Salt Water Fishing From a Pier

A pier for your peers

Advantages of Pier Fishing

There are many different fishing programs aired every weekend but none of them specialize in pier fishing.  The reason for this is simple.  There are no pier salesmen.  Oh sure, some fishing products could be advertised  on such a show but the lack of good fishing piers around the country would guarantee the same old views to the TV watchers.  Because of this fact, many anglers never consider pier fishing as an alternative to fishing from boats or from the shore.  This is too bad as pier fishing is one of the easiest and most economical ways to enjoy the sport of angling.  

Like any other type of fishing, pier fishing has its good and bad days.  Some days the fish just won’t bite.  But in this case one merely loads up the gear and walks away.  No boats to load on the trailer or charters over rough seas back to shore.  There are many other advantages of pier fishing if you think about it, such as being able to fish while the family plays on the beach or swims in the pool.  If the fish are not biting you can join them or go watch sports on TV.  This type of fishing trip enables your family to go along with you which makes the wife happy too.

This particular fishing pier belongs to a condominium complex on Amelia Island named Amelia by the Sea.  Long before the condo was constructed this was a public fishing pier.  As a child I spent many wonderful hours patrolling its length watching anglers pull in a variety of ocean denizens including flounder, shark, sea trout, sheephead, and many other species.  But in the 60’s the land was sold to build the condominium and the pier became part of the complex.  Since then the pier has been rebuilt and repaired several times to keep it in wonderful condition.

This pier has everything needed to ensure a pleasant fishing experience.  There are fish cleaning tables with sinks and running water which avoid the mess your wife hates.  Lights are provided for fishing at night because many anglers just don’t get enough of the sport during the day.  Besides, it is nice to sit out on the pier at night with friends and  watch the ocean and lights from the shore.  Two covered shelters are there to seek relief from the sun and rain.  There is also a landing net provided to lower beneath your catch and pull it up to the pier.

Easy Fishing From a Pier

Shelter from sun and rain
Shelter from sun and rain
fish cleaning station
fish cleaning station
Landing net
Landing net
A view with a room
A view with a room
The fish are biting
The fish are biting

Pier Fishing Techniques

Another great advantage of pier fishing is being able to catch your own bait.  Using a cast net, one can catch fingerling mullet to use as live bait for the many species of fish.  An aerator or floating bait bucket is required to keep the bait alive while you are on the pier.  Menhaden and other bait fish can also be caught depending on the time of year.  In the fall when the large schools of mullet start their runs it is possible to catch the large fish by the dozens if you can throw a cast net well.  An extra length of rope is added to the cast net to enable you to reach down to the water.  Throwing the net with the wind takes a little practice but you soon get the hang of it.

Many species of fish can be caught using these fingerling mullet but flounder is the primary target for many of us.  Working the bait around the pilings is the best method to catch these wonderful creatures.  Do not be surprised if you also catch red drum, Spanish mackerel, spotted sea trout, or even a shark while going after the flounder.  Cut bait and live and dead shrimp will also catch the occasional fish if they are biting but live bait seems to work best.

Huge fish are not rare around these piers as tarpon and cobia also ply the waters around this type of structure.  Landing one of these monsters can be difficult and I have watched as many large fish were worked back into the shallows in attempts to land them from the shore.  The excitement caused by such a struggle is very entertaining to the onlookers and especially to the luck angler who hooked the creature.

Another side benefit of pier fishing is having a great view of the beach life.  People riding horses, surfers riding the giant waves, kite surfers, and many other forms of beach activities keep one entertained while fishing for the big ones.  Pier fishing is an excellent way to introduce salt water fishing to your kids and to your wife without risking boat trip or the chance of sea sickness.  Elderly or handicapped anglers also benefit from pier fishing as no special contrivances are required.

All in all, pier fishing has something for everyone in the family.  Finding a good pier to fish from is the only problem you face.  Fishing piers are not as common as they once were before so many boats were available but there are still some around.  A little searching should turn up one which will suit your own particular needs.  So try pier fishing if you are looking for a more relaxed way to enjoy the sport of salt water angling, you will be happy you did.     



         

Pier perks

Nice drum caught from pier
Nice drum caught from pier
Watching the beach life
Watching the beach life
Beautiful shoreline
Beautiful shoreline

Landing the Fish

The rods, reels, and tackle needed for pier fishing on the Atlantic are slightly different from that used on a boat.  Because of the heavy surf and undertow, a heavier lead sinker is necessary.  Start off with a 2 oz. sinker if fishing on the bottom.  For most species of fish a #2 hook will be sufficient for landing your catch.  Corks or floats are not normally used as most of the species strike below the surface, however a live fish used as bait beneath a float will sometimes attract a sea trout or other top water feeder.  Twenty lb. and higher test fishing line is recommended along with a steel leader because of the possibility of the fish cutting the line with its teeth.

A good saltwater reel is recommended along with a fairly long rod.  Being able to keep the fish away from the barnacle encrusted pilings and from wrapping around them is very important to landing your fish.  The longer rod will help to prevent the fish from getting too close to the pier.  Using a stiffer rod will also help in this endeavor while making it easier to maneuver the fish into the landing net.  This is where volunteers offer to help and this is usually appreciated.  Sometimes getting the fish into the landing net can be very frustrating and occasionally disappointing.  Take your time.

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Comments 17 comments

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

Wow. Great minds...

We must have been writing at the exact same time! Nice drum ya got there!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Cool huh? It was caught by an amateur angler from the pier.


habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

Who you callin' an amateur??? Good hub. I think that pier is my favorite spot on the globe!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Yes, I taught you well. Yuks aplenty.


habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

We cooked all those fish Saturday. I was surprised at how good the black drum were!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

It looks wonderful place for fishing. thanks for share about that place. wonderful picture also.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Can't believe I haven't found this magnificent Hub before. I used to go pier fishing as a child. Sadly, many of the piers from which I fished are now gone, or fenced off as being unsafe. These days, I still enjoy my boat and shore sea fishing but having read your wonderful piece, I am feeling very nostalgic re those wonderful fishing days.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Gordon! Like you, I graduated from pier fishing as a child to owning my own boat for the wonderful "flats" fishing in the nearby Gulf of Mexico.

Yes, there aren't very many good piers to fish from anymore, especially public ones, but this one is special. Once a public fishing pier, this one is now owned by the condominium "Amelia by the Sea" and is the best I know of for ease of fishing.

I used to spend a month fishing there every September but now it's mostly long weekends. Mores the pity!

Thanks for stopping by and for the great input you took the time to post here.

Randy


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

I loved this great rundown on pier fishing. It brought back such fond memories of growing up in Florida where fishing was a natural way to have fun. The way you've described everything makes me feel almost like I'm right there on the pier. Beautiful pictures.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Yes Peg, pier fishing is a lot of fun, especially for families with several kids. The ease of access makes it affordable for many folks also. Thanks for stopping by.

Randy


suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Great hub and nice Drum. I love salt water fishing . You never know what you might reel in. Great looking fishing pier is it a secret fishing hole?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Not a secret at all, suzzycue. Amelia By The Sea is a condo on Amelia Island which owns the pier and keeps it up for its residents and renters. We used to stay there for the entire month of Sept. as the fihing was great during this time of year. No fishing license required if you are staying there.

A friend and I once caught over 100 mullet with a thrown net in only 3 casts and the flounder fishing is great too. Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

Randy


suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

100 mullet in three casts is great. Cast netting was one of my favorite things to do. A great fishing pier with no license. How sweet is that!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Really sweet for my tastes, Suzzycue. I usually catch all of my bait right on the pier as I prefer using live fingerling mullet as my bait of choice for flounder, red drum, trout, and almost any other species of fish found alongside of the pier. I highly recommend this pier for ease of use and accessibility, especially for the elderly and for the very young. Bests the heck out of boat fishing in my opinion.


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

I enjoyed this article. You made many good points about pier fishing. I think it would make for a good fishing show. It seems they could sell the fishing and the local beach area. As you mentioned pier fishing gives you an opportunity to view life along the shore.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Thanks for reading, Robert. As I've gotten older I'd rather fish from a pier than a boat. My favorite fishing pier is at Jekyll Island. It's minutes away from the campground we stay at during the fall and if the fish aren't biting I can be back at the camper in a few minutes.

Also, the depth on the pier goes from a few feet of water to over 60 feet of depth. Needless to say, all sorts of fish are caught there.


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

That seems a great place to fish.

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