By Seth Fera-Schanes
Can I fish in Central Park? This isn’t a trick question; the answer is YES!
My friend found out about this activity a couple of years ago and I was immediately hooked (ahem) on the idea. I have been fishing in the park ever since.
At the time I didn’t have any gear and had to locate the nearest tackle store but I wasn’t sure if I would find anything in the middle of Manhattan. Well, this city never ceases to amaze me and I found a handful of fishing retail places. I like Urban Angler which specializes in fly fishing and the staff are very knowledgeable about places to fish in Central Park. I also found Capitol Fishing which in another great store with helpful staff. Capitol has a lot of ocean fishing gear when you are ready to make your trip over to Long Island Sound. Here is a little insider tip: Kmart in Penn Station has a lot of fishing gear for affordable prices and this is my go to place for inline spinners, fresh water lures and general hooks and bobbers.
I purchased a pole, lures and a NY State Fishing License which is required if you are over 16. Two other rules to know before starting are to use barb-less hooks and fishing is catch and release only.
You can fish in multiple parks in the five boroughs including Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. I have been going to Central Park in one of two locations: The Meer on 110th st and The Pool on 104th and Central Park West. The third designated fishing spot in Central Park is The Lake which is located in the 70s on the west side.
Once you start you will find a whole community of people who fish in the park and if you go often enough you get to know them and can swap stories. My favorite time to go is after work between May and August. Summer is perfect because it is light out until 8:30pm, warm and the fish will bite. Also, there is something idyllic about fishing in a park literally surrounded by millions of people yet you feel far removed from the daily grind that is NYC. The added bonus of fishing in the evening is you get to see the sunset and the lights come up all over the city.
Enjoy and happy fishing.