Today, I am going to focus on the basics of surf fishing, and this isnt even going to be a guide, its more of a “3 mistakes not to do when surf fishing”. And when I say basic tips I mean BASIC. This post focuses on things that only beginners will find useful, sorry pro’s (You can read along too if you would like)!
1. Weights – Always use either triangle weights, or spider weights for surf fishing. This is because egg weights roll around way too much in the surf. Triangle weights are about the same price as egg weights but spider weights are a little expensive for the regular surf fisherman. Also, make sure your triangle weights are not sliding around your line like egg weights, this will cause your bait to drift off while your weight is in place.
2. Hooks – There has been semi-major debates about which hooks are the best, it goes from chemically sharpened Vs. mechanically sharpened, to J hooks Vs. Circle Hooks! I can tell you what I use: Chemically Sharpened (Its a winner on all counts), Slightly Circled J Hook with double sided barbs to keep the fish on.
3. Line - Fishing lines have also brought many debates on, many of which haven’t been settled. For surf, I would prefer high-performance monofilament fishing line, this includes brands like Suffix and Spiderwire. Also, make sure to get a big enough spool of line, I recommend 500 yards incase of the big one!
I hope you enjoyed this post, and learned from it. To learn even more about surf fishing, check out this book: Surf Fishing – Quick Start Guide.
This diver caught a glimpse of a good school of reds. Check it out:
Redfish are the king of all game fish inshore. They fight hard, usually easy to find, year round in many places, and good eating! There is no reason you can’t get a piece of the action.First, lets go over the basics, the fish itself:
Habitat: Redfish spawn in estuaries and this is where you’ll find the smaller fish. These reds are either small slot reds or just out of the legal limit. If you want something you can eat, you’ll probably need a fish between 18-27 inches (By Florida Law, other states it may vary). The slot reds usually hang out it the bays and waterways. They feed in grass flats, oyster beds, and chase schools of minnows. Once a redfish reaches 30″ inches it usually starts adapting to the ocean and spends most of its life there. Surf fishing is a great way to catch monster reds (42+ Inch Reds). I found a great guide for all kind of surf fishing that will help you get started: The Quick Start Guide To Surf Fishing. Also, redfish enjoy hanging out around docks.
Feeding Habits: Redfish are not very picky eaters. They are not very fast so feeding is many times an all day thing because the speckled trout have first pick. This is why redfish are caught all day long and many times easy to find. Redfish eat shrimp, sand fleas, mullet (any type of minnow really), crabs, and anything that is small and living.
Baits & Lures: I try to stick with artificial baits because they are not as messy (except the Gulp Shrimp), and you can reuse them as long as they are in one piece. The best artificial bait I have luck with is Berkley Gulp 3″ Shrimp, Gold Spoons, and Mirror Lure. Of course many other lures work too. Baits that work well include: sand fleas (I preffer using a jig with a sand flea on the back), live or dead shrimp, mullet, and pinfish. I really don’t feel like listing every live thing that a redfish will eat because there is so many, it would probably be easier to list what it won’t eat.
Rod & Reel: If your fishing the bay flats or docks use a 6′ 6″ light-medium rod with a medium sized spinning or baitcasting reel. Now if your fishing the surf, use a surf rod thats about 10 feet long (for longer casts). Reels are mostly personal preference but don’t buy a shakespear reel if your life depended on it! The only good product shakespear makes is the Ugly Stick.
This mini-guide should get you to atleast your first redfish. If you have never caught one, its a great feeling that never gets old.
For a more in-depth guide on saltwater fishing, check out my book: Surf Fishing – The Quick Start Guide To This Exciting Sport.