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Pier Fishing

Updated on December 20, 2014

Saltwater Fishing Piers of the USA

The page introduces fishing piers. Pier fishing is an easy, fun and inexpensive way for families to enjoy saltwater fishing.

Privately owned fishing piers usually charge a single fee to fish for the entire day.

State, County and City public piers usually offer fishing at no charge, although a fishing license is often required.

Pier Fishing Basics

Pier fishing tackle varies from simple equipment to a few complicated rigs. Beginners will feel very much at ease and many piers have a family atmosphere and lots of people willing to help each other learn.

Calling ahead to commercial piers is one way to prepare. Anglers can also check webpages such as the links listed in this lens for tips.

In either case its a good idea to create a list of items needed and bring them beforehand. You will also want to consider how you will transport all this gear!

Common items might include a cooler, ice, drinks, snacks, sunblock, a hat, light jacket, insect repellent, knife, bait, rags, pliers, rod and reels, tackle, and a camera.

Some piers will have a store and feature everything you need, even rental rods and food. Others have no resources.

Fishing varies with time of day, wind, season and other factors. You can check local fishing reports, call the pier or contact the local authorites. The best way to find out is usually to enjoy time on the pier itself though!

Fishing Piers of the USA Mid Atlantic Coast

Anglers have a nice variety of fishing piers along the mid-Atlantic coast and in the Chesapeake Bay.

Starting in Maryland, Ocean City has 2 fishing piers, as well as the surf, a jetty and public bulkheads to fish from. Ocean city anglers catch a variety of fish including flounder, trout, bluefish, spot, croakers, striped bass, sharks and others.

Traveling south along the coast to Virginia, piers include the Sea Gull pier on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. Both piers commonly experience catches of flounder, trout, bluefish, spot, croakers, striped bass, sharks, Spanish ackerel, black drum and others. Both Virginia piers are known for fantastic runs of spot, a small but tasty saltwater fish.

Both Maryland and Virginia also have an excellent variety of piers in the Chesapeake Bay. Locations include the Choptank Pier, Crisfield Pier, Saxis Pier, Morley's Wharf Pier, Kiptopeake Pier and others.

North Carolina has a wide range of piers to fish from. North Carolina piers often have more than one style of fishing. Along the pier itself, anglers fish for flounder, trout, bluefish, spot, croakers and Spanish mackerel. North Carolina piers experience runs of spot and Spanish mackerel that attract large numbers of anglers.

North Carolina Piers have a second fishery, usually done at the ends of the structures. Anglers use special tackle, employing 2 rods. "The Hatteras heaver" is a special rod that casts a large sinker out. A second rod is employed, using a release clip that allows a live bait to slide down the line of the first rod's line. When a fish takes the bait, the release opens, allowing the angler to fight the fish on the lighter rod. Anglers catch king mackerel, cobia, jacks and sharks this way. Some catches can be quite large. This fishing is one of the few fisheries where anglers can catch a trophy fish from shore.

North Carolina Piers are found in Nag's Head, Kittyhawk, Manteo and other areas.

Pier Fishing Feedback

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    • profile image

      gbailey 5 years ago

      Nice lens. Looking to get into pier fishing. There are a few close to me around the New Orleans are.

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      Ah, I spent many a day fishing from the Lake Worth Pier. Great Lens!

    • grayth lm profile image

      grayth lm 9 years ago

      Ah the wonderful joys of pier fishing. I consider myself a bank fisherman mostly and piers play a big part in that, nice lens very informative.

      I wrote a nice lens on fishing tackle making come by and check it out, would love to hear your comments.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I haven't been pier fishing in forever. I need to set aside some time and try my hand at some of the things I used to love. I spend too much time at the computer.

      Great lens


    • sisterra profile image

      sisterra 9 years ago

      My dad used to take my brother and I fishing when we were little. I can't remember where.

    • ltraider profile image

      ltraider 9 years ago

      Very interesting stuff. When I kid I did this a bit but now I live away from the sea, so it's rivers and lakes for me now.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great lens and welcome to the South Carolina Group.

    • billco1 profile image

      billco1 10 years ago

      Nice lense. I use to fish of the pier at Gulf Shores, Alabama until Hurricane Ivan got it in 2004. The state is building a bigger one with a "T" shape.

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Great lens! I did a photographic art piece of Ocean Eddie's on the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. It has become a popular print since the pier my be torn down soon. Go to my website to check it out!

      Thanks, Sara