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Sep 25, 2008

With summer on its way downstream, head to an urban fishing spot near you to cast off one last time.

By FLYP Staff

Queens Fish Story
Where: Fort Tilden Park, Rockaway Point
Since 9/11, a lot of prime fishing spots around Manhattan have been closed or restricted (including the scenic fishing around Liberty Island and Battery Park), forcing Gotham’s urban fishers to go further afield.
One option is to head for the Rockaways on the city’s southern coastline. The water quality has been steadily improving since the 1970s, so as you stand on a pier alongside your fishing brethren, you have a pretty good chance of hooking a striped bass, bluefish or false albacore this time of year.

Fishin’ on the Bayou
Where: Barataria, Mississippi Delta
If chomping down on a fish caught in the middle of the concrete jungle isn’t your idea of good eatin’, then travel a little further out to the small town of Barataria, only 30 minutes south of the city.
Once there, you can hook up with the crew of Bourgeois Fishing Charters, who take visitors into the bayou in search of the water’s biggest prize: the redfish. The feeling of pulling one of these tremendous fish (30 pounders aren’t uncommon) onto a tiny kayak or boat will give you a sense of pride far superior to what you feel catching yet another cod.

Fly Me to Missoula
Where: Blackfoot, Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Missouri Rivers
Montana is known for many things, but it’s famous for its fly-fishing. So why not head to the state’s beautiful rivers—surrounded by cliffs and pristine forests—for a world-class daytrip?
A good place to start is Missoula’s Grizzly Hackle, where you’ll find guides to lead you on your hunt for the area’s prized river trout. By day’s end, you will have toured the area’s four rivers—the Blackfoot, Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Missouri—all of which offer stunning vistas. And with more than 15,000 trout plying these waters over the course of a day, one is sure to take your bait.

Trolling the Sand
Where: Alvord Lake
Who knew that fishing is alive and well in the urban desert? In the middle of Cesar Chavez Park in southwest Phoenix lies the little urban fishing Mecca of Alvord Lake.
In its 25 acres of water reside channel catfish, rainbow trout, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, yellow bass, tilapia and carp. And since motorboats aren’t allowed on the water, there is little wake to scare away your catch. All of which makes for a perfect family outing. And since the lake is restocked every two weeks, the kids are sure to go home happy after hooking their first “big one.”

Get ’Em Before They Spawn
Where: Myrtle Edwards Park, Elliott Bay
Seattle truly is an urban fisherman’s paradise. From salmon and trout to squid and crabs, all sorts of fantastic catches can be made within city limits and without the need for a boat.
For a shot at the region’s famous salmon—they are at their peak between September and November—go to the fishing pier at the north end of Myrtle Edwards Park. Huge, ocean-going salmon abound here, but they are notoriously difficult to catch. If you’re willing to try something different, the locals swear by a method call “mooching,” which is using cut herring as bait.

Hook One for Lady Bird
Where: Lady Bird Lake
Located right in downtown Austin, Lady Bird Lake has produced numerous state records for the size of its fish. It also provides tons of fun as the site of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. So the next time you’re interested in hanging your “Gone Fishing” sign on the door, keep this six-mile stretch of urban wilderness in mind.
The reservoir has great populations of catfish, sunfish and common carp, but the real draw here is the largemouth bass. And because the water quality is so good, it’s a great place to settle in for a night and watch the bass as they swim over the limestone basin.

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