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OCEAN CITY PIERS

Some of the Ocean City Piers are remnants of old time bridges that were cut and left for the general public to utilize as fishing platforms, but others are brand spanking new additions in a well planned, fisherman-friendly design.
By Nick Honachefsky
OCEAN CITY PIERS
The Ocean City Piers at both the Longport Bridge and 9th Street Bridge from Somers Point offer outstanding shore-based angling for a variety of species including tautog.

There are three main piers in Ocean City; the OC/Longport Pier, the “Beer Pier” on the north side of the 9th Street Causeway, and the 9th Street Bridge Piers that exist midway over the causeway.

The 9th Street Bridge connects Somers Point to Ocean City and is the largest and most accessible bridge and pier structure, spanning over Elbow Channel, Rainbow Channel and the ICW. Newly designed piers all along the 9th Street Bridge allow shore-based anglers to access Rainbow Channel and Elbow Channel, letting anglers who don’t have access to a boat to fish those prolific grounds.

Midway over the 9th Street Bridge you can make a right turn and access the middle pier, one end to fish Elbow Channel, the other end to fish Rainbow Channel. The Elbow Channel part of the 9th Street Bridge Pier is also a fluking hot spot as sandbars have formed that come up to a precarious 3-foot with drop-offs right back into 15 to 18 feet. The south side pier extension gets you into Rainbow Channel’s depths to pluck bass and flounder out of the near 25-foot depths.

Overall, there is plenty of parking available and this comprehensive bridge/pier design offers excellent access for anglers casting rubber baits, plugs, poppers and plastics for weakfish, striped bass and bluefish, as well as launching out bottom rigs for summer flounder.

The “Beer Pier” that exists at the base of the 9th Street Bridge on the north Somers Point side, abuts up to where Circle Liquors stands, thus garnering its local name. Mainly, this pier is a prime spot to target fluke in Ship Channel during the late summer as you can cast off the very end of the cement walkway into the deep 30-foot range right off the pier. Near the base of the Beer Pier, you can be in the shallows of 4 to 6 feet to find the flatties in the springtime.

Striper anglers will cast clams on fishfinder slide rigs off the end of the pier during spring and summer and the catwalk underneath the bridge allows for anglers to cast plastics for striped bass or drop down green crabs and clams for blackfish now that marine growth such as mussels and barnacles have colonized on all the pilings that attract the tog to the area.

The OC/Longport Pier connects Longport to the north end of Ocean City, and exists across from “dog beach” also known as Malibu Beach, spanning the entrance to Great Egg Inlet into Great Egg Harbor Bay. As the pier is actually the leftover remnants of the old bridge, it has had years of time to grow coral, algae, mollusk and crustacean colonies to its concrete, as well as having little minefields of rebar and concrete footings leftover from the old bridge dotted in the surrounding waters, both of which make it a red hot spot for blackfish and sheepshead, especially during the late summer and early fall months.

The base of the pier is abutted by plenty of riprap rocks of which there are large populations of Asian crabs that attract tog, stripers and even triggerfish. Midway on the pier, the stanchions are surrounded by snaggy rocks, while the end of the pier you can cast out into the inlet area and hit the satellite rockpiles that exist from the old bridge stanchions. Look up this pier for blackfish, but also give it a good shot for sheepshead in late summer and fall by dropping calico crabs or clam baits off the end of the pier, or cast toward the concrete bridge abutments of the new bridge, to find them hiding out.

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