Pier Fishermen's Thread
Each year is different, though. The past 3-4 summers have been just awful for us pier guys. Last fall was awful with the cold temps, but the fall before that was great. The past few springs were weird, too, with the weather and low-waters.
As for time of day, you can't fish the rivers from Sept 15-May 15th until a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset (DNR rules to prevent snagging), but typically I do best right around sunrise and sunset in the harbor/pier. But really, I have had success at all times of day. I have been skunked from 5 am until 1 pm, then done well at 1 pm. I have also done hot at 5 am, then skunked after. The fish bite when they are hungry.
For gear, it depends on river or harbor or pier. Harbor/pier cleos, champs and kastmasters being casted work well (1/3 to 3/4 oz usually). Spinners and cranks work, too. Spawn under a float or on bottom works. On a river, it's usually spinners or floating spawn. Wax worms, minnows, nightcrawlers are also used with success. I have heard of them caught on chicken liver, even. Longer poles (8'-12' are usually used) are better, but I have caught them on 6' walleye rods. I prefer 12 lb test for salmon and 8 for trout. Not a fireline guy, but a lot of people use it. I prefer mono, but hey, whatever works for ya.
And most importantly, be respectful to the resources and other fishermen. Lots of jerks out there, so please try to not be one of them. If you notice a guy not catching them, offer advice. Net fish for guys. Pick up after yourself and others. Don't snag fish and CPR what you won't eat. My greatest feeling fishing was teaching these kids (that reminded me of myself back in the day) my method for harbor fishing and then seeing them catch a 10 lb brown using my method; they were so excited they ran to me and showed me it, while telling me it was using my technique lol.