22 Pier Fishing Tips That Are Guaranteed To Increase Your Catch Rate

Photo of a wooden pier reaching out into the sea

​​Looking for a new, productive, and fun outdoor activity to pass your time? Pier fishing is exactly what you need.

Whether you're looking for an activity that grants you lots of alone time or something that you can enjoy with your friends and family, pier fishing is the perfect solution.

There's some things you need to know before you start, but fear not! Below we have listed all of the critical pier fishing tips.

​Table Of Contents


​Getting Ready

  • 1
    A sturdy fishing pole/rod- It is critical to get a fishing rod that is sturdy, durable, and can take the weight of your catch. Pier fishing does not earn you huge catches or marlins. So, for your first time, it is best to get a basic conventional spinning rod that can take up to 50-pound resistance.
  • 2
    ​Sharp hooks - Your hooks will catch the fish and keep them attached to your fishing rod. You will need to get a J-shaped hook as they are the most effective for pier fishing.
  • 3
    ​Weights/Sinkers - Just because you are catching fish at the pier, it doesn’t mean you can’t go deep. Your sinkers will help you keep your bait deep into the water to attract the fishes dwelling there. Weight/sinker of 1-2oz weight is more than sufficient for your pier fishing.
  • 4
    ​Bait - You can easily find the right bait at your local pier shop. Some of the most effective and popular fishing baits that you should get are sardines, bloodworms, squid, shrimp, and anchovies. You can also try getting live bait as they are much better at attracting fish.
  • 5
    ​Sharp Knife - You'll need to cut your bait into the perfect size so that they are properly attached to your hook. Keep a knife handy as it will also help you fillet your catches.
  • 6
    ​Scissors and plier - You’ll need the scissors to cut through your fishing line. ​​Unhooking the fish with pliers is much easier on you and the fish. The fish will take less damage and it can also protect your fingers if you're dealing with some particularly toothy catches.
  • 7
    Medium-sized bucket - You don’t want a bucket that’s too small to hold all your catches. Getting an extremely large bucket will not be necessary as pier fishing will not get you any massive catches. Just get a medium-sized bucket from your local pier shop.
  • 8
    ​Tackle Box - ​A tackle box is a container that will help you store all your fishing tools effortlessly. ​Getting a good tackle box will be a worthy investment.
  • 9
    ​Comfortable ​chair - Yes, you are there to catch the fishes but it is also important to enjoy the moment. Take a comfortable picnic chair so that when the fish are not biting you can relax and enjoy the nature.
Photo of man fishing from a pier with multiple rods

​Pier Fishing Tips

  • 1
    Fish at the right time - ​The best time to fish is early mornings and sunset.
  • 2
    ​Use a tide calendar - ​To maximize the chances of getting bites, make sure you fish during the transition from low tide to high tide. As the tide comes in, the bigger fish come towards the shore looking for food.
  • 3
    ​Choose the right location -  ​Look for kelp beds or reefs along the pier before you set up your fishing gear. Some experienced fishermen also love to fish near sandbars and troughs to catch bigger fish.
  • 4
    ​Watch the birds - ​Birds know how to read fish movement and patterns and are constantly trying to catch them too. All you need to do is follow the birds and lower your rod where they are flocking. You are guaranteed to find some great catches.
  • 5
    ​Look for ​wave breaks - Fish love to swim around the locations where the waves break, mainly to look for food on the edges. ​If you’re looking to catch some bigger fish, this is where you need to drop your line.
  • 6
    Look for underwater structures - Look for any ​underwater structures near the pier. Fish love to gather around and hide inside.
  • 7
    Get the right bait - ​​Different kinds of bait work in different locations and catch different species of fish. Having said that, shrimp and squid are excellent ​all-around baits that will catch a lot of species.
  • 8
    Invest in good polarized sunglasses - ​Not only they ​protect your eyes ​but they also let you see through ​water which is great because you can now fish by sight.
  • 9
    ​Don't look too far -​ One of the best things about pier fishing is that you don't have to cast out far. You're already in deeper water and lots of fish also hang around the legs of the pier​​​ just waiting to be caught.
  • 10
    ​Search for "hot zones" -​ ​Look at a bottom contour map of the area you want to fish in. It will help you find out about the fish ledges and other bottom structures. You can also target any large rock structures or weeds as they are deemed “hot zones” and are filled with exciting and better catches.
  • 11
    Fishing at night -​​ Don't knock it until you try it at least once. ​Night-time fishing can produce a lot of good bites and big fish. ​Don't forget head flashlights.
  • 12
    ​Jigging the bait - ​​Just dropping the bait and waiting for a bite will get you some fish in its direct path but the close-by targets will ​miss it. ​To attract more fish, lower your rod occasionally and then raise it slowly. Make sure that your movement is slow and gradual so it won't scare the fish.
  • 13
    ​Mark the "hit zone" - ​A lot of different fish species travel in groups. If you find one in a particular spot, it's likely you will find​​​ more in that same spot. Once you caught one, mark the ​"hit zone" so you can return to the same spot.

Use these pier fishing tips and catch the best and the biggest fish in your location. While it’s important that your catch bites, don’t forget to enjoy the process. Take a big picnic chair, some snacks, some drinks, set up your fishing rod and enjoy the nature!

Comments Section

  1. Indiana

    May 7, 2019, 2:35 pm

    Thanks a lot for sharing those blog links!

  2. Steve. Glatzer

    June 14, 2019, 9:32 am

    How do you hook up the line for pier fishing

  3. Angler Area

    July 12, 2019, 9:47 am

    Hi Steve, you could use any of the above knots, maybe with the exception of the turtle knot. Our favorite is the snell knot and we’ve had a lot of success with it in freshwater and saltwater fishing. I hope that helps!

  4. Hector Mosquera

    July 15, 2019, 5:10 am

    Thanks for the tips going to give it a try and and see how the results of this are.

  5. Angler Area

    August 13, 2019, 11:08 am

    Tight lines Hector! Feel free to tag us on twitter @AnglerArea with your catches!

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