A Beginner's Guide To Pier Fishing

Pier Fishing

The most incredible method for catching fish is Pier fishing. It can be one of the best fishing experiences you can have as an angler. You can catch various species from a pier. It is also a fun and easy activity. As epic as this may sound, there is much more to this fishing approach than just dropping the line and waiting to catch fish. Many different fishing piers vary in shapes and sizes, but with one common thing- they all attract fish making your fishing easy. An advantage of this fishing approach is that you do not need to worry about the expenses of a boat.

Pier fishing does not require a fishing license in many areas, making it easy for beginners to join the club without worrying about license fees and waiting to acquire the license. We compiled together a list of tips and tricks to make it a little easier for you. This guide will cover some of the tested and proven pier fishing tactics that will land more fish straight into your bucket. We will also look at pier fishing gear you need and how you can get them at Hawkeye electronics, the best time to fish, and many more tips to give an epic, fun, and exciting fishing experience. Let's dive into it!

What is Pier Fishing

Piers have remained popular with anglers as they offer a safe and stable platform to fish and easy access to deep waters. Most anglers have had their first fishing experience from pier fishing, leading to a lifelong love for this angling approach. Pier fishing is easy and fun. The pier's structure offers shelter that attracts the smaller fish, which in turn attracts the bigger predatory fish leading to great fishing.

The bottom line is there is a lot about pier fishing, and it is essential to research about the same before setting out for it. This comprehensive guide makes things easier for you as you will learn more about different types of piers and what you need for a great fishing experience.

Where to find Fish from Pier

There are many primary locations to fish from the east coast to the west coast. There are plenty of options to choose from depending on where you plan to go. When deciding where to fish, it is vital to consider the time of the year and the species you desire to catch. You may be asking yourself about where to actually find the fish. It turns out things are a little easier than they seem. Pier anglers often say the biggest biters are at the end of the pier, and this is very true. The trick here is deep waters typically host larger fish. Another trick is to look at the underwater structures such as rock formations and drop-offs where fish come to hide or feed.

However, that is not all. Sometimes predator fish come to the water's surface when hunting for prey. Even though you may be unable to spot them, you can still fish by using birds as your natural fish finders. If you notice them circling one area, then that is where your catch is.

Best Time To Pier Fish

The best time to fish is determined by the stage of the tide. The most convenient time to pier fish is two hours before and after high tide. Dawn and dusk are also other great times for fishing as they are critical times for fish feeding; your bait comes in handy. The first one or two hours after sunset and the period before dawn is the best time to drop your line. Depending on the intended target and the layout around the pier with the correct timing, dawn, and dusk or lights out fishing, you can make a big catch. Light is another key factor with pier fishing. Low light conditions are often good times as the fish are less cautious and will therefore come to the shallow waters hence easy for the angler to fish. Let's not forget that peak times for pier fishing are dawn and dusk.

The Bait to Choose

You can agree with me that having the right bait goes a long way in determining your catch and the overall fishing experience. To choose the right bit, you will have to consider what you want to catch and where you are fishing. Instead of emptying your pocket on the most expensive bait available, take some time to learn about which baits are naturally found at your pier, as it is what the fish will likely react to. Most piers have their tackle shops and baits where you are likely to find everything ranging from squid, bloodworms, and shrimps to sardines and anchovies. Before choosing and buying any bait, it is essential to ask about what has worked well lately.

Pier Fishing Gear

Many times, you will see pier fishers carrying around ridiculous amounts of fishing gear. However, you only need a few essential items for your day to count.


This keeps your bait deep in the water and prevents it from moving by the currents.

Baits and Lures

To be able to lure the fish to your line. Most common baits include sardines, anchovies, bloodworms, squid, and shrimp. Note that live bait is most preferable and ideal, and it would be best to find a shop that offers this option.


You will require somewhere to collect and store your catch. Pretty obvious.

Fishing Pliers

You will need this to remove your catch from the hooks safely.

Drop Net or Gaff

In most states, you may not be allowed to use your rod to haul your catch from the water. In this case, you will need a drop net or a gaff to bring your catch up to the deck. It is advisable only to use gaffs when you intend to keep your catch as they may seriously injure the fish.

Fishing Knife

This is important for filleting your catch and cutting the bait into the correct sizes for the hook.


For pier fishing, J hooks, as the name suggests, shaped like the letter j, are the standard type of hooks for use.

Fishing Rod/Pole

A fishing rod is also another critical piece of fishing equipment that you will need.

Pier Fishing Tricks and Tactics

Here is a list of a few tips that will help you improve your fishing skills make fishing easy and fun. You do not need to be hard on yourself when fishing to have a great catch-all you need is a few of some tips and tricks. These tips are an overall strategy and are not specific to any fish.
  • Watch the birds like seagulls and other birds to locate the fish. They hang around the pier, and they tend to know fish movements and patterns at different times of the day.
  • Choose the right, preferably live bait, for your fishing. The bait chosen goes a long way in determining the success of our fishing. You can learn more about what kind of bait works lately by conducting some research and asking questions.
  • Try locating underwater structures or even creating them. This primarily provides hiding grounds for fish, and when fishing, always remember to check out for such.


Pier fishing is among the many great ways of spending time with friends and family. It is an easy and fun activity that you can enjoy doing. An advantage with pier fishing is that you will not require a fishing license unless on public waterways, which may require you to have a license. Another advantage is that pier fishing is cheap as it does not require a boat and a lot of fishing gear to be successful and fun.