Friday, July 18, 2008

Large Mouth Bass @Prospect Park Using Starter Equipment

It's really easier than you think to get started. My first experience freshwater fishing came five years ago at Prospect Park in Brooklyn NY. It is one of the many public parks within the city that allows fishing. Now, I've fished extensively in saltwater, that is, ocean fishing from the beach, docks or boats with my father since I was born, but I had never attempted freshwater fishing, and never thought to attempt a public freshwater lake at that. It seemed unrealistic and impossible to catch fish so close to home when I used to drive so far to the ocean and travel into other states by boat to feel the tug of a fish on the end of my line. It didn't add up to me. Long rides meant fish. I don't know whether it was boredom or curiosity that prompted me, but one summer day I took a saltwater rod, reel, pair of hooks and some fake worms that came with a tackle box I had to Prospect Park I say that to say, it is just that simple. That was the only equipment I had, and that is the only equipment you will need to catch your first fish.1. First things first, you need to purchase a New York State fishing license before you can fish any NYC public freshwater lakes If you are under the age of 16 you do not have to purchase one, and the license is valid from October 1st-September 30. As an adult I purchased mine for $21.00, but if you are in the military, veteran or senior citizen there are discounts available. Here is the link to the website: The online purchasing system is only for users who have already purchased a fishing license and wants to renew it. As a new applicant you must go to a NY State fishing license retailer. I have listed a few retailers below that are located in the city and that are accessible by public transportation. **Personally, I have never been asked for my license, but it's better to be safe than sorry.***

a. Bernie's Fishing Tackle3035 Emmons Avenue, Brooklyn, NY(718) 664-7600
b. Urban Angler Fifth Avenue Manhattan, New York
10010 (212) 689-6400
c. BIGGIES BAIT & TACKLE 65 Page Ave Staten Island, NY 10309 718-966-9206

2. Now you need your equipment. And as in all sports there is the low end, and there is the high end. My personal philosophy is start with the low and work your way up. I don't care how expensive your equipment is, experience and luck seems always to be the determining factor, so work your way up. With that said, let me explain to you my first set-up that I used to catch that first fish at Prospect Park. It was cheap. Honestly, I grabbed the cheapest rod and reel that I could seeing how I didn't know what I was doing, so any starter "rod and reel" combo (See left picture) will do you fine. The key is to choose one that can have multi-functions.

3. Our future posts will deal with matching your gear to the fish you are targeting, but for now, so that you can get your fishing line wet, go with a combo set up that sells with a fishing rod and reel together. It takes the guess work out of matching a rod to a reel for now. However, you still have to choose the size and style of this combo.

4. Choose a rod that has a light medium action which means that it is not too big that you will not feel the small fish that you will catch and not too small that it will be impossible for you to catch a big fish. The size of the rod should be comfortable to your means transportation seeing how most of your fishing will be shore bound. If you think travelling on the train is hard in NYC, try carrying around a big fishing rod. Most of my rods are two pieces so that I can collapse them and store them in a bag more easily as I travel.

5. As in all the equipment you will also be presented with different choices for the type of reel that you want on that combo set-up. Go with the spinning reel (See above illustration). It is very easy to operate and great for the beginner.

6. If your combo set-up does not come with fishing line, don't fret. Purchase 10-14lb. clear colored monofillament fishing line for your reel. (Approx. cost $6.00)

7. Next, purchase some worm hooks. If you are not at a tackle you may not have such a selection as the hooks presented on the left, so choose what's available, but if you are in a decent tackle shop or can order online try size 3/0 worm hooks that are wide gaped as shown on the left.

8. Finally, purchase some fake worms. Now, there are alot to choose from, but I caught that first fish on a plastic worm by Gary Yamamoto and have been hooked since. Purchase whatever is available. (Approx. $7.00)

7. Most NYC tackle stores as well as some sporting goods stores have a cheap combo set-up (rod and reel) for a very reasonable price. Some combos even come with "fishing line" and a "tackle box". (Check out Target, Walmart, Sports Authority etc.) ***The Internet by far is the best seller of tackle*** In all you should spend anywhere between $30 and $50 dollars to get your line wet. And this equipment if maintained well could last you years.

Don't think that I'm making this up. My starter equipment cost me about $35.00 and I have caught a great deal of fish on it. In fact, this is all that I will be using today myself. (Check it out on the left.) Wish me luck. Please comment if you use a different set-up that is achievable and affordable, or if you have any questions or suggestions. I will hopefully post pictures of the fish I catch today.
Tight Lines!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Welcome NYC Fisherman of All Levels

We are all located in an urban oasis! Pockets of culture and hubs of commerce are not the only gems of our NYC locale. Whether you are a resident of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx or Staten Island, you are minutes away from what many fisherman refer to as a "honey hole", a place where we can relax by casting a line with the hopes of catching not only a fish but an experience as well. And although the television commercials, movie clippings, and magazine covers lead us to believe that fishing is best done in the country on a boat with very expensive equipment, this is generally not the case. If you do not have a boat, car or expensive "tackle" (fishing equipment), then you are in the right city and at the right blog.

NYC parents, if your looking for a great way to bond with your child, I hope this blog will serve as a resource to aid you in the steps necessary to making that happen.

NYC fishing gurus, any information is good information to put us on the next hot spot; plus, gas is expensive. Maybe, a little practice closer to home is a good way to save money.

NYC recreational enthusiasts, fishing is an affordable way to experience the beautiful public spaces of the city.

Whatever category you fall into, you will find information about fishing NYC in this blog. Most of this data will be delivered through my personal travels throughout the city, but hopefully other visitors will share their success stories as well. Please feel free to share your comments.

Tight Lines!

Bruce Read more!