Nobody knows Brigantine Beach better than Andy Grossman of Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine as his shop is literally steps to the sands. Brigantine Beach sits between Atlantic City and the south end of LBI, bookended by Wreck Inlet to the north and Absecon Inlet to the south.
“Spring through fall, species may change, but fishing remains hot,” said Grossman, who added “Generally speaking, spring and fall we have plenty of stripers, black drum and bluefish, while during the summer months it’s a mix of fluke, kingfish, spot, sharks and stingrays. At the jetties you can also find tog spring through fall.”
“Starting at the south end Jetty, walk about three-quarters of the way out to find deeper water where tautog are hanging out,” Grossman advised. “If you fish closer to the houses on shore, the waters get shallow in the inlet and you can get a lot more fluke there,” he added. In the fall, bait gets trapped in that south pocket on the oceanside and striper fishing ramps up there on plugs and metals. “In 2020 we really had a fantastic year on bass around there, it hadn’t been that good since Sandy,” Grossman said.
The next hot spot is around 38th Street. “That area there has shifting holes in the spring and fall and it’s a great place to launch out Riptide Rotter clams to tackle striped bass and black drum that can sometimes get up over 50 pounds,” Grossman said, explaining how in the summertime, brown, sand tiger, blacktip and dusky sharks along with roughtail stingrays, cow nosed rays and southern stingrays all move into that particular area.
The middle streets are generally more crowded as they are the bathing beaches, but Grossman then recommends the 11th Street location for another good area. “There are submerged pilings from an old jetty there on 11th and in the spring it holds stripers, but in the summer it’s a fluke magnet,” he said, reporting that there are a lot of kingfish in the summer as well. “Early season they seem to eat up bloodworms on the hi-lo pill float rigs then Fishbites seem to work better from mid-summer on,” advised Grossman, adding “Be careful though as you can lose a lot of rigs on the piling stumps if you aren’t careful.”
From 11th Street is the “North End”, where there are 10 blocks of cement seawall where anglers can park and walk on the beach. “You can walk or drive 1-1/2 miles on the north end and there are pilings form the old Coast Guard station there as well that are submerged,” said Grossman, adding “In 2021, there were a ton of keeper fluke caught in that area. Once you get there you are basically near Wreck Inlet and guys will usually try for black drum in the spring or sharks during the summer up that way.”
Beach Buggy access is permitted on Brigantine Beach so long as you buy the town permit and also have the Riptide Beach Permit which allows you to drive on Front Beach. Grossman runs his Riptide Striper Derby after Labor Day where the Riptide Beach permit is used to access the part of the beach you normally cannot drive upon. Be sure to enter the Derby this year as money goes to local charities in the area to help the community out.
Brigantine Beach is not just a place to look at the blinking lights of Atlantic City; it’s lit up with surf fishing action and often a bit off the beaten track.