Your Hudson River Fishing Trip: All You Need to Know

Studying Time: 11 minutes

The River That Flows Two Methods, America’s Rhine, North River, the dividing line between New York and New Jersey, and even the supposed inspiration for Melville’s “Moby Dick:” New York’s Hudson River is named many various issues by many various folks!

Should you’re a metropolis slicker, you’ll love the prospect to solid your line from the Massive Apple itself, New York Metropolis. Searching for some peace and quiet surrounded by gorgeous surroundings? Head upstate in your Hudson River fishing journey, and also you’ll really get again to nature.

What doesn’t ever appear to vary, nonetheless, is the sheer variety of unbelievable angling alternatives that this 315-mile river affords.

Flowing south via East New York from its start line within the Adirondack Mountains, and ultimately emptying out into the Atlantic Ocean at Hudson Bay, this river has stood the check of time as a fisherman’s favourite.

Why? Nicely, it runs via what’s arguably essentially the most well-known metropolis within the USA, for starters. The river’s reputation additionally comes all the way down to the range of fishing grounds it affords – and the species, after all! Let’s put it into perspective. Should you began on the prime of the river and adopted it via to the tip, you’d be greeted by a minimum of 220 styles of fish.

Beneath, we’ve outlined the highest species you may catch, how one can hook them, and a few of our favourite hotspots. Get able to fish the Hudson River your method. It’s as much as you whether or not meaning fulfilling an “eternal itch for issues distant” – as Herman Melville stated – within the upstate streams and tributaries, or embarking on an NYC journey that’s not like some other!

High Catches within the Hudson River

The higher Hudson River is freshwater through-and-through, with glowing mountain streams and tributaries which are good to lazily drift down. It’s additionally the place to solid a line for some prized fish, together with Bass and Trout. 

The decrease river round New York Metropolis, nonetheless, is a tidal estuary. Salty seawater enters the Hudson to kind brackish waters, which attain all the way in which as much as Troy. That is the place you’ll discover the river’s much-lauded Striped Bass inhabitants, in addition to the numerous anglers that flock right here to battle these hard-fighters! 

Talking of Striper, we’re going to flip issues a bit and discover what species are on supply right here from south to north. We’ll begin with brackish waters and transfer on to freshwaters. This provides us ample alternative to shine a lightweight on this Hudson River staple first…

Striped Bass

It’s lengthy been stated {that a} Hudson River fishing journey is incomplete with out some Striped Bass battling. Who’re we to disagree? The information communicate for themselves – and the information are that an estimated one to 2 billion Striper will be discovered right here throughout springtime!

This recreation fish favourite, additionally recognized regionally as “Rockfish,” migrates as much as brackish and freshwater throughout spawning season. This often takes place from April–June. So what does this imply in terms of hooking Striper within the Hudson? 

Nicely, the complete decrease half of the river is made up of brackish waters, due to the Atlantic Ocean. When April comes round, Striper begin flocking to New York Metropolis’s Decrease New York Bay in large droves. Metropolis-dwellers in want of some angling motion can be spoiled for alternative! The Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan all present loads of departure factors. 

High-quality Striper fishing within the Hudson isn’t simply restricted to New York Metropolis, although. Because the summer season days go by and the river’s currents transfer, so do the Striper. Anglers additional upstream will discover loads to hook their traces into.

The Catskills area of New York sees a Striper growth round Might. The “start line” of the Hudson River’s brackish fishery, Albany, welcomes this fish in June. You even have the prospect to hook them on their method again to the Atlantic, too! 

The Hudson River widens and deepens significantly after the Federal Dam in Troy. Backside fishing and trolling are really useful by skilled fishermen. You’ll cowl much more floor utilizing these methods! Hudson River Rockfish attain as much as 60 kilos, so why wouldn’t you wish to enhance your possibilities of hooking your very personal trophy catch?


One other recreation fish favourite, this species is taken into account one of many river’s primary summertime spectacles. It’s extremely common with Hudson River fishing fanatics. Just like the Striper, Bluefish is a saltwater staple that migrates to brackish and freshwaters throughout spawning season.

These fierce, aggressive predators present loads of motion on the finish of a fishing line. They develop as much as 19 kilos within the Hudson – nothing to smell at! Just like Stripers, they’re solely right here for a restricted period of time, due to their spawning habits.

Trying to solid a line from New York Metropolis? Head to favored Bluefish spot Croton Level. You’ll be capable of catch these fish on their journey upriver in June. 

By August, these fish will be focused from the town all the way in which as much as the waters round Tappan Zee Bridge. They have an inclination to stay round till October. Though the Bluefish inhabitants thins out considerably after this level, fishermen additional upstate will nonetheless discover some profitable spots. New Hamburg and Poughkeepsie are significantly productive. 

A great rule of thumb is the wetter the climate, the additional downstream the Bluefish! Should you’re fishing upstream from the Tappan Zee Bridge, casting your line throughout sizzling, dry climate is your finest wager. July–September are one of the best months.

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

On the subject of freshwater fishing, these Bass species trigger simply as a lot of a response as Striped Bass does for saltwater fanatics!

Why is that? Nicely, what it could be missing in stature, the Smallmouth Bass greater than makes up for in spirit! It supplies nice sport for anglers of all ages and talent ranges.

Newer anglers will benefit from the thrill of battling a recreation fish with out the worry of aching arms or being pulled overboard into the river. Extra skilled anglers can swap out common gear for mild deal with or fly fishing gear and check their expertise. 

And the Largemouth Bass? For a lot of anglers, a part of the joys of hooking this fish is all the way down to its intelligence. Yep, you learn that accurately! Hooking considered one of these beauties means you’ve triumphed with thoughts over matter. This offers you loads of bragging rights!

Along with the sport qualities that these fish maintain, dimension is what makes anglers flock to the Hudson River. We’re speaking in regards to the water in addition to the fish!

The Hudson River is dwelling to miles and miles of shoreline. This supplies an particularly thrilling and imposing problem to Bass anglers used to smaller lakes and waterways.

New York State’s capital metropolis, Albany, is a most popular freshwater Bass fishing spot for native anglers, particularly from June via November. Head to the waters north of the Federal Dam and solid your line round shoreline vegetation and lay-down bushes.

For anglers additional upstream, the waters round Hamilton County and the Hudson River Gorge are a must-visit. The fishing city of Catskill can also be productive. You’ll quickly be in for a Bass bonanza!


Okay, so it’s true that after upon a time, the Hudson River was given a nickname that we uncared for to say earlier than: the Soiled Stream.

It’s true that it isn’t fairly the picture-perfect, glowing blue that we’ve come to anticipate from our waterways. Nevertheless, there’s an excellent purpose why it’s murkier in colour. It’s all due to the algae and plankton that make these waters so fish-friendly!

And there’s one species specifically that simply thrives in murky, muddy waters: the Catfish. The Hudson River is dwelling to a powerful number of this species: White, Channel, and Brown Bullhead. They often make their solution to the saltier waters of the decrease Hudson however desire to frolic within the freshwaters.

Locals within the know suggest heading to upstream tributaries in your Catfish catch. The Wallkill River and Rondout Creek are particularly common hotspots. As Catfish desire murkier waters and are well-known bottom-feeders, one of the simplest ways to hook them is from a ship. This may assist you to attain deeper sections of the river.

The truth is, fishing for Catfish on the Hudson River can flip into an actual slice of peace and nature. Many anglers prefer to drift down these waters and gradual troll for his or her catch.

Desire to fish from the banks of the river? The very best time to solid your line could be very early within the morning or very late within the night. That is when Catfish prefer to feed, which implies they make their solution to shallower waters looking for meals. You’ll discover loads of whiskery pals on supply!

…And Extra

These waters are bustling with over 200 species, in spite of everything! The next fish could also be much less hard-fighting and prestigious than those listed above. The magic of the Hudson River, nonetheless, is that there’s sufficient room for a complete host of species. This implies there’s one thing that’ll enchantment to each kind of angler. 

Desire testing your expertise towards Trout to preventing large Bass downstream? The Hamilton County part of the Hudson River is the right spot for Rainbow, Brook, and Brown Trout.

The waters right here vary from small, light swimming pools to tough, fast-moving areas. Much less-experienced anglers can get some fishing expertise underneath their belts. Hardened fishermen can battle the weather in addition to their goal species!

Wishing for a Walleye or two? You’ll be happy to listen to that this species is flourishing within the Hudson River. The Hudson River estuary slightly below the Troy Dam is an unmissable hotspot. The higher Hudson River round Stillwater and Hudson Falls additionally supplies Walleye motion. 

Lastly, there’s a wide range of Perch to be present in these waters, with White and Yellow being the preferred. In contrast to many of the lake’s freshwater fish, White Perch desire the considerably salty waters from Northern Manhattan to Albany. They’re generally caught from the river’s banks.

Alternatively, Yellow Perch have a tendency to stay to the pure freshwaters of the river. Areas upstream from Albany are your finest wager.

The best way to Fish the Hudson River

Now you understand all in regards to the prime fish that decision the Hudson River dwelling – and hopefully, a factor or two about the place to catch them! However how, precisely, must you go about hooking them? 

By Boat

New to fishing the Hudson River (or fishing basically)? The most suitable choice is to solid off alongside an skilled information.

Most of the constitution boats dotted across the Hudson River are piloted by native and educated captains. They’ll give you invaluable suggestions and tips in terms of exploring these waters. Even higher? If there’s a sure fish you’d like to focus on, they’ll know the place to take you for the most well liked chew. 

Trying to fish the brackish waters round New York Metropolis or Albany? You’ll be spoiled for alternative in terms of choosing out a constitution. Most captains may have loads of expertise catering to households and anglers nonetheless discovering their sea legs, too. 

Need to fish the freshwater upstream? It’s all a case of figuring out the place to go. Some areas that present direct entry to the river could also be small, however they’re common fishing cities or near pure parks. This implies you typically gained’t have bother discovering an skilled fisherman to take you in your journey.

The price of a neighborhood constitution or information often covers all of the gear you want along with your information’s skilled recommendation. That is mirrored in what you pay. Nothing fairly comes near casting your line alongside somebody who is aware of all of the candy spots and honey holes!

Though it’s technically attainable to fish the Hudson River from your personal boat, it’s not one thing we’d suggest. Vessels touring on these waters are topic to strict legal guidelines and permits. These waters will also be considerably unpredictable, due to the swift currents and tidal modifications.

On Foot

Need to strive fishing the waters of the Hudson River on foot? There are two common methods to do it. Solid your line straight from the banks, or from one of many many fishing piers that encompass it. 

Usually, bank-fishing the Hudson River is appropriate for extra skilled anglers. Pier fishing is nice for budding anglers, in addition to households on the lookout for a soothing exercise within the Massive Apple. The vast majority of fishing piers are positioned a stone’s throw from the middle of New York Metropolis!

One thing to concentrate on when financial institution fishing is that it may well restrict the variety of species you’ll be capable of goal. Should you’re seeking to hook a lunker Striper, financial institution fishing might not be one of the simplest ways to go!

It’s the right solution to get again to fundamentals and actually really feel at one with the character surrounding you, although. Anglers who select this methodology of fishing typically goal upstream freshwater fish comparable to Yellow Perch and nighttime Catfish.

Pier fishing, nonetheless, does lend itself to reeling in species of all sizes and temperaments. It’s additionally an especially accessible method for anglers of all talent ranges to solid a line within the Hudson River!

You’ll discover loads of piers dotted throughout New York Metropolis, particularly close to nationwide parks. They positively range in high quality, nonetheless. The New York Metropolis authorities parks web site lists each fishing pier, each freshwater and saltwater, within the metropolis, and is a superb place to begin.

The principle draw back of fishing from the banks or a pier is that it’s important to ensure you’re totally conscious of native guidelines and rules. New York’s fishing legal guidelines are a number of the strictest round.

Piers can even get fairly busy, as they are usually positioned across the bustling metropolis. Nevertheless, in the event you’re on the lookout for an accessible and wallet-friendly solution to discover this river, that is the way in which to do it!

Must Know: Guidelines, Laws, and Licenses

Though we lined a wide range of species recognized for his or her scrumptious meat, you could have observed that we didn’t point out grilling or frying ‘em up right into a scrumptious meal. 

There’s a vital purpose for this. Though you may goal loads of tasty desk fare within the Hudson River, you truly can’t eat most of it.

The vast majority of fish on this river include chemical compounds known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, for brief), that are dangerous to people when consumed. Should you’re fishing within the Higher Hudson River, between South Glens Falls Dam and the Troy Dam, you shouldn’t preserve or eat something you catch.

Along with what number of fish you may eat, the Hudson River additionally has strict rules relating to which species you may preserve. There are additionally open and closed seasons for sure species. Usually, statewide rules apply, apart from the next species:

Whether or not or not you’ll want a New York Fishing License is determined by which a part of the Hudson River you wish to go fishing in! Freshwater fanatics might want to buy a NY freshwater fishing license to discover these waters.

Should you’re casting your line for species that migrate from the ocean to freshwaters to spawn, comparable to Striped Bass and Bluefish, you don’t want a freshwater license. You do must enroll within the Leisure Marine Fishing Registry, although.

Phew! Final however not least, it’s vital to keep in mind that the fish of the Hudson River have been via some powerful occasions. This implies there’s lots of concentrate on preservation and secure catch-and-release right here.

Due to this, make use of non-offset circle hooks when utilizing stay bait to battle your goal species. They permit for the fish to be faraway from the hook and safely returned to the river.

The Hudson: A River of Many Names and Many Alternatives

It doesn’t matter what you wish to name it, it’s honest to say that the Hudson River is as all-American because it will get: resilient, numerous, and triumphant. It solely is smart that it leads on to what many think about to be the beating coronary heart of the USA, New York Metropolis: a metropolis that stands for all of this stuff, and extra.

And actually, what higher place to solid your line on an angling journey? We stated originally of this publish that the Hudson River is many various issues to many various folks. Come uncover what a Hudson River fishing journey means to you!

Leave a Comment