Saltwater Pier and Surf Fishing

Saltwater pier and surf fishing is a terrific way to start saltwater fishing in a journey with your friends and family. Get specialist advice about fishing from surf, piers, jetties, points and more.

There are hundreds of public parks and fishing piers located near beaches, boardwalks and ocean shorelines that offer anglers like you the chance to cast a line. To obtain begun:

  1. Make certain you have the right saltwater fishing deal with and gear for the conditions and types.
  2. Identify what fishing strategies you will wish to use when you get to your best fishing spot.
  3. For both saltwater pier and surf fishing, examine your regional tide charts to see if the tide is coming in or out, this will impact the fishes’ feeding patterns.
  4. Ensure you have your fishing license and understand your state fishing policies.



If you are aiming to choose between saltwater pier and surf fishing as a starting angler, try pier fishing first. Fishing from a pier is an excellent method to get started, as a minimal amount of saltwater fishing deal with is required. It is also interesting and diverse due to the fact that of the variation in water depth covered by a lot of these structures and the variety in types you might capture.

Among the most crucial pier fishing tips to keep in mind is security first considering that there are generally a number of anglers casting and reeling in fish within close quarters to each other. Ensure you are not casting overhead near another angler to ensure nobody gets hurt.

  • 6 to 9-foot medium heavy action rod with corrosion resistant spinning reel
  • 10 to 15-pound test braid or monofilament fishing line with 20 to 30-pound fluorocarbon leader line
  • 2/0 to 4/0 size circle hooks (if you choose bigger baits, the larger hook size will work better).
  • Various pack of sinkers. You might want to purchase split-shot and egg sinkers of varying weights, use the heavier sinkers for areas with more powerful existing.
  • Lures such as jigs, soft plastic shrimp, spoons and topwater plugs or live bait such as shrimp.
  • A popping cork or float to keep live baits off of the bottom.


When searching for the best fishing spots along a pier, consider attempting the areas below. You might need to try a little bit of trial and error if you can not see listed below the water if its high tide, or ask another angler who may be fishing there too.


Oysters, barnacles and small marine plants reside on the pilings and rocks that can be discovered near fishing piers. All of these organisms supply food for bigger game fish. Pilings and rocks likewise provide fish cover from the sun or defense from larger, predatory fish. Attempt live lining a live shrimp rigged on a 2/0 circle hook with a popping cork when fishing from a pier near pilings.


The majority of piers are located near seawalls or bulkheads to help keep the ocean from eroding the coastlines, and for anglers these kinds of structures frequently indicate great pier fishing due to the fact that there are plenty of hiding places for bait and fish. When fishing seawalls or bulkheads, drop any of the above baits or lures straight down and jig them or bounce them near the base of the structure.


Saltwater pier and surf fishing are very similar in regards to the types you might catch, however they can be various in terms of area, strategy and tackle. Fishing from the beach implies you have the capability to move along the coastline by foot, and can even wade into the water in order to get to the areas where baitfish may be located and the bigger fish are feeding. Saltwater species such as redfish, snook, striped bass, pompano, flounder and sea trout are a few examples of fish you may find.

TIP: Consider examining a topical map to acquaint yourself with what the ocean floor appears like beyond the beach, this will give you a general concept of how to find the best places to drop your line.


  • 7 to 12-foot medium to heavy action rod with a heavy-duty spinning frame that is rust resistant.
  • 17 to 20-pound test line with 30 to 40-pound test leader line (can increase to 50-pound leader line if you have a have to increase the weight of the sinkers you are using due to current or wind).
  • Lures such as jigs, plugs, soft plastics and metal spoons or live bait such as shrimp or crabs.
  • A range of hooks ranging in size from 1/0 to 10/0, depending on species and size of bait used.
  • 3 to 8-ounce sinkers (use the heavier sinkers when fishing areas with strong present or tidal motion).
  • Rod holder or sand increase that can hold your rod in place and prevents your reel from coming into contact with the sand.


As soon as you have your saltwater fishing tackle, head to the beach and look for the listed below areas. If you are not able to locate them aesthetically, consider looking over a topical map, asking a fellow angler or examining the regional fishing reports.


Pay attention to where the waves break off of the shore or beach. The area where the waves break is normally where you will find a trough that runs parallel to the beach. It’s near these troughs that you will find areas of fast-moving current where the baitfish and crustaceans will frequently be found. You can frequently spot large schools of baitfish near the surface area in these areas or see birds several birds flying overhead. Try using a fish finder rig in these areas for types such as go to pieces, sea trout, bluefish and pompano.



Look for jetties or rock formations that extend out into the water and affect the existing. Jetties ready places to attempt surf fishing since the rocks located below the water are generally the home of the baitfish and crustaceans that bigger fish like to feed on. Waves crash up versus jetties and breakwaters, and develop holes as the wave declines and carries sand out with it. Since the hole is much deeper than the ocean floor, it brings in small shellfish and baitfish searching for calmer water and a place to hide. These hiding spots create ambush spots for predatory game fish. Man-made structures like jetties and breakwaters also give shore anglers better access to deeper waters.


Points are natural sand or land developments that extend out into the ocean and produce an area of current where game fish can confine baitfish. The present flowing past a point will produce areas of shallow water that surrounds deep holes. At low tide, you can wade out onto the point and cast beyond the breakers. With the incoming tide, attempt fishing these holes and bars that might have been exposed during low tide. Make certain to exercise caution when fishing points given that promptly moving currents can press anglers from shallow water into deep water really quickly.

SUGGESTION: As a basic guideline, anglers who wade into the surf ought to constantly understand tidal conditions and take a fishing pal along whenever possible for safety reasons.


Inlets are trusted locations to discover fish due to the fact that there are two colliding bodies of moving water or existing. Inlets are typically marked by the existence of other notable fishing features such as jetties, bridges, sandbars, sloughs and deep holes. The combination of structure and convergent water creates an ideal scenario for surf fishing. Try to find rips, bars or troughs where game fish will usually be waiting for a meal to drift by in the moving existing. The fish tend to be fixed, so it’s best to use baits with a Carolina rig, or a jig or plug that will move along with the existing to provide a natural discussion to the fish.

Constantly looking for a new fishing difficulty? As soon as you have mastered your saltwater pier and surf fishing skills, it may be a good time to hop aboard a small flats boat and attempt your luck at backwater or flats fishing.


Surf and coast fishing takes an excellent eye. If you can spot a school of baitfish, then you may be able to capture larger fish that are following them. But hurry, game fish strike quick and leave. When you find a school of baitfish, search for the openings or lighter colored circles in the schools of bait. Oftentimes, if a predatory fish remains in the middle of a school of baitfish, the bait will aim to keep a safe range on all sides of the bigger fish to prevent being consumed. This is what creates the holes in the bait schools. If you can not locate these holes, cast your bait or lure to the outside edges of the baitfish schools.


Baitfish and schools of larger fish can swim so close together they actually change the color of the water. Train your eyes to look for these moving spots of color, and you will be rewarded for your efforts. Cast ahead and let your bait float to the school.


Birds fly above slow-moving baitfish. Get close and attempt to figure out if the baitfish are dead or alive. If they’re whipping around, you ought to fish shallow. If they’re wounded, fish much deeper.


Currents can run along the coast and kind pockets of much deeper water. This much deeper water normally appears darker than the surrounding water in the area. Bigger fish will move into these shallows and rest or wait for baitfish to pass by. You may get something larger than you anticipated.


The calmer waters between the place where big waves crash and calm water starts are called breakers. The crashing waves develop a sort of trench in the coast. Food settles in the trench, bait fish come for the food and game fish come for the baitfish. This offers a perfect location to discover fish however anglers must comprehend that fish that come to feed in these areas will feed very briefly in one location and carry on to continue looking for food.


Undersea currents can collide near points, inlets or other natural or man-made structure. Where these currents satisfy, food will collect and can be found throughout the water column in focused areas. The food will bring in baitfish then game fish. Do not try to find crashing waves. Try to find something a little calmer.


Great anglers see different colors in the ocean, and they discover how to spot weed beds and other animals attached to them. Smaller sized fish eat the weeds and bring in the fish you’re after. You’ll want to fish around the edges for the very best results.


Surf and seaside shore fishing can be done right from the edge of the ocean, from man-made structures like jetties and breakwaters or from a boat. Some surf anglers in fact wade right into the waters to cast to fish that may be hiding under the waves.

Surf and coastal shore fishing is challenging. There’s hardly any structure to bring in fish. So surf and shore angler must be able to read the waves, look for color changes in the water, display water temperature and understand migration patterns.


Tides raise and reduce the water level approximately two times daily and impact where fish lie and how they feed. The timing of a high or low tide changes everyday and is also various for each coastal area.

A shallow area that might hold fish and be a great spot to fish during a high tide will end up being a bare mud bank during low tide conditions. A slough (a minor depression in the bottom) that might be perfect for bottom feeding fish during a low tide circumstance may not hold fish on a high tide.

Running tides (increasing or falling) are best since they cause bait to move and promote active feeding amongst coastal fish. Changing tides, time of day and location are also important when you’re fishing in brackish water– coastal water that’s a mix of seawater and fresh water and includes a mix of saltwater and freshwater fish. Brackish water is discovered in many tidal creeks and rivers along all coasts and is extremely impacted by tidal movements.

In basic, the best fishing is often on a rising or falling tide– not the dead low or dead high, also described as “slack tides” when there is little or no tidal current.


Water that flows in and around points, sandbars and rocks looks for the quickest way out. This getting away water forms a faster-moving river of water through the obstacles. Search for the change in speed and color as the much faster moving water normally picks up and brings mud or sand out with it. These much deeper “rivers” will attract predatory fish.


Foam from crashing waves follows in addition to the currents. As it moves, it gathers debris and small marine animals. Little fish are attracted to the critters and big fish are drawn in to the little fish. Sometimes these floating lines of scrap are big enough to supply shade for bigger game fish. Fish them.