Hudson River Fishing Report

Traditionally, from our observations here at the River Basin, the first tendrils of the annual herring run will have arrived in the Kingston area right around April 1st, and right along with them perhaps will be a few smaller stripers. The following week the Esopus Creek at Saugerties will see those same fish passing through heading on upriver. Then, if the weather stays mild, Catskill Creek should be their next stop but should we get any heavy, cold rain that muddies the Hudson’s water anyplace between Kingston and Catskill… those traveling fish come to a screeching halt wherever they happen to be. This pause can last a week or more depending on the conditions.

In keeping with tradition it appears that the first herring of this year’s run have made an appearance in Kingston already, and reports were also of a couple of small stripers caught. We’ve heard nothing yet from Saugerties or anyplace further upriver. Keep in mind that this is just the very, very beginning of the run and your odds of catching a fish in the main river right now are mighty slim.

This morning we took the Hudson’s water temperature at Catskill’s launch ramp (at Dutchmans Landing Park) and found it to have climbed up to 37 degrees – still mighty cold. Then we went around to the lower Catskill Creek where we were pleased to see our thermometer reading shoot up a little bit higher, to 39. With the warmer weather that’s predicted for the upcoming week it is quite possible that some herring and stripers might start to show up here by week’s end. Just remember this would be the very start of the run and decent fishing is still probably about 3 weeks or more away.

Our striped bass contest sign-ups seem to be going a little bit slow this year but the colder weather is probably responsible for that. We’re expecting to see a huge surge of registrations come in during this upcoming week. Keep in mind that you only have until the end of April 14th to sign up – the contest officially starts at 12:01 a.m. on the 15th. The $15 registration fee is payable by cash only – no checks, no credit or debit cards.

Our shop just received its first shipment of herring scap nets this past week - they sold out in 2 days. The second shipment is now at hand and for sale. Since these super 4-foot square scap nets are not factory made but are individually built for us by two “little old net-makers” in their spare time they will only dribble in by the ones or twos. Please don’t make a special trip here for these nets without calling first to make sure they are available.

We’re in excellent shape with in-stock large striper landing nets and with herring holding pens of sizes from 18 inches to 3 feet round. Our stock of gill nets is low, just a few left (you need a special permit for these but they can be obtained fairly quickly from ENCON). Sinkers, cast nets, hooks, rigs and terminal tackle are all stocked up - so are BAITRUNNER reels (over 30 different right now) and a great selection of striper rods. Also, you should check your line and if you haven’t changed it yet this spring bring the spool in for some fresh premium 20, 25, 30 or 40 pound test – just 9 bucks to fill a spinning reel (up to 200 yards).

Additionally, make sure you have a fishing license for this year as well as your MARINE REGISTRATION which is required if you wish to fish for any saltwater species (stripers AND herring) - both are available here at the River Basin Sports Shop. Make no mistake about it – we have more striped bass equipment here than you’ll find anywhere else in the area. See you soon!    Tom G