Lures and Rigs for Fishing Around Bridges

Follow these tackle tips for added success catching fish near structure

An angler casting a ­swimbait under a busy New York highway bridge; another dangling a chunk of crab in the pilings of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel 400 miles south; a troller pulling plugs down a low-slung span in ­Miami; a guy on a skiff working a topwater along the gleam of streetlights on a Gulf Coast bridge: They all know the fish that lie hidden at nearby bridges.

plastic swimbait lure
Egret Wedgetail and Spro Bucktail Courtesy

1.) Work a plastic swimbait such as the Egret Wedgetail along the shadow line.
2.) Another shadow-line option: oversize jigs such as the Spro Bucktail.

lures for bridge fishing
Halco Laser Pro and Rapala Countdown Magnum 18 Courtesy

1.) Pull lipped midlevel diving plugs like the Halco Laser Pro along bridge pilings.
2.) Work the lower portion of the water column with a deep diver like the Rapala Countdown Magnum 18.

lures for bridge fishing
Rapala Skitter Pop Courtesy

1.) Cast poppers like the Rapala Skitter Pop to surface feeders.
2.) Soft-plastic baits such as the D.O.A. Sna-Koil attract plenty of attention.
3.) Walk the dog with a Heddon Super Spook to draw surface strikes.

CBBT Drum Fish-Finder Rig

CBBT Drum Fish-Finder Rig
CBBT Drum Fish-Finder Rig Illustration by Steve Sanford

Tie 3 feet of 80-pound fluorocarbon leader to a 150-pound-test barrel swivel, and snell an 8/0 circle hook to the other end. Slide a plastic bead, a 150-pound snap swivel, and another bead over 12 feet of 50-pound shock leader. Finish by tying the shock leader to the swivel and the main line.

1.) 8/0 circle hook snelled to 3 feet of 80-pound fluoro
2.) Plastic beads
3.) 150-pound swivel
4.) Snap swivel on 12 feet of 50-pound shock leader
5.) 6- to 8-ounce pyramid sinker


CBBT Tautog/Sheepshead Dropper Rig

CBBT Tautog/Sheepshead Dropper Rig
CBBT Tautog/Sheepshead Dropper Rig Illustration by Steve Sanford

Use a Slim Beauty knot to attach an arm’s length of 50-pound fluorocarbon to the 50-pound braided main line. Tie a surgeon’s loop on the end of the fluoro. Three to 5 inches above the surgeon’s loop, tie a 3-inch dropper loop. Slide a 3/0 bait-holder hook onto the dropper loop and a 4- to 6-ounce bank sinker to the surgeon’s loop.

1.) Tie 50-pound fluoro to main line with Slim Beauty knot
2.) 3/0 bait-holder hook
3.) Tie 3-inch dropper loop
4.) Surgeon’s loop
5.) Girth-hitch bank sinker to loop


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