7 Best Fishing Piers in NJ
May 26, 2020 | 6 minute read Comments
Reading Time: 6 minutes

The coastal waters of New Jersey are an incredible place to go fishing. Bluefish, Stripers, Weakfish, Fluke  – the Garden State is a treasure trove of big, tasty fish. And what better way to target them than pier fishing? With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to some of the best fishing piers in NJ, working our way down the coastline from Raritan Bay to Delaware Bay.

Carteret Fishing Pier

An angler in a white shirt and cap holding up a Striped Bass he caught while pier fishing
Source: CGBG_Hoser, Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

Address: Waterfront Fitness Trail, Carteret, NJ 07008

Opening hours: 24/7

Cost: Free!

If you’re looking for big Striped Bass and great family fun, Carteret Fishing Pier is the place for you. Nestled in Arthur Kill, looking across to Staten Island, the pier offers some great catches of trophy Stripers, doormat Fluke, Dogfish, and more. 

Carteret Pier has a large deck with a pier extension running parallel with the strait. This means no fighting for space in one spot, as everybody’s fishing in the same depth of water. It also means that you’re guaranteed a great view of Staten Island as you fish.

The best thing about Carteret Pier is that it’s just one part of the town’s Waterfront Park. Back on dry land, you’ve got everything you need to really make a day of it. There’s a putting green, picnic area, restrooms, playground – plenty to keep the family busy while you reel in trophy Stripers!

Keyport Fishing Pier

An aerial view of Keyport, NJ, with a fishing beach, small marina, beach and houses in the distance

Address: 1 American Legion Dr, Keyport, NJ 07735

Opening hours: 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Cost: Free!

Keyport Fishing Pier is a short-but-spacious public pier with a covered shelter for extra comfort. It’s a decent place to reel in Stripers and Bluefish, but its main appeal is the big numbers of Crab hiding in the murky waters of Matawan Creek. Drop some traps before you make your casts and you’re sure to be heading home with something tasty.

There’s more to enjoy here than the pier itself. Take a stroll around the Waterfront Park and paddle in the sea. Head down to Keyport Farmers Market to browse the stalls, then over to Fireman’s Fair to jump on a ride or pick up some food. That is, if you’re not saving space for a crab dinner!

Keansburg Fishing Pier

An aerial view of Keansburg Fishing Pier in New Jersey, with the town's waterpark and beach visible at the top
Source: USACE NY, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Address: 275 Beachway Ave, Keansburg, NJ 07734

Opening hours: Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. or dark. Saturday–Sunday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. or dark.

Cost: $8 for adults, $5 for children (under 48 inches), $1 to walk the pier.

Keansburg Fishing Pier has everything you need, all in one place. A classic wooden pier stretching almost 2,000 feet into Raritan Bay. A tackle shop with rod rental and fresh and frozen bait. Stunning views out across the water. On top of that, the pier’s right next to Keansburg Amusement Park, with more rides, slides, and tasty eateries than you’ll know what to do with.

On a good day, you can expect to find anything from Bluefish, Stripers, Flounder, and Fluke, to Sea Robins, Rays, and Horseshoe Crabs. The fishing on Keansburg Pier can be hit and miss, though, and the pier may close in bad weather, even if it’s just a little rain. It’s best to check their Facebook page for an update on the opening hours and the previous day’s catch.

Bayshore Waterfront Park

A boardwalk leading down to a fishing pier in Bayshore Waterfront Park, NJ. The New York skyline is visible on the horizon.

Address: 719 Port Monmouth Rd, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. to dusk

Cost: Free!

There’s a lot to love about Bayshore Waterfront Park. You can park and wander in without having to pay a penny. There’s over 200 acres of shaded park and yellow sands to explore. The crowning jewel? A 500’ pier with wheelchair access and a view of the New York skyline in the distance.

Spend the morning reeling in the classic mix of Stripers, Blues, and Flatfish that all the best fishing piers in NJ offer. Take a break and enjoy some lunch in the large picnic area (there are always plenty of benches free). Round off the day with one of the many fun activities held throughout the summer, then head home to cook up your catch. Talk about a great day out!

John C. Bartlett, Jr. County Park

A wooden pier stretching into the water, with the sun setting behind it.

Address: 399 Brennan Concourse, Bayville, NJ 08721

Opening hours: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Cost: Free!

John C. Bartlett, Jr. County Park took a big hit from Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. Since then, the park has been completely reworked, with a spray park for the kids, covered picnic areas for a scenic lunch, a safe swimming area to cool off, and more.

By more, we mean a brand new pier with some of the best fishing in Barnegat Bay. Big Weakfish join the already star-studded cast of Striped Bass, Bluefish, and Winter and Summer Flounder. Whether you’re after a Barnegat Bay Slam (Striped Bass, Bluefish, and Fluke) or you just want to reel in some dinner, this is a great spot to spend the day.

Ventnor City Fishing Pier

A view along Ventnor City Fishing Pier, one of the longest fishing piers in NJ, with the sun setting into the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

Address: S Cambridge Ave & Boardwalk, Ventnor City, NJ 08406

Opening hours: 24/7

Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, vets, and children ages 10–17. $5 for non-anglers. Children under 10 not permitted.

Ventnor City Fishing Pier is one of the last ocean-facing piers in New Jersey. At least, it’s one of the last ones that you can fish without joining the waiting list for a fishing club. Sitting just down the coast from Atlantic City, Ventnor City Pier extends 1,000 feet out into the Atlantic. It’s the farthest you can get out to sea in NJ without boarding a boat. 

For safety reasons, the pier doesn’t allow children under 10 past the gates. That may rule it out for some people, but for others, it’s the perfect excuse to fish in peace for a couple of hours while the family enjoys the beach. And boy, is it a good place to fish!

Fishing in the ocean gives you a whole new list of fish to target. Depending on when you visit, you might find Black Seabass, Tautog (Blackfish), Sheepshead – even Thresher Sharks show up every once in a while. Whatever you catch, the pier is equipped to handle it, with cleaning tables, lights, and plenty of benches.

Grassy Sound Marina Pier

A bridge over the Grassy Sound in New Jersey, with a fishing pier and marina behind and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance

Address: 13 Old. N Wildwood Blvd, Wildwood, NJ 08260

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Cost: $6 for adults, $3 for kids and non-anglers. Weekly, monthly, and yearly passes available.

Grassy Sound Marina Pier is your last chance to fish before you run out of land. Way down on the Cape May Peninsula, this pier and marina combines into a one-stop-shop for all things fishy. You’ll find bait, tackle, and crabbing supplies, as well as rod and trap rental, drinks and snacks, cleaning stations, and restrooms. All you need to bring is the strength to reel in some fish.

The pier itself is a wide, wooden platform sheltered in the Grassy Sound. It’s only 285 feet long, but it’s 24 feet wide, giving every angler space to move around without getting in anyone’s way. You can find a variety of species here, including delicacies like Blue Claw Crab. All in all, it’s a great spot to roll up and catch some fish, especially if you don’t have your own gear with you.

NJ Pier Fishing: a Fun Way to Spend the Day

Pier fishing is the perfect way to fill your cooler on a budget – especially in New Jersey. You don’t need a license to fish in saltwater here. All you need to do is sign up to the saltwater registry program, which is completely free. Head to any one of these spots, and you’re in for a ton of fun, a few new friendships, and hopefully, a trunkful of tasty fish!

What are your favorite fishing piers in NJ? Which of the ones on our list have you visited? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Comments (7)
  • Stephen Kratzer

    Jul 27, 2019

    Just an fyi Keansburg pier will not open in rain or even a chance of rain. We drove 2 hours and waited an extra 2 hours (( for an update or someone to open the parking lot gates )) only to find that one out the hard way . We ended up at bayside park but that was cramped for a family of 4 . I just don’t want that to happen to anyone else coming a nice distance away like we did . I thought bad weather constituted as thunder storms high winds or snow and ice. BUT It spit at 7am and rain held off till 9pm so who knows.

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      Jul 29, 2019

      Hi Stephen,

      Sorry to hear that. Thanks for letting us know.

      I’ve updated the article to make sure people are aware in the future.

      I hope your next trip goes better!

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  • Dcole

    Sep 3, 2020

    I went with my family to 4 of the piers one weekend because we have family member that is in a wheelchair.
    1. Carteret waterfront pier
    2. Bayshore waterfront park
    3 Keyport fishing Pier
    4. John C Bartlett county park

    They are nice areas and definitely social distancing is practiced. Not a lot of people wearing mask but enough room to get around.

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      Sep 3, 2020

      Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      It’s hard to know what the situation is at the moment, so it’s great to hear that you had a good time.

      Did you catch anything good?

      All the best!

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      Sep 4, 2020

      No we didn’t catch anything but we also watch other and someone caught a crab.

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  • John F.

    Sep 29, 2020

    I’ve been to Carteret Pier almost a hundred times and not even a bite. It’s a huge beautiful pier with a nice park and all kinds of things to do, just no fish. Ever smh

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      Sep 30, 2020

      Hi John,

      Wow, that’s some real hard luck! What are you mainly targeting?

      At least you have the view and the park to keep you entertained!

      Tight lines!

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