There is something very special about standing in the sand on the beach and casting out your line, trying to catch a fish. For anglers that have never done it, surf fishing can be an exciting new way of fishing that might be a little tricky to figure out at first. However, this can be easily solved with a few basic tips and techniques that will help you along the way.
Bring the Right Equipment
Just like any other type of fishing, surf fishing on the beach requires some specialized gear to get started. While it is very simple, this gear will help you tackle the waves and the fish that you will encounter. For example, you will want a fishing rod that is made specifically for surf fishing. The big difference between regular fishing rods and those made for surf fishing is the length. Surf fishing rods are much longer in order to help you cast further and above the surf. These are commonly around 10 feet, but some anglers will use some as long as 16 feet.
Read the Surf
One of the most difficult things for beginner surf fishermen to learn is how to read the surf. An experienced angler will walk on the beach and scan around, picking out areas where the fish are most likely to be before ever casting out their line. Stop and study the tides and conditions on the beach, and you will start to notice patterns on where the fish like to hang out. This will really only come with plenty of practice and experience, but take note of the surf every time you go fishing!
Visit the Local Bait Shop
While this really doesn’t have to do with fishing, stopping in at the local bait shop can increase your chances of catching fish tenfold. These local bait shops are a wealth of knowledge, and they can usually point you in the right direction. They will also be a place to get some fresh bait, and this can provide you with a good chance of catching things when the bait is as fresh as possible.
Fish Early and Late in the Day
The best hours to fish the surf correspond to most other fishing situations as well: the first few hours in the morning and the last few before dark. Watch for the high tides and any outgoing tides around low light, as these will usually provide some excellent fishing opportunities. Fish are often moving and feeding during these times, so if you can wake up a little earlier than others or stay out late, you will often catch more fish than other anglers.
Surf fishing can be a simple task but hard to master. By following these simple tips, you can find much more success on your next fishing trip!
For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.