Fishing is an outdoor water activity that’s enjoyed by many individuals around the world. Recreational and sports fishermen often use different forms of fishing based on their geographic location and the type of fish they’re wanting to catch. One of the most popular forms of fishing that’s quite common in coastal regions such as Florida, California, and even the Caribbean is surf fishing.
What is Surf Fishing?
Surf fishing is a form of game fishing that’s land-based and involves the fisherman standing on the shoreline and wading into the surf zone. Used as a general term, surf fishing does not only refer to casting a lure or bait into the surf zone. The term actually refers to various types of shoreline fishing including fishing done from sandy and rocky beaches, rock jetties, and even fishing piers.
Typical Surf Fishing Gear
- Saltwater Fishing Rod and Feel
- Cast Net
- Tackle and Bait
- Surf Fishing Rigs (Fish-Finder and Drop)
- Marine Hook and Rig Holder (for tool organization)
- Bait Bucket and Air Pump
- Spare Spool of Line
- Pliers or Disgorger
- Tape Measure
- Umbrella and Rain Gear
- Sunscreen and Sunglasses
- First Aid Kit
- Fishing License
If you’re going to be wading into the surf, it’s a good idea to wear shorts or swim trunks with waterproof pockets to prevent your phone, wallet, and any other personal items from getting wet. There’s nothing worse than having personal items in your pocket get ruined while surf fishing so it’s always best to play it safe.
Type of Fish Caught When Surf Fishing
There are many different types of fish that can be caught while surf fishing. Some of the more common species of game fish you can expect to catch from shore include striped bass, bluefish, spotted seatrout, flounder, red drum, or pompano. One of the most accelerating feelings for a beginner when surf fishing is to reel in a 30 to 40-pound striped bass from the ocean surf.
In regions where fishing is regulated, you should always measure what you catch to make sure your fish is of legal size. In places such as the Caribbean certain species of fish such as sharks and stingrays are seasonal and should not be harvested during their off seasons. Failure to comply with local fishing regulations can result in a costly citation or even vehicle confiscation by game officials if the illegal catch is found in your vehicle.
The Best Time to Go Surf Fishing
It’s always best to arrive at low tide to scout out the beach and look for exposed structures so you can fish them later when they’re submerged. Walk the beach at low tide and locate the best areas to fish. The best time of day to go surf fishing is (from) two hours before a high tide until an hour after high tide.
The most effective surf fishing is done by those who take the time to plan their day. These anglers show up early, take advantage of the prime tides, and always keep a line in the water. The ocean is a very large mass of water and the longer your bait or lure is fishing, the better your chances of catching a trophy.
Like any other form of fishing, patience is important when surf fishing. Some days are better than others; however, you will always enjoy the time casting into the surf from a beautiful beach. Exercising patience and persistence is the key to successful surf fishing.
Remember to Always Have Fun
When surf fishing, remember to always have fun. Even if you don’t get a bite the entire day, enjoy the fresh air and the sound of the crashing waves. Remember, whatever fish you don’t catch that day will be there the next time you come to fish the surf.