Striped Bass Rigs for Pier Fishing

In simple words, a pier is a structure similar to a bridge built over a water body. It’s the base over the water where you can basically walk and angle fishes. You do not require any boat for fishing, so it’s affordable. Nor do you have to handle an unsteady boat tottering on the water while you are attempting to hook a massive striped bass.

So, it was affordable. Now, it is convenient as well. You have several options to fish standing on a pier starting from the very east to the furthest west coast possible. And when it’s about angling some tremendous striped bass, the favorite sport fish for top anglers, pier fishing is an excellent and distinct adventure. The excitement in pier fishing the striped bass, arguably, is no less than when you are on the boat in the middle of the ocean.

To prepare yourself for this different sort of thrill, you need to know about the location, gear, and some basic striped bass rigs for pier fishing. This info and rigs will ensure you get your striped bass from the pier way easier and quicker. So, let’s look at the information we have for you and the gear and rigs we prefer to fish the striped bass from the pier.

The Piers You Can Try Target Visiting for Angling Striped Bass

The location always depends on where you can find the stripers. And the different site of the stripers totally relies on which season you are in. Striped bass is a fish that spends its life in the ocean most of the time and then visits the freshwater to spawn and then again returns to the sea to spend the summertime. Basically, it’s all over the place in both types of water body just like any anadromous fish naturally do.

So, depending on the season you are in, summer, fall, winter, or spring, choose the location and the pier to angle the stripers. Try Marin County and Carquinez Strait piers during the fall and Berkeley and Point Pinole Pier in the spring. Piers around the San Francisco Bay area, also the Pacifica Pier, are hotspots in the summer. Last but not least, spend your striped bass angling period staying around the California Delta when you are right into the winter season. You can pass that season right there because there is no pier better than that area when you are in that time of the year.

Striped Bass Pier Fishing Gear

Fishing Rod – A rod with a soft tip, medium to heavy, and super long is the ultimate fishing rod for catching the striped bass from the piers. Super long because you need to reach quite a distance to target your striped bass with your set-up rig. Soft tip because if it’s not soft enough, the clever striper will gauge the dubiousness of a taut tip and leave it at once. And medium to heavy because there is nothing greater than that to catch the giant striper you are targeting. It is the one that can handle the fierceness we expect from an aggressive striper.

Striped Bass Rigs for Pier Fishing
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Mainline And Leader – In both the cases of mainline and leader, we prefer only monofilament, 30lbs test line to tackle the big striper. Keep your leader about 3-4 feet long, depending on how deep the water is or how far you expect the striper to drag your line. We need the right amount of stretch not to let the striper gauge that the thing they are biting on is tied with several components. Moreover, mono has that quality to absorb the shock from all the pulling and biting. Also, it’s translucent, so pretty easy to conceal no matter how much you are using.

Reel With Exceptional Drag – When it comes to a fishing reel, the things you need are sturdiness and a splendid drag system. The striper will drag your line with its whole might and capacity. So, unless the reel has a great drag system, losing the fish due to taut line and breakage of it is very common and a given. In fact, you will be lucky if the striper will still be hooked. So, get a fishing reel even if it costs a bit. Because if you require optimum performance from the reel, spending a bit will be worth it.

Circle Or J-Hooks – Coming to the hook, circle hooks, or J-hooks, the choice is yours. Some prefer the circle hooks, and many prefer J-hooks. However, in pier fishing, J-hooks are mostly preferred. But there is no hard and fast rule. As we are targeting massive stripers, better to say, we do not know the size of the striped bass we will successfully hook, so it’s better to be prepared, keeping in mind that you are going to catch the giant size.

Baits And Lures – Depending on the location and the pier you are standing on, pick your baits. Bloodworms, live shrimps, chunks of fishes like herring, mackerel, even artificial lures all work great to angle stripers from the pier.

Striped Bass Rig#1 For Pier Fishing – Slip Sinker Rig

Other than the essential gear for striper fishing, you will need colorful, noisy beads, a barrel swivel, and an egg sinker. We specifically prefer the egg sinker instead of the pyramid sinker because when you are on a pier, the water you are harrowing is mostly full of rocks. And the pyramid sinker is not that great in handling those rocks and similar stuff. Compared to the pyramid shape, the egg shape handles the crevices of the rocks way better and helps you angle the giant striper even from those crevices and narrow spots. And stripers are actually known to reside around rocky and sandy parts of the shallow water. So, there are more reasons for you to get the egg-shaped weight for pier fishing the striped bass.

Preparing The Slip Sinker Rig

  • With a mainline inserted in your rod guides and wind up on the fishing reel, you will have to connect the leader line with it.
  • Before that, insert your egg sinker through the mainline as well as the glass or plastic beads. Two or three bright glass beads will do. Compared to the plastic beads, glass beads make better noise to attract the stripers towards your bait. Depending on your budget, choose every component. The sinker will take your hook deeper in the water and keep it stable and stealthy, and the stripers will not startle and leave the vicinity looking at a swaying fishing hook.
  • Now tie the mainline with the barrel swivel. A uni-knot, a Palomar knot, or whichever knot you can quickly and tightly tie, tie the mainline end with the swivel. Keep in mind that if the knot is not tight enough, there is a 99% chance of losing the fish. So, even if it takes time and you are not quick enough, take your time to tie the knot. And there is no alternative to constant practice when it comes to tying the perfectly tight fishing knots.
  • So, one side of your swivel barrel has the mainline tied on it. The leader thus goes on the other side of the swivel. Tie it with the same knot.
  • Finally, you have to tie the hook, size mostly #8, to the end of the leader. A snell knot works the best, or you can try the surgeon’s knot as well. Now, hook the bait and start fishing the stripers from the pier.

Striped Bass Rig#2 For Pier Fishing – Live Line Slide Sinker Rig

If the name is not giving it away, then for your information, this rig is all about targeting the massive striper. The giant size, to be precise. So, here we will use a decent size herring. Not chunks or pieces, the whole fish, alive, to lure the giants. And to balance the rig out, we will use a decent wait that too hanging through a sliding sinker. So, arrange your preferred weight; we like bank sinkers, a bead or two, a barrel swivel, and last but not least, the slide sinker.

Preparing The Live Line Slide Sinker Rig

  • Pass the slide sinker through the mainline tag end and insert the bead or beads as well. The beads save the line from abrasion that causes breaking of the knots, other than creating the noise to attract the striper.
  • Tie the mainline end with the barrel swivel with a uni knot or a Palomar knot.
  • The other side of the swivel barrel is for tying the leader with the same knot.
  • Complete the whole process of tying all the different knots by tying the hook at the end of the leader. In the case of this rig, we prefer circle hooks #8 to the J-hooks. The output is better.
  • Now, you can clip the bank sinker on the slide sinker. And as the final step, hook your herring.
  • Either hook it through its mouth and bring the point through its nose. Or right close to the anal fin. Tying it at the anal fin gets you stripers from deeper water. However, as we talk about pier fishing, try hooking it up right at the back, closer to the dorsal fin. The fish will swim along the surface, attracting the giant stripers, and you can catch several with the same technique and bait.
  • If you have multiple fishing rods and reels, try it all to get as many stripers as possible, spending minimal time on the pier, waiting. Two is always better than one, and three will be exceptional.

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A little bit of technique and knowledge and a lot of practice can get you your very first striper in no time from the first pier you visited for the very first time. It’s tried and tested, so apply the formula and information in catching the stripers from the piers near you.

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