On Saturday, Oct. 6, some of the best local pier fishermen gathered at the Mount Pleasant Pier for the Cooper River Bridge Challenge tournament, put on by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission.

Sheepshead, flounder and redfish were the fish most-often caught during the tournament, and how fishermen brought them over the rail should help other pier fishermen learn new tactics for catching fish from platforms like piers and bridges. For instance, sheepshead are most-often targeted using fiddler craps by fishermen in boats, but the pier fishermen catch more and bigger "convict fish" on clams fished on a split-shot rig.

Fishing around pieces of structure on the bottom is a winning strategy for flounder and redfish, and "running the tide" on the pier – fishing closer to or farther away from the shoreline" – can make a big difference in fishing success. On a falling tide, fishing close to the grassbeds along the shoreline with cut mullet produced lots of reds. Flounder were caught more on a rising tide around bottom structure.

Fishermen in the tournament caught plenty of fish: here are category winners:

Adult: Seung Noh, 6-15 sheepshead

Ladies: J. Mullin, 5-1 flounder

Senior: M. Pack, 1-7.5 redfish

Youth: C. Hartley, ½-pound croaker

5-Fish Aggregate: J. Perry

Charleston County Parks And Recreation operates two public fishing piers in the Charleston area, the Mt Pleasant Pier on the east bank of the Cooper River and the Folly Beach Pier located on the front beach on Folly Island. For 2013 tournament schedules and a list of events, visit  http://ccprc.com