Hot Spot: Green Island Fishing Pier - The Fisherman

Hot Spot: Green Island Fishing Pier

Ample fishing space is available at Green Island Fishing Pier.

Back when I was 17 years old, some 45 years ago when I first got my driver’s license, one of my very favorite places to fish was alongside the third Wantagh bridge heading southbound. I would ditch my car on the side of the road next to the bridge, practically on the tall marsh grass, hoping the State Troopers wouldn’t spot it and toss me off the bridge once again after countless amounts of times of being tossed off.

Back then, flounder, blackfish, and striper fishing were second to none as the start of the ebb tide produced super flounder fishing. Then as the current picked up steam, fiddler crabs next to the abutments produced as many 2 to 3-pound tog you cared to catch. Oftentimes, however, the fishing was short-lived as Mr. Trooper would toss us off and threaten to ticket a couple of kids minding their business just fishing. Well, today, providing you have a New York State Sport Fishing Permit or a Beach Vehicle Permit, you can sinker bounce at the Green Island Fishing Pier or surfcast anywhere on the marshland you desire hassle-free, which is a stone’s throw from my old hot spot and produces similar results.

Located at the north side of the third bridge on the southbound side of the Wantagh State Parkway just north of Jones Beach, this fishing pier offers anglers access to the entire slew of uninhabited Green Island and surrounding waters, which are well-established with a variety of game and bottom fish. Funneling through Jones Inlet, the maze of marshes and channels has long been a haven for most of the inshore species that frequent the Island’s South Shore waters. For many of the species, especially blackfish and striped bass, both the Meadowbrook and Wantagh Bridges are the perfect stopover for a quick snack or seasonal residency to feed on the abundance of mollusk and shellfish to keep the bottom dwellers happy.

Fluke are the mainstay during the spring and summer, with pink and white Spro Bucktails between a 1/2 and 1 ounce cast away from the pier and bounced back slowly should catch your share. Try fishing the first or last hour of the tide for the best results, as the current usually moves hard through the abutments. Once the tide peaks, you may want to move down to the grass, where the current can be much slower in areas. Don’t forget the bug spray.

September and October can be very exciting at the pier as bottom rigs baited with clams, worms, squid, and crabs can produce just about anything from local and southern waters. Striper action in this area is well popularized, with the distant parking area giving surfcasters access to miles of productive shoreline surrounding both the second and third Wantagh bridges. Bucktails or soft plastics worked along the bridges’ shadow lines from early May through November on night tides. Topwater plugs and swimming plugs can be especially effective at first light when working from the banks east and west of the parking area. Bluefish are always a possibility in this area, especially when schools of bunker settle into the channels. The pier is located on the southwest corner of the third Wantagh Bridge at the southern tip of Green Island. The pier runs under and perpendicular to the bridge. Access is from the extreme right lane of the toll booths just south of the Second Wantagh Bridge. Permits are available at the Jones Beach and Robert Moses administration offices, as well as the permit office located at State Park Headquarters in Belmont Lake State Park.



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