes the necessary method later in the summer.

But it is also valuable to know where striped bass are likely to be in any of these given areas.

Stripers feed in open water. This is an ideal time to catch them since they are actively hunting and out in the open. They will be where their food source is. Birds circling over the water are a sign that baitfish, and subsequently stripers, are nearby since the baitfish are a food source for the birds as well. Fishing in whitewater if you are shore fishing is also a good choice since striped bass will be drawn to the currents there.

But you can also target stripers in the rocky areas where they live when not hunting. These include natural underwater structures, like reefs and rock fields, as well as man made structures like bridges, jetties, and piers. In any of these areas, you can use bottom fishing techniques to catch fish within the rocks.

What Bait to Use for Striper Fishing

Stripers are voracious fish, particularly during the migratory seasons when they will eat almost any food they can find in their environment, although what they are eating on any given day can vary.

Live bait is always best with stripers since that is what they naturally feed on. Stripers hunt by sight and the movement of live bait makes it easier for the stripers to see your bait.

Dead bait can also attract striped bass by the scent alone. You can continue to use a bait fish after it has died, and the movement of the current will still keep it active enough to attract bass. You can also chunk dead bait to create a tempting scent and draw in striped bass.

The go to live bait for striped bass is bunker, or menhaden. Many stripers are eating this already and will willingly go for it on a hook or as chum. It is compatible with any fishing style whether you are casting, trolling, or bottom fishing, although you should be gentle to avoid the bait slipping from the hook.

If using live menhaden for casting or drifting, you can cut the tail off before you cast. This causes the baitfish to sink and make it an easy catch for the stripers. If using dead bunker to fish for striped bass,  the head is useful in only attracting striped bass since other fish are less likely to go for it. The center part of the bait fish which contains the guts will attract almost anything with its powerful scent, and the tail is meaty for good results when chunking.

Other baits that are particularly attractive to sleep or striped bass are:

  • Live Eels
  • Mackerel
  • Porgies
  • Clams
  • Squid
  • Bloodworms
  • Sandworms

The specific bait you choose can depend on many different factors. Certain baits are better for different areas. For instance, clams work well in rocky areas where clams are most likely to be naturally. For surf fishing, fresh or frozen mackerel works well chunked because it has an oily flesh that will hold up in churning surf, as well as give off a strong smell.

Worms can be highly effective but face the consistent problem that they will attract many types of fish that you are not trying to catch, and you may quickly run through a large amount of expensive bait, particularly if you are buying them rather than collecting your own.

If you are facing challenges with other fish stealing your bait, eels are a good option since they rarely attract other fish. Larger menhaden, porgy, and mackerel are better options as well since only the larger stripers will go for them.

Striped Bass Fishing with Artificial Lures

When stripers are going for anything, they will often bite on an artificial lure. You want to use lures that are closest to their natural prey, both in terms of mimicking movement and appearance. Lures that are scented are also extremely valuable in attracting stripers.

The various lures to consider are mostly top water lures. These are often good for tempting stripers when they are already feeding. Some of the best options include:

  • Spooks
  • Plugs
  • Poppers

You can also target striped bass at different levels in the water column with bucktails, metal lures, soft plastic lures, and multi jointed swimbaits.

Lures can be a lot of fun for catching striped bass because you get to do more of the work yourself as you work from the lure through the water, although this can also require a little more skill and it may not be the best option if you are striped bass fishing for the first few times.

Fishing Techniques for Striper Saltwater Fishing

A variety of fishing techniques will work with striped bass. Popular methods include:

  • Drifting for Striped Bass – When you are on a boat over open water or bottom fishing, drifting is a reliable technique that will catch your bait in the current and allow it to drift with the boat. It also works from the end of the dock as well with a heavy current. The current will keep the bait beneath the water for a striper to see as you reel in the line.
  • Trolling for Striped Bass – If you have access to a boat, trolling is a great method for catching a large number of fish quickly. You can use chumped live bait here or artificial lures. The artificial lures can be better as you are locating fish since you can travel faster without the bait disintegrating. Once you find a depth and location that works, and especially during the migratory seasons, you can catch many striped bass in a short amount of time with trolling.
  • Shore Fishing for Striped Bass – In the spring and early summer, shore fishing will produce a good catch. You will need to be able to get out far enough with either waders or casting artificial lures to reach a sufficient distance. Focusing on rocky outcroppings or the cuts in mud flats will often yield the best results.
  • Bottom Fishing for Striped Bass – When you are fishing for striped bass in rocky areas, you can use standard bottom fishing techniques with live bait or lures. Simply drop your line over an area with “structures” and reel it back in, waiting for the fish to bite.

As you are getting started, drift fishing is one of the easier methods since both trolling and surf fishing can require an extensive equipment setup.

Striped Bass Fishing in NYC with a Circle Hook

After many years of overfishing, striped bass populations were significantly threatened. There are now regulations in place to help promote the regrowth of local striped bass populations. The most important of these is that all catch and release striped bass fishing that uses natural bait – alive or dead – must be done with a circle hook.

Unlike the standard J-hook, the circle hook curves back onto itself and is in-line. This is to prevent the fish from swallowing the hook and make it easier to release the fish and return it to the water without any injury that might result in lasting harm. Instead of a gut hook, the circle hook will secure the striped bass through the cheek.

The process for setting your hook is slightly different with a circle hook than a J-hook. With a J-hook, the angler moves the rod upwards to set the hook. For a circle hook, simply hold the rod in place and the hook will set itself as the fish tries to swim away.

For sizing, you should use an 8/10 circle hook if you are fishing with live menhaden or prodigy. Opt for a smaller 6/10 hook if you are chunking with fish or worms.

Additional regulations surrounding striped bass fishing in New York include daily limits for the number of fish you can keep. When you are fishing in the Hudson River, the limit is 1 fish per day between 18 and 20 inches. In marine waters, the limit is 1 fish between 28 and 35 inches. Remember to also carry your fishing license if you are above the age of 16.

Plan an NYC Striped Bass Fishing Trip

Striped bass in NYC is one of the area’s most exciting fishing experiences. When you want a thrilling day on the water and an impressive catch, striped bass is the perfect fish to go for. To make the most of your experience, striped bass fishing on the Marilyn Jean will ensure you get to fish in the top spots with the best possible results.

Schedule a striped bass fishing trip online to sail aboard the Marilyn Jean or gather your gear and try your luck at striper fishing at many of the great locations around NYC.

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Best Bait for Striped Bass in NYC

The striped bass season in New York is some of the best fishing of the year, especially when the bass are migrating during the spring and fall. Stripers can average around 50 pounds, and often get up to 80 pound with the biggest fish in the fall.

If you can find a migrating school of stipers, you can expect fast action, a good fight, and several photo-worthy catches. But much of this action depends on the types of bait you are using.

Stripers have a reputation of being prodigious eaters. During the spring, they are eating extensively as they migrate, recovering from winter. During the fall, they need to put on weight in order to survive the winter.

With this appetite, striped bass will go after many different types of bait – except for the days when stripers seem completely uninterested in any bait you have on offer. Knowing what baits stripers are likely to go after and how and where to use them, as well as some common troubleshooting ideas when fish do not seem to be biting, can help improve your catch in terms of quantity and the size of your fish.

Live Bait Versus Dead Bait Versus Artificial Lures for Striped Bass Fishing

The best way to catch stripers will always mimic what striped bass eat in the wild. This is a predatory fish that largely feeds on smaller fish, as well as occasionally shellfish and invertebrates. They rely extensively on sight when hunting, looking for movement and color to indicate prey. But smell is also an important factor for attracting stripers.

Striped bass will often find large schools of fish and, under the right conditions, can start a feeding frenzy. Not only is the school of baitfish the best location for you to cast your line since stripers are likely to be plentiful nearby, but these are also the type of fish you want to imitate with your bait.

Live fish perfectly imitate what striped bass naturally go for, and are therefore most likely to provide results. However many anglers still have good success with dead bait for striper fishing as well as frozen bait. Working bait through the water or letting the current move it will create a similar appearance to live bait, and so long as it is still relatively fresh, it will let off a scent that is attractive to striped bass.

For this reason, many natural baits are also a good choice for chunking and you  can place a piece of bait on your hook or trolling with little pieces of bait.

Artificial lures are another option that can be highly successful but will sometimes require additional work and occasionally more skill in order to effectively attract striped bass. The wide variety of lures available will also need some consideration to be sure the one you are using is close enough to a bait that striped bass like.

The result is that you can potentially be successful with any type of beat depending on your level of skill, with live bait offering better results on average, followed by dead or frozen bait, and finally artificial lures.

Best Live Baits for Striper Fishing

These baits are generally the ones that will produce the best results when striper fishing, as well as how to use them most effectively.

Baitfish – Bunker, Porgy, and Mackerel

Using any of these fish as a live baitfish is considered a top way to catch striped bass. You can catch your own at the beginning of a fishing trip or purchase them. The primary challenge will be to keep them alive throughout the trip, or at least arrange to keep them fresh. If you have frozen or dead baitfish, you can also chunk them.

Some of the different ways to use these live baitfish for striper fishing include:

  • Casting – Simply put a live or dead baitfish on your hook with a light weighted rig and cast it out into an area where stripers are active and then reel it back towards you. The movement along the way should tempt stripers to bite. Do not cast too roughly as it will cause some baits to slip the hook.
  • Drifting – You can drift your bait in either a natural current or from a boat that is slowly unanchored. The current should hold the bait in place under the water and cause it to mimic the natural movement of baitfish.
  • Trolling – Chunk up a baitfish or attach live fish to a rig and troll it behind a boat. It can take some time to find the right depth, but when you get to an area where fish are plentiful, this is a fast way to catch them.

One technique to increase the appeal of baitfish is to chop off the tail and then letting the line out so the bait will float at just the right height for the school of fish you are over. With the tail missing, a bait fish will sink somewhat but still be active, making it appear like an easy catch for a striper.

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Striper Season is Starting in NYC

The striped bass fishing season begins April 15, 2022 and is already looking to be a promising season with a potential for some impressive catches. Here is how the season is shaping up so far and what to expect for early season NYCs striper fishing.

Outlook for 2022 Striped Bass in NYC

The stripers will be beginning their migration soon, moving north towards New England and passing directly off the Atlantic coast of New York. With the bit of cold weather that we experienced last week, there was a slight delay of a few days in migration times, but migration is now getting into full swing.

There are numerous schoolies in the rivers and headwaters off the coast of New Jersey. Migrating fish are beginning to enter Raritan Bay, NY Harbor, and Jamaica Bay.

The average striper size over the next few weeks should be between 12 and 20 pounds with the size of trophy fish increasing steadily over the coming months.

During the migratory period, striped bass will be moving fast and knowing where they are on the days you head out fishing can get you right to the center of the striper action. The captain and crew on the Marilyn Jean are watching local striper populations carefully as we prepare to kick off another exciting season. Our striped bass fishing boat trips start on Saturday, April 15 with evening trips departing from Sheepshead Bay at 7pm. These trips will start filling up and we recommend purchasing your tickets online today.

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Guide to Fishing with Live Bait in Saltwater

Live bait is one of the most effective ways to catch many of the fish species around NYC. Fish eat other fish and crustaceans in the wild, so being able to mimic their food source by providing live bait is one of the best ways to guarantee a successful catch.

You can always use swim baits and many anglers in the area have great luck with them, but live bait will often perform better. However, live bait does come with a few challenges. Choosing the right bait for the fish you are targeting and keeping that bait alive throughout your trip can be difficult. This guide will help you effectively use live bait on your next trip.

Best Saltwater Fishing Baits in NYC

For freshwater fishing, worms have long been a bait of choice since they are easy to find and easy to keep alive. Saltwater anglers need fish or need bait that is equally attractive to saltwater fish. Some of the various types of baits include:

  • Bloodworms and Sandworms – Like freshwater worms, these worms can be hooked at the head and will wiggle on the hook to tempt fish. They are easy to keep alive throughout your fishing trip and you can also chunk them for bottom fishing. The one drawback to these worms is that they tend to be somewhat pricey.
  • Baitfish – Smaller fish like mackerel and hearing are good baitfish for trophy caches like striped bass. To keep baitfish alive throughout your trip, you will need aerated water kept at the correct temperature. However, dead baitfish will still work to attract several types of fish.
  • Shellfish – Clams, shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans are good for saltwater fish. On the hook, most will move about to attract fish. Others such as shrimp and clams are good for chunking when bottom fishing in saltwater.
  • Squid – Squid can catch a number of saltwater fish such as lingcod. While live squid works well, frozen squid is also usually effective and is easier to keep since you can store it in your cooler under ice.
  • Eels – Eels are another good bait for striped bass. They will live for several hours outside the water and, once in, are very active to help you lure fish. Their challenge is that they are slippery, so use a rag or something similar when hooking them.

For saltwater fishing, free lining your live bait enables the lure to appear the way a natural meal would appear to a fish. You can also use live bait successfully for bottom fishing by attaching a sinker. A three-way rig works well for this, especially when fishing in a current.

One good way to get all of the right bait for your fishing trip is to leave it to the crew of a fishing charter. On the Marilyn Jean fishing charter in NYC, we supply high quality bait on your trip so you do not have to worry about stocking your own bait stores. Join us for a convenient and relaxing day of fishing that  promises some impressive catches. You can book your ticket today through the calendar on our website.

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How to Catch Blackfish in NYC

Blackfish are one of the NYC sportfish that require skill and practice to catch. It can be relatively easy to reel in a 3 to 6 pound tog, but to get a trophy tog in the 9 to 10 pound range and greater, you will need to have the right location, right hook and bait, and the right technique. Even then you can expect a good fight from one of these fierce fish.

Fishing Tips for Catching Tautog

Blackfish, or tautog, is a bottom feeding fish. Their season runs from spring to fall, although it can go as late as December. In cooler months, tog will be closer to shore waters that are around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. During the height of summer, they will move into deeper waters offshore.

On average, blackfish can be between 3 to 10 pounds, with those upwards of 10 pounds considered impressive trophy fish, although tog of any size will put up a good fight and be an extremely tasty fillet at dinner.

Here are the facts you will need to know for a successful catch:

  • Their Habitat – Tog live round hard structures. These include natural settings like underwater boulders, piles of rocks, reefs and mussel beds, and manmade structures like bridge pylons, shipwrecks, moorings, and docks.
  • Correct Bait – Blackfish feed on crustaceans and shellfish, so bait like crabs, clams, and muscles work the best. Sandworms can work well too, particularly in the spring when there are fewer porgies out to steal your bait.
  • Right Rig – Tautog will put up a fight so you need tackle that can handle them. Many tautog anglers prefer a high-low rig with a lead sinker. 50lb braid as your main line is not overkill, particularly if you are hoping to catch larger tog.

When you get a bite, be prepared to reel in quickly. Also be prepared to lose a few rigs and a lot of bait. Still, most fishermen find it worth it for the blackfish they do hook throughout the day.

Fishing for tautog on the Marilyn Jean can increase your chances of catching these fish. Our experienced captain knows where to look for tautog and our crew can give you pointers to help you reel in an impressive catch. We also provide high quality bait that is ideal for blackfish. Schedule a tautog fishing trip in NYC. You can book your trip on our online calendar.

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Saltwater Sport Fish We Fish for Aboard the Marilyn Jean

Waters around Sheepshead Bay, New York City, and the New Jersey shore provide abundant fishing all year long, particularly when you have a crew like ours who knows where to find the best NYC fishing. The Marilyn Jean runs fishing trips throughout the year and our fishing trips offer a chance to catch many of the top local sport fish.

Depending on the time of year, there are various fish that we offer trips for. These are the fish included in our public fishing trips.

Striped Bass

Striped bass are a favorite fish for many anglers. They are a migratory fish that come through the area around April, move north and to deeper waters in the summer, and then return in September. Stripers swim in large schools and finding a school often provides frenzied and exciting fishing.

This is a difficult to advanced fish for anglers due to their swimming speed and power, as well as their large size. Stripers can be up to 4 ½ feet long and weigh up to 70 pounds with an average of around 40 to 50 pounds, making them an ideal trophy fish.


Blackfish, also known as Tautog, have a thick body with dark coloring. They are bottom feeding fish that spend their winters in deep waters and move to shallow waters in the springtime, often living and feeding around rocky outcrops and undersea man-made structures.

Blackfish are an intermediate skill level fish to catch since it takes some technique to hook one because they are hard fighters. Blackfish are 3 feet at max and can weigh up to 25 pounds.


Porgy, or scup, are flat, thin fish. They are bottom feeders that are found inshore in spring and summer, usually around piers, wrecks, jetties, and reefs.

Although they are good at fighting, porgies are easy to catch and a good option for a novice or younger angler. They also tend to be more exciting since the action moves rapidly once we find them and you can catch several in quick succession. Porgies are smaller fish that are 12 to 14 inches long.

Atlantic Mackerel

Mackerel are popular fish for eating or using as bait fish for other catches. They most often in the area in March and November, although they can be difficult to find. Mackerel swim in large schools that can sometimes measure more than a mile long. The best way to catch them is with mackerel trees, a small rig that can catch several at once to keep up with this voracious fish.

Mackerel are generally small and have an easy catch rating. They can be up to 2 feet long and weigh

7 pounds.

Atlantic Cod

Cod is another bottom feeding fish that can live up to 1500 feet down. It is especially good for eating with a flaky and tender flesh that cooks up nicely in a variety of dishes. Clam and squid are the best baits for this fish.

Cod is ranked as an intermediate fish for anglers and while sizes can vary extensively, they are usually between 2 and 3 feet long and between 10 and 20 pounds.

Marilyn Jean Fishing has trips for all of these different types of saltwater sportfish. Watch our calendar throughout the year to see when various trips become available and be sure to book your tickets ahead of time.

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How to Introduce Your Kids to Fishing in NYC on a Party Boat Fishing Trip

Whether your family are already avid anglers or you are looking for something interesting to do with your children, a fishing trip has a lot to offer. Kids will have a chance to be out on the water, learn the ins and outs of catching fish, spend time bonding with you and learning about your past fishing experiences,  and maybe even have the thrill of eating a catch they reeled in for dinner that night.

Since a party boat is an open-boat fishing trip and the public is welcome aboard, it can be a great option when you are first trying offshore fishing with your kids. The range of people aboard means you will be fishing alongside people of all experience levels and maybe other families as well.

Tips to Help Your Children’s Fishing Trip Go Well

If you have been fishing before, you know that it can often involve a significant amount of sitting and waiting, which can oftentimes be terrible for high energy kids. To make sure the trip is enjoyable for both you and your kids, take a moment to honestly assess their attention span and capabilities.

The main challenge with party boat fishing for kids is that there is no getting off once the trip has started. For this reason, you might try a few hours of lake or river fishing elsewhere in New York first

to get an idea if your kids have an interest in fishing at all and will be able to last for a longer offshore fishing trip.

If they are ready to go, then take these tips into account when booking and planning your fishing excursion:

  • Book a Half Day Trip – A half day trip will have you out on the water for about four hours, which is enough time for most kids to get the experience, catch a few fish, and then head back before they start getting bored.
  • Choose the Right Fish – Porgies are often a recommended fish for children since the action is quick and they are relatively easy. Mackerel is another relatively easy fish.
  • Lifejackets – Your kids should wear well-fitting lifejackets the entire time they are on the dock and water to prevent any accidents.
  • Bring Snacks – Make sure you have snacks with you to keep everyone’s energy up throughout the trip and keep any irritability due to hunger away.
  • Bring Distraction – A small board game or a phone or table with games on it can help keep kids entertained if they lose interest in fishing.
  • Consider Seasickness Medication – Some children can be more sensitive to the rocking of the boat. Avoid eating just before going out and talk to your child’s doctor if motion sickness medication might be appropriate.

Fishing is a great experience for people of all ages and many kids who get started fishing early often enjoy it for the rest of their lives. Get your children started with this lifelong hobby or plan to enjoy a nice day out on the Marilyn Jean, a family friendly fishing boat in NYC. You can find upcoming half day trips that are ideal for children and purchase tickets on the online calendar.

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Regulations for Striped Bass Fishing in NYC

Fishing for striped bass is one of the more exciting fishing trips you can experience in NYC. Hooking a monster 70 striper and successfully bringing it to deck can easily be the day’s most memorable catch. But the demand for this particular fish species has led to significant overfishing in the past and many striped bass fisheries are dealing with decreased numbers, leading this fish to become a threatened species.

In order to preserve striped bass and ensure the enjoyment for future generations of anglers, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has imposed a few different regulations on striped bass fishing. Being familiar with these regulations means you know what to expect when heading out on a striped bass fishing trip.

Fishing Regulations for NYC Striped Bass Party Boats

One of the main regulations for all fishing in NYC is that, if you will be fishing on your own and are over the age of 16, you are required to have the correct fishing license. This is not required when onboard a licensed party boat as the party boat captain and crew assume responsibility for your fishing and meeting all requirements.

For striped bass in particular, you are limited in what fish you can harvest. When you are in marine waters south of the George Washington Bridge, you are allowed to harvest one fish that meets the following requirements:

  • Caught between April 15 and December 15
  • Has a slot size between 28 and 35 inches.

All other stripers that you catch must be released.

In order to facilitate catch and release efforts, as of 2021 the DEC requires striped bass fishing to be done using a circle hook when fishing with live baits. These hooks reduce the risk of deep hooking if the fish swallows the hook, and will reduce the risk of fatal injury as you unhook and throw the fish back into the water. The purpose of these hooks is to reduce unnecessary deaths from fish that have been caught and released.

Fishing with a circle hook involves a slightly different process than the standard J hook. When you get a bite, you will need to:

  • Lower your rod so that the tip of the rod is pointing at the fish.
  • Reel in quickly and continue reeling for an additional five seconds once the line becomes tight.
  • Raise the rod and reel more slowly to bring the fish the rest of the way in.

Under DEC regulations, you will need to catch and release any additional stripers beyond the one you want to keep, or those caught outside of the designated season, although you do have time for a quick picture if you catch a trophy fish.

To release the fish, you will need to move quickly and limit time exposed to air. Additionally, keep your hands wet while handling the fish and never hold the fish near its eyes or gills. . Gently remove the hook from the fish’s mouth. If the fish has been deep hooked, cut the line as close as possible and leave the hook where it is.

One benefit of fishing on the Marilyn Jean is that we are familiar with all NYC fishing regulations to help you focus on fishing while we make sure you are following environmental rules. We can help with removing the hook and releasing the fish as well as harvesting any striped bass that your party does intend to keep. This is a great advantage whether you are a new angler or already experienced in the sport.

Striped bass season is coming up, so keep your eye on our online calendar to book your trip when tickets become available.