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Fishing piers are a great way to access deeper water without a boat and often times they’ll offer sources of entertainment and, depending on the pier, it could be remote or right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a major city. America’s best fishing piers are not to be overlooked and if you’re in the area of any of these piers, you should bring a pole and experience this unique way of fishing firsthand.
Now, with that said, we thought we’d put together this list of our top 20 fishing piers, coast to coast, in the United States (in no particular order). Enjoy!
1. Skyway Fishing Pier, Florida
Florida occupies many spots on this list because the state has some of the best saltwater fishing in the world and there are many piers as a result. The Skyway Pier is an abandoned bridge that used to connect St. Petersburg to Sarasota. It’s now the world’s longest fishing pier and has been replaced by a new bridge.
You can catch tarpon, sea bass, grouper, mackerel, cobia, and more from this famous pier, and bait and concessions are available on the pier, as well as lights at night so that you can effectively night fish. Parking is $4 and fishing the pier is also $4 per adult and $2 per child, kids under 6 are free. No license is required on the pier.
2. Jacksonville Beach Pier, Florida
Unfortunately, as of this writing anglers have access to only about half of this great pier due to ongoing repairs. The top half of the pier was damaged by Hurricanes Matthew in 2016 and Irma in 2017. Both anglers and the city are optimistically anticipating full access to the pier by late 2021.
Once repaired to its original length, this pier will extend into the water a quarter of a mile, which gets you far enough to target unique deep water fish along with kingfish and bluefish. In addition to these, you’ll also be able to catch sea trout, cobia, flounder, drum, and redfish. The pier also provides accommodations to clean your fish after you catch them and concessions and bait are available as well. If you choose to fish there, it will cost you $4 and no state fishing license is required.
3. Oceanic Pier, Maryland
The next two piers on this list are just feet apart from each other. Starting with Oceanic Pier, Ocean City’s two major piers both provide amazing opportunities to catch stripers, bluefish, shad, flounder, and more. On the Oceanic Pier, you can fish there for 12 hours for $8, three days for $20, or all week for $35. There is rental fishing equipment available as well as concessions and bait.
The pier is L-shaped and covers many different regions of water that provide for unique conditions on different parts of the pier. West of the pier is sandy and recedes into a channel. The southern side of the pier is rocky. Tides also play a big role in fishing this pier, since they affect the varying currents in the channels nearby.
4. Ocean City Pier, Maryland
Oceanic Pier’s next-door neighbor also provides some great Atlantic fishing opportunities. Although they’re only separated by a matter of feet, Ocean City Pier varies from Oceanic Pier in that it’s more of a tourist location, meaning that there are more people but also some incredible food to be had, namely “Thrashers,” the pier’s famous vinegar fries.
This pier also offers an amusement park and a museum and of course bait and tackle. If you want a pier that is fun for the whole family, Ocean City Pier might do a better job of keeping any kids in your party entertained.
5. Cocoa Beach Pier, Florida
Cocoa Beach pier is similar to Ocean City Pier in the sense that it also offers plenty of entertainment aside from fishing, and this is a pier you’ll only want to visit if you’re willing to be thrust into the liveliness of the area.
In addition to legendary surfing, restaurants, and bars, the pier offers a variety of the most popular saltwater species including redfish, whiting, pompano, tarpon, wahoo, flounder and bluefish. Fishing the pier will run you $7 for adults and $5 for anglers over the age of 55 and under 12. You can rent equipment for $20 for four hours.
6. St. Pete (St. Petersburg) Pier, Florida
On to number 6 on the list and, still, only two states make up the list. Next on the legendary Florida pier list is St. Pete. Another busy pier that won’t offer you a lot of peace and quiet, but some might prefer the energy of piers like this.
There is a beautiful picnic area, with a plaza, market, and many restaurants, bars, and shops on the pier. Many locals who fish the pier recommend the popular topwater lure known as the “Zara Spook Junior”. This versatile lure works as well here as anywhere.
7. Crystal Pier, California
Crystal Pier is one of the most picturesque fishing piers in the world and is known for its immaculate lodging right next to the pier with amazing views. The pier isn’t long enough to get you out of the “surf fishing” zone, meaning you’ll only be catching fish that you could catch from the beach.
This includes shovelnose, leopard sharks, halibut, and more. The water under the pier is shallow for its length, making it more about the views and serenity of the location than the fishing. The pier is free to access and doesn’t require a license.
8. Santa Monica Pier, California
One of the most famous piers in the world, the Santa Monica Pier has a host of offerings outside of the fishing. The Santa Monica Pier is over 100 years old and is known for its long list of attractions, including restaurants, shops, arcades, an amusement park, an aquarium, a carousel, and more.
The pier has a lower level for fishing specifically that is separate from the hubbub on the upper level. You’ll be able to catch perch, mackerel, sea bass, leopard and tiger sharks, and rays. There is no license needed to fish the pier.
9. Galveston Fishing Pier, Texas
The Gulf of Mexico has some of the best saltwater fishing in the world, and this pier in Galveston gives you a taste of that legendary fishing without needing a boat. The pier is famous for the massive redfish that are regularly caught there, and other species include whiting, sea trout, and mackerel.
The pier does cost $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for kids age 5-12. License is also required over the age of 17, making this pier one of the less cost-effective piers on this list. Popular baits used on the pier include shrimp, squid, crab, and mullet
10. Monterey Municipal Wharf II, California
Popular species to catch on this California wharf are sardines and mackerel, but you can also land rockfish, flounder, halibut, and more. Parking costs $1.50 and the pier itself costs $10 per day.
The wharf does have restaurants and entertainment, but not so much that it becomes overbearing. This area of Monterey is especially popular for commercial fishing and they have great local seafood at the restaurants.
11. Jennette’s Pier, North Carolina
Jennette’s Pier allows fishermen to experience some of the amazing Outer Banks fishing without traveling all the way out to the gulf stream. Fishermen can catch black drum, dogfish, and more from this 1000 ft. pier and fishing reports are updated daily on their website so that you can see what is the popular catch at that time.
The pier is $14 per day to fish and $7 for children. Speaking of children, they’ll love the 3000-gallon aquarium featured on the pier.
12. Newport Pier, Florida
This is the most popular (and the lone public pier in Miami-Dade County) of the many great piers in the Greater Miami area. The pier which is actually located on the barrier island city of Sunny Isles Beach is half a mile long and has bait and tackle available for purchase on the dock.
Surprisingly for Miami, this pier is not known for being extremely busy and you should have space for your setup. It’s also only $5 per person to fish and $2 for those who live in the Sunny Isles community. Parking is metered.
13. South Pointe Park Pier/Government Cut, Florida
Since Haulover Pier was taken out in 1992 by hurricane Andrew, South Pointe Park Pier on Government Cut stands as the second most popular Miami fishing pier behind Newport. It also serves as the entrance to Port Miami so there are plenty of covered and deep-water areas to find hiding fish.
The water in the channel near the pier goes over 25 feet deep and offers great fishing for silver kings (Atlantic tarpon); the rocky areas are promising for snook and snapper. Fishing here is free and open from 7:30 a.m. to sunset.
14. Chelsea Piers, New York
These are multiple piers that extend into the Hudson River, which is brackish water. The most popular of these piers, which form a mega waterfront sports and entertainment complex on Manhattan’s West Side, is probably Pier 62, which is known for its beautiful gardens, carousel, skatepark, and dining.
This is an extremely busy area, being right in the heart of New York City, and many places only offer 30-minute fishing sessions. But it’s a great opportunity to get a little bit of fishing in the middle of seeing the Big Apple.
15. Pier 7, California
Pier 7 is a beautiful and accessible pier located in San Francisco. The Pier is 840 feet long and the water near the pier reaches depths greater than 30 feet deep. Perch are available in the shallower waters of the pier, as you go toward the middle of the pier you can catch jack, mackerel, anchovies, and herring.
At the end of the pier, you can catch sharks, kingfish, flounder, halibut, and striper. There is also an abundance of benches along the pier, making it perfect for a quick morning or evening fishing session.
16. Apache Fishing Pier, South Carolina
This year-round Myrtle Beach fishing pier is 1206 feet long and offers a bait and tackle shop. Flounder, Spanish mackerel, and winter trout are popular catches on the pier. You can fish on the pier for $9.50 a day and that includes two rental rods, not a bad deal at all.
Some anglers have been lucky enough to catch huge tarpon as well on live bait such as bluefish. The pier also offers a restaurant and is part of the Apache Campground complex, making this a great family destination.
17. Pascagoula Beach Park Pier, Mississippi
This pier features 1000 feet of fishing space. This location is well known for the redfish that are pulled out. You do need a fishing license to fish here. There are also great picnic areas and play areas for the kids.
This pier allows you to experience Gulf of Mexico fishing from the opposite side of the state of the Mississippi River delta. This park is highly reviewed and should be a calm and peaceful experience, as it isn’t as commercialized as many other piers on this list.
18. Simons Island Pier, Georgia
St. Simons is already an island well-known for its incredible fishing. This fantastic pier only helps its claim as one of the best fishing spots in the southern United States. The pier offers species of fish such as redfish, sea trout, and sharks. The pier is also well-lit at night and has water hoses available for those who need to clean their fish on the pier.
The pier offers beautiful views of the neighboring Jekyll Island as well and this pier, although not overly packed like others on this list, is still a very social spot for many locals in the area.
19. Gulf State Park Pier, Alabama
This pier is the second largest pier on the Gulf of Mexico, measuring 1540 feet in length. The impressive pier replaces an older one that was demolished by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The pier features a bait and tackle shop and fish cleaning stations on the pier.
The pier costs $9 to fish for a day and rod and reel rentals are available for $10 every 4 hours and $20 for the day. Locals recommend using the same bait and tackle that you would for bass fishing, and you’ll pull in species such as pompano, flounder, whiting, sheepshead, sea trout, and redfish.
20. Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, Virginia
The Virginia Beach pier and boardwalk is one of the older piers on our list, being over 70 years old, but it still offers amazing fishing and views. From the pier, you can catch fish such as cobia, mackerel, striper, roundhead and sea trout.
There are regular fishing reports for the pier posted on vabeachfishingpier.com so that you can see what the hot catches are at that time and prepare accordingly. There are also clean restrooms on-site and those who reviewed this boardwalk have described it as a “fisherman’s paradise.” Prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12.
What’s Your Favorite Fishing Pier?
Well, that’s it. Keep in mind that this list, like most things in life, is subjective. You may have some of the piers on your own mental list, or you may have an altogether completely different one. Sometimes some of the smaller and less known spots are the best, and we certainly have not fished every pier in the country.
With that, if you happen to have a pier not featured here that you feel belongs on the list, tell us about it in the comment box and why it should have made the cut. Tight lines and be safe!
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