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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.

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What is the Optimal Temperature for Catching Blackfish in NYC?

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.

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Fishing report 12-7-23 – Blackfishing Daily

We’ve been heading out on the water daily, and as you can see, we’re all having a good time. It’s cold, absolutely, but if you’re willing to hop on board between 7am and 3pm, you can get a LOT of blackfish. Check out some of the photos from today’s outing:


You have to come and get out on the water with us. We also have private charters available for you and your friends and family if you want to schedule a specific time or get the boat all to your friends. Call or text Captain Anthony at 347 952 1442 or Captain Tony at 646-413-1643

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Fishing Report 11-12-23 – Much Better Blackfishing

*Much* better blackfishing today. The season has been going strong, but it’s been relatively average, with a lot of guests making catches but not going home with an excess or reaching the boat limit. This time, we had a lot better success, with a lot of our guests coming home with some really great blackfish:

Pretty good!

Come join us next time. We’re sailing out every morning and most evenings Thursday to Sunday.

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Fishing Report 11-11-23 – Blackfish and Striped Bass Continue

The past few trips have been pretty decent. We have been catching quite a few blackfish and successfully jigging up some striped bass. Not a bad haul at all. The weather is getting colder, which can be great for catching seasonal fish but make sure you wrap up because it can get chilly on the water. Here are some photos from the 11th:

There is plenty of room to join us on our large boat. We are currently sailing 7am to 3pm every day for Blackfish and other fish, and then 7pm to 12am for striped bass Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. You can book tickets right here or call/text us to get onboard. Don’t forget that private charters are available, too!

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Fishing Report 11/7/23 – Blackfishing and Bass

Fishing has been good, recently. Very good. Yesterday morning we went out and hit the limit for the boat with striped bass fishing. We had to circle around to do more blackfishing, just to keep ourselves busy out on the water. It was a really good catch and continuation of what we’ve been seeing over the course of this new season. Take a look at some of these bad boys:

Note that our schedule is changed. We are out on the water *EVERY DAY* from 7am to 3pm and 7pm to midnight. Typically we go out for striped bass at night and blackfishing in the morning. If you’re ready to go out on the water with us one of these days, call Captain Anthony at 347 952 1442 or Captain Tony at 646-413-1643. You can buy tickets right here on the website or call/text us and we’ll help you figure out what boat is best for you. Don’t forget that we have private charters available, too!

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Fishing Report 10-27-23

We went out on the water last night for our 7pm to 12am striped bass trip – a trip that we’re doing daily now that we’re in the new season. Most of the night we had no drift. But when we finally did have a drift, we did see some bass. We had 3 total keepers, and a bunch of overs and shorts that were safely released. Check out the size of some of these bass that our guests caught:

We expect it to pick up a lot more soon, because we’ve seen plenty of striped bass over the course of the expiditions. We are sailing every day for blackfish from 7am to 3pm and striped bass 7pm to 12am. Come book your ticket and see what we have available.


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Fishing Report 10-17-23 – Full Boat Blackfish

We went out on the water this morning for our 7am to 3pm trip. This is one of our first blackfish season outings, as we’ve been catching almost entirely Porgies for the past several months. The result was amazing. We hit our full boat limit of blackfish up to 6lbs. Check out some photos from the day:

Those are going to taste great for a long, long time. Even if you’ve been with us lately, come join us again for blackfish season. Call Captain Anthony at 347 952 1442 or Captain Tony at 646-413-1643