For a land mass shaped like its original chief export — fish — it’s unsurprising that Long Island has so many ideal places where anglers can drop a line to catch some.
While seasoned fishermen and fisherwomen sometimes prefer to keep their favorite spots under wraps, some of the best spots are not hard to find and are often hidden in plain sight, overlooked by longtime residents.
Whether fishing for dinner, the sport of it, or simply trying to get some fresh air while remaining socially distant during the coronavirus pandemic, here’s a beginner’s guide to LI’s most notable fishing piers.
CAPTREE STATE PARK
Renowned for its fleet of charter boats that take groups of anglers out to fish in open water on the Great South Bay or Atlantic Ocean, this New York State park is also home to a lengthy bayside fishing pier on the easternmost tip of Jones Beach Island. The park is such a popular fishing destination that its bait and tackle shop has won awards and it offers a bait vending machine. 3500 Ocean Pkwy., Bay Shore, parks.ny.gov
CEDAR BEACH FISHING PIER AREA
Not to be confused with the Cedar Beaches on Long Island’s South Shore, this fishing pier offers direct access to the Long Island Sound on the North Shore and its abundant fish justwaiting to be caught. Cedar Beach Town Nature Preserve, Harbor Beach Rd., Mount Sinai.
GREEN ISLAND FISHING PIER
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 uninhabited Green Island and surrounding waters, which are well stocked with fish. Wantagh Pkwy., Wantagh.
JONES BEACH STATE PARK FIELD 10
Since the most-visited park on Long Island — and one of the most popular statewide — is also one of the region’s largest parks, it is full of hidden gems. While most visitors gravitate toward the oceanfront or only visit the bayside for concerts at the amphitheater, the north side of Bay Parkway just west of Wantagh Parkway is the Field 10 fishing pier, less than a mile from Jones Inlet and the many fish it attracts. 2400 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh, parks.ny.gov
As with Jones Beach, visitors destined for Long Beach most often head to the oceanfront boardwalk that’s the heart of the action. But just outside the City by the Sea’s recreation center is an L-shaped municipal fishing pier located near where Reynolds Channel meets Broad Channel. Unlike the fishing pier lots at state parks, parking at this hotspot is free. 700 Magnolia Blvd., Long Beach, longbeachny.gov
OAK BEACH PARK
Not only are the views amazing at this passive Town of Babylon-run park directly overlooking the Fire Island Inlet, but its proximity to the meeting of the ocean and bay makes for some notable fishing. Parking is also free. Ocean Pkwy., Oak Beach.
ROBERT MOSES STATE PARK
Located right on the opposite side of the Fire Island Inlet from Oak Beach, Robert Moses State Park, located on the westernmost tip of Fire Island, also boasts a popular fishing pier jutting out into well-stocked waters. Anglers can park at Field 3 and walk through the pedestrian tunnel to the bay side to get to the pier. Robert Moses State Park, Field 3, Babylon, parks.ny.gov
SMITH POINT COUNTY PARK
Located near the easternmost tip of Fire Island, this fishing pier jutting out into Narrow Bay is one of the newer additions to the local fishing scene. Smith Point County Park, 1 William Floyd Pkwy., Shirley. suffolkcountyny.gov
STONY BROOK FISHING DOCK
Located near where Stony Brook meets Smithtown Bay, this fishing dock near the Stony Brook Yacht Club is a North Shore hidden gem among local anglers looking for a spot to call their own without too much competition. Shore Rd., Stony Brook.
TOWN DOCK PARK
Think the only fishing action is on the South Shore? Think again. At this pier jutting out into Manhasset Bay, anglers can snag many of the same fish as at the South Shore, including fluke, snapper, and striped bass, depending upon the season. Main Street, Port Washington, northhempsteadny.gov
BEWARE OF REGULATIONS
In New York State, saltwater anglers must enroll in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry, which is free. To register, visit dec.ny.gov/permits/54950.html Many piers require night fishing permits for those looking to cast off after sundown.
A fishing license is required to fish in freshwater — inland bodies of water, such as Hempstead Lake or the Connetquot River — for anyone older than 16.
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For more guides to Long Island, visit longislandpress.com/category/everything-long-island