new york harbor
New York Harbor | credit: USCG

The Mid Atlantic states are known for their urban fishing opportunities. From New York to North Carolina, urban anglers find fishing spots in cities, towns, and coastal resorts.

Many Mid Atlantic cities are bisected by tidal rivers or tributaries that contain areas suitable for urban fishing. Others have oceanfront beaches or shorelines that are suitable for fishing, crabbing, or other activities.

Urban anglers face an array of conditions that affect fishing. In many urban settings, public access can be a challenge for shore anglers as well as boaters.

In almost every urban waterway, pollution has major impacts on fish and wildlife. In many areas, fish consumption advisories exist for fish caught from urban waters.

In addition to affecting fish for food, urban pollution can be hazardous when fishing. Urban shorelines can contain plastic, broken glass, corroded metal, and mixtures of oils, pesticides, and other toxins.

Trash, scum, and other visual signs of pollution not only pose physical threats, but their presence can discourage anglers and outdoors enthusiasts.

Despite numerous challenges, anglers enjoy urban fishing throughout the region. In some areas, fishing can be surprisingly productive.

Urban areas often contain a wide variety of structure that attracts and shelters fish. Bridges, tunnels, dams, locks, docks, bulkheads, moorings, and other structures all hold potential for holding fish. Dredged channels provide deep water where fish can seek shelter.

Urban Fishing Locations

In New York, the Hudson River is an important area for striped bass.and other species. Along its banks are numerous communities, cities, and several bouroughs of New York City.

New Jersey is famous for its urban fisheries. From Raritan Bay to Cape May, urban anglers enjoy saltwater fishing. Other fishing locations are found along the Delaware River, Delaware and Raritan Canal, and other waterways.

Pennsylvania contains numerous urban settings where fishing is popular. Along the Delaware River, urban fishing is practiced in Philadelphia and other cities. Philadelphia is also noted for its urban northern snakehead fishery. In Pittsburgh, three rivers converge and provide fishing opportunities for urban anglers.

Delaware is another state that contains a high number of estuaries, rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, ponds, and other waterways. In northern Delaware, Dover and Wilmington contain urban fisheries. Along the coast, small to mid-sized communities are located along the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Coast. Most coastal communities contain areas for saltwater fishing.

Maryland has a variety of urban fisheries. Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city, is famous for its urban fishing experiences. In Baltimore, both saltwater and freshwater areas exist for fishing. Within a short distance of the city are some of the area’s most popular fishing hot spots.

Near Annapolis, boating anglers fish along the Severn or Magothy Rivers or take a short boat ride to popular fishing spots. At several parks nearby, shore anglers will find access to the Chesapeake Bay.

In Ocean City, anglers fish from piers, jetties, bulkheads, and beaches.

Like other Mid Atlantic states, Virginia has numerous urban areas where fishing can be productive. The Hampton Roads area is home to some of the region’s top urban fishing piers. In many cities and towns, riverfront areas provide angling opportunities.

In North Carolina, the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast regions are surrounded by saltwater fishing areas.


Related Information

Rivers and Lakes

Saltwater Fishing

Freshwater Fishing

Fish Species

Fishing Regulations (Mid Atlantic)

Regional Information