Pages Navigation Menu

Surf Fishing

Surf FishingSurf Fishing is literally half-way between shore fishing and boat fishing, as in it is a fishing technique that is used by those anglers who wade out into the surf as far as they can, before casting their lines out past the breaking waves.

As with most types of fishing, one of the big questions an angler should ask when going surf fishing is how should you go about locating the fish? With experience surf fishermen and women learn to determine good spots close to shore where large saltwater fish can be found. They can in general be found in runoffs or eddies, under rock outcrops, or in sudden drop-offs where the sea floor drops dramatically away from the beach.

Another trick that is commonly used by saltwater anglers of all kinds is to watch the movements of seabirds. Boat anglers, rock fishermen, shore fishermen and surf fishermen alike can locate schools of baitfish by watching seabirds as they feed. Many surf fishermen will use vehicles to follow promising schools of baitfish along a coastline, waiting until they begin to see signs that larger fish are beginning to feed on them. They will then wade out into the surf and begin casting.

When casting, surf fishermen try to drop their hooks into the smoother water about 100 yards behind where the waves are breaking. Of course distance is key here, and therefore longer rods, such as 10 or 12 footers, are commonly used. Surf anglers may require the longest casting technique of any other types of anglers, and invest a lot of time into perfecting their technique and acquiring the best equipment to suit their style. Usually very strong lines are used, along with sturdy spinner reels. Without a doubt the most common sinker used is a heavy pyramid sinker, usually about 6 ounces in weight. The rig is similar to those used in bottom fishing, with the sinker at the bottom of the line, and the bait and the hook positioned slightly higher. Again, as in bottom fishing, the pyramid sinker should stick into the sea bed, keeping the line taught and holding the bait in position. This is known as a drop rig.

When it comes to the choice of bait, both live bait and artificial lures can be used. Artificial lures work best when dropped in amongst a shoal of bait fish. If a school of prey fish is feeding on the bait fish at this time, it is likely that one may go for a lure without examining it too closely. Of course any lures used should be chosen to resemble the bait fish as closely as possible, in size, shape and colour. Examples include artificial eels, topwaters and spoons. If a surf fisherman chooses to use live bait, he will always try to opt for a species of baitfish that is prevalent in the area in which he is fishing. Options include eels, which are most effective against stripers, sand fleas and cut bait.

It is a good idea to remember that bait fish will always be in and around the coastline, and should attract larger feeding fish. However if you are unfamiliar with an area, or if you are learning surf fishing, expert local advice is invaluable.