• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On September 26, 2017
  • Comments
  •  5

As blackfish (Tautog) make their move back inshore, they will be staging on backwater pier stanchions and around dock pilings.

Pier fishing is a walk on affair which requires no corkers or heavy duty gear to navigate the flat, concrete surface, making it easily accessible to land the formidable tog. You don’t need the truly heavy gear that you would use togging out on the shipwrecks, but still need something with enough backbone to winch up a battling blackfish.

A 7-foot Fin-Nor Tidal series rod matched with a Shimano Torium 16, spooled with 50-pound Power Pro braided line does the trick for me. Rigs are simple. Many pier pounders employ a fishfinder slide rig when togging, consisting of a 2 to 3-ounce egg sinker lanced on the braided running line, a small orange bead, 150-pound Spro barrel swivel, then a short 20-inch length 40-to 50 pound Trikfish leader with a size 3/0 Gamakatsu or Mustad Baitholder hook on the end. Another typical pier toggin’ rig is the simple dropper loop set up with a 3 to 5-ounce bank sinker on an overhand loop, then a snelled size #4 Virginia style hook looped on about 5 inches up from the sinker.

For maximum results on the pier, it is best to fish an hour before or after the slack tides, when current doesn’t run too fast. If the bait is flailing around, blackfish won’t be able to grab it. Pier pilings usually have plenty of mussel growth on them which attracts tog to feed in a big way. Drop the rig straight down and wait for a bite. Early fall baits include fresh pieces of clam, green crabs, and if you can get ‘em, Asian crabs, as they are the most natural bait found around the pier and inlet areas. Other helpful items when pier blackfishing include a sharp pair of Cuda scissors, Calcutta needlenose pliers, and a simple bait rag to keep your hands clean and dry.

Suggested Gear


Tidal Casting Rods

The Fin-Nor Tidal rods are the “Dirty dozen” of saltwater rods. With many actions to choose from Fin-Nor provides the versatility you need for today’s multi-technique angler. From casting to redfish to live baiting tarpon and larger species there’s a Tidal action that’s perfect for adapting to each fishing situation.



Torium Star Drag Reels

The Shimano Torium Star Drag Reels are new to Shimano’s Torium series reels. They are compact, rigid, and powerful saltwater conventional reels with excellent castability and durability expected by saltwater anglers.



Egg Sinkers

Egg Sinkers are typically football shaped weights that can be used for an array of applications, from Carolina rigging for largemouth bass to rigging ballyhoo for white marlin, sailfish, tuna, and more. Available from TackleDirect ranging from 1/4oz to 12oz, you will be sure to find the size you need for your next fishing trip.



Bank Sinkers

Bank Sinkers are typically preferred for bottom fishing applications, where its tapered hexagonal shape will help to prevent it from becoming snagged in wrecks, reefs, hard bottom, and other structure. Available from TackleDirect ranging from 1/2oz up to 24 oz, you will be sure to find the size you need for your next fishing trip.



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