How to Fish from a Pier
Timing is everything. Pier fishing is different from fishing from a boat because of the timing. On a boat, you go to where the fish are. On a pier, you wait for the fish to come by. This means you have to do a bit of research. Check with fishing reports for the best tides and other pier fishing tips. Chances are, if you see a bunch of anglers out at the pier at a certain time, then that's the time for you to be there, too. Fishing reports or the folks at the tackle shop might also clue you in on any migrations that might be coming by.
Eventually, you will learn the optimum conditions on the pier. Keep a record of what is going on around you to determine how to fish under the best conditions; water clarity, wind speed and direction, and other weather conditions are important to keep track of. After a while, you'll learn what makes for a good day of fishing.
The nice thing about pier fishing is the chance to talk with fellow anglers. As opposed to being out on a boat by yourself or with a few friends, you are out among others who share your passion. It is easy to pick up fishing tips from others who have been doing it for a bit longer than you.
Best Places to Fish
Just walking out to a pier is not enough. Beneath that pier is an entire ecosystem that is constantly changing with the tides and weather. The veterans will know where to fish and will have those spots staked out. Keep watch of the most popular spots on a pier. They will likely change with the tide and the quarry, but talking to others about their experiences is a good way to go.
Piers create manmade changes in the ocean floor below. As the salt water hits the pilings, it carves out dunes and sloughs in the sand below. This unique geography is used by fish. They travel in the channels made by the water because they feel safe there. One of the best pier fishing tips is to learn how to exploit these areas and drop bait there.
Get Equipped for Pier Fishing
It is also important to have the right tools for the job. Consider these pieces of equipment that are essential:
- A cart. It can be a long walk to the pier. Grab a cart that can carry your cooler and gear so you do not have to make multiple trips to the car.
- Hoop net or pier gaff. These are integral to pier fishing. They are needed to put underneath your catch so you can pull it up easier. It can be a long haul from the surface of the water to the pier, with only the fish's lips to keep it on the hook.
- Bait and tackle. This is the only variable on this list. Choose what kind of fish you want and then talk to the tackle shop employees or other anglers for pier fishing tips and what works for them.
No matter what species you are fishing for, there are a lot of opportunities to be had at fishing piers. Chances are, there will be a bait and tackle shop close by. It might not be as traditional as fishing from a boat, but do not let anyone tell you that it is not a great day to be had.
Content courtesy of Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, Game&Fish, Active outdoors.