1. Surf fishing is dynamic. You have to search for the fish, or for a good fishing spot, rather than waiting for the fish to come and grab your bait. That’s why it’s best to use only one rod. If you will want to use multiple rods, you’ll basically become tied to a smaller portion of the shore, and it’s best to never go to far from them, because a big one can always bits and break one of your rods before you reach it, break the line or simply unhooking itself.
2. The surf is continuously changing, and the great wading conditions you found today, may not be there tomorrow or a few days later. Therefore, it basically takes a while to find good water, and good wading conditions.
3. There are a few factors that point out a productive fishing spot. First of all, you should look for deep guts, presented by smooth, greener water, or check for breaks in the surf line. Washouts can also be productive – a washout being a portion of flat sandbar, at a depth of 3-4 feet, extending up to 100 ft. from the beach, before ending up into a gut. Another indicator of a good spot, is bait fish activity in certain places. In other words, game fish jumping out of the water when game fish rush into the bait cloud. Also, birds swarming a certain area typically indicate a good spot to throw your hooks.
4. Most anglers will tell you that live bait or cut bait is the most productive for surf fishing. That is a fact. And for that you can use all kinds of baits beginning with small crabs, mussels, shrimp, strips of herring or any other fish, chicken livers, or strips of beef liver, nightcrawlers, sand worms, rag worms, squid, eels, and bait fish of any kind. However, lures can be very productive as well, depending on weather, water clarity, and the fish you’re targeting.
5. Depending on what fish you’re targeting, the fishing conditions or the bait you’re using, various rigs may be required. Among the most popular rigs used in surf fishing are the fishfinder rig, the drop rig, the fireball rig, the high low rig and the spider rig.
6. If you’re going to use multiple rods, it’s important to use pole holders specifically made for surf fishing. Buckets and coolers can easily be pulled out if a large fish bite, resulting in a lost rod. You can improvise your own rod holders though, from iron or stainless steel pipes.
7. Last but not least, keep in mind that “less is more”. In other words, keep with you only what’s necessary. Don’t overburden yourself with too much equipment. However, a few things different from your average tackle box are necessary. These would be: polarized sunglasses, a head (or at least regular) torch in case you’re planning to stay up late, or even if not, unhooker, bottle of water and never forget your phone. Surf fishing is a rather dangerous sport, and who knows when your phone may save your life.
Photo courtesy to Fran Trudeau / source: flickr.com