Pier Fishing Tips & Techniques Archives

Pier Fishing Lures – Gotcha Plugs

gotcha luresThere are many pier fishing lures used around the world. Some become popular in specific areas, like the Gotcha plug is in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. This isn’t to say they don’t catch fish in other waters, it just means that a variety of fish in our area are attracted to this particular style of artificial bait. At the VA Beach fishing pier, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Striped Bass and Speckled Trout are regularly caught on these lures.

The Gotcha lure has a beveled weighted head and either a plastic or metal body and by varying your retrieve it causes the lure to mimic a bait fish. A steady retrieve gives the plug a slight swimming motion and the speed controls the depth that the Gotcha plug runs. Spanish tend to prefer a fast retrieve, while Bluefish and Trout might bite better with a slower action.

Adding a snapping motion is another way to get the fish to strike. On a fishing pier, this can be accomplished by pointing your rod tip at the water and pulling it back toward the pier. Snapping your wrist while holding the rod in an upright position also creates a darting action that looks like a wounded or fleeing morsel that fish can’t resist. Just be sure to experiment and realize that the retrieve you were using last time you caught fish might need to be fine tuned on your next fishing trip.

Color can play an important part when fishing with artificial lures . Those pictured in this article are popular at the VA Beach fishing pier, but there are a lot of variations metal luresavailable. The smaller examples are 7/8 1nd 1 ounce models and are used the most. If the wind is making it harder to cast or there is a stronger current, the 2 ounce model can be a good choice.

A light to medium rod action allows you to easily cast a Gotcha plug and give it the right action. One thing that should also be mentioned is with two treble hooks attached, these lures should be used with care. When the fish are biting, dozens of anglers stand shoulder to shoulder along the pier railings and you need to be aware of what everyone else is doing for safety’s sake. The excitement of catching fish can make you pay less attention to your surroundings.

As the season progresses, morning and evening become the most likely time for sight feeding fish to show up, but go fishing at the Virginia Beach pier whenever you can make the time because everyday is different, and the fish can fool you.

Come back to vabeachfishingpier.com for more fishing tips and techniques and the current VA Beach Fishing pier reports.


Bottom Fishing Rigs

Bottom RigIn most fishing areas around the world there are usually basic bottom fishing rigs that are used by a large number of anglers. On the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, and on boats and when surf fishing, a two hook bottom rig is very popular. Also called a high/low rig, this tackle gives the angler two opportunities to hookup and the hooks and sinkers are easily changed to adapt to the type of fish being sought.

I know that many fishermen are used to using bobbers and light split shot sinkers to put the bait in front of their quarry. On saltwater, there can be  a tidal effect that requires  anywhere from 1 to 8 ounce sinkers to keep the food on the bottom. The snap swivel on the bottom of the rig makes switching weights a snap and lets you put the bait back in the water much faster than cutting and tying various sinkers each time.

Another nice feature of this type of rig is the two arms that extend from the nylon-coated center line. Usually made of twisted wire, they have a springy action and help keep the snelled hooks that are used to not wrap around the line as easily. This can be a problem in areas with a current. They swivel around the rig, so the fish don’t get wrapped up as much too.

While there are many similar rigs made from nylon and plastic, we have found this style rig to work the best at the Virginia Beach Fishing pier. If you are not familiar with how to use a bottom rig, stop by the Pier Tackle Shop, where they carry bottom rigs, hooks and sinkers individually or already assembled.