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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.


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