Some people choose to fish from shore because they have no boat. Others choose to fish from shore, because they suffer from seasickness or have time constraints that prohibit them from taking the time to get out on the water, and they still want to put a line in the water and see what will bite.
No matter your reasons, if you have decided to give shore fishing from the beach a try, there are certain beach fishing strategies for stimulating shore strikes that you can take that will allow you to maximize the experience you have while surf fishing.
Whether you don’t have access to a boat for fishing on the water, or whether you just prefer to fish from shore, if you take the time to do your homework and familiarize yourself with some helpful tips and techniques, you will find surf fishing to be as rewarding as fishing from a boat.
Some fish that can commonly be caught by surf anglers are trout, bluefish, bass, mackerel and flounder. Anglers of all experience and skills levels can easily enjoy fishing from the shore. The very best time to go surf fishing is during the spring and fall months of the year. Summertime is also a good time to surf fish, but the fact that there are so many people present usually makes it a little more difficult than surf fishing during the spring and fall of the year.
Not only are there more anglers on the water vying for the fish that are present, the noise and vibrations from running feet will likely make the fish more skittish even if they do not scare them away completely.
Now, to make the most of your shore fishing experience with a few tips and techniques. Begin by fishing close to the shore. Casting too far out will put you past your target fish. Cast parallel to the sand. For best results, fish early in the morning or late in the evening, during the half tide. If you still find yourself having problems catching fish, try fishing along the break of the waves, because sometimes the fish really will bite there.
Where you find birds, you will generally find baitfish, and where you find bait fish, you will be find other, bigger, fish, so concentrate on areas where there are birds and baitfish present, and then focus on areas where there are plentiful hiding places such as holes, rocks, or reefs. Other good areas on which to focus are channels and inlets, but the best time to fish inlets and channels is on the outgoing tide. This works especially well, because the tide carries your bait out in a very natural way, and fish will take it quickly in such circumstances. Look for swirls on the surface, and it is a good sign there are fish feeding in the area, and you will be able to find bigger fish.
When you find sure signs that the fish are feeding, try on a small artificial lure like a 3 ounce Hopkins Shorty jig on a light weight, fairly short rod, using ten pound test line. Try to stay away from heavy wire as leaders, opting for shorter twenty pound monofilament to get more bites.