Central Park Lake
Without a doubt, Central Park Lake offers the most diverse freshwater fishing experience in Manhattan. The meandering shoreline of this 18-acre water body varies from rocky to grassy to treelined and creates a variety of aquatic habitats for at least nine different species of freshwater fish. And that's not all: if you're looking to catch big fish, Central Park Lake is the place for you.
Area: 18 acres
Approximate average depth: 4 - 6 feet
Shoreline access is available at many locations around the lake. Central Park Lake is very popular, so take care when casting your line to avoid interfering with other anglers and pedestrians.
To catch a good-sized largemouth bass, try a soft plastic bait like a plastic worm or a hard plastic bait such as stickbait (plastic fish with treble hooks). Panfish, including the top-sized yellow perch of this lake, can be caught using a bobber and worm. Remember to tamp down all barbs on hooks as New York City regulations require the use of barbless hooks.
For more information on these fish species, visit the page on Freshwater Fishes.
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation rules require the use of non-lead weights and barbless hooks.
Fisheries Survey Summary
The electrofishing catch per hour for largemouth bass 15 inches and larger, as determined during a May 2009 fisheries survey, was found to be one of the best for NYC waters (see table below). Bass were not the only large fish found. Central Park Lake has yielded the largest-sized yellow perch of any New York City waterbody during DEC Fisheries surveys performed within the last decade. While yellow perch are known to be tasty as well as fun to catch, be aware state and city regulations require all freshwater fish to be returned, unharmed, to the waterbody in which they were caught.
|Waterbody||8" and over||12" and over||15" and over|
|Central Park Lake||18||15||9|
|Prospect Park Lake||81||31||14|
|Van Cortlandt Lake||8||4||0|