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Fishing in Upstate New York—The Perfect Solo Summer Activity

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2020-05-30 22:07:00

Upstate New York is home to some of the best fishing in the whole country. It’s not a surprise—thanks to the abundance of lakes, rivers and streams that run throughout the state, there are plenty of places to cast in a line. And while most great anglers have their own secret spots—good luck getting them to spill the beans on where they are!—you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy this classic pastime yourself. As summer settles in, there’s plenty of excellent angling to be found all across Upstate.

Wherever you are in New York, you don’t have to go far to find great fishing. Explore the remote areas of the Adirondacks and Catskills or the bigger, wider waterways of the Great Lakes, Thousand Islands, and the Finger Lakes, or try out the lakes, streams and canals of Central New York, Western New York, Chautauqua-Allegheny Region, the Capital Region and the Hudson Valley. Wherever you happen to be, there are sure to be lots of fishing spots near you. And as an added bonus, fishing offers a natural sense of solitude—after all, it’s considered poor etiquette to get too close to someone else’s fishing spot, and you have to keep some space from others in order to avoid getting tangled up in a fishing line!

You don’t have to be an expert angler to enjoy a day of fishing. It’s an activity that works well for all ages, and it can be as simple or as serious as you want it to be. Grab a bobber and some worms and cast your line from a dock at a state park; or take the boat out on the water and really haul in the big ones with specialized lures and serious techniques. There are even fishing charters you can hire to help you find the best spots. You can catch and release and leave your fish to swim another day, or string ‘em up and take ‘em home to clean and cook for dinner. Half the time, it isn’t even about what you catch, or even whether you catch anything at all. Really, it’s all about enjoying a beautiful day on the water, sitting back on the dock or on the boat and soaking in the sunshine and fresh air, and taking advantage of the opportunity to slow down and unwind. If there’s a tug on the line, well, that’s sometimes just a happy bonus!

Of course, if you want to get serious, there are plenty of ways to start. You can get all the gear you need from an outfitter and there are plenty of resources that will explain what kind of fish you’ll find where, and how best to catch them.

If you are looking to really stretch your fish-catching muscles, the ever-popular bass fishing is a great way to have fun and test your skill, offering tournaments and competitions all across the country.

And of course, you should make sure it’s legal to fish where you are, and get a license before you go; you can purchase one at many outdoor shops and bait stores, but it may just be easier to get one online, which is also an option.

Whether you’re angling to become a professional or just want to enjoy some time outdoors, you really can’t go wrong fishing in Upstate New York. Pack your gear and a cooler and find a sunny spot to sit, and you could be reeling in the catch of the season in no time!

Fisherman at sunset photo credit Nathalie
Kid fishing on log photo credit Lucian Savluc
Fish held in hand photo credit Vicki Timman
Fisherman sitting by stream photo credit Jeff Hitchcock

posted at: 2020-05-30 22:07:00, last updated: 2021-01-19 16:01:15

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