Pier Fishing

Top 6 Pier Fishing Tips

August 31, 2021

One of the best things about fishing is that it's a hobby that can be enjoyed in many different ways, in many different locations. Pier fishing is a favorite of many who like to fish the ocean without having to take a boat out. It's also great for beginners as well since fishing the ocean can be more exciting and provide faster catching opportunities than other locations. The types of fish you catch can be more exotic as well.

To get the most out of pier fishing, it's good to remember a few simple tips. This being the case, let's go over the top six pier fishing tips that will help you to make the most out of your fishing trip.

1. Knowing Where the Fish Are

Piers can be larger or smaller depending on their size, and this can make it hard to decide where you should cast your line. Generally speaking, the deeper the waters, the more fish there will be, and the bigger they will be. This is simple logic, and a good general rule. However, there are some exceptions.

Certain fish like to find places to hide from predators, or to find prey that live in tight places. This means that sometimes you'll find more fish on sections of the pier that have access to rock formations, cliffs, or the structure of the pier itself. If you suspect that there are fish hiding in these areas, don't hessite to cast your line to see if you get anything.

2. Best Time of Day to Fish

While there is no best time of the week to fish generally speaking, there are best times of the day. In most cases, fishing in the early morning or early evening is the best time to maximize your chances of hooking some fish. This is especially true in pier fishing since the tides can bring in bate fish which in turn draw out the larger predatory fish.

The thing to remember though, is that temperature also plays a large role in how many fish show up. In colder areas fish may be more active during the hottest hours of the day because they like the warmth of the sun. On the other hand, in warmer areas you may find it easy to hook fish even during the night since the waters will remain warm longer.

3. Know the Rules of the Pier

Similar to how you need to know the rules of a lake or other more common fishing spots, you need to know the rules of the pier you plan on fishing rom. While there are public piers, others are private and may or may not allow fishing. Familiarizing yourself with the rules of a pier before you show up to fish will help make sure that you don't run into any trouble. Here are a few of the more important rules you should look into:

  • Rod limits and gear restrictions
  • Any applicable fees
  • Hours of operation
  • Fishing license info
  • Bag/size limitations
If you don't follow the rules, you could be forced to leave the area. In a worse case scenario you could end up getting a fine. Thanks to the Internet, finding out the rules for a pier you plan to fish from is relatively easy.

3. Bring the Right Gear

Having the right fishing gear with you will make your pier fishing experience a lot better. Hooking an amazing fish only to find that you don't have the tools necessary to get it home with you can be a problem if you're not prepared. Here is a list of the gear you should consider bringing along with you on your pier fishing trip:

  • Tacklebox
  • Bucket or Cooler for Fish
  • Fish Finder
  • Chair
  • Scissors and Pliers
  • Fishing Knife
  • Bait/Lure
  • Hooks
  • Weights/Sinkers
  • Net
Coming to the pier prepared will save you the frustration of not having what you need when you need it, and the embarrassment of having to ask someone else for assistance. If you've never been pier fishing before, it can't hurt to talk to someone who knows wht they're doing when planning your trip.

4. Landing Your Catch

Getting a fish hooked is exciting, but it's only the beginning of catching your fish. Now you have to figure out how to pull it up onto the pier. This can be difficult if you're not prepared, especially if the pier has a high rail that you'll need to get the fish over.

The best way to deal with this situation is to reel the fish in slowly, letting it wear itself out. This way when you're pulling it up out of the water, it won't be thrashing about as much, and will be less likely to break free. Once you get the fish out of the water, the best strategy is to use a net to haul it up onto the deck. This is because if you're using just the line, the line could snap, or the hook could come out of the fish's mouth. This is especially true for larger, heavier fish.

5. Bring Multiple Rods

The more rods you bring, the more opportunities you have to catch fish. As mentioned before though, piers can have rod limits so you will want to check with the rules of the pier before you go. Also keep in mind that you will need a way to fasten your rods to the pier so that they don't go flying when a fish bites. If the pier has a guard rail, this is much easier.

Another reason to bring multiple rods is so that you have options when it comes to catching different types of fish. Smaller fish can be caught with a lighter set up, but larger fish may require a heavier duty set up with a stronger line. being prepared for all situations is always the best strategy.

6. Staying Safe on the Pier

Pier fishing is safer than fishing out on a boat on a lake or in the ocean, but there are still safety precautions that you should take. Here are a few quick tips for staying safe on the pier.

Careful with Alcohol

For the most part alcohol and water don't mix. If you're going to drink while peer fishing, wearing a lifejacket may not be a bad idea just to be on the safe side, especially if the pier doesn't have a guardrail.

Keeping Kids Safe

It's probably not a good idea to take younger kids pier fishing since they likely won't have the patience for it, and may get into trouble to alleviate their boredom. If you do bring your child, a life jacket may be a good idea depending on how young they are, and if the pier has a guardrail or not.

Knowing Your Limit


One of the most exciting things about pier fishing is that there is always the possibility of hooking something huge. However, hooking a fish that's too strong for you is also a possibility. If you simply can't land the fish, or if there is a real possibility of it pulling you off the pier, there is no shame in cutting the line if you have to.

Pier Fishing Knowledge is Power

The more you know about pier fishing, the more fun you'll have. Make sure you know how this exciting form of fishing works before you show up to a pier, and you'll have a great fishing experience every time. Always stay safe, and always follow the rules of the pier. If you can do that, then your fishing trip will be a success.