When it comes to preparing your tackle bag for your next pier fishing trip, understanding all of the elements involved in pier fishing has a massive influence in determining what you need. So, what tackle would one need for pier fishing?
Your tackle setup will predominantly be based on the pier fishing location and target species. Whether your setup is light, medium, heavy, or a balanced build will depend on the target species’ size and weight, casting distance required, preference, and environment traits.
Pier fishing has unique conditions. Although your tackle and gear setup will be determined by the fish species being targeted, your tackle will need to comprise all components that are most suitable for the conditions offered by various piers.
I’ve gathered some of the best tackle setups for pier fishing to help you get ready for some thrilling catches on your next trip.
What Kind of Tackle Do You Use For Pier Fishing?
Fishing tackle describes all equipment used, including aspects such as lines, bait, rods, and much more. All of these would need to be suited for piers with varying bottoms, such as sandy, rocky, or mixed, and it should be compatible with the water depth at the fishing pier’s location and the fish species being lured.
Generally, larger or heftier fish will require a medium to heavy build, but many fish species will require a light setup. It’s thus imperative that you have a solid understanding of the species you are trying to catch in relation to which tackle setup will be useful or if you will require a setup that is somewhere in between.
What’s The Ideal Size Of Fishing Rod and Reel For Pier Fishing?
Pier fishing rods have lessened in popularity, as all-around modern beachcasters may be suitable for varying pier conditions, with the ability for casting on various grounds such as sandy, rocky, or a combination.
Piers that are rugged can hook on equipment easily, and some have strong currents, necessitating a powerful fishing rod coupled with a quick retrieval multiplier reel.
In terms of the length of the rod, shorter rods at around 6 – 7 ft. would be ideal for dropping bait straight down from the pier or only a few feet away as well, and a 9 – 10 ft. rod would be appropriate for casting at greater distances and would be better suited for deep water fishing.
This will also play a role in which rod would be suited for each species since some species roam near the structure seeking shelter or feeding opportunities, and some species roam further out from the pier in deeper waters.
A great all-purpose setup would be to use an 8000 spin reel with a 12ft medium to the heavy rod, paired with a 40-pound braid line and 30-pound fluoro leader.
This setup would be ideal for catching species up to 20 pounds like Jack and smaller species such as certain classes of bluefish or redfish, which weigh in at around 5 – 10 pounds.
Light spinning rods and bass rods, such as an 8ft medium to the light rod with a 5000 spin reel, a 20-pound braid line, and a 15-pound fluoro leader, would be ideal for smaller species.
Fishing Line Size For Pier Fishing
The line’s weight should be approximately 20 – 40 pounds since this weight is appropriate for most species that roam piers and relatively deep waters nearby. The use of such a line results in a fairly decent casting distance and provides hasty retrieval of your line.
It should be noted that although the braided line can be useful, some circumstances may require a monoline to provide elasticity, which will combat the fish’s squirming while attempting to get free.
Best Hook Size For Pier Fishing?
You should have a range of fishing hooks to prepare for different baiting opportunities as part of your tackle. Most baits will require a hook No.4 to No.2, and J hooks are more suitable for fishing from piers.
The selection of sinkers would be based on the pier conditions and the location’s characteristics surrounding it.
Pyramid sinkers are a great option for sandy bottoms, and bank sinkers are ideal for fishing in areas with rocky bottoms or underwater structures.
Curved shapes such as teardrop sinkers and casting sinkers are a fantastic choice for all-around use or mixed bottom terrain.
Depending on the conditions of the location, sinkers ranging from 1 – 6 ounces should work. A three-way rig is a great option for pier fishing various species and comprises a snap that holds the sinker, a three-way swivel, and a fluorocarbon leader attached to a hook.
Type Of Bait For Pier Fishing
Live bait is always a great option for attracting your target fish species, but other kinds of bait – whether whole or cut – can be great for increasing catch rate as well.
Bait such as shrimp, bloodworms, anchovies, sardines, and squid are popular options, as they appeal to most fish species roaming piers.
Best Jigs For Pier Fishing
Bucktail jigs and soft-bodied lead head jigs of around 1 ounce would be suitable for targeting fish species such as mackerel, bass flounder, bluefish, and jigs of up to 2 ounces should be used for fishing in deeper waters with stronger currents.
Thick bodied casting spoons work well for covering the distance in various conditions and species, with the ability to be cast out far and be retrieved at various depths.
At the same time, jigging spoons are also ideal for any species but are more suitable for vertical fishing.
Related Article: How To Fish From a Pier? Pier Fishing 101
Nets and Gaffs
Regardless of whether you will be catching and releasing or taking your prize home for dinner, you will need to be prepared for hauling up your catch since hauling them up by rod is prohibited at most fishing piers.
Even for piers where it is allowed, this can become a rather troublesome task when fish species are larger and heavier – not to mention the possibility of snapped lines and broken equipment or the chance of losing your catch.
Drop nets are generally essential since it allows catches to be retrieved from the waters below without injury or damage.
These can become tricky to work with when the wind is strong, but the technique of lowering it down and working it under your fish is relatively simple to get the hang of.
For species such as Black Drum or Kingfish, a hoop net would be advantageous.
Gaffs are also handy for collecting fish from the waters below, but its use will probably kill the fish. Various versions such as Flying gaffs and Cliff gaffs can be used when a standard gaff’s handle is not long enough.
Tackle Bag/ Tackle Box
Investing in a quality tackle bag or box will allow you to plan effectively in accordance with the target fish species, the diverse environment of the pier fishing location being visited, as well as factors like your choice of baits and lures, and this tackle carrier can be set down beside you or kept on your body.
This addition will wrap up all your tackle nicely and add an invaluable layer of comfort and organization to this beloved activity.
There are plenty of tackles to consider when pier fishing. But it will mainly come down to your preferences, location, and characteristics of the targeted fish species as your setup’s overall nature will be closely linked to the weight of the fish being lured and traits of its habitat.
With some great planning and tackle organization, you would be well prepared to land some stunning catches on your next trip.