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New York State Fishing Adventures

If you'd love to tell some really big fish tales, New York's the place to cast your line. We have more than 7,500 lakes and ponds, 50,000 miles of rivers and streams, and hundreds of miles of coastline. Below is just a selection of the many waterways where fishing is an adventure.

Before you go fishing, make sure you have any required licenses. Check the DEC websites for complete information about fishing in New York State. 

On Long Island, charter boats will take you deep-sea fishing in the Atlantic for sharks, blue fin tuna or sea bass. If you prefer to stay on land, Montauk Point State Park boasts some of the world's best surf fishing. Whether you land a big one or not, at the end of the day you can enjoy a fine catch at one the many great seafood restaurants.

The birthplace of American fly fishing, the Catskills’ Neversink and Delaware rivers offer some of the best in the country. Catskill mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls have been a fly-fisher’s paradise since the 1800s, when naturalist and avid fisherman John Burroughs wrote, "My eyes had never before beheld such beauty.” Five revered streams—the Beaverkill, Esopus, Rondout, Neversink and Willowemoc—are a mecca for trout anglers. Get tips and check out fly-tying programs at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum.

Up north, the Adirondacks are known for salmon, pike and brook trout, found in pristine lakes and ponds all over the region. Lake Champlain has world-famous bass fishing. For tips on how to catch the big ones, ask the locals or contact one of the region’s many guide services. From island camping to luxury resorts, accommodations are legendary in this region. The unique Finger Lakes, formed by glaciers, are considered two-story fisheries, with both cold water trout and warm water bass. Fish from shore with a bobber or try deep trolling on a boat. State parks, such as Lodi Point or Cayuga Lake, have boat launches.

Known for trophy fishing, the Thousand Islands-Seaway region has some of the world’s largest salmon and trout. From late summer through fall, hearty anglers try for muskellunge, noted for their size and fight. A record œmusky” weighing over 69 pounds was taken near Clayton, where the Thousand Islands Museum features a Muskie Hall of Fame. You can fish the St. Lawrence River for Northern pike almost year-round. In winter, ice fishermen take good catches from bays near Cape Vincent, Wellesley Island and Alexandria Bay. Panfish like rock bass and bluegills are widespread and relatively easy to catch year-round for anglers of all levels. Beautiful state parks, like Keewaydin, are near prized fishing spots. The eastern Shore of Lake Ontario lays claim to 10 state and world record catches of various species. Choose from an abundance of public access sites or use one of the hundreds of charter or guide services to find your trophy.

In Western New York, anglers catch trophy-size walleye, smallmouth bass and Pacific Salmon on the Niagara River and Great Lakes Erie and Ontario. Steelhead run from September through April in tributaries such as Cattaraugus Creek. Another favorite for muskellunge is Chautauqua Lake. Accessible from Long Point State Park, it's one of the highest navigable waters in North America.

For more information and details on liscenses please visit the sites below:

NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation: Places to Fish

NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation: Fishing License Information

Take Me Fishing (boating and fishing in New York)


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