What Is The Best Lure For Pier Fishing?

Last Updated on October 12, 2023

Saltwater pier fishing stands as a cherished pastime for coastal anglers. The echoes of crashing waves, the salty sea breeze, and the thrill of landing a trophy fish make pier fishing an experience like no other. However, success in this pursuit hinges on a critical choice: the selection of the best lures.

In this article, we will dive into the world of saltwater pier fishing and explore the lures that can significantly enhance your chances of a bountiful catch. From hard-bodied plugs to bucktail jigs and casting spoons, we’ll unravel the secrets of these versatile tools. Join us in this angling adventure as we discover the art of choosing the ideal lures for your next pier fishing expedition.

Bait Fishing Rigs for Saltwater Pier Fishing

Cast-and-Retrieve Fishing Lures for Saltwater Pier Fishing

Bait fishing rigs come in a few common configurations, including fish finder rigs and high-low rigs. Fishfinder rigs consist of a leader line connected to a hook, with a sinker attached to a slider above the hook. This design allows the bait to move naturally in the water while the weight keeps it close to the seabed.

High-low rigs, as the name suggests, feature two or more hooks set at different heights above the sinker. This maximizes the chances of a fish biting.

The Natural Bait Selection

Saltwater pier anglers have a range of natural baits at their disposal. These include squid, clams, eels, and various fish chunks. The choice of bait depends on the target species and regional preferences. Squid and clams are renowned for attracting species like flounder, while chunk baits might entice larger predators such as sharks. Eels are a versatile option that appeals to a broad spectrum of saltwater fish.

Sinkers and Rod Placement

Sinkers are integral to bait fishing from piers. They serve multiple purposes: keeping your bait on or near the seabed and ensuring your line remains taut in the often choppy pier waters. Proper rod placement is equally important. Anglers often prop their rods against or tether them to pier railings or use secure holders to keep their equipment in place while waiting for that telltale nibble.

Cast-and-Retrieve Fishing Lures for Saltwater Pier Fishing

For those who crave a more active and engaging approach to saltwater pier fishing, cast-and-retrieve fishing lures offer a thrilling alternative. This method provides a higher level of mobility and personal involvement, transforming your fishing experience into a dynamic adventure. Instead of sitting back and waiting, anglers who choose this method actively seek out their catches.

Cast-and-retrieve lures can be used either alongside bait rigs or as a standalone technique. This flexibility means you can adapt your approach to the fishing conditions and your personal preferences. You might start with bait fishing to attract fish to your area and then switch to casting lures for a more hands-on experience.

Best Saltwater Lures for Pier Fishing

Best Saltwater Lures for Pier Fishing

Hard-Bodied Plugs

  • Surface-Feeding Fish: Hard-bodied plugs are your go-to choice for species that feed at the surface. The most thrilling option is popping plugs, as they create an exciting disturbance that can attract predatory fish.
  • Advantages: Hard-bodied plugs are known for their exceptional casting distance. Since they stay near the surface, they are less likely to snag on underwater structures or tangle with other lines.
  • Variations: In addition to popping plugs, you’ll find shallow-swimming plugs that cast well and seldom get snagged. These are perfect for top predators. Sizes typically range from ½-ounce to 1 ½-ounces.

Bucktail Jigs and Soft-Bodied Leadhead Jigs

  • Versatile and Effective: Many experienced anglers consider bucktail jigs and soft-bodied leadhead jigs to be among the best saltwater lures for pier fishing. Their ease of casting and single hooks reduce the chances of snags and make unhooking a breeze.
  • Size Range: These lures generally come in sizes ranging from ⅜ to 1 ounce, offering versatility and flexibility in various fishing scenarios.

Casting Spoons and Jigging Spoons

  • Effective and Versatile: Casting and jigging spoons are highly regarded among saltwater pier fishing lures. Their sturdy build makes them ideal for covering a lot of territory. They are cast well and retrieved at varying depths and speeds.
  • Casting Spoons: Thick-bodied casting spoons excel in covering a large area, with the ability to retrieve at different depths and speeds. They can be an excellent choice when you’re not sure where the fish are hiding.
  • Jigging Spoons: These are designed for vertical fishing and covering the water column efficiently. They can be cast a long way and swum rapidly, making them suitable for targeting distant schools of breaking fish.
  • Size Range: You’ll find these spoons in various sizes, typically ranging from ½-ounce to 1 ½ ounces, giving you the flexibility to adapt to different fishing conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I prevent my lures from getting snagged on the pier structure?

Pay attention to the depth and position of your lure. Some lures are less prone to snagging, like casting spoons.

How do I select the right lure based on the season?

During different seasons, fish have varying feeding habits. Adjust your lure choice based on their typical prey.

Are soft plastics effective lures for pier fishing?

Yes, soft plastics can be highly effective, especially when mimicking the movement of small baitfish or shrimp.

Can I use artificial lures in conjunction with live bait when pier fishing?

Yes, many anglers use a combination of artificial lures and live bait to increase their chances of success.


I encourage anglers to embrace the spirit of exploration. Saltwater pier fishing offers an array of possibilities for both beginners and seasoned pros. The world beneath the pier is teeming with life and opportunities. Experiment with different lures, fine-tune your techniques and gain valuable experience with each outing. While there are tried-and-true lures that have proven their effectiveness, don’t be afraid to innovate and discover what works best for you.

In the dynamic realm of saltwater pier fishing, the journey is as rewarding as the destination. So, grab your gear, select your lures, and head to your favorite pier. Adventure awaits, and the next big catch is just a castaway.

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