New York City has more than 500 miles of shoreline as well as inland lakes and rivers, all of which offer a world of opportunities to participate in the fun, adventure, and excitement of freshwater and saltwater sport fishing.

Getting Started

Have you ever wanted to go fishing, but you don’t know what to do or where to look? NYC Parks is here to help! Our Urban Park Rangers help New Yorkers discover the great outdoors. You can visit our fishing calendar to find an upcoming event put on by our Urban Park Rangers or one of our many fantastic partners. You can learn basic fishing skills with our catch-and-release programs, or you can try out saltwater or fly fishing in more advanced programs.

Where to Fish

Looking for some good places to cast your pole? Our Rangers have shared a few of their favorite fishing holes. For a more comprehensive list of fishing spots and rules in New York, visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s fishing page.


Indian Lake

LocationCrotona Park, Crotona Park East & Charlotte Street

This beautiful 3.3-acre lake is home to largemouth bass, blue gills, and pumpkinseeds. Anglers can cast off from the Crotona Park Nature Center, whose deck overlooks the lake, or follow paved paths to more solitary spots on the shoreline.

Orchard Beach

Location: Pelham Bay Park, far east end of the park on Pelham Bay

Ever wonder what was swimming around in the Long Island Sound? Cast a line off of Orchard Beach’s mile-plus long shoreline to find out. Be careful of your spot: you’ll want to avoid the beach’s open swimming areas.

Van Cortlandt Lake

Location: Van Cortlandt Park
Bailey Avenue and Van Cortlandt Avenue West

This gorgeous 18-acre lake is home to plenty of yellow perch, as well as brown bullheads, largemouth bass, black crappie, and carp. The lake's shoreline includes both flat grassy areas as well as some more challenging spots in the more sloping, forested section of the lake.


American Veterans Memorial Pier

Location: American Veterans Memorial Pier, Shore Road & Bay Ridge Avenue.

This popular Bay Ridge fishing spot provides anglers with plenty of striped bass as well as a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline.

Prospect Park Lake

Location: Prospect Park, southwestern tip of the park, enter at Park Circle.

The tranquil 55-acre lake at Prospect Park’s southern tip is home to the state’s largest concentration of large-mouth bass, and has a dedicated following among the area’s anglers. Although the bass are the lake’s biggest attraction, bluegill, black crappie, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, chain pickerel, and golden shiners can also occasionally be found.

Prospect Park Alliance fishing page

Valentino Pier

Location: Valentino Pier, Ferris Street between Coffey and Van Dyke Streets

Fish for bluefish, striped bass, fluke, and weakfish while enjoying views of the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island, Manhattan’s skyline, Staten Island, and the New York Harbor.


Harlem Meer

Location: Central Park, East Side from 106th to 110th Streets.

The lake that occupies the northeast tip of Central Park is one of the city’s most popular fishing spots, as both seasoned and amateur anglers fish for largemouth bass, black crappie, golden shiners, and carp. For those without their own equipment, the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center loans out free fishing poles, along with bait and helpful fishing tips.

Central Park Conservancy fishing page

Hudson River Park

Location: Hudson River Park, Pier 84, at West 44th Street and the Hudson River.

Not only does Hudson River Park boast more a vast array of fish species, including perch, flounder, striped bass, and even eels, but the park’s Big City Fishing program offers plenty of free instruction for interested anglers ages five and older. Along with information, Big City Fishing provides reels, bait, and rods.

Big City Fishing program


Baisley Pond Park

Location: Sutphin Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard South
Jamaica, NY

Baisley Pond’s 28-acre lake provides plenty of shoreline for the enterprising fisher, who can expect to find largemouth bass, panfish, and carp, along with the occasional crappie and bluegill.

Kissena Lake

Location: Kissena Park, 164th Street and Oak Avenue

Bluegill sunfish and black crappie flourish in this 8.5 acre lake, along with the city’s largest carp. Make sure to use lures, not bait, or you run the risk of catching one of the lake’s many turtles.

Staten Island

Clove Lakes Park

Location: Clove Lakes Park

Originally constructed as water sources for milling operations, the three ponds that make up Clove Lakes are stocked with bluegills, brown bullheads, and largemouth bass. In Clove Lakes Pond, Martlings Pond, and Brook Pond there are countless places for beginner and experienced anglers alike to fish all day. 

Dorothy Fitzpatrick Fishing Pier

Location: Lemon Creek Park

This ground-level creek on Staten Island’s South Shore has plenty of  flounder, striped bass, bluefish and snappers.

Willowbrook Lake

Location: Willowbrook Park, inside the park by Morani Street and Victory Boulevard

This serene freshwater lake contains bluegill, bass, eels, pumpkinseed, and bullheads.  It’s great for beginners and family fishing excursions. 

Know Before You Go

Anyone over the age of 15 must acquire a fishing license to fish in the city’s freshwater lakes and rivers.

Get a fishing license

All freshwater fishing in the city is catch and release only.

Tips on catch and release


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