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No Pier Pressure

first_imgThe Ocean City Fishing Club’s pier at 14th St is not only a fine place to fish, it’s a great structure to photograph or paint.For surf or bay fishermen, there is nothing like the comfort and camaraderie that comes with dropping a line off a pier.And Ocean City is blessed with some of the best places to do that in South Jersey, and perhaps the entire East Coast.“Pier fishing has its advantages,” said Mike Shepherd, longtime Press of Atlantic City fishing writer, “with probably the key thing being to go back to a good spot and getting to know the people you see there and making friendships.”Pier fishing also provides the opportunity to spread out, relax in a comfortable folding chair and while away a few hours in search of seafood, or just a challenging catch.The most famous spot for doing so locally is the Ocean City Fishing Club’s pier at 14th St and the Boardwalk, but there are other public and private docks, bridges and piers all over the city on both the bay and ocean sides of the island.  Finding these spots, either through trial and error or word of mouth, can be half the fun.  We don’t have the space here to describe them all. We’ll leave that up to our intrepid readers.  But we will mention a few choice locations that should fuel a fisherman’s (or woman’s) quest for a “tight line.”14th St.  “Ocean fishing off a pier can be really enjoyable, and of course you have one of the best in the Fishing Club’s pier,” Shepherd said. “That is a pier with quite a history to it.”In 2016, the private Ocean City Fishing Club will be celebrating its 103rd season, making it the oldest continuously operated fishing club in the United States, according to its website.  They didn’t survive that long by being less than an ideal location.  For an experienced angler it is obvious but still bears mentioning, said Shepherd, author of the “Shep on Fishing” column and Facebook website: “You are a few hundred feet out over the ocean.  That means 40 or 50 feet   deeper water.  It’s usually better than surf fishing (from the beach).”The actual length of the picturesque pier, which is one of the most photographed and illustrated structures in Ocean City, is 635 feet from its boardwalk entrance. That translates to more species of fish, bigger runs and more fun, he said.“Kingfish, summer flounder, bluefish and stripers (the sought after striped bass) are a few species that run through there pretty regularly,” Shepherd said.For membership information, stop by the pier or write Ocean City Fishing Club, PO Box 1215, Ocean City, NJ 08226.Ocean City – Longport Bridge PierWhen a new bridge linking Ocean City with Egg Harbor Twp. Was built about a decade back, the powers that be made a decision that warmed the hearts of local anglers: a section of the old bridge was retained and repurposed as a fishing pier.“That is a unique spot for the Great Egg Harbor inlet,” Shepherd said. “You can often catch tuna there, which is not common for the inlet.”Judging from the close to a dozen people fishing there recently on a cold weekday, the word is out.Corson’s InletThe Rush Chattin Bridge is technically not a pier, but a real haven for locals and vacationers alike at the South End of Ocean City.Weakfish and stripers are the big attraction there, according to Shep. The place gets a lot of action from fishermen at night. On a summer night at the height of the season, the roads around the bridge are crowded with vehicles and people angle for the best locations on the structure as well as for the fish.Ninth St.The fishing pier is one of the design features of the new Causeway bridge, which celebrates its fourth anniversary this year. The old Causeway was a popular spot for those who like to fish the bay for generations. However, the new pier is more spacious and much safer, with dedicated parking and a location far removed from the roadway.So there you have today’s fish story: just a few places where fishermen and women can enjoy dropping a line off a pier in Ocean City and environs.  Any bait or tackle shop or local angler can probably provide a few more choice locations or simply leave it up to your own inner explorer.  Chances are you won’t go home empty-handed.last_img read more