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LONGPORT JETTY WALL

At the very southern end of Absecon Island lies the quiet, affluent town of Longport. The municipality is often an afterthought to neighboring Margate, Ventnor and Atlantic City, and that’s just how Longport folks would prefer it to stay.
By Capt. Scott Newhall
LONGPORT JETTY WALL
Despite its off-the-beaten path nature, Longport contains some dynamite, land-based fishing opportunities, and the jetty wall lining Atlantic Avenue on the bay side is a great one to talk about.

The jetty wall runs 1/3 of a mile and was recently re-fortified with cement between the boulders due to erosion taking its toll. The cement helped make one of the most even-footed, safe jetty experiences an angler can find. The jetty is situated close to the mouth of GE Inlet, thus most migratory fish have to pass by its edge going to or from the back bays.

Water depths range from shallow shoals right up against the jetty to 20 feet plus for anglers lobbing their lines a little further away. The slow decay of the original rock jetty pulled stones, rocks and boulders away from the main formation, therefore creating a small debris field of structure along the sand. As all anglers know, where there is structure, there is opportunity to score.

Starting in May, anglers have a realistic opportunity to catch a quality weakfish, as pink plastics and the right retrieve can often take tiderunners from 4 to 7 pounds. It’s been said that days with clean water and less turbulence due to boat traffic tossing wakes up against the rocks are best. Serious anglers intent on targeting the resurgent sea trout are best to take their shots at dawn or dusk. Some individuals have even wired the weakfish bite after dark as they surreptitiously stalk during the moonlight hours.

Although, stripers are usually chased at some of Longport’s other jetties, there is a good shot at keepers here if a fisherman drops a clam or bunker chunk into the deeper waters adjacent to the structure. Still other anglers heave pencil poppers and after dark plugs during the spring and summer months for local or migrant bass. Casters pitching their presentations parallel or on a diagonal to the jetty give stripers that swim shallow a chance to ambush the bait. When the water cools down again into the 50s by November, either method works, and the stripers don’t spook as much from daytime boat traffic.

Fluke are, without a doubt, the number one quarry sought at this jetty. Again, Longport is a pretty subdued town most of the year, but in June, July and August life abounds and this rock jetty seas more feet and fishing rods than any other time. Summer flounder dominate the waters immediately off the jetty and can be taken in the shallow areas or in the deep. As fluke begin their offshore migration in July and August, the action can be phenomenal with anglers getting keepers along with plenty of shorts.

Some anglers succeed using standard fishing rigs laced with minnow and squid, while others prefer to cast and retrieve a lightweight bucktail with a strip of meat or Gulp!. Each method works, and works well when the fluke are busting through. Don’t be surprised to snare bluefish in the 1- to 5-pound range when fluke fishing. The blues move through in schools and make the trek along the jetty wall on a regular basis. Carved up on the cutting board, they add to the bait supply if not desired for the table.

Space is abundant here, and one can almost obtain what you could call privacy in a fishing world that can often get crowded. Parking is available footsteps from the jetty wall, but it is often occupied so a walk is sometimes on the agenda, especially during summer months. Scott’s Dock and Captain Andy’s tackle shops are located about five minutes away on Amherst Avenue in Margate; they are the two closest sources for bait and gear for fishermen heading to Longport.

For anglers wanting to get a tasty breakfast before or after their fishing experience, Ozzie’s Luncheonette is just to the south of the jetty wall on the same Atlantic Avenue stretch.

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