There are all kinds of public fishing piers along our coasts where you can catch saltwater fish, as well as crabs and possibly bait. These are good venues for introducing youngsters to fishing. Some of the smallest and simplest are merely extensions of docks used for boat access, but others are more elaborate, being long and occasionally wide structures built on pilings and extending well out into the water.
Many of the larger public fishing piers are well known and easy to find, but there are others that are smaller, not well advertised, known mostly to locals, and yet offering pier fishing for diverse species, as well as the ability to spread out for social distancing reasons.
A case in point for the latter is the public fishing pier at the northern end of Anna Maria Island in southwest Florida. Despite spending much time in Florida over the years I’d never heard of the small yet obviously popular Rod and Reel Pier there until last winter, while vacationing nearby. If you’re looking for any public fishing spots in an area that you’re visiting, always check with a local bait and tackle shop and ask about public fishing piers (as well as time and tide to fish).
The most common activity at public fishing piers is bottom fishing, using some form of bait to catch fish species that hang out on the bottom around or near the pier structure (like flounder, spot, croaker, and catfish) or species that are more likely to be moving through the area (like striped bass, mackerel, snappers, and seatrout). Repetitive casting with lures, especially jigs and swimming plugs, is also possible, but sometimes hindered by crowds or location.
Where to fish on a pier is sometimes an important consideration, and many regulars are fond of the pier end, which is usually where the water is deepest. Keep an eye on others fishing on a pier to get a sense of what places may be best, as they are not the same at every pier.
Continue reading, Catching Saltwater Fish at Public Fishing Piers from Take Me Fishing here.
The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women. View all posts by The WON