What is Urban Fishing?

I keep the federal and state fish stocking schedules in my bookmarks and tend to memorize the stocking schedule for my local watering holes. If you’re here, it’s highly likely that you already know what’s up when it comes to fishing your city. If you don’t, here’s a quick rundown on urban fishing.

What is Urban Fishing?

Urban fishing is the act of recreationally catching fish through accepted means of tackle on manmade bodies of water. Sometimes, urban fishing is specific to inner-city locations, surrounded by a mixture of industrial and residential zones. However, this kind of angling can also be characterized as fishing manmade water structures like the base of dams or storm sewers, where fish travel between bodies of water.

Most cities will have parks with stocked fishing ponds, generally run by local or federal government to promote recreational fishing. This is a government managed urban fishing program.

History of Urban Fishing

During a period of civil unrest, the federal government stepped in to bring recreational fishing opportunities to inner cities in Missouri going as far back as 1969.

In California, city anglers described not having free time as a reason why they don’t fish often.

In both cases, various levels of government created recreational fisheries with farming and stocking practices, bringing fishing to areas that would not otherwise naturally have opportunities.

You can be Civil or Extreme

Street anglers have been known to take urban fishing to new levels. Storm drainage fishing is a thing. Fishing below dams has been known to produce absolute lunkers for species like catfish and carp.

Some of the best spots to catch big bass can be found in places where people just don’t fish due to trespassing or private property. I may know some unnamed folks who have caught absolute toads at night on local golf courses.

I’m not your dad or lawyer, but know the risks before going out and searching for your new low-key PB. I keep a telescopic rod and small reel for occasions where I’m seeing big bodies under the local fountain.

Check your local Fish Planting Schedule!

If you’re not ready to wade in your local hydro dam, there are still opportunities for you to have fun. Check your city’s local fish planting schedule for opportune times to go fishing. These will lead you to new ponds unfamiliar to you. If you see more anglers on a small pond than should be there, you’re in the right place and a plant has likely happened recently.