Surf fishing is a fantastic hobby and it is a great way to relax, spend some time outside and catch yourself some dinner. There are some fishing enthusiasts which don’t like surf fishing because they wrongly think that having to cast from the shore will restrict the types of fish you can catch but there are so many species that can be caught right there in the shallow waves. There is a lot to learn when it comes to surf fishing so it can be a little difficult for beginners to know where to start.
To help everyone who is looking to get into surf fishing, here’s what you should know.
1. The Cast Is Key
Surf fishing is very easy, but one technique that is absolutely key is your cast. Casting when surf fishing is very similar to casting into a lake or river, except that you will usually need to cast your hook out further. The best technique for surfcasting is overhead so that your line is not affected by the ocean winds. Cast from behind you with a strong flick at the end to shoot the hook forward on a level trajectory rather than a loop. This will reduce the effect of side winds so you will be more accurate. Try throwing some sand up into the air so that you can judge the speed and direction of the wind to adjust accordingly.
2. Different Fish Like Different Bait
If you are just looking to do some general surf fishing, then you can experiment with different baits. This will enable you to catch lots of different species of fish during one fishing session. Moreover, the folks at fishmasters.com/ explain that one type of bait that most species of fish enjoy is shrimp so it is always worth trying if you don’t mind what you catch. If you want to catch one particular species, however, it is very important that you tailor your bait to that species as different fish like different food. Live mullet, for example, is tried and tested bait for mackerel and herring.
3. The Conditions Can Affect Everything
As well as bait, some other factors which will affect the species you are able to catch are the season, weather, and tidal conditions. Different anglers have their own opinions on what makes for perfect surf fishing, but generally speaking, cloudy and rainy days are better for hiding your line from the fish so they are more likely to swallow your bait. The advantages of this weather are of course offset by the unpleasant conditions which you may have to experience. High tide is the best time to catch fish as this is when they are actively feeding, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
4. Understanding the Beach Is Vital
Experienced fishermen know how to look at the beach and understand what to look for when choosing a fishing spot. While mastering this art takes years, there are some key considerations you need to make. At low tide, or where waves break, make sure that you pay attention to sand bars. This will show you where the fish are and so you will know whether to cast behind a certain sand bar or in front of it. You should also try to judge if there are any obvious riptides as these are rich in food so the fish will congregate there to feed.
The fish tend to gather in underwater holes and many anglers have found that these are usually near areas of the beach which have a lot of shells and coarse sand. Look out for this on the beach and you may be near a good fishing hole so make sure you wear the best fishing shoes you have.
5. You Need the Right Gear
Even if you become an absolute pro at reading the beach and choosing the best weather conditions, if you don’t have the right gear, you are never going to be a successful surf angler. Choose a fiberglass saltwater fishing that is around twelve to fifteen feet long. You will also need a net, a strong reel, and various types of tackle and bait. If you are totally new to fishing, look at online gear guides and articles, or speak to the employees in your local fishing shop and they will be able to steer you in the right direction.
Surf fishing is so much fun and is the perfect way to spend a few hours in the fresh air. Whether you are trying to catch yourself a meal or just enjoy the sea air, surf fishing has something for everyone. Follow this easy guide and you will have everything you need to start surf fishing.