Pier Fishing At Night| Is It Good Or Bad?

As an angler, pier fishing is one of the most magical fishing experiences you will ever have. Not only is pier fishing affordable, but it is also so much fun and convenient. And the icing on the cake? You get heaps of fish and the company of like-minded anglers. It would be best if you had the right equipment for pier fishing and choose suitable timing. In this post, we take you through the tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years, and you’ll be glad you stopped by!

Pier fishing at night is good when the pier is well-lit. Baitfish are attracted to light and this, in turn, attracts Predator fish: thus, guaranteeing you an extraordinary fishing experience

Smaller fish species also love the structure’s shelter and will mostly be found around the pier.  It is easy to catch them by focusing on the outer edges of the lit areas. These small fish then attract bigger predator fish leading to an explosive fishing experience. Most piers are usually closed at night for safety reasons. Ensure you enquire beforehand if the pier you are targeting is open at night for proper planning. 

What Is The Best Time To Fish Off A Pier?

Knowing the right time to drop the line goes a long way in increasing your chances for success as a pier angler. You could have the best skills and equipment, but they would mean nothing if you are trying when the fish are not there. In general, the best time for pier fishing is at sundown or early morning. During this time, moving tides attract baitfish to the pier, and bigger predator fish come out to hunt too.

There are exceptions to this rule in some regions due to differences in the climate. For example, if you are fishing during winter in a cold region, fish are more active during the day. In such a case, pier fishing would be best during the day when the sun is at its peak. If you are in a warmer climate, you may find that fish are more active at night. Some fish species are best caught at night since that is when they are most active. Ensure you find out in advance if it is legal to fish at night in your state and if the pier is open for night fishing. Some piers also require you to have a fishing license, so make sure you plan.

Night Pier Fishing Tips: A Detailed Guide To Help Catch More Fish

Pier fishing is fun and relatively affordable: you don’t need a boat to go fishing. You also don’t have to worry about winds or fierce weather that could drown your boat. Night pier fishing is ideal for targeting saltwater species such as tarpon, salmon, snook, redfish, speckled trout, and striped bass since they are most active at night. Some freshwater fish species are also active at night and easier to catch then. They include pike, rainbow trout, musky, and largemouth bass.

Before you head out pier fishing at night, have an idea of what you aim to catch. Here are some helpful tips that we’ve mastered with time.

1. Research Ahead And Know All The Rules At The Pier

To have an undisturbed fishing experience, you will need to be equipped with the right information. Find out if you need a fishing license to fish at the pier. Most public piers will allow you to fish without a license. If you often fish, getting a license is a good idea to ensure you are on the safe side of the law. Sometimes, you will be required to pay a fee either at the entrance of for fishing, go prepared with extra money. Knowing the operating hours for a pier helps you know how late into the night you can fish for proper planning. Find out if there are any gear restrictions or bag limits for the species you intend to catch. This information can easily be obtained from your state’s official fisheries department website.

2. Dress Warmly And Tell Someone Where You Are Going

Temperatures drop at night, and it can get frigid outside. Considering you are surrounded by a water body that cools its surrounding, dressing warmly will ensure you are comfortable throughout the night. Your safety is also paramount, and you should share with someone your whereabouts. It is essential to have someone who knows where you are so that your friends and family know where to look in case of danger.

3. Choose The Right Bait

Your bait should be determined by what you aim to catch and your location. You can opt for natural critters at your pier as opposed to buying expensive baits. You will find that fish are more likely to react to what they know and are used to. Some piers also have tuck shops where you can buy baits ranging from shrimps, bloodworms, squid, and sardines to anchovies. Ensure you find out what has been working before buying any bait or lures.

4. Bring Your Light

Carrying a source of light might sound quite obvious, but most anglers overlook it. Even if the pier has lights, you need to have your flashlight for illuminating where you are walking. You might also consider an underwater light to attract fish to your fishing spot.

5. Have The Right Equipment

A quick search for “Pier fishing equipment” gives you lots of jargon that can be quite confusing and discouraging. You don’t need to worry since we’ll take you through the equipment, how to use and what you can substitute with. You can get a whole set of pier fishing equipment for less than $50. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

1. Fishing rod: a conventional spinning rod with a resistance of 12-50 pounds will do the trick

2. Sinkers or weights: these will help to keep the bait deeper in the water. Normal sinkers are about 1 or 2 ounces in weight. Claw or pyramid sinker types are best for pier fishing since they anchor your line using the current pull.

3. Baits: you will easily find baits at the pier shop. If you have the option of live baits, the better. The most popular bait options are shrimp, squids, bloodworms, sardines, and anchovies

4. Hooks: the standard type of hooks for pier fishing are the J-hooks. They are shaped like the letter J

5. Knife: you’ll need a knife to cut the bait into the right size for your hook and also to fillet your catch

6. Pier gaff of hoop net: to help pull your catch up easier

7. Pliers or hemostat: these will come in handy to remove the hooks from your fish

8. A bucket: for carrying your fish home

9. Tacklebox: for putting all your fishing tools together

10. Picnic chair: for sitting as you enjoy the view and wait for the fish to bite. Most piers have in place chairs already

6. Cast Your Lines Near Lighted Areas, Under The Pier, And Around The Pillars Or Shallow Areas

These areas are where the baitfish love to be, the small creature is also attracted to these spots, and you will find predator fish targeting these areas. You have high chances of catching lots of fish in these areas.

Pier Fishing Etiquette

Most piers have rules and regulations to be adhered to when fishing. Ensure you check them out earlier and adhere to them. There are also unwritten rules that anglers follow to make a seamless experience. If you are a newbie angler, we’ve got your back. Here are some of the rules that go without saying:

1. Never cast over someone else and allow other anglers enough elbow space to cast a rod comfortably

2. Some species might be harder to bring back up since they ‘fight’ you forcing you to move up and down. Whoever catches such a species should be allowed the advantage to move around

3. To prevent accidents, avoid leaving your gear or catch unattended at the deck

4. After you’re done, clean your spot


Pier fishing is fun, magical, and a great way place to start fishing. Fishing at night adds to the thrill and success of catching different species of fish. Pier fishing at night is good and allows you to explore a wider variety of fish species.

Before going pier fishing at night, every angler needs to know the pier’s rules and regulations. It would be best if you also were prepared with the right equipment. You may end up catching lots of fish as you have fun alongside like-minded anglers. We hope this post motivates you to go on that adventurous night fishing at your favorite pier.

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