Will you be fishing from shore or from a boat?
What area will you be fishing?
Albany down to Ravena?
Ravena Down to Coxsackie or Coxsackie to Catskill?
Shore fishing access on the west shore no problem in most areas. Public Boat launches from Bethlehem to Catskill free. Most of them have shore access for shore fishing bottom rigs with herring chunks or live lining. East shore from Rensselear is free. Check with the city of Rensselaer for directions. The Corning Perserve on the river at Albany is also free. Schodack Island State Park near Castleton, NY has a $5.00 ramp fee. The shoreline of the island is decent shore fishing. The next ramp on the eastern shore is Hudson, NY just north of the RR Station. It is free. Then south again to the N. Germantown Ramp, Free. and the Village of Chevoit south of Germantown has a free ramp to. Thats about 40 miles of shore line south of Albany. Get a copy of the latest Boating on the Hudson for ramp information if your needing to launch elsewhere in the HR valley.
Fishing from a boat can be a anchored up or a drifting the channel edges.
I perfer chunk herring for drifting and live lined herring for anchoring.
DO NOT park your boat in the channel. Albany is a seaport and your get large grain and cement ships plowing north and south all the time and at all hours. The "craft underpower manuver rule" will not save your butt should you be parked in a narrow channel with mud banks on each side. You are deadmeat! They might even feel the bump when they hit you --- but don't count on it.
I also like drifting big herring flys on sinking fly lines at two different levels in the water column early (before first light til about 8am) over the flats on a dropping high tide3 just after it turns. You would be surprize on the size of the fish cruising the flats during low light and night conditions.
If you want to fish at night. Fish the flats with rattle traps (Chrome with blue tops) cranked fast enough to bounce off the bottom.
I use a 7' one piece TICA rod and a Soris 30 Okuma with 10# or 12# test Berkley Big Game or Vanish as my recon rod when I'm drifting flys on sinking lines. Rattle trap is the number one recon lure for me. 3/4 oz is fine, 1 oz works too.
If I locate a striped bass with the rattle trap, I pull in my drift flys and circle up current with my electric motor on the other side of the channel/river and set up a casting drift over the spot I hooked the striper with the rattle trap.
I fly cast a herring fly deciever or a Chartuse/White Clouser 1/2 & 1/2 on either a #3 (3ips) sink tip line or a WF intermediate line.(1.5ips) I fish 7 thru 10 wt rods for striped bass I cast too and 12 wt rods and sinking lines (#3 and/or #7 wt sinking lines. (That is 3 inches per second or 7 inches per second.) (3ips or 7ips let me drift flies between 8 and 20 feet while drifting.")
Talk to your local bait shops for tips and gear needs.
Conroy Bait Supply in Watervliet, NY (518) 273 - 2582 and Tom Gentalen' (I only have his home number with me, check with the phone company for the shop number.) River Basin Sports Shop on Bridge Street in Catskill, NY! Check your yellow pages for others!
Good luck! Let me know how you make out. I'm going to be off line for about a week. Baby sitting my grand kids in PA!
You have lots of time to get ready. The first stripers usually arrive in the Catskill to Albany Stretch the last week of April.
Fish tidal rips (you will be dealing with a 5 foot tide, twice a day all the way to Albany!
Out flows from bays behind railrod tracks. (Locally called "Suck Holes"!) When the tide is ripping out of the small Railroad bed culverts, lots of small bait is sucked out into the river.
Stripers set up at the mouth of these just like trout in a stream rip.[ 03-29-2005, 09:41 PM: Message edited by: RJ ]