From Coney Island on to Breezy Point and the Rockaways, out in front of Fort Tilden and east to Riis Park, this spring run of striped bass offers a long season of reliable fishing. Be warned, however: It's a fishery that is restricted to state waters, within three miles of shore, in New York and New Jersey. Striper fishing is prohibited in federal waters. From Great Kills, on Staten Island, across the mouth of the Hudson and down along the outside of Long Island, pods of bunker (menhaden), rainfish (bay anchovies) and sand eels draw stripers heading up the Hudson River to spawn in May and return in June. They are hungry going both ways and great targets for artificial lures and flies, as well as natural baits.
What: Striped bass.
When: April through June.
Where: Mouth of the Hudson River, off the beach from Coney Island east in New York state waters, within three miles of shore.
Who: Whether you prefer live-baiting, lures or fly-fishing, these captains can put you on the striper run.
Capt. Frank Crescitelli
Fin Chaser Charters
Capt. Brendan McCarthy
Urban Fly Guides
Capt. Steve Byrne
First Cast Charters
Expect most of the fish you catch during the spring run to tape in the 34- to 36-inch range. They may be heading up the Hudson or coming back down: The presence of sea lice is a good indication that the fish have not yet entered the fresh water of the river. In New York, a saltwater license is required unless you fish aboard a charter boat. Striped bass limits: charter boats, two fish, 28-inch minimum, April 15 through Dec. 15; all others, one fish 28 to 40 inches and one fish over 40 inches, April 15 through Dec. 15. In New Jersey, no license is required, but free registration at state.nj.us is mandatory. Limit: two fish 28 inches or greater and a third fish with state-issued bonus card: See state.nj.us/dep/fgw.
Rods: Conventional, spinning rods to cast medium lures, plugs and spoons on 20-pound line and fight fish to 40 pounds. Fly-fishing: 9-foot 10-weight.
Reels: To match rods.
Lines: 15- to 20-pound mono, 40- to 60-pound fluoro leaders. Fly-fishing: 10-weight outfits; 400-grain sinking lines; 12-, 16- and 20-pound tippets.
Lures: Various metals, swimming plugs, chuggers, streamer flies.