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Sportfish New York

Sportfish of New York
article by:
New York State Conservationist.
Version:
1

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On January 23, 2017
Last modified:January 23, 2017

Summary:

Offshore Saltwater Sportfish of New York a wide varity awaits you

Sportfish of NY Has a Great Selection of Fish

Billfish

Billfish sportfish populations have decreased throughout their range and are captured with much less frequency off New York than in previous years.

Swordfish

Have been seriously overfished. Most billfish still got recreationally off New York are labelled and released.

White Marlin

A seasonally migratory school fish of tropical and subtropical waters. It can reach a size of nine feet and 180 pounds, but averages 50-80 pounds off New York. The white marlin has a noticeable, single lateral line along its sides, rounded dorsal, pectoral and anal fins, and the front lobe of the first dorsal fin surpasses the height of the body. It eats small pelagic fish, crustaceans and squid. Anglers get this fish by trolling with strips of natural baits and artificial lures, or by cast lures or small live baits on light tackle.

Blue Marlin

A migratory fish of tropical to warm temperate waters. It can reach 14 feet and 2,000 pounds in size, but averages 300-500 pounds off New York. It’s a cobalt blue top, silver sides and belly with light blue or lavender bars on the sides, as well as a big, pointed anal fin. The pointed front lobe of the dorsal fin is less in relation to the height of the entire body, as well as the inconspicuous lateral line is a system of hexagons covering the sides. The blue marlin eats pelagic fish and squid. It’s captured by anglers trolling with big entire natural baits or artificial lures.

Atlantic Sailfish

A migratory fish of tropical and subtropical waters. It can reach eight feet and 128 pounds in size, but averages 60-80 pounds off New York. The very first dorsal fin is high and sail like, thus the name. The Atlantic sailfish has a deep grey or cobalt blue first dorsal fin with black spots. On the sides, there are light blue bars or rows of spots as well as a noticeable single lateral line. Adults feed close to the surface, eating small pelagic fishes, octopus and squid. Just infrequently got off New York, this sailfish is taken by anglers trolling with strips of natural baits or artificial lures or by cast with little live baits on light tackle.

Swordfish (a.k.a. broadbill)

A migratory fish of tropical to temperate waters. It can reach 15 feet and 1,300 pounds in size, but averages only 50-80 pounds off New York. It’s a dark brown, black, blue, purple or bronze upper body, shading to light brown on the abdomen. The dorsal fin is high, pointed, and concave on the back border. The swordfish uses its long flattened bill to stun or kill prey, including mid water to deep sea pelagic fishes and squid. A once popular sport fish esteemed for its tasty flesh, the swordfish is currently essentially unavailable to the New York recreational angler. Fishing methods include trolling natural lures or floating at night using natural

Small Tunny (a.k.a. false albacore)

A migratory school fish of tropical to warm temperate waters. It can reach well over two feet and almost 40 pounds in size, but averages 5-15 pounds off New York. The small tunny is common inshore and may be recognized by the dark wavy lines that run from mid body to the tail on the upper back, along with the dark spots found on the sides between the pectoral and pelvic fins. It feeds close to the surface, eating small pelagic fishes. Anglers get this fish by trolling with strips of natural baits and artificial lures, or by fly fishing or cast (occasionally from coast) lures and little live baits on light tackle.

Spanish Mackerel

A migratory school fish of tropical to warm temperate waters. It can reach three feet and over 10 pounds in size, but averages 2-5 pounds off New York. The Spanish mackerel has a bluish back that quickly fades to silver on the sides and abdomen. There are significant bronze egg-shaped spots on the sides, and the first dorsal fin’s front is blackish. The Spanish mackerel eats small pelagic fishes and crustaceans. Outstanding table cuisine, these fish is captured (occasionally from coast) by many strategies including: fly fishing or cast with little jigs and spoons on light tackle; live bait fishing with little fish and shrimp; and by trolling with spoons and feathers.

King Mackerel (a.k.a. kingfish)

A migratory school fish of tropical to subtropical waters. It can reach over five feet and 100 pounds in size, but averages 25 pounds off New York. The blue grey back fades to silver on the sides and abdomen, as well as the lateral line dips sharply below the 2nd dorsal fin. Although youthful kings have spots much like Spanish mackerel, these fade with age. The King mackerel eats pelagic fishes. It make a great meal and is captured by trolling with little entire entices, strips of natural bait and artificial lures. Live tempting, floating with natural baits and projecting with lures also work nicely.

Wahoo

A seasonally migratory fish of tropical to warm temperate waters. It can reach seven feet and over 180 pounds in size, but averages 40-50 pounds off New York. Its back is a strong metallic blue, and there are many light blue vertical bands on the sides, although all these are occasionally faded or lost in older specimens. The lateral line dips apparently following the midpoint of the first dorsal fin. The wahoo uses its movable upper jaw and several powerful sharp teeth for eating pelagic fishes and squids. Superb eating, anglers get wahoo by trolling with artificial lures and whole or strip natural entices, or by floating with live baits or kite fishing.

Dolphin

A migratory school fish of tropical to warm temperate waters. It can reach over five feet and 85 pounds in size, but averages 5-25 pounds off New York. A vibrant fish, it’s brilliant blue to blue green over, gold yellow with many dark and light spots on the sides, and silvery or yellowish on the abdomen. It’s a single, long blue dorsal fin plus a long yellow or silvery anal fin. A male dolphin fish has a high, dull brow; the female’s is rounded. Brought to floating things, it makes a superb meal and is captured by trolling with rigged natural baits and artificial lures, or by live lure fishing or cast near floating debris or seaweed.

Cobia

A migratory school fish of tropical to warm temperate waters. It can reach six feet and 150 pounds in size, but averages 5-25 pounds off New York. The cobia has a long, wide, depressed head, a dark brown back with alternating stripes of light brown or bronze, dark brown and white. The initial section of the second dorsal fin is higher about the remaining part of the fin and triangular in shape, giving a cobia on the surface a shark like look. The cobia eats crustaceans, small fishes and squid. Outstanding to eat, it’s brought to floating things, buoys and pilings, and is captured by trolling with natural baits and artificial lures, or by bottom fishing, jigging, chumming or cast.

Pelagic of, or relating to, the open ocean

  • Pectoral fin coupled fins found towards head/gills on the side of the body,
  • pelvic fin coupled fins found on the bottom of the body.
  • Fnlet quite little, individual fins behind the dorsal & anal fins, forward of the caudal fin on tuna & mackerel,
  • dorsal fin fin(s) found on the back
  • Caudal fin tail fin
  • lateral line a tubular sensory organ that runs along the right or left side of the body
  • Caudal peduncle area of body between end of the anal fin & start of caudal fin

Tunas, Mackerels And Other Pelagic Sportfish

Conservation note: The Bluefin tuna is an ocean traveller, migrating across to either side of the Atlantic Ocean. Rigorous international quotas, size as well as catch limits are in place to make an effort to reconstruct the badly overfished Atlantic people.

Bluefin Tuna

An extremely migratory school fish of subtropical and temperate waters. It can reach 14 feet and 1,500 pounds in size, but averages 350-450 pounds off New York. The anal fin and finlets are a dusky yellow with black borders, as well as the pectoral fins extend to regarding the centre of the first dorsal fin. The Bluefin tuna eats pelagic fishes, crustaceans and squid. It makes a delicious meal and is popular for sashimi, or uncooked fish. Bluefin may be captured by trolling with live or dead natural baits and artificial lures, or by still fishing with live bait or entire or chunked dead baits.

Yellowfin Tuna (a.k.a. Allison tuna)

A seasonally migratory fish of deep, warm temperate waters. It can reach seven feet and 400 pounds in size, but averages 40-80 pounds off New York. It’s a blue back, silver sides and abdomen with a gold yellow or iridescent-blue stripe frequently present on the sides. It gets its name from the yellowish dorsal fins and finlets. The yellowfin tuna eats small pelagic fishes, crustaceans and squid. It’s exceptional to eat and is taken by anglers trolling with strips of natural bait, little entire bait or artificial lures, or by chumming with live bait.

Albacore (a.k.a. longfin tuna)

Seasonally migratory fish of tropical to warm temperate waters. It can reach over four feet and 90 pounds in size, but averages 30-60 pounds off New York. It’s big eyes, a white border on the caudal fin and finlets, and the pectoral fins go past the bottom of the anal fin. The albacore eats small pelagic fishes, crustaceans and squid. An extremely prized food fish, the albacore may be captured by trolling with artificial lures, or by throwing or floating entire or live baits on light tackle.

Bigeye Tuna

A seasonally migratory school fish of warm temperate waters. It can reach almost eight feet and 435 pounds, but averages 50-150 pounds off New York. It’s big eyes (thus, the name), a short, blunt head as well as a bronze stripe on the sides. The pectoral fins go to only under the 2nd dorsal fin. The bigeye tuna eats small pelagic fishes, crustaceans and squid. It makes a great meal and may be taken by trolling deep with rigged natural baits or artificial lures.

Skipjack Tuna

A seasonally migratory school fish of tropical and subtropical waters. It can reach over three feet and 75 pounds, but averages 5-15 pounds off New York. The skipjack has silvery sides and belly with 4-6 dark stripes going from mid body to near the tail, short pectoral fins and little conical teeth. It eats small pelagic fishes, crustaceans and squid. Considered good tasting, this tuna is caught by trolling with strips of natural baits or artificial lures, or by cast lures or small live baits on light tackle.

Atlantic Bonito

Migratory school fish of tropical to temperate waters. It can reach three feet and almost 20 pounds in size, but averages 5-15 pounds off New York. The Atlantic bonito has silvery sides and abdomen, a low first dorsal fin that slopes equally toward the tail, and dark stripes on its blue/blue green back. It eats small pelagic fishes and squid, normally feeding close to the surface. Great tasting, anglers get the Atlantic bonito by trolling with strips of natural entices / and man-made lures or by cast lures or small live baits on light tackle. Fly Fishing is just another approach getting these fish. 

Sharks

Conservation note: Many sharks have been overfished throughout their ranges and are captured with much less frequency off New York than in previous years. Most sharks caught recreationally off New York are labelled and released.

Shortfin Mako

A solitary migratory shark of tropical to warm temperate waters. It can reach 12 feet and 1,200 pounds in size, but averages 200-400 pounds off New York. Its cobalt blue back colours to light blue on the sides, and the first dorsal fin begins just behind the pectoral fins. The short fin mako has long, narrow, curved teeth with no cusps at the foundation and no serrations on the edges. It eats pelagic fishes including swordfish and tunas, This shark makes a great meal and is captured by trolling with entire, big natural baits or artificial lures, and by chumming or drifting live baits.

Blue Shark

Migratory shark of cool temperate waters. It can reach 12 feet and 600 pounds in size, but averages 150-300 pounds off New York. Discovered alone or in packs, it’s indigo blue on the back, shading to bright blue on the sides, and the first dorsal fin starts halfway between the pectoral and pelvic fins. The blue shark has a long thin snout with big curved teeth in the upper jaw. Both edges of the teeth are serrated, also the front edge is convex, the back edge concave. This shark eats squid, seabirds and pelagic fishes, including other sharks. Considered only fair tasting, it may be captured by chumming with live or dead baits, or by trolling.

White Shark (a.k.a. great white shark)

A solitary migratory shark of cool temperate waters. It can reach over 26 feet and 5,000 pounds in size, but averages 1,000 pounds and larger off New York. It’s grey/brown, dull slate blue, or nearly black above, shading to dirty white below. The back edges of the dorsal and caudal fins are darker, and there could be a black spot close to the pectoral fin. The great white’s caudal peduncle(*) is strongly keeled and flattened; the anal fin is much to the back. It uses its big, triangular, saw-edged teeth to eat fish, squid, sea turtles, marine mammals and sea birds. This shark is superb eating and is captured by chumming or drifting live baits or bloody dead lures.

Thresher Shark

A solitary migratory shark of warm to cool temperate waters. It can reach 20 feet and 1,000 pounds in size, but averages 150-400 pounds off New York. It’s brownish to grayish brown on its back and sides, and the upper lobe of its own caudal fin is longer concerning the remainder of its own body. It’s an extremely short snout with somewhat curved little teeth that have no cusps or serrations. The thresher shark eats pelagic fishes and squid. It makes a great meal and might be captured by trolling with entire live or dead natural baits and artificial lures, or by still fishing with live bait or entire and chunked dead baits.

Scalloped Hammerhead

A migratory shark of tropical to warm temperate waters. It can reach 14 feet and 800 pounds in size, but averages 200 pounds off New York. It’s readily identified by its “hammer formed” head with the eyes situated at the ends of wide level projections on the right or left side of the head and snout. The leading edge of its own snout is equally scalloped, its back is brown, shading to light brown or grey on the abdomen, as well as the upper lobe of the caudal fin is a lot longer than the lower (but not nearly as long as the thresher shark). This hammerhead eats fish, including small sharks and stingrays. It’s regarded an excellent meal and may be captured by slow trolling, drifting or chumming with greasy natural lures.

Offshore Saltwater Sportfish of New York a wide varity awaits you