Introduction to saltwater pier fishing for flounder

By Wild Style Outdoors

Saltwater pier fishing can be one the most exciting fishing there is or it can be one of the most challenging types. It can be hard to target one species of fish when fishing from a pier especially in saltwater. Normally species like spot and croaker are the typical fish caught, but most anything can surprise you and take your hook depending on tide phase, time of day, wind direction, weather condition, time of year or combination of these conditions. So pay attention to these things when learning to pier fish.

Piers offer shade, structure, food and shelter for many species. When pier fishing be prepared for anything, from spot, croaker, flounder, bluefish, cobia, mackeral trout, striper and even sharks. I even caught an octopus from a pier once.

Recommended Basic Equipment:

A 6 to 9-foot medium to heavy action rod with spinning reel is a good setup for beginner through seasoned anglers.

10-15-lb. test braided line or 20-25 lb. test monofilament line with bottom rig . Use steel leaders if bluefish or shark are around.

Various hooks depending on active species ranging from #1s to #6s for smaller species 2/0-4/0 for larger species.

Assorted sinkers from 1-6 oz. use heavier sinkers in strong currents but use the lightest weight possible to make it easier to feel the bite.

A knife, A pier gaff

Artificial Baits:

jigs, soft plastic shrimp, spoons, topwater plugs

Natural Bait:

Bloodworms, Shrimp, Minnows, Squid, Cut Bait

Bottom rigs are a great place to start. Most species caught from a pier can be caught on a bottom rig.

Talk to the person you pay to get on the pier about what’s been biting and on what. Start there. Drop you line straight down from the pier. Try to fish near structure, pier pilings are great structure. Casting from the pier sometimes works but can cause a lot of confusion and tangled, crossed up lines. Try mud minnows on a bottom rig for flounder dropped near the piers pilings.

Flounder How-to:

Flounder are a popular species to fish for from the pier. If you want to target flounder try a fluke rig. A fluke rig is pretty easy to make yourself. First you’ll need about 8″ of 20lb test line. Attach one end to a barrel swivel or snap swivel. This end will attach to the line on your rod. On the he other end attach a white or chartreuse 1/4 oz jig head. Attach a white curly tail grub or artificial shrimp.


Cast or drop your rig and allow it to drop to the bottom. Give it a sharp upward jerk and allow it to drop back to the bottom. Flounder lie flat on the bottom and look upward waiting to ambush prey as it moves over its ambush point, so give it a short sharp jerk and reel forward or move rod tip so jig moves.

Fishing Booker

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