Fishing from a pier gives you access to a wide range of different species which means there is a lot of different pier fishing gear and tackle required if you want to target every type of fish in every type of water conditions.
If you are just starting out then I would strongly suggest sticking to using bait and targeting smaller species of fish.
This of course will depend on the exact pier you are fishing from and the time of year it is.
Spend a little time observing the locals or regulars at the pier they are usually the best sources of information about what king of pier fishing tackle you will need.
Pier Fishing Gear and Tackle
A good pier fishing rod should be matched to the type of fishing you are doing and what species of fish you will be targeting the most often.
You have a few different options when it comes to choosing what kind of rod you will need for pier fishing:
- Light spinning rod for baitfish and light jigging work
- Medium sized spinning or conventional rod for heavier bait and lure casting
- Heavy conventional rod for bigger species and larger lures
Once you've spent a bit of time at your local pier you'll notice that a lot of fishermen will use multiple rods at the same time.
They may use a light rod for bobber fishing or catching baitfish and a much heavier outfit for using live bait or casting longer distances out from the pier.
Your reel will need to be matched to your rod and line. Either a spinning reel or a conventional reel.
Either option needs to be capable of handling heavy use in saltwater conditions.
Always remember to rinse your eels thoroughly will fresh water once you get home to help protect them from the corrosive effects of salt water.
The two most common types of line for use on a pier is either braid or monofilament. You would want to use 10 lb monofilament as a minimum and 20 lb braid.
Mono gives you a bit of extra stretch in the line when compared to braid. For lighter work I prefer mono especially on a smaller sized spinning reel.
Sinkers are a crucial piece of pier fishing tackle for getting down to the sea floor when bottom fishing. That is not their only purpose though.
Sinkers also help keep your bait on the sea floor once you have cast out into the spot you have targeted.
There is a choice of either round or pyramid style sinkers.
Round sinkers are best on rocky bottom as there is less chance that they will get stuck in between the rocks when compared to pyramid shaped ones.
Pyramid style sinkers are great for working on sandy bottoms as their shape helps to anchor then in the sand and they are less likely to be moved around in the current or on coming tide.
5. Hooks and Rigs
Circle and traditional J hooks are probably the most popular type of hooks used when fishing with bait but there are other options also and this will depend very strongly the method or kind of bait presentation that you are trying to use.
Premade rigs are a real time saver especially if you are using something like a sabiki rig. Just pull them straight out of the packer and you are ready to go, a real time saver.
6. Rod Holder
If you are using a short rod then a rod holder is quite a useful piece of pier fishing gear.
If you rest a short rod against the pier wall then it will only start to bend at the point where it touches the wall or railing.
With a rod holder you retain all of the action of the rod whilst it is securely fixed in place.
With longer rods this is usually not an issue and they are normally just left up against the railing. Just make sure that it is tied to the rail in some way as you can lose rods even heavy ones if a big fish strikes.
A good stainless steel pliers is a must when fishing in salt water. A lot of species have row after row of sharp teeth and you need something that protects your hands whilst removing the hooks.
Pliers are also useful for cutting line and sqeezing on tradional style sinkers onto your line.
8. Fishing Cart
What pier would be complete without a few carts crammed full of pier fishing equipment.
Once you need to carry multiple rods, a tackle box and a drop net for pier fishing then investing in a decent fishing cart is a wise decision.
They take all of the pain out of carrying lots of awkard and bulky gear around with you.
9. Tackle Box
When you have lots of sinkers hooks and rigs then a tackle box is a bit of a no brainer.
Once you start using lots of lures and jigs on top of the basic bait fishing tackle keeping then in a separate compartment is the only way to stop all your lures and bait rigs getting tangled.
A good pier net makes life much easier once it comes time to land your catch. A regular long handled net may not be strong enough or long enough to handle a fish of any serious weight.