George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier in northeast Duval County/southeast Nassau County is a popular Florida State Park. This one-mile long, pedestrian-only fishing bridge spans Nassau Sound and provides access to one of the best fishing areas on Northeast Florida.
Location: The George Crady Bridge is located seven miles north of Little Talbot Island State Park on State Road A1A or eight miles south of Fernandina Beach. The south end of the bridge can be accessed from the parking lot at the north end of Big Talbot Island. For access to the north end of the bridge, visitors park at Amelia Island State Park and follow the sidewalk under A1A.
Hours: The bridge is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Admission is $2.00 per person, and correct change is required for the honor box. The entrance fee to Big Talbot Island State Park or Amelia Island State Park includes access to the fishing bridge.
History: The George Crady Bridge was originally the Nassau Sound Bridge, a two-lane highway structure connecting Amelia Island in Nassau County with Sawpit Island in Nassau Sound, and a shorter span connecting Sawpit Island with the northern end of Big Talbot Island in Duval County. Highway A1A was built adjacent to the old Nassau Sound Bridge in 1999, at which time the management of the old Nassau Sound Bridge was transferred from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to the Division of Recreation and Parks. The state renamed it the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park in honor of State Representative George Crady, who was a local Florida state representative and supporter of the Florida State Park system. Since that time, the George Crady Bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic and managed as a fishing facility.
Activities: The mile long George Crady Bridge allows for plenty of room to fish Nassau Sound and the surrounding waters. Nassau Sound is one of the best fishing areas in northeast Florida and home to the state record flounder and a variety of other fish, including whiting, jack, drum, and tarpon. According to the Florida State Parks website, “Redfish and speckled sea trout are available throughout the year, but higher numbers are available in the spring and fall. Popular baits, including mullet and shrimp, and can be caught along the shoreline using a cast-net. Artificial baits are also very popular. Along the south end of the fishing bridge, several small grass flats hold a wide variety of fish. Tarpon follow the fall mullet run into Nassau Sound before continuing their migration to more southern waters.”
The bridge also affords a 360 degree view of Nassau Sound and surrounding marshes and is a favorite spot for coastal bird watching.
The George Crady Bridge is paved and functions as a link in the Timucuan Trail, a bicycle/pedestrian path connecting Amelia Island to the north and the Talbot Islands to the south. The trail is completed on Big Talbot Island except for the boardwalk portion next to A1A which is not officially open to the public. Full trail access will depend on the A1A pedestrian/cyclist crossing yet to be constructed by the state and city transportation departments.
Other: Restrooms are available at the north end of the pier. On the south end, restrooms are available approximately ¼ mile south of the bridge in the parking lot of the Big Talbot Island State Park boat ramp.
Visitors to the George Crady Bridge should be aware that the Bait and Tackle Shop at the north end of the fishing pier is closed.