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Old 03-02-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
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Arrow Want to learn about pier fishing? READ THIS!

Do you want to learn how to fish the beach piers along the Gulf Coast? I can help!

I can tell you just about anything you want to know about fishing the local beach piers, well maybe not everything, but everything I've grown to know over the years. For starters, most of us who fish the pier regularly have three rods. You do not want to pack on your whole arsenal for the trip to the pier. Why? It is hard to keep an eye on your equipment, thieves are common everywhere so it lessens your chances of one day having something taken while your attention is elsewhere. It's also more of a pain to haul everything up and down the pier, that is unless you have a pier cart (you can find these at any local tackle store). The three rods I am talking about are: A Ling (Cobia) rod, a King (Mackerel) rod, and a Pompano rod (for smaller species). Everyone has their own ways of fishing. As far as learning about catching certain fish, you will learn this over time by watching folks on the pier, and reading a lot of good information. and FISHING. Another forum (dedicated to pier fishing) is www.panhandlepierfishing.com. Check it out, and you can ask any questions you may have there as well.

FOR COBIA:

Generally the cobia rod is an 8 to 9 foot 1 piece rod, generally a 25-30lb class range rod. A typical reel that would would work well on this rod is loaded full with around 300 yards or more of 25-30lb mono line, or 30 to 50lb braided line (personal preference, but both work fine.) This rod is used to throw a 2-4oz cobia jig (basically a large bucktail jig). You can find these at local tackle shops as well. You will want to use a 12-24" fluorocarbon leader in 40lb or 50lb. Attach this leader to your main line with a small, but heavy duty swivel (60# to 100# rating), or a uni to uni knot. We use this set up to sight cast to migrating cobia, tarpon and schooling jack crevalle and bull redfish.

FOR KING MACKEREL:

Your king rod would also be an 8 or 9 foot rod, but a lighter action than a cobia rod, generally a 15-20lb line class rod. As for a reel, you would want something that would hold about 300yds of 14-20lb. test. Which line weight is up to you. I generally use 14-17lb. These rods are used to throw natural bait such as cigar minnows, LY's, menhaden and hardtails. The lighter action rod helps cast these baits farther. The primary target with this rod is king mackerel when they start showing up in our waters, but can catch just about anything on these baits. Generally you want to use a 12-18" leader made of steel (sevenstrand is preferred, but straight wire works well too). Use as small as of a swivel as possible (with a 30-60lb rating) to connect your line to your leader. As far as a hook goes, use treble hooks in the sizes of #4, #2, #1 and #1/0. You do not need to use a weight for this. The size of hook I use depends on what size bait I am using. You can either hook your bait through the head, or in the back behind the dorsal fin. The goal of fishing this way, is to cast out your bait, and try to create a lifelike action, making it look like an injured baitfish.

FOR SMALLER SPECIES:

A pompano rod is basically a smaller inshore rod. A good set up would be a 7 ft medium action rod, with a reel that will hold 250yds or so of 10lb test line. A Shimano 2500 size reel is a good example for this. These rods are used to catch the smaller species around the pier such as pompano, spanish mackerel, sheepshead, flounder, redfish, whiting, bonito and black drum. The bait of choice when using these rods is generally a pompano jig (small bucktail style jig). You can find these in local tackle shops as well. A 15-20lb fluorocarbon leader is also great to use, although if targeting spanish mackerel, you want to use a light steel leader around 17# rating (spanish teeth cut through regular line easily, and will cause a lost bait). For attaching the fluorocarbon leader to your main line, use a uni to uni knot. For attaching the steel leader, use a SMALL swivel.

I would advise having a pier net over a gaff for starters. There is usually plenty of folks there with a pier gaff, and most would be willing to gaff your fish for you. There are generally less people with pier nets, and you will want to have one to bring up the smaller fish onto the pier. A lost pompano due to trying to bring him onto the pier because nobody has a net is a heart breaker! Pier gaffs are used for the larger species of fish (except for redfish).

Most importantly, WATCH. Watch what everyone out there is doing. This will give you an idea of what area of the pier to fish for what species, how they are fishing for them, what bait they are using, etc. Don't be too afraid to ask questions, but there will always be someone anywhere you go that will ignore you or be rude. If this happens, shrug it off and forget it, don't let it effect your attitude!

Each bait and tackle store along the gulf coast carries their own brands of Cobia and King Mackerel custom rods. These are GREAT for a beginner. Look at these to get an idea on the style of rod you need, and pick one up if you need one! Once you become extremely efficient in fishing these style rods, you may want to have one made the way you want it by a local rod builder. You can get any color you like, any grip set up that you like, any guides that you like as well! A custom built rod from a local builder can range from $125 to $300. If you are ever unsure about anything, remember that any of the local tackle shops can help you out anytime, for just about anything you need for pier fishing. You can find helpful information on this forum as well. Remember: ASK QUESTIONS!! This is the BEST way to learn, other than going fishing.

Once again, if you want to know how to catch a particular species of fish, search the forum by the name of the fish, and even search the internet (google) as well. Read as much as you can! Try to find information related to the gulf coast, because different locations have different techniques (some may be highly effective in one place, but not nearly as effective in another).

When is the best time to fish? WHENEVER YOU CAN! Good Luck!

Last edited by Austin; 03-04-2012 at 10:35 AM. Reason: added a few things.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:28 PM   #2
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great post!!!! well said
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:08 PM   #3
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Vote to sticky!!
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:22 PM   #4
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Austin, that is a excellent post, Lots of great info. !
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:36 PM   #5
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come a long way young man ! For some reason , I felt like you could do it !
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
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Thanks folks! I just re-read though it, and I need to fix some things. And to John Soule, I learned a lot from you when I was younger sir. Thanks again!
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Last edited by Austin; 03-02-2012 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:04 AM   #7
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Great information for this newcomer. I look forward to putting some of that info to good use. Fish-on!! GT
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:31 PM   #8
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Trying to get this STICKIED!!!
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info, I'm new to pier fishing, and I'm trying to get all the info I can.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:31 AM   #10
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Great post, thanks!
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