Surf Fishing

For many, foamy waves conjure up images of fishing near the shore. Whether you are casting from a sandy beach or your favorite jetty, getting started should include a stop at TackleDirect for tips and the right gear.

Buying Surf Fishing Gear

To get started, you'll need the surf fishing equipment essentials. This includes a fishing rod (usually ranging from 7 to 12 feet); the right reel filled with braided line that is at least 20-pound test; a rod holder and bait or lures. Some surf fishermen prefer conventional reels with a magnetic cast control while baitfishing in the surf. If you like fishing with artificial lures, we recommend going with a spinning reel.

Depending on where you are fishing and your preference, you can use live or artificial bait. Some popular live bait options include bunker, mullet, and shrimp. When it comes to surf fishing rigs, the most popular setup is the fishfinder rig, which you can build with terminal tackle from TackleDirect. The fishfinder rig is a simple, versatile setup that includes a sinker, barrel swivel and leader with a hook and bait at the business end. For the angler that prefers to actively fish an artificial lure rather than bait, TackleDirect offers a wide selection of bucktails, darters, poppers, swimmers, and more.

The Best Time to Surf Fish

The best time to fish in the suds is often during a rising tide, when fish of all types come closer to the shore to feed on smaller fish. The fishing is even better when high tide occurs near dusk or dawn. Some avid surfcasters who target stripers like to fish all night for exciting action, but it's important to take safety steps when night fishing, like pairing up with a buddy, because rogue waves and slippery rocks can be a fatal combination.

You'll naturally want to cast your bait or lure as far out as possible. During the cast, use both hands and your lower body to gain distance.

Study the break of the waves off the shore or beach. As the waves break, they create a trough parallel to the beach. Near these troughs are fast-moving currents that usually contain baitfish and crustaceans. Schools of baitfish might be visible, but birds overhead are also a good indicator that baitfish and bigger fish are present. Jetties and breakwaters can provide cover for baitfish and crustaceans that gamefish like to feed on. These manmade structures also can give surf fishermen access to deeper waters.