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What is Surf Fishing?


Surf fishing is extremely popular in coastal communities around the country. Not everyone can afford a fishing boat or has a friend with a fishing boat. The attraction of surf fishing is that it can be done very inexpensively. At the same time, fishing experts say there are plenty of big fish from the ocean who come fairly close to the coastline looking for food, particularly during high tide.

What You Need for Surf Fishing

  • Fishing equipment. When getting rods and reels for surf fishing, it's important to recognize that you're going to be casting long distances, attempting to reach deep enough water away from the shore where fish may be lurking. That means, the rod should be long - probably 10 to 12 feet - and pretty flexible. In addition, you need some weights and sinkers so that your lure or bait will reach down where the fish are searching for food. If you plan to wade into the surf, you'll need boots and fishing waders - knee-high or chest-high - to keep you dry.
  • Baits and lures. Many fishing experts say you don't have to go any further than the beach itself for bait, whether it's soft- or hardshell crabs, grubs, blood worms or shrimp that you can dig up. It only makes sense to use live bait from the beach, because that's what the fish are feeding on.
  • Where to fish. One part of answering this question is making sure you are familiar with any regulations on times and areas where surf fishing is allowed. Many beach areas attempt to separate swimmers and fishermen. Experts say the best way to pick good fishing spots is to analyze the beach at low tide and look for sandbanks or areas that jut out that likely will attract the fish on feeding missions during high tide. The days when high tide occurs at dusk or dawn are the best days to head out to the beach.
  • Pier fishing. A second cousin to surf fishing is pier fishing, with the added advantage that few areas in the country require fishing licenses from piers open to the public. The fishing is not as easy from a pier - but the slightly higher perspective gives you a better vantage point to cast further out into the water. You definitely want a rod and reel that can cast a long distance when fishing from a pier. Also, beaches with piers specifically designed for fishing usually have bait shops and fishing supply shacks nearby that can come in handy.

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