With practice, you should be able to lasso a piling with a mooring line from, say, 8 or 10 feet off. There are, of course, times when even the most talented skipper will thank you for saving his boathandling bacon with this skill.
If you’re a right-hander, start (1) by forming a large loop in the end of your mooring line (either with a bowline or by pushing the standing part through the eye at the business end of the line) and then holding one side of the loop and the standing part in both hands (2), sort of like a boathook. Now swing back and to your right with both hands and throw the loop while imparting a bit of a spin (3), thereby giving it a circular (4) shape. The trick? Keep your eyes on the target all the time.