Saltwater Pier Fishing On Jekyll Island Pier

Now this is a cool bait and tackle shop!
Now this is a cool bait and tackle shop!

The Jekyll Island Pier

Although Jekyll Island--one of Georgia’s beautiful Golden Isles--is primarily known as being the setting for the Jekyll Island Club, once the most exclusive club in the world, it also is a prime fishing spot for those of us who wish to enjoy a leisurely and economical day of fishing. Besides, the Georgia State Record flounder was caught from this very pier.

Pier fishing is great for all members of the family because of easy accessibility, safety, restroom facilities, refreshments and fishing tackle, all close to hand. Don’t let anyone fool you, there are plenty of fish to be taken around the pier and on the adjacent beaches if you like to try pulling a seine.

We caught several species of fish during the two afternoons we visited the Jekyll Island pier, not to mention, plenty of blue crab and several nice stone crab too. We unloaded out gear at the entrance to the pier and only walked 30 or 40 feet to a spot we--my wife and I--both agreed looked promising for both of our preferred fishing methods.

Not Just A Fishing Pier!

Along the way to the Jekyll Island Pier you pass wonderful scenery such as this marsh area.
Along the way to the Jekyll Island Pier you pass wonderful scenery such as this marsh area.
Have a picnic at scenic spots alongside the road leading to the pier.
Have a picnic at scenic spots alongside the road leading to the pier.
Those aren't ripples in the water, they're schools of mullet.
Those aren't ripples in the water, they're schools of mullet.

Getting To the Pier

Since we were staying at the Jekyll Island Campground, we merely had to drive across the road to enter the quarter mile entrance road along beautiful marshes to reach the pier.

There are wonderful spots to picnic and nature trails to follow for those who don’t want to fish. There is all manner of wildlife to see along with the natural beauty of the site.

The first thing I noticed when I approached the parking area was the multitudes of mullet going around the point and directly under the pier close to shore.

I couldn’t wait to cast my net for both large mullet to smoke or small mullet to use for live bait. I would tire of throwing the net and catching mullet before my two days were over.

In the meantime, Beth had hit the jackpot with her crab basket catching both blue and stone crab. She was joined by several other ladies and they all seemed to enjoy their impromptu “crab and gab” party.

No kidding, you meet some great people while pier fishing which often leads to seeing them again on later visits to the Jekyll Island Pier as well as to the campground.

Since we love both camping, fishing, and history this is an ideal spot for us to visit as often as we get the chance.

Driftwood beach is located at the pier and is a popular spot for both fishing and sunbathing.
Driftwood beach is located at the pier and is a popular spot for both fishing and sunbathing.
Seining for mullet and shrimp on Driftwood beach near the Jekyll Island pier
Seining for mullet and shrimp on Driftwood beach near the Jekyll Island pier

Fishing, Friends, Flounder, and Fun!

I met a couple of guys on the pier who I quickly fell into conversation with while we fished and shared a few beers. I had cast my net numerous times already and had a cooler full of big mullet (Beth neglected to tell me this was our beverage ice DOH!) but none small enough to use for live bait.

My new friend Steve offered to let me use some mud minnows he had caught in a trap earlier, so I was happy. I am almost embarrassed to buy live bait since I love to throw a net, it’s a manthing-o my wife tells me. I just tell her I like to live off of nature’s bounty. “Yeah right” she says. But the word “cheap” was never mentioned.

The flounder, trout, sheephead and whiting were biting well and an occasional shark was hooked as well. One lady even caught a flounder in her open basket crab trap. Because the mullet were teeming in the area, there were a few folks pulling a 50 ft. seine on Driftwood Beach, which is adjacent to the pier, and having great success at their venture.

Easy access and plenty of fish makes this spot perfect for the casual angler and his family.
Easy access and plenty of fish makes this spot perfect for the casual angler and his family.

Required Bait and Tackle

The type of fishing gear required for pier fishing depends on what type of fishing you plan to do. I would suggest always using a steel leader when pier fishing because of the barnacles on the pilings and because most saltwater fish have very sharp teeth. It is very frustrating to lose a nice fish when the leader is cut or abraded and the line separates.

At least 20 lb. line is recommended as well as plenty of weight as the tides here can be very strong when going in or out. If you are capable of throwing a cast net it is possible to catch not only live bait of mullet or shrimp, but eating size fish too. A 5’ or 6’ ft.--10’ to 12’ diameter when open--cast net is plenty big.

A floating minnow bucket or battery powered aerator will come in handy for keeping your minnows or shrimp alive until you hook that monster flounder while casting around the pilings. Sheephead and red drum are often caught using fiddler crabs dropped right by the barnacle covered pier pilings.

Another handy item to have is a landing net for hoisting the fish from the water after successfully getting the fish to the pier. Both flounder and spotted sea trout have soft mouths and are often lost when trying to lift them to the pier using only the fishing line. I should know, I learned this lesson the hard way!

Crabs are easily caught in the shallows using a round open crab trap or a box type basket with escape holes for the smaller crabs. Both blue and stone crabs are caught in these waters with the stone crab having one claw removed and returned to the water to grow another until caught again. This same crab may furnish many such delicious claws during its lifetime.


Enjoying the wonderful views is an added perk for non-anglers on the pier.
Enjoying the wonderful views is an added perk for non-anglers on the pier.
Plenty of room for everyone on this pier!
Plenty of room for everyone on this pier!

Convienience Rules!

But the Jekyll Island Pier isn’t just for fisherman and crabbers, there were a few folks simply enjoying the day in the shade as they played dominoes and downed a few adult beverages. Other sightseers meandered along the pier or watched excitedly as I pulled in net after net filled with huge mullet after a particularly large school swam under the pier.

The Jekyll Fishing Center--located near the foot of the pier--not only furnishes bait and tackle, but books several different types of fishing trips in the area. It’s great to be able to buy more ice as well as, bait and snacks without having to walk very far, as is the case in many salt water pier situations.

After we had fished a while, Beth went back to the campsite and returned with Ally, our beloved Jack Russell, who proceeded to charm the other anglers as is her forte. Being a particularly smart dog, she didn’t seem very interested in examining the big crabs up close.

Ally enjoyed the Jekyll Island pier too!
Ally enjoyed the Jekyll Island pier too!

Just before sundown more cars and trucks began to arrive in the parking area. The sunset watchers were coming to stand their vigil as the sky turned from blue to gold and on to a vivid orange as it glowed through the massive Sydney Lanier cable bridge in the distance.

It seemed to be a ritual which we heartily agreed with. What better way to end a perfect day of fishing, crabbing, and talking with fishing friends as the sun slowly painted the skies as no artist could.

Although no one can always guarantee fish on any fishing trip, I believe if one picked his time and tides right he would have a good chance at catching a few fish of some kind on this pier. And if you don’t catch anything?

So what, the beauty of the ocean and unsullied wilderness surrounding the Jekyll Island Pier, and the friends you may make, is well worth the trip. A win-win situation, in my opinion.


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Comments 24 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Hi, Randy

Loved the Hub, as fishing is a great passion of mine and I love reading about different experiences and fish caught around the world. I have to admit that I have never even heard of some of the species you mention but that is also a learning curve and helps fuel the ambition to visit and fish different parts of the world.

Quite a topical Hub this, for me. Although I go boat fishing on the sea and beach casting regularly here in Scotland, it has been a fair few years since I have fished from a pier. (Mostly because so many of them are no more...) However, that is all changing at the end of November when a few of us are having a weekend's pier fishing by day and sampling the delights of the hotel we're staying in's bar by night - I'm looking forward to it. Might even make new friends like you did, as so often happens when we are fishing.

Tight lines!

Gordon


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Thanks for the input, Gordon. Like you, I love all sorts of fishing and used to own a boat for fishing on the salt flats in the nearby Gulf of Mexico.

But for ease of use, a pier is best for a group of family or friends. You probably know the flounder as a sole and the sheephead looks like it is named. It has a mouth resembling a sheep's and the body is striped like a drum.

Yep, it's easy to make friends on a fishing pier as most folks are happy to share their fishing tales.

Thanks for your time and comments and good luck on your upcoming fishing trip!

Randy


diogenes 5 years ago

I was fascinated and made envious in equal ammounts. I used to do a bit of angling in my time. And have used the weighted cast net in Florida (St George Island...worth a visit and not far from you). Its very good exercise too! "Multitudes of Mullet?" If that's not the collective noun it should be...Bob


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Can I come fishing with you guys one day? Looks like a great spot Randy, hope you catch some more big ones


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

@Diogenes-Of course I'm familiar with St. George Island, Bob! I used to spend quite a bit of time in that area, especially around Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe. The fishing is excellent almost anywhere along that stretch of the gulf.

You are right about the exercise one gets when tossing a cast net too. I was worn out after those 2 days at Jekyll.

Thanks as always for checking out my hub and for your time and input.

Randy


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Thanks CM, I would be pleased to go fishing with you anytime. I plan to go back shortly when the roe mullet start running.

Thanks for stopping by and for your time.

Randy


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

Hey Randy - This is good. I love the area. You really stirred some memories. Is it okay to mention the Georgia Pig BBQ on the road in from I95. Back before the highway was finished, we would drive out of our way to go to the little cabin. It was the only restaurant I have ever been to where the cook wasn't wearing a shirt. He only had on his overalls. Of course, they don't do that anymore.

Try a mud minnow under the pier from the water. You might get a fat flounder.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Why heck yeah, WD! I've eaten many a hand chopped barbecue pork sandwich at the Georgia Pig! I always loved the old string of bare light bulbs hanging outside. But with pork cooked that good, who cares about atmosphere.

And I did catch a flounder on a mud minnow, as well as a shark. Thanks for reminding me about the Pig and for your time and comments.

Randy


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

When I tell my husband about your success fishing from the pier at Jekyll Island, he'll be sorry that he didn't get his fishing gear out when we camped there a few years ago! I enjoyed your fishing stories as well as the photographs of this beautiful place.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Thanks, Stephanie! Actually, I am at the Jekyll Island campground right now! I'll be fishing on the pier later today too. Yep, your husband missed a good chance for some great fishing on this pier.

Thanks again for stopping by and for your great input.


summerberrie 3 years ago

We surfed fished on Edisto Island when our kids were younger. Thought I'd write a few hubs on the topic, but before I started thought I'd check and see if you or habee have already written one (can't do better than you two and wouldn't want to try)! Great hub. Hoping to make my way down to Brunswick area soon. Take care. I think I might write a hub on surf fishing for beginners...I see habee has done a great one on bait for surf fishing which is a remarkable hub. Boy, am I ready for summer!!!!!! Happy fishing!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hey Terrie, and thanks for stopping by and commenting on this one. By all means feel free to write about any kind of fishing and don't worry what Hollie and I have covered. There's plenty of room for other angler's experiences on HP, so don't let let that stop you. Sounds great! :)


summerberrie 3 years ago

Thanks Randy. I think I'll leave it well enough alone though. It was fun reading yours and hollies and there are so many others on here too that I've read today. Had no idea. Thought I was being original :) . Remembered y'all had some fishing hubs but were not sure that they were surf fishing ones. Hope you Georgia folks make it though this Hurricane season unscathed!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Oh well, but my fishing hubs don't really do too well anyway.

I'm more worried about the tornadoes as we've already had a couple of very close misses in the last few months. Still, a hurricane is bad news also. Thanks Terrie!


summerberrie 3 years ago

Well, stay clear. I remember a few years ago a tornado touched down near us on hwy 99. Just missed us. Messed up part of the scenic hwy 99 by tearing up some beautiful live oaks. Stay safe.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

We recently had one which traveled over a mile through our farm and barely missed my house by a couple of hundred yards. Even then it stayed a bit off the ground but it still blew down and twisted the tops out of several hundred trees on our property. Scary when you feel your home creaking and hear the noise. I may have to dig a cellar if this keeps up! lol!


summerberrie 3 years ago

I say go ahead and start digging :)


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

I enjoyed the article. Great pictures. This does seem to be a wonderful place to spend the day.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

My favorite fishing pier, Robert! Easy access and great fishing, especially in the fall when the seatrout start running. Thanks for you time and comments, Robert. :)


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

Will you be doing an article on the sea trout run?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

I plan to do a new article about what species of fish are caught on the pier, Robert. The state record flounder was caught on the Jekyll island pier and I've helped land 8+ foot sharks there also. Shrimp are so plentiful you can catch them with a throw net. Both Blue crab and Stone crab can be caught easily at the shallow end of the pier.

When the sea trout start running you'll get weary of pulling them in, but you can always catch a few other times than the main run. As I said, my favorite spot to fish..


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

How much did the record flounder weigh?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

15 lbs. 10 0zs. Caught by a lady, as well.


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

Wow!

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