1. Wear polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses help eliminate glare from the sun and see below the water’s surface.

2. Invest in a “pier cart”, or build one from an old wagon. Be sure it will hold all of your gear, ie rods, cooler (or 2), tackle box, cutting boards, folding chairs etc. It’ll save you from multiple trips to the truck. (See DIY plans for a DIY pier cart from PVC pipe.)

3. A good recommendation for beginners and experienced anglers is to invest in 2 spinning rod setups. 1 medium setup 6′-7′ spooled with 20-25lb. test line and a heavy setup 7′-9′ with 30-50lb test.

4. Bottom rigs are a great choice for pier fishing. Depending on the targeted species will determine which hooks to use. For smaller more common fish use smaller hooks. For more aggressive species sharks, blues things with teeth be sure to get hooks with steel leaders. Let current and wind determine what size sinkers you use. Try to use the lightest sinkers possible so it’s easier to detect a bite or nibble.

5. Talk to the pier staff or local tackle shops find out what’s been biting and what they’ve been biting on. Pay attention for seasonal migrations. Buy bait accordingly.

6. Try to “match the hatch”. In other words research and determine what baitfish or forage is prominent in the area that’s what local predators will feed on. Buy it locally or use a cast net and catch your own.

7. Use a battery powered aerator in a 5 bait bucket. This will help keep bait alive longer, especially on hot days. Keep covered from sun and change water occasionally if possible. (Coming soon DIY bait bucket/seat)

8. “Know before you go”. Visit the pier before actually fishing there especially on a low tide. That way you can see any underwater structure that prey can hide in or around and predators can relate to and ambush prey.

9. When reeling a fish try to keep it from going under the pier and breaking you off on the pilings if possible. When reeling in larger fish use a pier net especially if you plan to release it… its safer for the fish. Or use gaff on a rope for really big fish that you plan to keep.

10. Use hook removers or good needle nose pliers to remove hooks especially for fish you plan to release.

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Filed under: Pier FishingSaltwater Blog