Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tips for the Beginning Surf Fisher

JM and his sister trying to
see what they caught.
One of my main fishing Goals for 2011 was to try a new form of fishing. I made it a priority while on vacation to try something new. Luckily, I have an expert in the art of surf fishing at my disposal in JM of Something's Fishy and Surf Fishing for Beginners. He was gracious enough to do a guest post on general tips to get started Surf Fishing. This is set up as a Question and Answer session, I took the liberty of asking all those dumb questions I was always afraid to ask. 

Foggy: Do I need to get a specialty rod and reel for surf fishing?

JM: I recommend that first time surf fishermen start out small by fishing with a bass rod from a pier. This allows you to get a taste of the way saltwater anglers catch fish without breaking the bank. With this setup it's possible to catch several different species on bait and also with lures. Once you've decided that you just can't live without some dedicated saltwater gear , there are several factors that you'll need to consider.

Foggy: I'm use to using simple rigs and lures for trout and bass fishing, what do I need to look for or get for salt water?

The Sputnik Sinker
JM: You can buy two hook bottom rigs and snelled hooks or you can tie your own. I always do better with the ones I tie than the people around me do with the wire ones.Some basic stuff to remember hooks should be as small as possible for smaller fish ( size one is a good all purpose size) up to a 4/0 or 6/0 for casting fish heads for small sharks and big fish. As for sinkers, you'll want as small as possible - usually 2-3 ounces ,but sometimes up to 6-8 or even 10. If your rig isn't holding add an ounce or two , or switch to a sputnik sinker.There will be a DIY post on tying you own rigs early next week, with the help of Surf Fishing for Beginners.

Foggy: What should I be using for bait, live/dead, artificial or other?

JM: If you are using live bait the only thing I would recommend buying from a bait shop is blood worms , fiddler crabs or fresh peeler crabs, I wouldn't buy the frozen stuff. If you are using shrimp I'd suggest getting some fresh shrimp from a market or grocery store and generally I won't use shrimp to fish with unless I'd eat it. As for artificial bait and lures would be a bite leader and a Got-Cha or spoon to start with. Another option would be a red jig head with a chartreusse body. Most of the local shops that aren't tourist traps will point you in the right direction when it comes to artificials , just be sure to look into regs before you go.

Foggy: Now that I have my general bearing and what I need to use to start fishing, is there any last minute advice?

JM:  Try to find some beach "structure", like a point or an area where there is a slough or a spot where the inner sand bar is in close to the beach , so you can cast behind it. In my experience , the surf is shallow down that way so any difference you can find will hold fish at some point. Rips are also good to fish and you don't have to be a long caster to take advantage of a rip. Ask a lifeguard to point one out if you have a chance or you'll notice there won't be any waves breaking in the rip. They'll break to the right and left of it , but not in the rip itself because that's how the water goes back out to sea. You can also look for areas where there are sand flea pieces or crab pieces washed up on the beach , this usually indicates feeding fish. Good Luck and Tight Lines!

I would like to thank JM for this guest spot and for all the help he has provided thus far. Don't forget to check out Surf Fishing for Beginners and you can always find JM's newest material at Something's Fishy.

1 comment:

  1. Good tip about fishing the rips. Hadn't thought about that before, but it makes sense. Maybe I need to go on vacation to actually spend some time surf fishing...I think I've gone once in the last 12 months. Thanks JM-squared


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