Sheepshead Bay Fishing: New York City’s Fishing Paradise

By Tom Keer

Aug 30, 2017

New York City is known for many things, and the Sheepshead Bay fishing community is one of them.  Climb aboard a headboat or rent a boat for a day and sample some of the outstanding urban fishing that has defined this Brooklyn community for over half a century.

Fishing in NY is easier than you might think.  A southern connection joins salty Long Island Sound and rivers like the Hudson and the East have freshwater origins that provide spawning grounds for anadromous fish.  There is always excellent saltwater fishing within view of the Big Apple's Skyline. Sheepshead Bay fishing is the one part of Brooklyn is completely devoted to saltwater fishing.

Here you'll find head boats that carry between 12 and 50+ anglers wishing to go fishing in NY.  Some boats focus on fluke and flounder  while others sail up to three miles offshore and target cod, sea bass, mackerel and porgies.  Other charters focus on striped bass and blues with the occasional false albacore and bonito coming over the rails.  You don't need to know where to fish; for about $30.00 for a half-day charter the captain will put you on a school. Also, Sheepshead Bay fishing reports always provide a catch of the day.

Fishing Sheepshead Bay fishing isn't just about climbing aboard a captain's vessel.  Boat rentals are available as well for a 1/4 day, 1/2 day, and full day.  Cruise to Jamaica Bay, Breezy Point, Bright Beach and Manhattan Beach which are the closest areas where anglers go fish.  But think about it; the Statue of Liberty is a short run away, and how cool would it be to go Sheepshead Bay fishing and catch a striper in front of Lady Liberty?

It's easy to go fishing in NY, but what happens if you catch a striped bass but really wanted a bluefish for dinner?  Not a problem, Sheepshead Bay has fish mongers that sell day-boat fish.  There you'll find a community of fishermen and charter captains who have been running trips for many decades.  For some, theirs is a New York City fishing family business spanning over half a century.  Those captains know where the fish are.

Sheepshead Bay fishing is fun for everyone.  If you're in New York for work or with your family, swing by Brooklyn. Climb aboard a boat at the Sheephead Bay Marina and catch 'em up.

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at