The northeast’s beaches and shorelines are what most would consider “rocky terrain.” In fact, a large portion of the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts coastlines are dotted with boulders, rocks and gravel, creating a terrific habitat for the predator fish and their food of choice. While fishing the nearby beaches and their connected rock piles, another man-made rock structure cannot be disregarded by the angler.
Curbing beach erosion, stopping storm surges from doing more damage and creating causeways into rivers and salt ponds, the jetty was created by human hands. Of course we all understand this rational, and it’s helpful that the fisherman understands that at one point or another, these areas are going to be rich ground for some great fishing.
Baitfishes often spend their final moments of life up against the walls of these jetties. In fact, bluefish, striped bass, weakfish and false albacore love these areas simply because they are rife with turbulent waters that are fast moving. The baitfish become confused in these areas and turn out to be an easy meal for a hungry school of predators. One reason they are so close to the walls of the jetty is that the water is generally most turbulent in that area.
The jetty has become home to whelks, mussels and periwinkles and they are often joined by scup and tautogs. These fish love the jetty for the protection they believe it offers – initially they feed of the algae and moss but eventually they feed on each other. The jetty does offer a significant advantage to them – the rocks allow them to nestle in and stay away from their larger predators.
The ideal time for fishing at the jetty is high tide. In fact, the closer you can start fishing to high tide the more abundant your catch will be. Baitfish tend to be more focused during this time as the water is even more turbulent and they tend to need to stay more focused to keep their bearings. Causeways that lead to local rivers and ponds will be filled with baitfish as the tide ebbs and flows.
Blackfish and porgy are normally easy to catch, as they rarely roam very far from the rock walls. They have everything they need to survive there in the rocks. You can take advantage of this by making shorter casts and not using unnecessary amounts of weight to present your baits.
One overlooked necessity in jetty fishing is safety equipment. While safety at all times should be a first consideration on every fishing trip, fishing a jetty means additional safety precautions you might not think about for shore fishing. As with any fishing, a personal flotation device is a must. Don’t try fishing without one at any time, but especially if you are fishing a jetty. Remember, these waters are extremely turbulent and you could turn an afternoon of fishing enjoyment into an afternoon of disaster without taking the proper precautions. If you are planning on jetty fishing you will want to invest in a pair of cleats. Algae and moss are rich on these rocky surfaces which remain wet almost the entire season. A misstep can easily cause a broken arm, a broken leg or a broken ankle or other more critical injuries. Common sense precautions can keep you safe during your fishing trip and the minor expenses involved in securing this gear can save your life.
Beach and jetty fishing in the northeast offer great opportunities for fishing. You can get the best of both in one day by visiting the great shorelines that are found here. If you start off fishing for blackfish and decide it’s time for a bluefish or striper, they are not too far away. The shores of the northeast offer a lot of opportunities for a memorable fishing trip for you, your friends and you family. Don’t miss out on these great opportunities.