If you’ve never tried surf fishing before, it can be an overwhelming experience. It is an excellent way to spend an afternoon or weekend with family and friends. Surf fish includes anything you can catch in the surf zone, such as flounder, striped bass, black drum, redfish, and even sharks.
The area of water that needs to be fished over is massive, and there are many larger saltwater species for which some may not have the appropriate equipment or know-how as they do with freshwater fish like carp or trout, which typically don’t grow quite so big in size but still require patience when catching them.
Surf fishing requires specific techniques but don’t worry at all; it’s much easier than you think. This is the Surf Fishing Guide for beginners. This guide tells you everything you need with detailed instructions: picking your rod and reel, bait and rigs, your equipment setup, and fishing strategy to give you the confidence to catch fish.
Surf Fishing Rods & Surf Fishing Reels
Surf rods and reels accommodate heavier weights and greater drag than other styles. Surf rods are meant to be able to cast long distances, and they keep big fish out of the sand or rocks. Surf reels can stand up better to stronger currents because they’re made with extra drag components, because they’re built sturdier, and sometimes because they have added seals against saltwater corrosion. Surf fishing for bigger game fish like sharks might require as much as 300 yards of 50-pound test line – which is something a standard rod and reel couldn’t handle without snapping. Surf fishing setups also allow anglers to bring in those whoppers more easily once you’ve got ’em hooked.
Surf fishing rods need longer (at least 7 ft) than regular freshwater rods because they need to be able to reach past the surface of the ocean while you wait for that huge catch. The best choice is an 8ft surf rod that will work well in areas where the water is calm.
Surf rods come with several different-sized guides on the rod. Surf fishing also requires a heavier line because you will have larger fish on your line, and it can snap even strong lines. You may need to use a 20 to 40-pound test line if you are going out for some fish over 3ft in length.
Surf Fishing Reel
I know that there are all sorts of different reel types and sizes out on this market today. The easiest and most popular kind to use is a spinning reel. Select a spinning reel in the 6000 – 9000 range that can keep a minimum of 500yds of 25lb braid and the amount of line that it can hold because many saltwater species can grow over 3,5 ft in length! Surf reels often come with metal gears and a metal body which makes them very durable for catching saltwater fish, but they can be heavy as well, requiring strength in your arms when fighting big fish!
Surf Fishing Line
Braid is a great line type for surf fishing because it has the right amount and thickness. However, you need to make sure that your reel can spool 500yds of 25lbs braided line before using this method as too little or more will cause problems with slipping knots which could easily be avoided by simply using Palomar Knots instead!
Surf fish such as flounder tend to be less picky about their food and will take most natural baits; however, the easiest way to go is frozen bait which can be bought from a tackle shop or caught yourself. When using frozen bait, simply thaw it out in a bucket of cold water for three hours prior to fishing. The most popular frozen baits easily found are squid, shrimp, bunker, shad, and mullet. When using frozen bait, it is important to choose the right rig. A fishing “rig” refers to how your hook and weight are assembled together so that you can present them in a certain way for fish who may not know what’s happening or want more information before deciding whether they should bite onto this particular piece of the food.
The simplest rig for frozen bait is a tied line with hook and bait attached to it using a snell knot. A snell knot consists of doubling the main fishing line, laying the bait at an angle against this doubled-up line (with no loop), and passing the tag end through both lines projecting forward of the hook. The tag end is then wrapped around the standing line several times, ending at the bait. The main advantage of using a snell knot is that it can be tied very quickly – this makes it ideal if you have just caught a fish and want to re-bait your hook straight away.
A slightly more advanced stopper knot includes doubling back nearer to where you attach your swivel and adding a second overhand knot. This will make it possible for bass, sea trout, and other species that excel at swallowing large hooks to run with the bait without dislodging the hook from their mouths. Another great choice for surf fishing rigs includes tying two dropper loops into each end of your leader (a loop tied in monofilament or fluorocarbon lines upsets fish less than one tied in braided line).
The Best Time to Surf Fish
Surf Fishing can be done around rocks or further around headlands where there are gutters that lead straight back to the beach. Surf fishers travel through heaps of different locations and will know all about what time low tides occur at each place.
– 5-6 foot Tide: Surf Fishing is a very productive activity at this time of the day, as many Surf Fish species will be found around the rocks and gutters.
– 4-5 foot Tide: Surf Fishing is more dispersed during lower tides; however, flathead fish are readily caught. At these times, the Surf Fishes tend to congregate closer to shore or behind points of land where water remains
The best chance of catching Surf Fish is during the full moon phase. This time is defined by a large number of fish jumping on the beach as the tide starts to move into shore. Surf Fish will attack anything that enters their territory, even if that means fighting another Surf Fish for the food. Surf fish are attracted to bright lights and shiny objects, so you could use this to your advantage when fishing them during nighttime or dusk hours.
Surf Fishing Setup and Strategy
Before you go out looking for Surf Fish, you need to consider what kind of Surf Rig setup works best for your location? What kind of Surf Rig will hold up best against being ejected over the reef or slammed by large sharks?
When choosing a Surf Rig, keep these things in mind. Surf fish are some of the most aggressive fish out there; they usually hit it quickly and hard, so you really need to keep your line taut. This means Surf Rigs tend to not have long leaders or tapers; this keeps more line on the rod tip, which keeps more tension on the fish. Surf Fishing is all about reaction time with your rod, so having a fast setup will be beneficial.
Surf fishing setup will depend on what type of fish you plan on catching and how far out from shore you plan ongoing. Many people use kayaks to access locations that aren’t easily accessible by car or truck.
For example, Kayak fishermen can get miles out into the ocean before they have to return back to shore so they can keep their eyes open for shark activity and swim baits offshore. However, Surf fishermen usually stay within sight of land. Surf fishing is often considered one of the most difficult styles of fishing; with its unique challenges, very few are able to master it. The Surf is always changing due to storms or hurricanes that can move sand around, making new holes in the Surf for fish to hide in. Surf fishermen have to adapt to finding new holes every day, just like a Surf Fish does when they are migrating from different areas.
Surf fishing can be a fun, different way to fish – if you know what to use. There are many species of surf fish, so it’s important to select the right one for your location when surfing fishing so as not to waste time or lose potential catches! Also, note that some species may only be found in certain biomes! Good luck