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Pleasure Beach Park Fishing Pier

Pleasure Beach Park Fishing Pier in Stratford, Connecticut, located on a barrier beach extending 2.5 miles from Point No Point, offers a rich history intertwined with recreational and conservation efforts. The park, once a bustling amusement park has now become a ghost town cut off from the rest of Connecticut for most of the year.Historical ContextPleasure Beach Park originated as an amusement park in 1892 and transformed over the decades into a destination focused on natural beauty and recreation. Initially accessed by ferry and a wooden swing bridge, the park was a popular leisure spot until a bridge fire in 1996 left it isolated, transforming it into Connecticut’s most recent ghost town until its reopening in 2014.Pleasure Beach Park Pier HistoryThe amusement park was initially home to various attractions including a carousel and dodge-’em car enclosure, accessible primarily by ferry service and a wooden swing bridge built in 1927. After the amusement park era, the bridge to the park burned down in 1996, cutting off easy access and preserving the area’s natural state for nearly two decades. The park was rejuvenated and reopened in 2014, accessible by a free water taxi service, revitalizing its connection with the community.Fishing and Recreational OpportunitiesThe reopening of Pleasure Beach has restored its appeal as a fishing and recreational hub. The park now includes a half-mile boardwalk leading to a beach area, an info depot for visitor inquiries, a pavilion with amenities, and restored access to its popular fishing pier. This setup provides a comprehensive beach experience for visitors, highlighting its historical and natural significance.Fishing Calendar at Pleasure Beach Park PierThe pier’s location along the coast, where brackish and saltwater mix, supports a diverse marine life, making it ideal for fishing:Striped Bass: Best caught during their spring migration (March to June) and fall (September to November).Bluefish: Active from late spring through fall, peaking in mid-summer (June to August).Flounder: Prime time is late spring and early summer (May to July).Black Sea Bass: Available from late spring to early fall (May to October).Tautog (Blackfish): Peaks during the cooler months of spring and fall (April-May and September-October).Winter Flounder: Most abundant in early spring (March to May).Scup (Porgy): Present from late spring through the end of summer (May to September).How to Catch Each FishHere are techniques and baits recommended for catching each type of fish listed in the calendar:Striped Bass: Use live eels, bunker, or artificial lures like swimbaits. Fishing near the bottom or during dusk and dawn can increase success.Bluefish: Effective methods include using cut bait or shiny lures. Trolling or casting with rapid retrieval works well.Flounder: Bottom fishing with live minnows, worms, or jigs tipped with squid is most effective.Black Sea Bass: Use clams, squid, or jigs dropped to the rocky bottom.Tautog (Blackfish): Best baited with crabs, especially green crabs or Asian shore crabs, near rocky areas.Winter Flounder: Small worms or clams fished on the bottom work well.Scup (Porgy): Small pieces of worm or squid fished on dropper loops near the bottom are effective.Recreational and Conservation AspectsThe pier and surrounding park offer more than just fishing. There are walking trails, picnic areas, and spots for bird watching, providing a full day of activities for families and nature enthusiasts. The area is managed to ensure ecological balance, preserving the habitat for future generations.ConclusionPleasure Beach Park Fishing Pier stands as a testament to the community’s dedication to preserving natural beauty while offering accessible and enjoyable recreational opportunities. It serves as a perfect spot for anglers looking for variety in their catch and families seeking a peaceful day out, ensuring that each visit is both rewarding and memorable.


Pleasure Beach Park, Oak Bluff Ave, Stratford, CT 06615


Operating Hours

Only during the summer months via ferry or hiking in

Admission & Pricing

The peninsula will be accessible seven days a week via free water taxi, which will pick beach goers up at the fishing pier located on Seaview Avenue near its intersection with Central Avenue.

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Fish Caught

Striped Bass, Bluefish, Flounder, Blackfish, Porgy

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Pleasure Beach Park, Oak Bluff Ave, Stratford, CT 06615

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