BlogJuly 2022

What is the Purpose of a Jetty?

What is the Purpose of a Jetty?

By Debbie Hanson

Jul 07, 2022

Answers to the questions what is the purpose of a jetty, where to find jetties, how to identify a jetty on a beach, why jetties are good places to locate fish

Jetties can be some of the best places to fish because you will often find current and bait around this type of structure. Although, this might lead you to wonder, what is the purpose of a jetty? In other words, what is a jetty used for? The main purpose of a jetty is to protect the shoreline of a body of water by acting as a buffering barrier against from currents, tides, and waves that can cause erosion.

What is a Jetty?

Now you know why jetties are good places to locate fish and what the purpose of a jetty is, but exactly what is a jetty? Simply put, a jetty is a structure that extends into a sea, lake, or river to influence the current or tide or to protect a harbor. You can find jetties at entrances to harbors, at lagoon outlets, near the openings of passes, at the outlet of tideless rivers, and at the mouth of tidal rivers. If you aren’t sure what a jetty looks like, they are usually made of wood, earth, stone, or concrete and stretch from the shore out into the water.


What is a Jetty on the Beach?

While jetties can be found on a lake or on a river, they are most often associated with the ocean or beaches. What is a jetty in the ocean or on the beach made from? Most often they are piles of stones or concrete. The stones or concrete are placed on either side of a coastal entrance on a beach or shoreline provide protection from the elements.


What is the Difference Between a Jetty and a Breakwater?

If you have been wondering about the difference between a jetty and a breakwater, the difference is that a jetty redirects or interrupts the longshore current to prevent erosion. Alternatively, a breakwater is built out into the sea with the main purpose of creating a safe harbor, marina, or anchorage for vessels while protecting the coast from powerful swells and waves.

If you see a jetty while you’re out on the beach (and hopefully catching a few fish), now you won’t need to ask the question, “What is the purpose of a jetty?”. Learning about jetties and other types of structure will also help you figure out how to find fishing spots.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.