Anyone who has fished on the outer banks will eventually ask the same question. What is the best gear to use to catch a fish? Well, this may be a difficult question to answer unless you know what species you want to target and where you will fish.
Fishing on the surf, piers and bridges have many similarities but also some differences as well as additional challenges.
When fishing on the surf in the summer, you might want to use a lighter rod and reel set, possibly in a six to seven foot range. Eight to sixteen pound test line works fine here. Most fish are primarily small but hard fighting. You will need a light enough set up to feel the bite but strong enough to reel it in. If you don’t mind losing a big fish once in a while, catching more small stuff can make for a great day.
Pier fishing is a little different. You want to use a light medium to a medium heavy rod set up. The piers can attract both our small seasonal fish but also a number of larger fast running species. Your gear needs to be stout enough to successfully reel these in and over the rail. And the line needs to be stronger as well as the rigging. Once hooked, many fish run for cover under the pier and into the pilings. A tougher line will help prevent chaffing on the pilings.
Bridges present the same concerns as piers. But when you can add a fast moving current that flows quickly under the bridge, it can add an additional challenge of bringing the fish to the bridge deck. Retrieving a larger fish to the bridge railing in addition to dragging heavier sinker, you will need some backbone in that rod and reel set up. Medium seven to eight foot rods work well here. On bridges you might also need a variety of sinkers to hold the bottom.
Next the best advice is to head to one of our many tackle shops for the best rod and reel set ups. I try to avoid big box shops for my fishing gear. The discount you get on the gear there can never make up for the better quality of gear and equipment and free knowledge that a local tackle shop can provide. And you will be surprised that the prices are very close.
Remember the better quality equipment and gear you use, increases your chance of success significantly.
I will be discussing the proper rigging and baits we use on the Outer Banks in a future blog entry. Check back soon.
Until next time – Tightlines. Capt. Tony