Nothing says summer quite like a peaceful day by the water, listening to the waves crash and feeling a tug on your fishing line. Try some of these fishing spots for the perfect day with friends and family, or even just to relax on your own. (Keep in mind: New York State has recreational saltwater and freshwater fishing seasons, as well as size and possession limits. Click to check them out.)
Saltwater Spots: Although you don’t need a permit, you must register with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Click to register.
Fire Island Reef, Atlantic Ocean
This fishing spot is just two miles south of the Fire Island Lighthouse, right off the Fire Island Inlet. It’s home to a wide range of fish including flounder (fluke), striped bass and porgies, which are all in season now. Although catching a fish isn’t guaranteed, this spot rarely lets down its anglers. At 744 acres, there’s plenty of room for boaters to explore.
Robert Moses State Park, Babylon
Try surf fishing for fluke or bluefish, or go crabbing off of the long piers in front of the park’s office. This beach overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is the perfect spot for a family day of fun, including beach shops, a golf course and a nature walk that leads directly to the Fire Island Lighthouse. Click to get your permit
Hempstead Town Reef, Atlantic Ocean
Enjoy the salty breeze and the ocean’s motion as you wait for a fish to catch your bait. This reef is located three miles south of Jones Beach State Park and home to various fish and crab species. Take in the summer breeze and let your line down 70 feet—maybe you’ll even catch a spiny dogfish. They’re similar to sand sharks, posing more of a challenge than your typical sea bass.
Kismet Reef, Great South Bay
Just north of South Beach, this reef is the perfect spot for fishing on a private boat with family as it doesn’t get too crowded. And at 25 feet deep, it will not disappoint with schools of fluke, striped bass, black sea bass and blue fish.
Fishing Line Reef, Atlantic Ocean
This reef sits on the old (1959) McAllister Grounds, southwest of Jones Inlet and 2.8 miles south of Long Beach. It draws the attention of fluke, black sea bass and blackfish. Although the waves might be large on a heavy boat traffic day, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the breathtaking sunsets.
Blydenburgh Lake, Smithtown
Also known as Stump, New Mill or Weld’s Pond, this lake is located within Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown. From 3 to 8 feet deep, the lake is a hotspot for bluegill, pumpkinseed and yellow perch. A Suffolk County Green Key is needed to access the park. Access to this lake can also be found via many dirt footpaths located around the perimeter of the lake.
Lake Ronkonkoma, Islip
Grab your fishing poles and head over to the largest of Long Island’s freshwater lakes. This lake is part of Lake Ronkonkoma County Park and was actually formed by ancient glaciers. The site is always open for boat launching and fishing and also requires a Suffolk County Green Key. There is a 100-foot fishing pier located in the park at the north end of the lake perfect for catching largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Camman’s Pond, Merrick
This small fishing site is located within a well-maintained, 8-acre suburban park. Boats are prohibited, but the 2,850 foot shoreline can be accessed by taking Merrick Road to Lindenmere Drive going south. This pond is home to two species, the uncommon American eel and white perch.
Bellows Pond, Hampton Bays
One of several ponds in Sears Bellows County Park, Bellows Pond is located near the entrance of the park on Bellows Pond Road. This pond is surrounded by campgrounds, public restrooms and a playground for children. It is the perfect destination for a family fishing trip to teach the kids how to catch largemouth bass, chain pickerel and bluegill. A Suffolk County Green Key is required and rowboat rentals are available.