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2017 Hudson River Striped Bass, Shad and Herring Reports

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One Day at a time! 


Herring and Striped Bass are moving into the Rivers and back Bays in NJ Now!  Here is the River Basin Report for the Spring Run of Striped Bass, American Shad and Herring up the Hudson River




2017 Hudson River Striped Bass, Shad and Herring Reports


I want to thank Michael Wright for his article in the East Hampton and the Southhampton Press “Out East” at the end of Long Island for his historical list of the daily bag limits and size length in his column of March 23, 2017 and Hook 1 for pointing it out to me.  And thank Tom Gentalen for his decades long reporting on the runs of Striped Bass and Herring every Spring.  Tom’s River Basin Sports Shop is on Bridge Street in Catskill, NY.


You can track the progress of Striped bass and Herring schools as they move up the River in unison by connecting to Tom’s business site online.  RJ


HUDSON RIVER FISHING UPDATE – Saturday, April 1, 2017 -





Even though the Catskill Creek is still running muddy at the present time the conditions further downriver are not quite as bad. We’ve had our first believable herring reports come in from the Rondout Creek at Kingston as well as further upriver in the Esopus at Saugerties. This often is the point at which the upriver migration pauses until the water conditions further north become a little friendlier.


The pause can be just a couple of days but some years we’ve seen almost a couple of weeks before they once more head north. And, if the herring are here… you can be sure that the stripers are not far behind.     Tom G



HUDSON RIVER FISHING REPORT – Sunday, March 26, 2017



That early season warming trend we had about a month ago most certainly did get squashed by a brutal snowstorm just a scant few days later. That nor’easter deposited about 29 inches of snow at my house. Additionally, since the Catskill Creek had just skimmed over again two nights earlier this snowfall resulted in the creation of multiple inches of new ice – all of which further delayed the anticipated start of this year’s herring/striped bass run. That ice just departed this past week.


Today the Hudson’s temperature was running between 36 and 37 degrees… a little over three weeks ago it had actually hit 43 and had many of us thinking that we just could be in for the earliest herring/ striper arrival in the past few decades. Naw, wasn’t about to happen… Mother Nature made sure of that.


Considering the amount of snow yet to melt in the mountains, and the muddy water that usually accompanies that event we here at the River Basin Sports Shop don’t really anticipate any fish arriving in the Catskill area for at least another week at the earliest. That will put this year’s run just about back on a normal schedule with perhaps a few fish will straggling in before the end of March or during the first week of April. Most certainly the hopes of an arrival as early as last year (mid-March) have been squashed. 


What we have witnessed in previous years has been that March’s upriver progression of the herring and stripers generally proceeds apace until they hit any real nasty muddy water and then they just seem to hold below that location until the conditions to improve. If the water isn’t too dirty or cold then the leading fish can shoot right on up past us in quick order.


Of course these first arrivals are but just a spattering of what will follow in the next 3 to 4 weeks when the real action starts. To be quite frank, generally they are but a tease which draws the fishermen out into the early April cold. But, that’s part of the whole craziness of early season fishing which so many of us enjoy..




Remember that the official striper season in New York doesn’t start until the beginning of April, and don’t forget to renew your mandatory Marine Registry. Additionally remember that we are on a slot limit here allowing us to keep but 1 fish per day BETWEEN 18 AND 28 INCHES, or 1 fish LARGER than 40 inches..

However, if you are fishing the river below the George Washington Bridge, even though you are still allowed only one striper per day, IT HAS TO BE 28 INCHES OR LARGER. In other words the fish which we MUST release (probably around 90+ percent of our catch) here are the very fish that they MUST keep down there. I’ll leave you to ponder that while you wait for this year’s run.


If you are a striper fisherman here in the mid-Hudson Valley you realize the importance of herring as bait. Along with the striper slot limit we also have herring regulations which you must keep in mind. Generally speaking, there is a daily limit of 10 herring that can be used or possessed by a fisherman and the use of nets to capture them in any tributary (creek, stream, etc.) is prohibited. Net size is also regulated. To become aware of all the pertinent regulations we suggest you ask for a New York Fishing Regulation Guide when you purchase your fishing license or Marine Registry. These are supposed to be available at all license issuing outlets. The River Basin Sports Shop no longer issues licenses and refers people to the Catskill Town Clerk located on Main Street in Catskill.



Herring gear is such a big part of striper fishing. We have all types of it available here at the store. Sabiki rigs by the dozens and all sorts of Stoolies line the striper aisle; herring pens and quality scap nets hang from the ceiling above the aerated herring tanks and this is all right along with loads of standard striper gear. We’ve even got decent striper baitrunner combos starting as low as $69.99 (cash price) or you can make up your own rod and reel setups of whatever quality you desire. We’ve got plenty of stout rods and 27 different baitrunner reels you can choose from along with all the necessary tackle. Don’t put off getting all set up while the best selection is still available.   Tom G


The 29” to 39” Slot allows you to catch them and release them.  Saving almost 90% of the mature striped bass females and the eggs of future generations of Hudson River Striped bass.  Circle Hooks are required for Striped Bass Fishing in the Hudson River north of the George Washington Bridge. 


Before 1983 there wasn’t any limit to the number of striped bass you could catch a day.  The size regulation was 16 inches.In 1983 the size was increased to 18” and the year after that to 24” inches and when the Striped Bass stock crashed in 1986 the season was closed completely.  In 1977 most states opened the season with a minimum length of 33 inches, in 1988 to 38 inches.  In 1991 the length was dropped to 36 inches.  It remained at 36 inches for 5 years. In 1996 the Biomass had recovered from a low of 6.5 Million striped bass to almost 40 million striped bass.  In 2004 the powers that be, allowed us to take two fish the second one being a 40 inch Trophy fish. (One of the dumbest decisions pertaining striped bass ever made)  The Striped bass biomass peaked in 2007 at just over 70,000,000 striped Bass.


Between 2007 and 2015 the standard Coastwide daily bag limit was 2 striped bass over 28 inches with a couple of states allowing a Trophy fish of 40 inches. 


In 2015 the Striped Bass Biomass was hovering just over the 37,500,000 bass warning level. Every Atlantic Coast States, except New Jersey and Delaware voted to support a single striped bass per day at 28 inches and up.  NJ and DE still take two fish over 28 a day and a Trophy over 40” if you apply for a trophy ticket.  Pure greed driven by the Headboat industry and politics.  It was expanded to every licensed angler in NJ and DE.  ME, NH, MA, CT, NY, PA, MD and VA have stuck to the one fish at 28 inches and are to be applauded for their common sense and true goal of protecting Striped Bass.


We can thank the NY State Hudson River Fisheries Unit in New Paltz, NY, for the development of the  SLOT in the Hudson River above the George Washington Bridge. It will secure millions of more Striped Bass being added to the Atlantic Coast biomass for Striped Bass.


They are also the lead closed commercial and recreational fishing of American Shad in the Hudson River and the elimination of netting Alewife and Blueback Herring in the Hudson River’s Tributaries. Those two steps have begun to expand the numbers of Herring spawned successfully in the Hudson River watershed and help a still endangered American Shad biomass from any harvest pressure on Shad in NY.

-- William Buckley Jr., “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

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RJ...out of curiosity do the Gannets ever chase Herring, Shad etc that far up river. ? I don't remember ever seeing one while I was growing up along the Hudson nor do I recall ever hearing / reading about them in the Hudson.

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