BlogAugust 2019

10 Pier Fishing Gear Essentials to Get You Started

10 Pier Fishing Gear Essentials to Get You Started

By Debbie Hanson

Aug 05, 2019

List of pier fishing gear essentials that beginning anglers can use to get started. Helpful pier fish tackle tips, suggested tackle to use for pier fishing

Pier fishing trips are a fun and easy way to get the whole family involved in the outdoors. If you want to learn how to fish from a pier, get a few pier fish tackle tips in the pier fishing section and use this essential gear list to get started.

1. Fishing Cart

Get a wheeled fishing cart that will make it easier to transport your tackle and gear from your vehicle to the pier. Many of the fishing carts that are on the market today offer features such as rod holders, cargo walls, tool racks, and an adjustable handle.

2. Rod and Reel Combo

The tackle to use for pier fishing should reflect the fish species you intend to target, but consider a heavier rod and reel combo than you might typically use since you'll have to lift the weight of the fish from the water to the pier (unless you have a hoop net). For most situations, a medium heavy 7-foot to 9-foot spinning rod will be suitable.

3. Fishing Hooks

Keep a range of different size hooks in your tackle box for different baits and situations. For most of the baits you'll use, sizes 4 to 2/0 will work. Remember to select hook size based on the size of your bait.

4. Bucktail Jigs

Marabou bucktail jigs can be effective when pier fishing for striped bass, mackerel, bluefish, and flounder. In deeper water where there is fast-moving current you may need to use jig sizes up to 2 ounces. You can get additional tips on how to fish from a pier with bucktail jigs by searching for "pier fish tackle tips.

5. Hoop Net

If you are targeting larger fish species, such as black drum or kingfish, it will be helpful to have a hoop net. This type of net will help you lift the fish from the water up onto a pier without breaking your line.

6. Sinkers

To cover various depths and conditions, bring along an assortment of sinkers or weights from 1 to 6 ounces. The three-way rig is one of the most standard pier fishing rigs. This rig includes a three-way swivel, fluorocarbon leader that is attached to a hook, and a snap that holds a sinker to keep your bait in position on the bottom.

7. Pliers with Line Cutters

Bring along a pair of pliers with line cutters that are corrosion-resistant to remove hooks and cut fishing line.

8. Rod Holders

You can buy or make rod holders out of PVC that will clamp onto pier railings. Rod holders make it possible for you to fish with multiple rods or grab a bite of your sandwich without having to worry about losing a rod over the edge of the pier. 

9. Bait Bucket with Aerator

Get a bait bucket with an aerator to keep live baits like shrimp, anchovies, or sardines lively. Active baits often mean more bites.

10. Portable Chair

If you have a lightweight portable chair to take along, you can relax while waiting for the catch of the day to grab your line.

This list of gear essentials should help you and your family assemble everything you need to get started fishing from a pier, just don't forget to check the state regulations and fishing license requirements before you go.

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.