When a school of bluefish are around you can be sure you are in for an exhilarating time. When this ocean predator is in a feeding frenzy there wont be time to put your rod down. Here are some tips on surf fishing tackle for this popular fish.
The bluefish has extremely sharp teeth so regardless of which rig you choose a wire leader is advisable. The best bait rig to use is the fish finder rig. The wire leader length should be around 18 inches between hook and swivel. Put a weight slide on the main line and then tie the main line to the swivel. Bluefish have very good vision so a free lining rig helps the bait look as natural as possible. Bluefish are ferocious feeders and travel in large schools hunting smaller bait fish, so for live baits try menhaden, mullet, eels and shrimp. They will also take most cut fish baits, with mullet being a favorite.
The majority of surf fishermen prefer to use artificial lures to catch bluefish. There are many lures you can use, popular ones are surface plugs, swimming plugs, jigs and spoons. A fast stop and go retrieval will work the best for these fish, especially when using surface plugs. My personal favorite is a heavy silver spoon which will cast a good distance and retrieve at speed. A good tip is to lace the spoon with a mullet or similar cut fish strip, this will add a strong scent trail as you retrieve. Another alternative is to spray your lure with menhaden bait spray which will have the same effect.
The average size of a school fish is around 2 to 5 pounds, and light spinning tackle will give you some great sport. The bluefish has very strong jaws and extremely sharp teeth, so when you do land one take great care when removing the hook, use long nosed pliers at all times. Visit Surf Fishing Tips And Techniques for more surf fishing advise and tips to increase your catch rate.