BlogJune 2018

Pier Fishing Tips & Tricks For Beginners

Pier Fishing Tips & Tricks For Beginners

By Alycia Downs

Jun 26, 2018

Pier fishing tips and tricks for beginners. Fish like a pro on the pier. Learn what to look for and what gear you need for pier fishing success.

Pier fishing is a hybrid angling method that blends easy access of shore fishing with over-water access of boat fishing. There are many advantages that make this a popular saltwater fishing pursuit. It’s low commitment so you can cast lines for an hour or all day. You won’t get seasick. Most importantly, it provides landlubbers with access to popular game fish migrating along the coastline and lurking under the pier. Check out these pier fishing tips to make your experience productive and enjoyable.

  • Research first. Find out what species to target and best times to fish based on seasonality, migration patterns and environmental factors. Get intel from the local bait shop and online fishing forums. This will help you determine the bait and tackle you may need.
  • Scout during low tide to locate submerged structure or troughs. Marine growth on structure attracts tiny baitfish which are a food source for larger fish. Find structure, find fish. The pier itself is a structure so you won’t need to cast far.
  • Bring two spinning gear outfits. One light tackle setup for easy casting and fairweather conditions and a heavy tackle setup for large game fish and rougher conditions.
  • Get a gear hauler. There are many wheeled cart options that are specially outfitted to organize fishing gear. When it comes to pier fishing tips, you won’t want to ignore this one. Save yourself multiple trips to the car.
  • Match the hatch. Find out which baitfish are prominent in the area because that’s what the fish will be eating. Stock up at the local bait shop, use a cast net or catch your own with a sabiki rig.
  • Use a battery-powered bait bucket. These come rigged with an aerator to deliver oxygen into the water and ensure your bait don’t go belly-up.
  • Wear polarized sunglasses. Eliminate glare from the sun and see below the water’s surface.
  • Use a pier net to land your catch. Of all pier fishing tips for beginners, this may be most important. Don’t reel the fish from the water to the pier. You risk harming the fish, breaking your rod or line, losing the fish and getting sideways looks from fellow pier anglers. Leave the fish in the water and scoop with a pier net.
  • Avoid the pilings. Once a fish is hooked, it may dart under the pier and break your line on structure. Try to stand between two pilings when reeling to reduce risk of tangling your line.

These pier fishing tips are sure to help you fish like a pro on the pier. Before you hit the boardwalk, purchase your fishing license and find more pier fishing tips for beginners on our pier fishing tips page.

Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at or on Instagram @tideandtale.