NYC: Not Far From The Madding Crowd

Never fish Central Park during a school holiday. I headed up to the Park and met up with Randy Kadish and Matt Stansberry’s brother Nate to try for some bass. So did about 800 other people. I guess when you’re in a city comprised of millions, expecting to find fly fishing solace on a 70 degree day in the Park when school’s out is not realistic.  For every ten feet of water I worked, a guy with a spinner and a soft plastic rig would be working ahead of me. Sloppy seconds doesn’t get the bass. Kids were throwing rocks in the remaining heretofore undisturbed water. We were lucky to get a couple of bluegill and crappie.

Still, there’s something gratifying about clicking through the subway turnstile with a rod tube in hand, knowing that in five stops you’ll be casting to fish. I’m debating making it a lunch break deal. And here’s the thing that’s going to keep me going back. Giant freaking carp finning in the shallows like bonefish; 20-plus pounders rooting around with their tails out. Of course, they wanted nothing to do with anything I threw. Why hit flies when the guys down the way are using balled up bits of tortilla shell? (They ignored that, too.) It’s enough to make you insane. This is a game I’m determined to learn.

13 thoughts on “NYC: Not Far From The Madding Crowd”

  1. Yes, fishing in Central Park on a school day — and in between tourist group visits to the lake — is optimum. I haven’t wet a line there yet this Spring as The Lake is under ‘renovation.’ Thank you for your posts. Fish on!

  2. When I got there it was great to see so many girls fishing.

    Yes, Central Park is tough, tough fishing: wild bass with a lot of bait fish for them to eat.

    Right now the bass are spawning.

    The Meer is a great place to practice my roll casting. Have to get a switch or spey rod soon.


  3. This might sound insane, but how about getting there pre-work instead of at lunch? You’ll beat the crowds.

  4. Crowldawg, it’s a catch and release only for bass, using only artificials, until the third Saturday in June. Since the Park is always catch-and-release, you can pretty much fish for largemouth there year round.

  5. Pete,
    not to be a pain in the ass
    “Taking and Possession of Fish
    A person may not fish for a species (not even catch and release) during the closed season for that species on a given water.” This is right off their web page
    Ive had my butt chewed out more than a few times when I criticized people for catching striped bass out of season.

  6. I hear you Crowldawg, but catch and release only is allowed for them from Dec. 1st through the third Saturday in June, with limited take after that. See under “black bass” here:

    Then if you scroll down and look at the regs by county it says for New York and Central Park all catch and release all year.

    I think you’re thinking of striped bass in saltwater, which is April 15 – Dec 15:

    Totally different regs than for freshwater bass.

  7. Actually Crowldawg, I see where you’re getting your info. For Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the rules are different. All fishing for bass is prohibited between March 15 and the third Saturday in June.

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