Pier fishing combines offshore fishing and overwater boat fishing to deliver a simple and effective way to fish. While this may seem a bit complicated, it’s actually much easier than it sounds. All you need are some pier fishing tips and that’s it.
Pier fishing is often used on saltwater and it offers a series of key advantages. But most importantly, it’s a low-commitment type of fishing that allows you to cast lines for as long as you can. It could be hours, all day, or even a few minutes. It’s all up to you.
Also, this method allows you to access a huge variety of fish species that migrate along the coastline and find a home in the murky waters around piers. So, if you’re thinking of trying out pier fishing in California, we have some tricks below that should help.
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Beginner Pier Fishing Tips
Fishing is something that requires patience, skills, and adaptability. Pier fishing isn’t any different but there are also some tips that you can explore to make this experience as worthwhile as it can be.
Keep an Eye on the Birds
Tracking fish underwater isn’t simple. But you can actually use the movement of seagulls to know where the highest concentration of fish is. After all, seagulls are predatory hunters that feed on fish.
If they are circling a certain area of the sea, chances are there’s plenty of fish around. For this reason, always follow the seagull as part of the important pier fishing tips.
Casting Isn’t Necessary
The great thing about pier fishing in Southern California is the fact that you don’t actually need to cast. This is because most of the fish will be hanging in and around the murky waters of the pier.
This means that you can basically sit by and catch very good fish without having to move your casting distance.
Focus on Underwater Structures
Fish along the coast and piers will typically try to find the best place to hide. Underwater structures offer the best opportunity for that.
This could be the pillars holding the pier or anything else underneath that offers a dark hiding place for the fish.
Try to cast around those structures and see what you can fish. In most cases, bigger fish will typically nest around these structures. However, if there aren’t enough structures underneath the water, you can create your own.
For example, dropping a huge Christmas tree underwater will create a nice hiding ground that attracts bigger fish. But no matter what you do, don’t use items or structures that may pollute or affect the quality of water.
Use Artificial Baits Effectively
You may also want to use artificial bait as part of your pier fishing tips to keep in mind. Yes, there are a lot of people that will argue that artificial baits don’t work with pier fishing. This isn’t true.
As long as you have the right lure, it will deliver superb results. The gotcha lure, in particular, is a very popular option for pier fishing and it works just fine.
Pick the Best Live Bait
In case you aren’t sold on the idea of using artificial bait in your pier fishing rig setup, don’t worry. You can still use live bait to great effect. But not all live baits will work effectively in pier fishing.
This is why it doesn’t hurt to ask. Simply pop into the local bait store and ask which live bait types work well in that area. You’re likely going to get a lot of great ideas here.
Don’t Forget Polarized Glasses
As noted above, the most important thing for any angler is to know how to locate fish.
Now, there are many ways to do that including following the seagulls and casting around underwater structures. But you can also use a pair of polarized glasses that allow you to see through the water.
In most cases, water around piers tends to be a bit murky than out in the sea. Visibility is, therefore, quite limited. But this can be solved easily with a pair of polarized glasses.
Search for Cloudy Water
Cloudy water will also be a nice hiding place for fish. It’s therefore advisable to get your pier fishing gear and test out those areas.
While cloudy water will limit your visibility, there are ways to remedy this. Cloudy water around underwater structures, in particular, will have a lot of fish to catch.
When Should You Fish from a Pier?
The key to any fishing, including pier fishing, is to know where the fish is. Let’s be honest. Even with all the right tips and the best fishing gear in the world, if there’s no fish to catch, you’ll return empty-handed.
So, even as you try your luck in pier fishing, at least make sure there’s enough fish underwater for you to catch.
Typically, piers will have large amounts of fish during the early hours of the morning and sundown as well. This is because the moving tides during these hours will bring a lot of baitfish close to the shore.
However, in case temperature levels are low or perhaps it’s winter, try to fish during the day when it’s a bit warmer. As for people that live in hotter areas, there are no limits as to the right time to fish. Piers will have lots of fish even after sundown.
There are also safety precautions to keep in mind as part of pier fishing tips. First, read and understand all rules that are posted on the pier you are fishing on. Make sure you follow each of these rules.
Also, never try to jump into the water near a pier. The waves sometimes are very strong and will easily bash you against the structures around the pier. This can cause you serious injuries.
Strong waves will also make it harder for you to climb back up, increasing the risk of drowning substantially. Finally, if you have to bring kids to the pier, ensure you keep an eye on them at all times.