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How NYC Weather Affects Fishing

Fish are highly sensitive to changes in their environment. This is what enables them to migrate from year to year and to find food each day. Many fish are so sensitive to their environments that weather changes from minute to minute can alter their feeding behaviors.

When you know how fish respond to these different changes and can interpret how weather changes their environment, you can determine when are the best days and times to go fishing and which areas will likely give you the best results when you head out.

Weather Data to Track for NYC Fishing

By knowing the characteristics about the fish you are trying to catch, you can get a good idea of how these different conditions can affect your fishing experience:

  • Temperature – Many fish are more active in warmer temperatures when food is plentiful. But temperatures that are too warm require fish to move deeper into cooler water. This is why the NYC fishing season is best in the summer. Larger shifts in temperature over the course of the season will also affect whether the fish are close to shore or further away.
  • Tidal Clock – Strong tides will create currents that many fish fish species thrive in. The best times for fishing is when the tide is coming in or going out. A stronger tide, measured by the tidal coefficient compared to the average of 70, can provide better fishing.
  • Wind Speeds – Like tides, wind will create currents in the water that will cause fish to more actively feed. The wind direction can also determine which areas around NYC fish will travel to.
  • Cloud Cover – Many fish prefer dimmer conditions over bright ones. When there is cloud cover, saltwater fish will often come closer to the surface, making them easier to catch.
  • UV Index – Similar to cloud cover, a high UV index can send fish into deeper waters further offshore, making them somewhat more challenging to get to.
  • Barometer – A barometer tracks atmospheric pressure which can indicate an incoming storm. Fishing when barometric pressure is rising is usually more successful than fishing during low barometric pressure or falling barometric pressure. In other words, fishing before a storm is usually a good time.
  • Rain – A light sprinkle of rain will have no effect on fishing but anything heavier than that will temporarily send fish into hiding.

In addition to weather, you should also pay attention to time of day since the time relates to factors like UV index, tides, and temperatures. All of these factors combine to make hours around sunrise and sunset the best opportunities for fishing, although you should still continue to take into account other weather factors during these times as well.

Marilyn Jean Fishing offers saltwater fishing trips in NYC and we can help you take advantage of the best local fishing conditions. We have trips departing early morning and evening almost every day throughout the summer and we pay close attention to weather conditions in order to take you to the top locations around offshore New York that we know will provide fishing for striped bass, ling, cod, blackfish, and other great fishing experiences in the area. Check out our upcoming fishing trips and reserve your tickets in advance online.

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How to Bring Your Fishing Gear to NYC

If you have a trip planned to NYC and want to take advantage of opportunities for fishing when you get here, you will need your fishing equipment, including rods, reels, tackle, and any other items you rely on. It is possible to travel with all of this on your trip to NYC so you have everything you need when you get here whether you are planning on freshwater fishing in New York in the Catskills or further upstate or saltwater fishing here in NYC or on Long Island.

But traveling comes with challenges and you want to make every effort to protect any fragile equipment in the process. Packing everything correctly is necessary to avoid any damage or having items confiscated by TSA as you are going through airport security. These tips will ensure you have your fishing-related baggage packed correctly for a safe journey to NYC?

Planning Your Packing List

The equipment you bring with you will depend on what type of fishing you will be doing. For any charter boat fishing or surf fishing, you will likely want at least one or two trolling rods. You might also bring a lighter traveling rod for a few more laid back fishing experiences.

You will also need a selection of tackle, including hooks and lures. Limiting what you bring solely for the fish you plan on catching can help save on space. Also read up on any rules regarding allowed fishing equipment so you do not bring something you cannot use.

For saltwater fishing in NYC, most of the best fishing is with live bait that you can purchase once you arrive, eliminating the need to pack your own.

There is always some risk when traveling that something may be broken, lost, or confiscated. This is a good reason to consider carefully what you will bring and potentially leave your more valuable fishing equipment at home.

Packing Fishing Rods on a Vacation

The most difficult piece to travel with will almost always be the rods because of their size and their fragility. There is nothing worse than arriving on vacation to find one of your rods broke in transit, so you will want to be extremely careful during this part.

Getting these rods safely to their destination requires the correct packing methods whether you are driving or going by plane. A hard side rod case is a straightforward solution that you can buy online or at a local tackle shop. A single case can often hold several of your rods and will prevent them from getting broken in transit.

You can also make a DIY rod case by cutting a piece of PVC pipe to size and taping over the ends to keep your rods inside.

Whichever solution you use for a rod case, you will also want to wrap before placing them in the case as this will prevent them from jostling around and breaking. Bubble wrap is always reliable, but if you have the original packing material, that is also a good option. If traveling with multiple rods, you can either secure them all together and wrap them, or wrap them individually.

Most airlines will allow a hard rod case as either a carry-on or checked baggage, although you should check with your airline for specific measurements. If your rod case does fit as a carry-on, this is often the preferred method as you can be sure to handle your rods safely throughout the trip. However, careful packing should keep rods safe even if you do check them.

Traveling with Fishing Tackle

Fishing tackle requires some additional consideration when traveling in regards to going through airport security. If you are going by car or train, simply pack your tackle in a secure place. But if you are traveling by plane, be aware of TSA regulations when packing your bags.

The TSA will allow through reels and smaller fragile tackle that does not “pose a security threat” through security in your carry-on bags. However, there are no definitive guidelines as to what may be allowed through and the final decision rests with the TSA officer on duty. For this reason, it is best to avoid bringing any equipment and risk it being confiscated by the TSA.

Instead, simply putting all tackle into your checked baggage is often the best choice. Still take care in packing to avoid any injury during a TSA search by wrapping any hooks or lures with sharp points so that nothing is exposed.

As another consideration when choosing whether to check or carry on fishing equipment, anything unusual is usually better to check so that you do not face any holdups in TSA while they sort through luggage.

If you do get stopped at any point in security for fishing equipment, answer any questions honestly and do not argue. In the worst case scenario, you can buy tackle and gear when you get to NYC.

Renting Rods and Reels in NYC

With its many fishing opportunities, NYC also has a range of options if you prefer not to bring your own fishing equipment. You can instead rent one when you get here, or join one of the many fishing experiences that will provide them. On the Maryland Jean, a top fishing trip for NYC visitors, we supply rods, reels, and bait with the cost of a ticket, and have tackle available.

This gives you the option to pack more easily and simply show up to fish without needing to worry about getting your own equipment here. The docks for the Marilyn Jean are located conveniently in Brooklyn, with convenient access to all of the major visitor and tourist destinations in NYC.

We depart at different times of the day, offering a wide variety of fishing trips for some of the area’s most popular fish, including striped bass, cod, blackfish, and more. If you are planning a fishing trip in NYC, whether or not you will be bringing your own equipment, plan to join us for a trip aboard the Marilyn Jean for a memorable bottom fishing experience in NYC. Check out our available trips and purchase your tickets online.

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Free and Affordable Fishing Experiences for Kids in NYC This Summer

Fishing is a great activity to do with kids. As long as kids are at the age where they have a little patience, they can enjoy the peace of sitting with a line in the water and the thrill of a bite on the hook.

NYC is also home to a large number of fishing spots, from freshwater fishing in the many local parks to saltwater fishing at dozens of designated places along the coastline, making it easy to take your kids to great fishing spots no matter where you live in NYC.

Fishing with kids in NYC can also be an affordable weekend activity if you know the right places to go. These are some of the best spots around NYC for fishing with kids, many of which also provide all the equipment you need at low cost or no cost for hours of enjoyment for you and your kids.

Fishing with Equipment in NYC

Anyone under the age of 16 does not need a license to fish in NYC and if you already have rods, reels, and tackle, you and your kids can head to many of the different fishing spots around NYC. Central Park Lake in Central Park, Prospect Lake in Brooklyn, and Crotona Park in the Bronx are often only a subway ride away and provide a wide range of fish for kids to try out their skills.

Keep in mind that freshwater fishing in NYC parks is catch and release only. You will need to use hooks without barbs and be sure to return fish to the water after you have celebrated the catch.

You can also fish from the shoreline at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Hudson River Park, and many other locations along the waterfront with your own equipment. At these locations for saltwater fishing and estuary fishing, your kids can often keep the fish they catch in accordance with DEC guidelines. This can add additional excitement to the experience when you can take your kids home and teach them how to prepare and cook their catch.

Fishing Spots in NYC with Equipment Available

If your kids do not already have fishing rods and all the necessary equipment, that does not need to stop you and your kids from experiencing fishing since there are many places in NYC that will provide equipment.

This is a great, low risk way to try out fishing the first few times or even to make the experience more convenient because you will not need to pack up your rods and reels and carry them to your fishing destination.

Favorite fishing experiences for kids in NYC include:

  • Harlem Meer in Central Park – Organized by the Central Park Conservatory, catch and release fishing in Harlem Meer offers children a chance to fish for carp, largemouth bass, and sunfish. You can pick up a simple pole without a reel and corn kernels to use as bait at the Charles A Dana Discovery Center in exchange for a government-issued ID.
  • Lower Eastside Ecology Center – The LDS Ecology Center offers free fishing programs for adults and children throughout the summer. Their fishing clinics provide information on the ecology of the Hudson River Estuary, as well as instruction in fishing. They provide bait and tackle to all participants. Any kids under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Prospect Park Lake in Prospect Park – The Prospect Park Audubon Center provides “Pop Up Audubon Play and Go” kits available for you to check out. You and your child can select 5 items to help you experience nature in the park including binoculars for birdwatching and fishing poles. Kits are available from different pop up locations in the park.
  • Go Fish! Event at Wagner Park – The Battery Park City Authority organizes this annual event on a Saturday in October. The event provides all the necessary equipment and fishing lessons from experienced anglers, as well as a live performance and art projects for an entire morning dedicated to fishing and environmental learning.
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park – The Conservancy in Brooklyn Bridge Park offers Citizen Science Fishing Clinics on Sundays throughout the summer. These clinics are open to all ages and provide rods and tackle. Anglers and marine biologists are onsite to instruct you in fishing and take data down for an ecological survey about the health of the river.
  • Urban Park Ranger Events – Urban Park Rangers holds events throughout the city at different times of the year where they teach kids how to fish while also providing information about fishing ethics and ecology. Keep your eye on their event page to see all upcoming events.
  • Teen Marine Adventure – This 3 week program through the Battery Park City Authority takes teens to fishing locations around New York Harbor and teaches fishing skills while teens practice catch and release fishing. It is one of the pricier options at $400 for the 3 week clinic, but a fantastic choice for older kids.
  • NYC Fishing Boats – Marilyn Jean offers saltwater fishing for all ages at an affordable price. We sail from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn on half day trips that are great for kids and go to many of the top offshore fishing locations to catch ling, cod, striped bass, porgy, and more. Tickets for kids are available at a discount price and include all of the equipment and instructions from our crew for those who need them.

All these fishing experiences give you options for every age and skill level to keep you and your kids busy throughout most summer weekends and even year round with some fishing options like party boat fishing in NYC.

These options are great if you want to learn to fish as well as an adult, although you should remember that any adults over the age of 15 will need their own NYC fishing license to cast a line for any freshwater or saltwater fishing. Licenses are affordably available online and you can buy one for a day, a week, or a year to join your kids on any fishing trips.

Things to Remember When Fishing with Children

While many fishing experiences provide guidance before you cast the line, some do not. For this reason, it is important to remember best practices for fishing to protect the local environment. These include:

  • Remembering Catch and Release Techniques – When using your own hook, it needs to be a barbless hook so that you can easily remove the fish. Always handle a fish with wet hands and release it back into the water as quickly as possible after catching it.
  • Use Correct Bate – When applicable, use only the provided bait. Breads and processed foods like hot dogs can be harmful to marine wildlife. Also do not dig for worms as this can disrupt the local ecosystem.
  • Be Gentle on the Surrounding Area – To help prevent erosion and not disturb other animals, tread carefully when traveling to and from the shoreline.

With these tips in mind, fishing in NYC can be both a fun and educational experience for your kids and you as well. Check calendars for upcoming fishing events closer to summer or book tickets on the Marilyn Jean for fishing year round.

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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.