Central Park has three locations where you can enjoy fishing: the Harlem Meer, the Central Park Lake, and the Central Park Pond. The Turtle Pond and the Reservoir do not allow fishing. No lakes in the park permit traps for crabs or other crustaceans. Only catch and release fishing is permitted in Central Park, without the use of barbed hooks or weighted lures. The park asks that fish be released underwater, and that participants only handle the fish with wet hands.
One of the most popular places to fish in Central Park is Harlem Meer, where you can borrow a fishing pole and take advantage of the free bait given to each participant. The only bait permitted for use in the ponds in Central Park is corn kernels. Items like lunchmeats or worms can be a threat to the natural ecology of the pond. The park asks visitors not to disturb or feed turtles or other pond inhabitants, and to refrain from wading into the water or digging for bait. All of these activities can damage the ecosystem of the pond.
Fishing is available Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fishing poles must be returned within one hour of the close of fishing for the day. Fishing at Harlem Meer is free, but groups of five or more must call two weeks in advance for reservations. This activity is primarily geared toward children ages 5 to 15. Adults who wish to fish must obtain a license for fishing from the city.
- Central Park Fishing - A Central Park Fishing blog