"I have never seen any boats fishing the Hudson in the winter by me.
Could it be the Hudson is the exception to the rule?"
Marty, I seriously doubt it, but there's only one way to be sure. If I lived anywhere nearby, I be doing my dardnest to hijak a friend's boat to get out there
The only questions I'd have are 1) can the river be navigated safely? Particularly since there are few if any boats in the vicinity and you won't last long if you find yourself swimming, I'd make sure that the level of flow is manageable, I had a partner onboard who knew how to operate the boat in case I fell over (and vice versa),I had all necessary pfds and safety equipment with me, and lastly, I was confident that the motor was trustworthy; and 2) In the wake of 9/11, can you fish near the bridge legally and with the sanction of those who's job it is to make sure the bridge is safe from attack?
Read absolutely nothing into the fact that you never see anyone fishing there in the winter. Everybody knows that stripers don't bite when the water falls below 50 degrees, so why bother, right?
The best winter spot I know of is on a river right outside of a major fishing harbor in SE Massachusetts. I have NEVER seen another boat there in several fall/winter fishing expeditions there. As long as its not locked up with ice, you can count on taking lots of schoolies and the occasional keeper up on the flats in as little as 3 feet of water during the right tidal conditions.
"Once the water starts to heat up in March you start to get fish that will take artificials in Croton Bay."
You gotta wait till March, huh? Check out what I found with a wee bit of googling:
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
Hudson River Almanac December 30- January 5, 2004 Highlights
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
1/2/04 - Croton Bay, HRM 34: Big schools of striped bass have been feeding right at the surface for a week. You could see the tail and dorsal fins. When they moved, they put out a wave as much as a foot high. The fish left in a hurry this afternoon when two harbor seals began to feed in the bay.
I can lead a horse to water, bud. The rest is up to you. Godspeed. :wavey: