Although most of us think that fishing requires a boat, those who enjoy the sport of surf fishing would beg to differ. These fishermen (and women) pursue their sport from the shore or while wading in the water. Many feel that surf fishing is more challenging than boat fishing, because it relies more on instinct and skill, without the advantage of a boat.
Good Locations for Surf Fishing
Technically, the term “surf fishing” can refer to any kind of fishing that is done from the shore. However, in actual practice, it usually refers to fishing not done from a fishing pier. There are many possible locations that can be successful for the surf fisherman, such as rock jetties. Both sandy and rocky beaches are also popular locations, especially if there are eddies or runoff areas. The ideal location is usually a more secluded area of the beach. However, some who surf fish prefer to let the birds guide them, since a flock of birds feeding is a sure sign that bait fish are in the area. And where there are bait fish, there’s sure to be good fishing eventually.
Equipment Needed for Surf Fishing
One piece of equipment you will NOT need for surf fishing is a boat. However, although not absolutely required, many who enjoy the sport prefer to utilize a 4WD vehicle to move their equipment up and down the shore. Of course, always make sure that driving a vehicle is allowed on the shore you are fishing on. As far as fishing tackle goes, you will generally need different equipment than what you would use when pier or boat fishing. Longer rods, usually between 8 to 14 feet, will be required, since you’ll be fishing from the shore and not off the side of a boat. These longer rods will allow you to deal with the surf and breaking waves as you cast. Larger spinning reels are also a necessity, since they can be quite helpful when casting the heavy tackle the required distances. Surf fishermen often use longer and heavier “surf tackle”, which works well for reaching the pockets where the fishing is good. Whatever rod is used must be capable of getting the required bait and lead weight beyond the surf, which usually means getting it out around 100 yards. Depending on the type of fish being sought, heavy pyramid sinkers may also be needed. Pyramids are usually the sinker of choice because their shape can dig into the water bottom, which can help to keep the line held tight. A good pair of waders is also a valuable asset.
Bait for Surf Fishing
Just as with any kind of fishing, the bait will vary according to the desired species of fish. However, popular choices include blood worms, live bait fish, cut bait and sand fleas. Some surf fishermen also prefer to use artificial bait, such as artificial eels, spoons, and topwaters. When choosing artificial bait, try to match the size of bait fish that would normally be used to attract the desired fish species. However, regardless of the kind of fish you’re after, you’re sure to have a lot of fun.