Fishing on ocean piers during the summer months offers anglers of all skill levels an opportunity to use a variety of fishing methods to target dozens of species. So, if you’re new to the sport you may want to start with the simplest form of pier fishing — bottom fishing.

To get rookie anglers up to speed, Jennette’s Pier staff offers a Family Fishing program every weekday morning all summer long. Join other beginner anglers at 9 a.m., and let an instructor. such as Meredith Fish or Mark Stancil, get you started right.

They will explain in detail such things as baiting bottom rigs, proper casting technique, how to keep the line tight and finally, how to reel in your catch.

Folks find this class both informative and fun. Standing out over the ocean, a salty breeze in your face and family or friends nearby offers a great way to make lasting memories.

Let a nice fish take your line and the fight begins! The tug on the line gets their hearts beating quickly as that fish fights hard.

The two-hour “Fishing 101” session gets people hooked on fishing. This time of year, the regular cast of characters are biting — blues, croaker, flounder, sea mullet and spot. With a little luck, you may catch enough for a meal.

Cleaning fish for the first time can be a little tricky though. If you decide to go this route, make sure you have a plan before keeping a mess of them. Often, helpful experienced anglers or even a staff member may give you a lesson at one of fish cleaning stations.

Another option is to simply release everything you catch, that way there will be plenty of fish in the sea for next time!

Experienced anglers can try advanced techniques, such as fishing the pilings for sheepshead, spadefish, and triggerfish. They use a special rig and sand fleas for these. Another specialized type of angling that’s great on the pier is live-bait fishing.

Again, this takes certain rigs and of course, live bait such as a small fish or even minnows — flounder love them. Other people like jigging for bluefish, Spanish mackerel and the occasional albacore. Pin-rig fishing is the most advanced style of angling people enjoy on Jennette’s Pier.

An anchor line on one rod and the live bait on the fighting rod make up this two-rod system. Once the anchor line is out off the end of the 1,000-foot-long pier, the live bait on the second rod is slid down the anchor line so the bait fish is suspended at the ocean surface.

These serious anglers hang out all day long hoping for a cobia or king mackerel to take the bait. Cobia is highly prized for its meat, and these guys and gals take it pretty seriously.

In fact, if you’re strolling the pier and sight-seeing, be sure to give the crew at the end plenty of room especially if they’re hooked up to the big catch of the day.

For more information or to book a Family Fishing program, visit jennettespier.net or call 252-255-1501, ext. 202.

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