Pier Fishing Tips

The Best Pier Fishing Tips

Welcome to Apex Fishing Tips, this section of our website is dedicated to fishing from a pier and how to catch fish from a pier. Pier fishing is a popular fishing method where anglers catch fish by accessing deeper water. This web page is going to help improve your pier fishing skills and help you catch bigger fish, more often.

Below you'll find 12 pier fishing tips that will help improve your knowledge of pier fishing and your success at catching fish. Fishing from a pier is a great way to access deeper parts of a body of water. A pier can also be a natural shelter for fish and give anglers an easier chance at catching them. Continue down below to learn how to pier fish.

In addition to 12 pier fishing tips, we have a checklist of all the fishing gear and tackle you'll need to go pier fishing. You'll also find some awesome pictures of other people pier fishing from around the world. If you need more resources and information on pier fishing, you'll find it at the bottom of this web page.

12 Pier Fishing Tips

  1. When fishing on pier that's on the ocean you should visit it during the low tide. This will give you the best look at the underwater structures and rock around the pier.
  2. Make sure before you fish off a pier that you don't need a special license or permit. Many piers along popular beaches require you to purchase a day pass in order to fish off it. Additionally, make sure you know the minimum size and creel limits for the fish you can catch off that pier.
  3. Consider using a cast net to catch bait fish along the pier. This is what bigger game fish are eating and it gives you the best chance to catch more fish. Many bait shops also sell bait fish found along piers, just make sure what you're buying is currently what's out there.
  4. If you're going to use live bait fish, you'll want to invest in a bait bucket with an aerator. This will provide oxygen to them and ensure their alive and active when you go to use them. Keep your bait bucket out of the sun to keep the water from warming up, this can shock your bait fish when they go from warm water into the cool water where your fishing.
  5. A few other types of fishing bait that work off piers are shrimp, squid, anchovies and sardines. Avoid buying these from your grocery store, you can get these types of fishing bait fresh and alive from local bait shops. Plus, you can ask at the bait shop what baits are currently working and what people are catching off the pier.
  6. Watch the wildlife around the pier, especially seagulls and other marine birds. They will be actively hunting bait fish in the water. Usually wherever bait fish are there are large game fish. Be cautious when casting near birds, you don't want to hook them or get them stuck in your line.
  7. Do your best to keep your rig from going under the pier. The waves and current in a very large lake or the ocean can move your rig all over the place. Piers are the graveyards of fishing tackle because so many anglers lose their rigs. Try to stay 5 to 10 feet away from pier pilings to ensure you have enough time to reel in if the current or waves start to push your rig.
  8. When you do hook a fish, try to keep it away from the pier or from going under the pier. Fish can rub your line along pier pilings or the pier support structure, which will ultimately break your line, losing your fish and your rig.
  9. Watch out for thieving birds! Piers are notorious for having birds that are experts are stealing your food and bait. They'll even take a drink out of your cup if its not covered. Make sure all food and bait containers are sealed and as close to you as possible.
  10. Polarized sunglasses are a must when you go fishing, especially when pier fishing. Out on a pier there is far more glare from the sun, making it hard to see and potentially damaging to your eyes. Polarized sunglasses will also allow you to see into the water a bit, allowing you to potentially locate fish.
  11. Make sure invest in a good pier net if the distance from the water and the pier is more than 8 feet. Reeling in a fish from the water up to a high pier can hurt the fish and potentially break your line or rod.
  12. Be cautious and courteous when fishing on a pier. When casting, be aware who is around you to prevent any accidents. Keep your fishing gear and tackle out of the way of others. Don't leave hooks or line on the pier, animals, young children and barefoot adults could get hurt by them.

About Pier Fishing

About Pier Fishing

Pier fishing is a great way to catch fish in deeper water without the aid of a boat or kayak. Piers can be found in both freshwater and saltwater bodies of water. Some piers are used for docking boats, while others are strictly for recreational use, like fishing. It's very common to find piers in large bodies of water, like a large lake or attached to an ocean beach. Pier fishing is a great way to experience deep water fishing without a watercraft.

Pier fishing is fun, when follow rules and other safety precautions. Many piers, especially ones on the ocean, will have rules. Some of these rules include specific areas where you can fish, minimum size limits on the fish you can keep, and special permits allowing you to fish there. Piers can be crowded places; you'll need to be careful of people on the pier and in the water when casting. Don't clutter the walking area with your gear.

Pier Fishing Checklist

The below pier fishing checklist has the fishing gear and tackle you might need when fishing out on a pier.

Pier Fishing Pictures

Pier fishing off Redondo Beach Pier

A picture of people pier fishing on Redondo Beach Pier.
(Credit: Thomas Gorman / Flickr)

Pier fishing in San Diego, CA

A picture of people pier fishing in San Diego, California .
(Credit: Jude Calgie / Flickr)

Two boys fishing off a pier

A picture of two kids pier fishing off an unknown pier.
(Credit: David Gibby / Flickr)

Pier Fishing Resources