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Central Park - fishing decline


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I have been fishing Central Park regularly for the past 8 years from 59th to 110th and everything in between. I've noticed in the past several years a serious decline of fish (bass) in all lakes, it's like they're all giving me the Bronx cheer (the middle finger). When I started it was common to catch bass on every outing, and a few spots I knew, a few fish at the same place within minutes of each other. Now, years later and a much better fisherman I can fish the park for 1/2 a day with only a few bites. I'm sure there are many reasons, all small, stagnant, heavily pressured ponds, at the Meer, heavy construction and a lot of meat fisherman (people keeping fish to eat). At the Pond - which used to be great, the water level has been much lower than it had been for years, and not much life in the water there. Van Cortland Lake in the Bronx - similar situation to Central Park, I might have to bite the bullet and head to Prospect Park.

Edited by Sloatsburg Pete

(*member previously known as 'petergulickjr')

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  • Sloatsburg Pete changed the title to Central Park - fishing decline

Great advice,  if I only had a car...... I grew up in Sloatsburg, NY, which is next to Harriman, I spent a lot of time there hiking, fishing, camping, and learned to fish on Lake Sebago. When I was growing up Sloatsburg (pop. 3,000±) had 3 fishing shops, Wrights (gone and now the Rhodes Tavern), Davis's Sport, currently on rt 17, and Midland Tackle (gone - they sold mainly blanks). As young kids, we'd catch crayfish and sell them to Wrights for a few cents each - mid 70's. 

(*member previously known as 'petergulickjr')

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On 4/27/2024 at 8:23 AM, Sloatsburg Pete said:

Great advice,  if I only had a car...... I grew up in Sloatsburg, NY, which is next to Harriman, I spent a lot of time there hiking, fishing, camping, and learned to fish on Lake Sebago. When I was growing up Sloatsburg (pop. 3,000±) had 3 fishing shops, Wrights (gone and now the Rhodes Tavern), Davis's Sport, currently on rt 17, and Midland Tackle (gone - they sold mainly blanks). As young kids, we'd catch crayfish and sell them to Wrights for a few cents each - mid 70's. 

Yea I learned to fish for bass there. Had a 21.5” large mouth from one of the lakes up there. Used to go to Davis all the time. Even fished the ramapo river a few times. I haven’t been there in years I need to go back 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I fished the park from the early 80’s through to the mid 90’s. 
When the park became safer and more popular the fishing declined. Mainly due to the large number of dogs in the water. 
Not only did they spook the fish but the spawning shores were also the favorite throw the stick for Fido shores. 
No nests, no recruitment. 
The fish were forced into the fallen tree tops and other thick cover. 
I went back in 07 or so and it was sad. 
 

Back then fishing wasn’t allowed at 59 St & the bird sanctuary.
This was strictly enforced. 
 

So was the “Not allowed to keep or possess wildlife” rule. 
 

My guess is that the current legal framework doesn’t put much emphasis on conservation in the park & it is being picked clean by the kill everything crowd. 
 

The same thing happened to the 2 lakes at Flushing Meadow. In the 60’s& 70’s that was a great place to fish.

Now it’s a barren wasteland. 

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On 5/18/2024 at 8:32 PM, flyman28 said:

I caught white perch and bullheads at Flushing Meadows in the 60's.  What else was in there ??

Carp, big carp, koi, bluegill….. people told me LMB but I never caught one. 
I was a kid fishing with dough balls and worms on a flounder hook lol. 

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