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Tidal Hudson River Fishing

Mid Hudson Bridge overlooking the Hudson River

Fishing the tidal Hudson River is a unique and exciting experience that has been pursued by subsistence, commercial and recreational fishermen for centuries. Native Americans first named the Hudson Muhheakantuck, which translates as "the river that flows both ways". The river does flow north and south, changing direction every six hours according to the four foot rise and fall between high and low tide. This provides anglers with a variety of fishes to catch throughout the day.

The Hudson is also described as an estuary because it is a place where freshwater meets saltwater. From the harbor off New York City's Battery Park up to the dam at Troy, the Hudson undergoes gradual changes from salty seawater to brackish water (a mixture of fresh and salt water) and finally freshwater. The changes in salinity (the amount of salt in the water) also promote diversity in the fish species found along the river. Some are marine fish, that live solely in saltwater, and some live only in freshwater, like the smallmouth bass.

However, because the Hudson transitions from salt to fresh water, there are unique species that migrate between both. These fishes are referred to as either anadromous or catadromous. Anadromous fish, like the striped bass, spend their lives in marine waters but travel to freshwater to spawn. Catadromous species, like the American eel, live in freshwater for most of their lives then return to the ocean to spawn. The migrations of both catadromous and anadromous species, along with resident fish species, provide anglers with exceptional fishing opportunities throughout the season. Below you will find additional information on some of the more popular fishes of the Hudson including some tips for catching them. Also, be sure to check out the fishing regulations and licensing information before casting!

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