Five Things to Bring On Your Next Pier Fishing Trip

October 20, 2020

Image of water, waterfront, human, person, dock, pier, port, building, boardwalk, bridge

Don’t you love it when you can fish practically anywhere? As long as there’s a pier nearby and the weather is looking good, we grab our poles and tackle box and head out for a great day of fishing. Just spending a few hours dropping lines is usually better than anything else planned for the day. 

Short piers and long piers, even the world’s longest pier, all require you to bring your own stuff for a day of successful fishing. Not sure what to bring? Don’t worry. Here are the top five things to take with you on your next pier fishing trip.

Rods & Reels

Of course, rods & reels are essential to any fishing excursion. Some people may think any old rod and reel will do, but there’s more to it than that. Just like a fishing trip from a vessel, your position on the pier and what species you’re targeting will determine the kind of set-up you’ll use.

For most pier fishing trips, a conventional spinning rod will fit the requirements of what’s needed. If you’re fishing off a long pier on the Atlantic Ocean you may need heavier gear, but typically a medium heavy 7-foot or 9-foot rod will do.

Part of our rod set-up is a rod holder: a PVC holder that can be clamped to the pier railing. This allows anglers to have multiple rods or step away from the railing and watch the line for a hit. It’s a simple set-up that can be very helpful to anglers, so why not bring it along to your next pier fishing trip? Check pier rules regarding multiple lines out, but we prefer to keep a baited line out in the rod holder while pitching artificials with another setup simultaneously. 

Fishing Net

There are lots of different ways to land your catch when fishing from a pier, but almost all of them include some sort of net. Depending on your tackle, smaller catches can be reeled up from the water’s surface. For a real trophy, you’re going to want to use a net. Whether you use a landing net or a long-handled net, it’s a must-have item for your pier fishing trip. After spending time and effort reeling in your prize, it would be a shame to have your catch break off at the last minute by the rough surface of the pier. This is when having a net makes a huge difference.  

A landing net is a basket-looking type net with a steel ring at the top (and sometimes a second ring at the bottom of the net). It’s attached to a rope that anglers will drop down to the water to safely lift their trophies to the pier. A long-handled net can vary in length and oftentimes can be assembled to be as long or short as needed. These types of nets are sometimes difficult to use for solo anglers. If you have a fishing buddy with you, getting them to net your catch while you’re holding the rod is the best technique.

Tackle Box

The tackle box holds hooks, lures, and tools needed for a successful day of any kind of fishing. For pier fishing, you’ll want to make sure to add sinkers or weights to the box. Depending on where you’re fishing, sinkers from one to six-ounce weights will work best. Anglers may also want to keep a Sabiki rig in their tackle box as well to catch their own bait. A Sabiki rig is a section of light fishing line with multiple small hooks along the length of it. The hooks will typically have small feathers and/or beads on them. Attach a weight to the end of the Sabiki rig to keep it straight, and jig it up and down to catch small baitfish. And don’t forget the pliers, an essential tool for fastening weights and hooks or unhooking a catch.

Artificial lures are also part of the tackle box. Pier anglers will typically use jigs or soft plastics as their lures. Again, where you’re fishing will determine what works best. Jigs come in a variety of sizes; typically anything under two-ounces will get the job done. A great, versatile pier lure would be a bucktail jig. Pier anglers, especially those fishing where Mackerel or Barracuda run, would want to keep a few spoons in their tackle box as well.

Cooler

Once you have made your catch and have decided to keep it, you’ll need something to store it in. Some piers have fish cleaning stations available to prep your fillets, or just pack them in ice as is. Either way, a cooler is a must-have item for any pier fishing trip. Make sure to get a cooler with wheels so it’s easier to travel to the pier and back after a long day of fishing. Additionally, check your local size and bag limits before keeping any fish. 

Chair

Another must-have item for any pier fishing trip is some kind of portable chair. There are lawn chairs, beach chairs, or camping chairs. Anything that can be folded up and toted along with all the gear. Depending on how much stuff you have, a cart is another good investment. These types of items help to make any day at the pier a bit more comfortable. Whether you’re planning on spending a few hours or the whole day, having a chair will definitely be a worthwhile addition to your pack. 

Your Next Fishing Trip

When you’re heading out for a day of fishing at the pier, make sure to have these items with you. Or there may be a bait and tackle shop nearby to sell or rent gear and equipment for the day. You don’t want to miss an opportunity simply for a lack of equipment. Or, skip the pier altogether and hire a local guide who will have everything you need for a great day of fishing. Many guides even cover your fishing license, so all you have to do is show up and enjoy the day. Either way, you’ll spend the day with a fishing rod in your hand, and that’s always a good day in our books. 

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