This is a wonderfully nice family fishing pier located in the Brick Beach section of the town. Bayside Park is on Route 35 S between Sea Breeze Way to the north and W Marion St to the south. It is directly across the highway from the Municipal Parking Lot in between Route 35 North and South and across from Brick Beach 2 and the Ocean Club on Route 35 N. The Pier, itself is “U” shaped and extends approximately 250 feet out into the Barnegat Bay. There is over 400 feet of waterfront Pier. The entire pier is situated in a cove off of the Barnegat Bay between entrances to the lagoons. The Pier has benches, lights and bait cutting boards. There is a little park in between the actual Pier and has a playground and gazebo. There is a decent size parking lot and parking is free. There is not any bathrooms, which is a major downfall to this park. The pier is open and there are plenty of pilings to tie off to for crabbing. Since the pier starts at the shoreline and goes out, the water goes from less than a foot to 4-6 feet at the end. The distance between the pier and the water line is short, even at low tide. The bottom is mostly sandy with lot of eel grass beds on the north extension of the pier. Towards the end, along the waterfront and the south extension, the bottom is more muddier, but still mixed with sand. There is a channel that runs into the lagoons within casting distance from the south extension. Try and work the shallow area into the channel or from the center of the channel up the ledge to the shallows, since a lot of fish will hold in there looking for a meal. I have not had any problem with snags on the bottom, however, it is the Barnegat Bay so my guess is they are probably there. There isn’t much grass either, only where the eel grass beds are located. Boat traffic is usually to a minimum even at peak times in here.
A 6-7 foot rod with 8-10 lb test is ample enough for fishing in here. You can always go a little heavier if you are throwing bait or working the bottom. All of your favorite bait, bait setups and lures for the bay will work in here. It is fairly shallow, although for the Barnegat Bay, it is average or above average depth. If you are throwing lures no deep swimmers or all you will do is snag the bottom mud. To bottom fish lures, you probably won’t need anything over ½ an ounce to fish properly and if you are throwing bait ½-1 ounce will hold just fine. All of the typical bay species of fish can be caught in here: Snappers and bluefish, stripers, weakfish, fluke, winter flounder, blow fish, and juvenile sea bass, juvenile black drum and juvenile croakers have all been taken from this area. If you are going to weakfish here, bubblegum pink zoom flukes are king or bobbers(lighted for the night) with a chunk of shedder crab, bloodworms or sandworms. This is also a great place to crab. At low tide, you can see them and scap them from the dock. The extensions right at the corners provide the best crabbing most of the time. The north extension has lovely eel grass beds where there are crabs in the 100’s. You can use both traps and drops lines on this side. A nice crab pot, legally placed here, will yield lots of crabs to sort through. On the south extension, both methods of crabbing will work, however a long thrown trap as close to the channel as you can get will produce much bigger crabs, just in smaller numbers. The front pier produces crabs as well, but I have noticed that area is not as productive and hand lines work the best in here dropped directly down or even under the pier. Overall, the entire pier does better early in the morning and on an incoming or high tide, but don’t let that decide if you are going to fish or not. Evening and an outgoing or low tide will produce as well. However, I have noticed that as soon as it is dark, the crabbing completely shuts down as do the snappers. That opens up the window in the summer and fall for the weakfish and in the spring and fall schoolie stripers to move in.
If you need a change in scenery, a nice place to try fishing or crabbing or just a place to get out on the water, this park has my vote. It is free, clean, convenient, and safe. All of the visitors are extremely friendly and you will see lots of people that just like to walk and watch. It is a great place for the kids, just remember there are no railings.
Good luck and enjoy! Map