So my father-in-law bought me a surf rod and reel for my birthday. I've been fishing a bunch of times as a kid but wouldn't know what to do out there on my own. Can anyone recommend a good book or website to learn the basics? Tying knots, bait, tides/times to go, etc.
There are a few avid hook slingers here that can probably send you in the right direction for instructional sites. Here's a mid-atlantic forum with a lot of info about what/where everyone is catching something.
It's an NC fishing site, lots of info there. The how-to section will provide you with some great info as far as rigging.
I don't know too much about fishing in the Northern Mid-Atlantic as far as bait and what to target at different times of the year. Two members here who know their chitt in that region that come to mind off the top of my head are LBCrew and Doug.
One necessity that seems to be pretty ubiquitous no matter what region you are in is BEER.
Surf fishers are up there on my crapola list with SUPs. One of my area breaks is a great spot but not very wide at all and in any good swell later in the day at the right tides there are always surf fishers from end to end. I freak out because I usually head there when the breaks real close to me are flat as heck, and I've been thinking non-stop about waves all day by then.
Makes me feel like a skimmer in a white rash guard competing with pro surfers for the choice peak in The First State. I don't care, I just jump on the board and paddle out to the peak and if I eat a hook, I eat a hook.
It's kind of like in Texas where they don't realize that a polite directional means you want and need to get in the next highway lane. They don't observe those there even though their vehicles come stock with them. So when I'm there and need to switch lanes I'll throw the blinker on for good measure while I cross the dotted line slightly. When the driver of the auto realizes that I'm willing to get in a collision more than they're unwilling to observe common traffic law and courtesy, they yield. Call me crazy, but these surf fishers seem to not want to have me eat their hook in the cheek more than they want to cast multiple lines at the same time in all different directions monopolizing the whole width of the break.
I don't want the whole break. I just want my slice. This guy ain't casting 2-3 lines and sitting there drinking beer so he can fish to survive. He's trying to get time away from his old lady and he can still do that with his lines cast a bit closer together.
Last edited by EmassSpicoli; Jun 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM.
After that, learn to tie a few good knots (blood knot, palomar, improved clinch...), be sure you have good line and backing, and stop into the local tackle shop, and ask what hot. Decide if you want to fish bait or artificial (gulp baits work good as a cross between the two), and guys always like to talk about their favorite plugs and rigs. There are also a number of online forums dedicated to surf fishing... bass in particular... and you can learn a lot just by reading discussions.
I like to walk the beach on a running tide, reading the rips and sand bars, and taking time to fish any structures, like jetties and storm drain pipes. I fish strictly artificials, so a few surface plugs (pencil popers, danny plugs...), bucktails, storm lures, bombers (with or without teasers) and lots of metal are always in my bag (http://www.alltackle.com/precision_pak.htm). Probably the most versatile lure is a Hopkins Shortie... you can retrieve them at a number of speeds, and even jig them. Very productive lure. And be sure you tie up a good, solid snagging rig, just in case you come up on a school of bunker.
Grab some high-low rigs, few surf weights (sinkers), some squid/bunker/sea clam (with rubber bands or elastic string to wrap the bait so it doesn't fall off the hook during casts), and a sand spike (to hold your rod).
This time of year (depending where you're at) the big stuff may be gone but at least some king fish and spot may be around. So just find a decent spot (location isn't as big a deal for these smaller fish), cast in and enjoy a brewski until you notice the rod tip bending more than the usual vibration from the surf.
Thanks guys. Beer is definitely part of the plan. There are jetties where I live and everyone I see fishing is right next to one. Curious how often do you actually catch something? Where I surf I very rarely see people reeling fish in. Maybe its not the best place.
EMass - aren't you a kook asking basic how to surf questions on other threads? Not sure why you think you are so entitled to the ocean. Or the road.