Jetty Fishing Tips

Fishing from a jetty can be a great way to target a wide range of fish that come to inlets and jetty areas to feed. Some common fish species that are often caught around jetties are bluefish, striped bass (rockfish), little tunny (bonito), speckled trout, and red fish.

All these fish are predators that come to the jetties and inlets due to large amounts of baitfish that are attracted to the currents and deeper water in these areas. But before you head out to a jetty to fish there are some important things to keep in mind including safety, fishing gear, and clothing.

Jetty Fishing Tips

  • Safety - Jetties are DANGEROUS due to the slippery rocks and hard currents that flow around them and through the inlets. Never try to venture out on a jetty during the night without first inspecting it during the day. Always have a good pair of shoes with traction and you may want to consider buying a pair of Korkers or a pair of Teva Lava Falls shoes, which will help to grip the slippery rocks. If the rocks are quite mossy then creepers are a must, which are metal cleats that go over your boots. Always try to fish with a buddy and have a personal flotation device just in case you go into the water. You never want to wear waders when fishing on a jetty, if you fall in with waders they will fill up and suck you to the bottom and out to sea.

  • Rod & Reel - A good rod length for jetting fishing is from 7 to 8 1/2 feet in length and you will want a reel that can handle 15 to 20 lb test. My jetty rod is an 8 foot spinning Tsunami Surf Rod with an Okuma spinning reel that is spooled with 15 lb test then connected to a shock leader which is 25 lb test. I don't use as heavy of a shock leader when fishing from jetties due to I mostly throw lures when fishing from jetties.
  • Lures - I prefer to fishing with lures when fishing from jetties such as top water poppers, swim baits, spec rigs, and spoons. My favorite lure by far is the popper nothing is more fun than fishing a popper off a jetty and watching a striped bass or bluefish bust it up on top of the water. Also Spec Rigs are very popular when fishing from a jetty, a Spec Rig is simply two jigs tied on a single leader. To fish Spec Rigs you simply throw them out and let them sink and reel in. Spoons are best fished when schools of baitfish move into the inlet and then fished under the school by either reeling them in slowly or jigged under the school of baitfish, a great spoon is the Luhr Jensen Crippled Hearing. The swim baits I prefer is Storms Swim Shad in the color bunker or shad, these are best fished by casting them out then allow them to sink some and reel them in slowly or jig just above the rocks.
  • Bottom Fishing - If you choose to bottom fish around jetties be prepared to get snagged in the rocks, but you can limit how much you get snagged by using a bank sinker which will roll over the rocks and not get snagged so easily. A bank sinker that is 2 oz is popular but depending on the current you may need to use heavier. If you are fishing around a jetty that only has a sandy bottom you then will want to use a pyramid shaped sinker or hurricane sinker to hold the bottom.
  • Float Fishing (Bobber) - Using a bobber around inlets is a great way to target fish such as speckled trout. The bobber will keep your bait up off the bottom and away from snagged. Minnows, Mud Minnows, Spot, and small Bunker are great to hang from a bobber in search of some beautiful fish. The great thing about fishing a bobber in an inlet is the current you will want to allow your bobber to dead drift in the current then reel in then cast out up current and allow it to drift again. This style of fishing is much like a steelhead angler does on a river, and is very effective on speckled trout.


Good Luck and Tight Lines !!!