Can I catch fish off of piers in California?

I’d love to try my hand at catching saltwater fish but don’t have a boat and can’t really afford to go on a charter. Is there anything I can catch from a pier? I live in California.

Pier fishing is actually quite popular.  Depending on the region, you can catch quite a few fish without ever stepping foot in a boat.  If you’re close to the Santa Monica Pier, I’d definitely suggest you check it out.  Anyway, let me give you a few guidelines that will work off a just about any local pier.  First of all, if you’re a beginner, I’d suggest taking a few trips to check out what other fishermen are doing.  Most of us are pretty congenial and we’re all willing to share our fishing stories so take the time to talk to some of the locals and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  You also need to decide what type of fish you want to catch and then do a little research to figure out what technique is going to work the best.  Secondly, get a knot chart and learn how to tie knots.  You can’t be a fisherman without learning the proper way to do this and if you do it wrong it can be a heartbreaking scenario.  You’ll need some equipment but you don’t have to spend a lot of money.  A spinning reel and light action rod with about a 4-10 test line will get you started with small fish.  Ask around to find out what the type of fish you want to catch are biting and pick up some bait.  If you’re fishing with live bait, you’ll need live bait hooks, if you’re planning on using dead bait, bait holder hooks work the best.  And finally, get out there and have fun.  The first step is getting your line in the water, after that, you’ll continue to learn new things every day.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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