Pier Fishin’

By Ron McDonald, Editor & Publisher

Sometimes you just don’t want to fight the wind, waves or weekend traffic on the lake. But that does not mean you don’t go fishing.

You gather a few rods and reels, a few lures and head for some pier fishin’. That’s fishing FROM the pier not TO the pier.

Now I admit, my more expensive lures and a treble-hooked baits don’t make the trip. Experience has taught me that a hung bait when fishing from a pier is usually a lost bait unless you want to, if you can, wade out to fetch the lure. Most of our pier inventory are jig heads, plastic baits and some hard baits that don’t run on the bottom like topwaters, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, etc.

Miss Martha and I hit the pier on Wilson Lake several days ago to try our luck. The particular pier we were fishing from was surrounded by fairly shallow water with some submerged wood and scattered rocks. The water visibility was about six inches with some wind. No idea what the surface temp of the water was. Probably upper 50’s to low 60’s.

The big’un.

As usual, my pier partner brought the first bass in. She was using a Slider Football Head jig and seven-inch worm on six-pound line. To say the wind made fishing with six-pound line a little challenging is an understatement. That bass, about a 2.5 lb. keeper, was her limit for this day. The fishing was tough. There are times when you wish the pier had a trolling motor attached.

Meanwhile, I fished for several hours without a bite while throwing everything including the kitchen sink. In desperation I returned to our plastic bag tackle box searching for something I just knew the fish would want. I spotted an old spinnerbait that had a red skirt, a short arm with a thumper blade and a watermelon/red flake crawfish trailer. With the dingy water I thought why not.

After a few casts I hooked into a largemouth that went around five pounds, plus or minus. A couple casts later I hooked another bass in the 2.5 pound range – in the exact same place I had caught the five-pounder from. To say I was happy, as well as surprised, goes without saying. A couple more casts later another bass hit the old spinnerbait – in the exact same spot the other two had come from. This bass was in the 1.5 pound range.

Our pier fishin’ bass.

I had been slinging all kinds of lures for hours without a hint of a bite. Then, in roughly 15 minutes. I had caught three bass from the exact same spot. I have no idea what was holding those bass to that spot. Needless to say, I foamed the water with that old red-skirted spinnerbait the rest of the afternoon but found no more takers.

The moral to this story is that you can catch bass, and good bass, from a pier with wind and muddy water so long as you are using a 40-year-old red-skirted, short armed, thumper blade spinnerbait.

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