Hot Spot: Connetquot River State Park - The Fisherman

Hot Spot: Connetquot River State Park

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Thirty fishing spots are located along the entire stretch of the river. Photo courtesy of NY Parks & Rec.

Connetquot River State Park Preserve, located on Long Island in New York, at 4090 Sunrise Hwy in Oakdale, is a fantastic destination for fishing enthusiasts throughout the year, but I believe it really shines during the winter months on Long Island when the saltwater scene begins to tail off and cabin fever beings to set in. This centrally located system is a scenic and productive fly fishing gem that will produce consistently for those looking to bend a rod until ready to get back into the salt. The Connetquot River, which runs through the park, offers a variety of fishing opportunities, including its staple, freshwater fly fishing for trout.

One of the highlights of Connetquot River State Park Preserve is its winter trout fishing program. The park stocks brook and rainbow trout in the river, providing anglers with the chance to enjoy fishing even during these colder months. The winter trout season typically runs from mid-November to late March. Luckily, the crew at the park keeps these fish well-stocked and fed so that they’re ready to be caught.

It must be known that Connetquot River State Park Preserve operates on a mainly catch-and-release basis with a small slot limit. This practice helps maintain the fishery and ensures that others can also experience excellent fishing in this beautiful setting.

As for getting fishing spots, you could just show up at times and get a good spot typically during the week, but the way it works is to call the park number and reserve your spot to pick a spot. The actual picking of the spots is on a first-come, first-serve basis. I advise that on the weekends, especially if you have a certain spot, you’d like to keep in mind that you should make the extra effort to show up earlier so that you’re able to get it. Don’t worry if you don’t though — most of the sections are very productive to fish. Also, it should be noted that fishing for the public is only open from Tuesday to Sunday, and Monday is reserved for fishing clubs and maintenance. During the winter months, there are two sessions as well. The 8-12 and the 12-4. Both are productive fishing-wise, but I personally enjoy fishing the morning session for its picturesque views of the steam coming off the river. The general procedure is that you show up to line up at the front booth and wait until the employee opens or gives you a numbered card. That will be your order to pick spots. Remember, there is a $25 fee for each 4-hour session, and you must have a valid NY freshwater fishing license to show the employee at the booth. After being processed, you will need to drive through the park and follow the signs until you get to the hatchery parking area, where you will park and gear up to head to your reserved spot.

The layout of the fishing locations on the river is above the hatchery spots and below the hatchery spots. Typically, the below spots are more popular, but I’ve walked and fished the above spots as well, and I’ve seen some impressive rainbows and browns up that way, so don’t overlook them either. The ponds closer to the entrance also have their productive times as well.

There’s a lot to learn at this place, and people go for all sorts of reasons. You could absolutely love trout fishing and want to experience the magic of this spot, or maybe you want to start learning somewhere and have come to the perfect place. You could also go to just ease those winter woes by bending the rod. Regardless of the reason, this place has something to offer for all. Even if you don’t want to fish, you could walk the trails and take it all in at Connetquot River State Park.

Park Phone Number: (631) 581-1005

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