Fishing the Surf

Fourth in a Series – Fishing on the surf is one the most enjoyable pastimes and gives the angler that rare opportunity to enjoy nature at its simplest level.

But many new anglers can become frustrated when using the wrong equipment or fishing at the wrong place or time.

Over the past several weeks, we discussed the various steps that our new angler should incorporate into their mental tackle bag to be more successful fishing on the surf. Now armed with all of the proper gear, fresh bait, and confidence, we are ready to hit the surf.

Casting can be two different styles: precision or search. Either way, these styles gives the angler the best opportunity to locate and catch the fish.

The first style is precision casting. This type designed for the close-in sloughs. Anglers catch most of their fish in this location. Remember, the sloughs are channels of water between the outer bar and the beach (see picture of slough enclosed). To use precision cast, cast the line a short distance into the slough up wind or current at a specific spot. Then let the bait flow slowly along the current. Try to keep the bait near the bottom and moving along the current. This technique should be repeated until you get a bump or strike.

The next style is search or fan casting. And when search casting, we need to picture the hands of a clock in front of us with twelve o’clock straight out front.

Search casting consists of nine locations. The first cast is ten o’clock long, next is 12 o’clock long and finally is 2 o’clock long. Then cast again but now at medium distance at 10 then 12 and 2. The final search cast is now close at 10, 12, and 2.

This style allows the angler to cover vast areas of water. And if fish are present in the area, there is a good chance you will get a strike or a hook up.

Either technique will give the angler an opportunity to catch fish, if they are there. If you don’t feel a bump or strike within 15 minutes using either style, move to another location. And use the same techniques..

Next step is setting the hook and bringing our catch to the beach

Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony

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