September 3, 2019
One of my family’s favorite Florida cities is without a doubt Fernandina Beach. We have family living in the area, and are often checking out as much of the town as we can whenever we visit. From the kids’ favorite, Townie’s Pizzeria, to the quaint ice cream store in the downtown area – Fernandina Beach is a great place for your next family vacation.
While heading to town be sure to pack your fishing gear and check out the local pier options. There are two in the area: Fort Clinch State Park Pier and George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier.
This mile-long bridge spans Nassau Sound and provides access to one of the best fishing areas in Northeast Florida. Anglers catch a variety of species, including Redfish, Whiting, Spotted Seatrout, Tarpon, and Flounder to name a few. This bridge is open 365 days a year, 24/7 – so no matter when you’re in town be sure to check it out!
The bridge is for pedestrians only (and no pets are allowed). There’s a tackle shop on site that offers bait and tackle, along with snacks and drinks. Bait can also be caught along the shores with a castnet or off the bridge with a sabiki rig. Along the south end of the bridge are some flats with a nice array of species. If you’re looking for Tarpon, they follow the fall mullet run into the Sound and feast before continuing their migration south for warmers waters.
George Crady Bridge is a great spot for your family to spend the day: Whether you’re fishing or simply enjoying the panoramic views of all that nature has to offer! Get ready to see some black tip sharks, bottlenose dolphins, and even some sea turtles! Bring your camera to enjoy the day and capture the memories!
You can access this bridge through Amelia Island State Park. This beautiful state park has 200 acres of beaches, marshes, and forests. Bring your family to truly enjoy the Florida wildlife, walk along the beaches, enjoy kayaking the shallow waters, or even try horseback riding. If you’d like to skip the pier, surf fishing from the shore is an option as well. That being said, the mile-long bridge provides access to better fishing and more diverse species.
Visiting Fort Clinch State Park is another great way for your family to spend a vacation day. From the pier you can see Georgia state coastline to the North, or take the family to explore the historical fort, or walk the jetties on the shore. It’s a fun place to visit, and even better to fish!
The Fort Clinch Pier is a half mile long and juts out into the Cumberland Sound. The park is open at 8am and closes each day at sundown; entry to the state park is $6 per car. You can fish for Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Flounder, Sheepshead, Black Drum, and more. Again, you can catch your own bait off the jetties or in the smaller creeks before claiming your spot on the pier.
Those not fishing will still enjoy the pier as you’re sure to see some wildlife along the way, including manatees, sharks, and sea turtles. The kids especially enjoy the jetties when the tide is out, as there’s tons of small fish and crabs to find in your explorations.
Before you get ready for your Fernandina Beach Pier fishing excursion, make sure you bring the right equipment. A spinning rod is best for casting a lure or bait further into the waters. If you prefer just dropping your bait by the pilings, a conventional reel will work just fine. You will also want a pier landing net that has plenty of room and rope to haul in your catch over the rails depending on the fish that you’re targeting. Don’t forget a chair for comfort, and of course a cooler to keep your catch fresh til dinner.
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