Bloody place! Massively popular as the pier allows a comfortable fish and holds some huge bass during the summer.The beaches here tend to get overlooked because of the clean, sand less, lazy fishing available on the pier. I have and do fish the pier but only in the winter and only when it's too rough to fish the beaches. In my opinion (bass aside) the advantage of the pier is that it lets you fish out beyond the surf, it doesn't put you onto particularly good ground but does allow you to fish if the beaches are un fishable.
As you look at the picture, the right side of the pier is the favoured side. From the first corner at the entrance to the pavilion you're probably 10 to 20 yards past the ends of the groins running out from the beach. If you cast parallel to the beach from here you shouldn't have too much trouble. Try casting out to sea and you'll end up in trouble, there's a patch of rough ground marked on the charts and easily visible with a sea on.
Mackerel can be feathered off the end of the pier in the summer and these are usually fished live on heavy line in the pier legs, pouts are extensively live baited too. Doubles are taken every year though there's also some commercial pressure on the bass stocks around the pier, I think once they're gone they're gone. The pier isn't my cup of tea and to be honest the beach either side of the pier can be as productive cod wise in the right conditions. It's not bad for a social, fish and chips at Mary Jane's and a nice easy fish afterwards. Watch your gear though, recent reports have included tackle thefts. EMAIL ME if you've anything to add.
Here's an extract from Gillespie's excellent 1969 book with regard to Cromer:
"Most locals prefer the final three hours of the flooding tide, but good bags of fish have been taken at all stages. Amongst these are bass to 51/2lb by Mr. A. Sargent, and the same angler has taken excellent catches of cod from many spots in the area, no less than 500 fish to his own rod during the season of 1967/68.
Thornbacks are rare from this beach, as are brill, bass and turbot. Mackerel come in sometimes, especially horse mackerel (or scad) and these are taken by anglers fishing as dusk falls in calm weather, with light tackle round the piles of the lifeboat shed (which is situated at the seaward end of Cromer Pier).
The summer fishing is not too productive, but the whiting and codling fishing during the winter leaves nothing to be desired."