photo of mourning doves

Bridge pilings are fish magnets, but they can be tough to fish effectively. “The wind shoots right under bridges,” says north Texas fishing guide Guy Skinner ( “It’s about impossible to get both ends of your boat into position,” he says–unless you use his ingenious rebar-and-rope method to do it.


* 50 feet of 1/2-inch nylon rope  

* A can of rustproof, black spray paint  

* Two 4-foot-long pieces of 1/2-inch rebar  

How it’s done

1. Use a small sledgehammer to bend about 8 inches at one end of each piece of rebar into an open U-shaped hook with about a 5-inch radius. Bend about 3 inches from the other end into a tight closed loop. Then coat them with the spray paint, so they don’t rust.

2. Cut the 50-foot rope in half and tie each 25-foot length to the closed loop of each piece of rebar. Store them in your boat.

3. On the water, motor close to the lee side of the bridge piling you want to fish. The railings of most low bridges have vertical stanchions just to the left and right of each piling. Reach up and place a rebar hook on each.

4. Let out some rope, tie off to your boat’s front and rear anchor cleats, and you and your buddy are in perfect position to fish each side of the piling.

5. Once you’ve caught every bass, walleye, or crappie on that piling, pull on one rope to unhook that side. Use your trolling motor to get into position to unhook the other. Then move on to the next piling, hook up again, and catch more fish.