How to Fish Around a Bridge

Fishing around a bridge can give you a great place to fish. They go deep in the water and offer shade and vertical cover to many species of fish. They can also restrict water flow, which helps to create a current. Before you start to fish around a bridge there are some things you need to do such as when approaching the bridge, do it from downstream to maximize your catch along with some other things.

How to Fish Around a Bridge

Over 90% of all bridges they will have a downstream and upstream side so take time to figure which is the downstream side. Working it from the downstream side will let you be able to work into the current. Since bridges are man made, they always have a steep break or rip rap bank on each side that will allow the road to properly slope over the water. Start to work the bank approximately 50 yards from the bridge. These are the sections that are excellent for fish. You can effectively fish here using plastic, topwater, or crankbait lures. One game fish that likes to hole up in these areas is bass. All the game fish like the stretches on the isolated rocks that fell when the bridge was constructed. They also like to use the steep break line for moving up and feeding.

Once you have worked up to the bridge, make sure that you fish in the shaded areas, especially the banks that are shaded by the platform of the bridge. Game fish use the shade as cover. On real sunny days, they will congregate in the bridge’s shadiest portions. Take your time and comb the individual shady rocks thoroughly using a creature bait, jig, or worm. Also, make sure that you check the pilings and underneath them too. Once you have finished fishing the bank up to the bridge, you can make your way over to the first set of supports or pilings. If you are using a fish locator, which is recommended, pay close attention to it.

Look for individual fish and balls of bait around the pilings. Drop on them using a vertical presentation like an underspin, drop shot, or shakey head. You should also look for rubble and rocks in between the sets of pilings. If there was a bridge there before this one, some municipalities will sink the rubble from that bridge instead of removing it. It can make great hiding places for fish.

Once you have worked all the pilings on that side of the bridge, do the other side of the bridge the same way if you still want to fish.

Tips for Fishing Around a Bridge

There is no doubt that a bridge will bring out the beasts of inshore waters because the foundation and pylons offer these fish food and safety. It makes a good rest stop for inshore sport fish. 

One of the trickiest aspects of fishing around a bridge involves pulling your catch away from the metal, wood, rubble, and concrete. Before you fish around a bridge, make sure that your tackle is up to the task. It does not matter if you are fishing in the Gulf, Atlantic, or Pacific you should make sure that you are utilizing the mixture of the current, available structure under the bridge, and the deep water.

  • Always make sure that you have a variety of live bait because you never know just what fish you will be fishing for so you want to have bait that will attract whatever fish are down there.
  • The depths of water around bridge piling should be at least 10-15 feet to find the best fishing
  • If you are using a boat, you should use a mixture of trolling, drifting, and anchoring until you find which of the three works best but you can use a mixture of all three if you want.
  • Always make sure that there is a current because the tide will flush the food straight to the game fish that are near or hiding within the structure. 

Fishing From a Bridge at Night

The best time to fish from a bridge is at night because that is when most of the fish bite, especially the larger game fish. You can use the same tactics and baits that you would use during the day but you can also throw in some large swimbaits to attract the larger game fish. At night the fish seem to move closer to the surface of the bridges. Using free-lined live shrimp or topwater lures that drift toward the shadow line of the bridge is popular to use, especially if you are fishing for tarpon or redfish. To attract game fish and baitfish, use any bright bridge lights along the fenders.

When you cast your lures, make sure that it swims with the current. If you are using live baits, drift them back with the current. When you use a boat, you should try to position it up-current and cast your lures or live baits down-current.


No matter what coastal bridge you fish around, there are always big fish lurking underneath. It is the perfect area for them to find food, to rest, find shade, and hide. It does not matter if it is under a New York highway bridge, a bridge on the Gulf Coast, etc. They all hide different treasures in regards to the fish that lurk there. Before you fish around a bridge, make sure that it is okay to fish there. Most of the time it is not illegal to fish around a bridge but there may be somewhere it is or they have some regulations that you need to know about.

If you do not have a boat, it is still possible to catch fish from the shore. They may not be as large as the ones farther out but there are still fish to catch. Take the time to learn about the bridge you want to fish around to see what fish you might catch and the layout of the area. Enjoy fishing around a bridge.


The founder of Catch and Fillet, “Chum Charlie”, has been writing articles within the fishing community for over 9 years. He got his nickname due to his preference for chumming while he is fishing. Chumming is a common practice that is used in the ocean to lure various types of fish to the boat. Chum can consist of various fish parts that attract fish due to its overbearing odor.

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