Surf Fishing

Surf fishing is a thrilling experience that offers excitement and fun for the whole family. It involves going out on the water’s edge, usually in the open ocean, to cast your net or line into an array of fish-filled waters. The result? A day (or night!) full of challenge, adventure, and – if you’re lucky! – some delicious catches.

Whether you’re a pro looking to make a quick trip or an angler new to purse seining, there are lots of tricks and tips available to help you land those tasty bites. Let us show you how!

surf fishing for beginners

What is surf fishing?

Surf fishing is a style of saltwater fishing that involves standing on the shoreline and casting bait or lures into the water. It can be done from beaches, jetties, piers, rocks, shorelines, or any other structure that protrudes out of the surf.

Surf fishing is popular among anglers for a variety of reasons, including the thrill of casting into unknown waters, the chance to catch large, powerful fish, and the simplicity of not having to use a boat. Surf fishing is also a great way for beginners to learn how to fish as all that is needed is a rod, reel, and some bait or lures.

A variety of species can be caught while surf fishing, including redfish, speckled trout, flounder, black drum, Spanish mackerel and other fish. The type of bait or lure you should use depends on the species of fish you’re targeting as well as the local conditions. While live bait is often used for surf fishing, artificial lures can also be effective when used properly.

Surf fishing is an enjoyable activity for those who are looking to experience the beauty of nature and spend some quality time outdoors. It is a great way to challenge yourself, learn new techniques, and even catch dinner! With a little bit of patience and practice you can become a successful surf fisherman in no time.

Where to cast surf fishing (surf casting)?

surf casting

The location for surf casting is important, as the right spot will yield better results. If you are unfamiliar with a certain shoreline it can be beneficial to observe the area for a while and look for signs of baitfish or birds diving in the water. This should help you pick out areas that might hold larger concentrations of fish. It is also helpful to pay attention to tide charts, wind direction, water temperature, and other factors as they can affect the success of your cast.

If you are looking for some tips on how to catch more fish while surf fishing, remember that lighter lures or bait will move farther in the surf due to the current and wind. You should also try different casting techniques such as slow retrieves, long casts, short casts, or a combination of all three.

Lastly, remember to use good knot-tying techniques for secure connections and to always check and maintain your rigs regularly. With some patience and practice you will soon be catching fish like an experienced angler!

Guides to surf fishing for beginners

If you are a beginner at surf fishing, there are plenty of resources available to get you started. From online tutorials and videos to books and on-site classes, you can find all the information needed to learn the basics. There are even guided tours for those who want hands-on experience catching fish from the shoreline. These guides will usually provide all the necessary equipment and help you understand the different techniques used for surf fishing.

TopicSurf FishingBeach FishingTips and Times
Ideal LocationLook for baitfish, birds diving, tide charts, water temperature, and wind directionChoose a spot on the sand or in shallow watersObserve wave height, direction; Watch for birds diving
EquipmentLight lures, different casting techniques, good knot-tying techniquesLight, flexible rods; live or artificial baitAppropriate rigs for frozen bait, heavier/lighter leaders depending on fish type
How to StartObserve, use tide charts, check water temperatureSurvey shoreline for deeper watersEnsure proper knot-tying; Consider using chum if allowed by law
Time of DayN/AN/AEarly morning and late evening; Dusk and dawn during summer
TidesPay attention to tide chartsN/AHigh tide (spring tides) best for surf fishing; Check local tide charts
Additional RecommendationsMaintain rigs regularly; be patientExperiment with baits and lures; Requires preparationCheck rigs regularly; Always use appropriate rigs

How to surf fish?

fishing at the beach

Before beginning to surf fish, it is important to be familiar with the regulations and laws set by your local governing body. It is also a good idea to carry proper identification documents in case of any mishaps while out on the water.

Once you know all the rules, you will need to choose the right equipment for your fishing trip. From rods and reels to bait, lures, and tackle boxes, you can find surf fishing gear at most sporting goods stores. Make sure to research the area before heading out so that you know what types of fish are present, as this will help you determine what kind of equipment is best for the situation.

Once you have acquired all your necessary gear, it’s time to go fishing! Before casting your line, you should survey the shoreline for areas with deeper water where fish might be present. From there, you can experiment with different baits and lures to see what works best. After some trial and error, it won’t be long before you start catching some fish!

No matter if you are a seasoned angler or just starting out, surf fishing is an enjoyable activity that can be rewarding and loads of fun.

How to Fish on the Beach?

Beach fishing is an enjoyable and rewarding activity for those looking to enjoy a peaceful outdoor experience. Fishing on the beach requires some preparation, as there are certain considerations that should be made beforehand. You will need to choose the right spot, either on the sand or in shallow waters close by, depending on what type of fish you’re looking to catch.

Once you’ve chosen a location, you will need to equip yourself with the right fishing gear. Beach rods should be light and flexible enough to cast weightless bait out into the surf.

When it comes to bait, live or artificial, both can be effective in catching fish on the beach. Live bait is typically more successful but may require some patience as it takes time to acquire.

Artificial baits can be purchased from most tackle shops and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that mimic the natural food sources of the fish you are targeting.

How to read the surf?

surf fishing tips

Reading the surf can be a valuable skill when it comes to successful surf fishing. By looking at the water and observing the conditions, you will be able to determine where fish are likely to be feeding and increase your chances of success.

When reading the surf, pay attention to things such as wave height, direction, and speed. Waves that break close to shore can indicate a shallow area, which may contain baitfish or other prey for larger fish. Pay attention to the color of the water and look for signs of seaweed, debris, or other materials that could attract fish. Signs of birds diving into the water can also be a good indication that fish are present in the area.

By reading the surf before casting your line, you will be able to pick out the best spot for fishing and maximize your chances of success. With some practice, it won’t be long before you are catching fish like an experienced angler!

Read more: How To Read The Surf For Fishing – 4 Simple Tips For Success.

The Best Surf Fishing Rigs for Frozen Bait

Frozen bait can be an effective way to attract fish when surf fishing, but it also requires a special type of rig in order to stay on the hook and remain appealing. The best rigs for frozen bait vary depending on the size and type of bait being used.

The most common rigs for frozen bait include dropper loops, paternoster rigs, and jig heads. Dropper loops are designed to keep the bait close to the bottom while still allowing it to move freely with the current.

Paternoster rigs use two or more hooks connected by a leader, which helps to keep the frozen bait in an appealing position for passing fish. Jig heads are weighted lures that come equipped with hooks, making them ideal for fishing in deeper waters.

When using frozen bait for surf fishing, it is important to know the right rig. Additionally, if you’re looking for a more efficient way to attract fish, consider using chum to draw them in. Chum is a mixture of fish attractants and ground-up or chopped bait that can be used to entice aquatic species to the area.

This method can be particularly successful for larger catches such as salmon or tuna, but it should only be used in areas where it is allowed by law.

No matter which surf fishing rig you choose, make sure to stay safe and have fun! With the right gear and knowledge, anyone can become a successful angler in no time.

May you like: Best surf fishing rigs, setup beach fishing rigs for beginners.

Some tips for surf fishing

  • When fishing in the surf, it is important to pay attention to wave height and direction.
  • Look for signs of birds diving or feeding on the surface of the water as a sign that fish may be present in the area.
  • Always use appropriate rigs when fishing with frozen bait; two-hook rigs are best for this type of fishing.
  • Use heavier leaders for bottom-feeding fish and lighter leaders for surface fish.
  • Make sure to check your rigs regularly and use good knot tying techniques for secure connections.
  • Consider using chum to draw in larger catches such as salmon or tuna, but make sure it is allowed by law in the area you are fishing.

Best Times and Tides for Surf Fishing: How to Plan

Best Times For Surf Fishing

When it comes to surf fishing, timing is key! Different species of fish can be found in the surf at different times throughout the year, so it’s important to plan ahead and take advantage of seasonal patterns.

Generally speaking, early morning and late evening are the best times for surf fishing when there is less wind and wave action. During the summer months, dusk and dawn are particularly good times to fish because that’s when baitfish tend to be more active.

Additionally, during periods of low light such as sunset or sunrise, certain species of fish may become more active and aggressive. This is a great time to cast your line in the surf as you may have better luck with larger catches.

More detail: When is the best time to surf fish on the beach?

Best Tides For Surf Fishing

One of the best ways to maximize your success rate during surf fishing is by knowing when these optimal tides will occur and taking advantage of them.

To figure out when the best tides for surf fishing are, it’s important to understand how tides work. Tides occur every 12.5 hours and are caused by the moon’s gravitational pull on Earth.

The higher moons, known as ‘spring tides’, occur when the sun and moon are in line with each other, while the lower moons occur when they are at right angles to one another.

The spring tides typically produce higher and faster moving currents, which are ideal conditions for surf fishing.

When it comes to the best times to go out and surf fish, you’ll want to pay attention to the tide charts. These will tell you the exact times of high and low tides during the day. During the high tide period, you’ll want to be out as soon as possible for the best chance of catching fish.

However, it’s important to note that different areas will have varying heights and strengths of their tides, so always double check your local tide charts before heading out. By doing this, you will have a better chance of finding fish that are actively feeding and are more likely to bite your bait.


What fish can you catch in the surf?

The types of fish that can be caught in the surf vary depending on your location, but common species include perch, flounder, sea bass, cod, mackerel and pollock.

Do you need weights for surf fishing?

Yes, weights are usually necessary when surf fishing as they help to keep your bait and hook in the strike zone. You can use lead weights or pyramid sinkers for heavier baits and lighter rigs, while split shot sinkers work well for smaller baits and light tackle.

Can I fish from rocks?

Yes, rock fishing is a popular surf fishing technique that can be used to target a variety of fish. When fishing from rocks, make sure to use the right gear and techniques to stay safe. Be aware of any potential hazards such as slippery surfaces or strong currents and always wear appropriate clothing for protection against the elements.

How long should a leader be for surf fishing?

The length of the leader depends on the type of fish you are trying to catch and where you are fishing. Generally speaking, a leader should be long enough to get your bait close to the bottom but not so long that it gets tangled or caught in rocks. A good rule of thumb is to keep leaders between 1 and 3 feet in length.

What equipment is needed for surf fishing?

Surf fishing requires a few essential pieces of equipment, including rods and reels, weights, hooks, bait or lures, and line. A beach chair or umbrella can be helpful to stay comfortable while fishing for long periods of time as well. Additionally, it is important to have a tackle box with various rigs and tools such as scissors, pliers, and a knife to ensure that your gear is maintained properly.  Read continue surf fishing supplies.

Why Am I Only Catching Rays and Baby Sharks?

If you find yourself only catching rays and baby sharks while surf fishing, it is likely that your bait is too large for the smaller fish. Consider downsizing your bait to something more manageable like shrimp or small strips of baitfish. Additionally, make sure that you are using the right leader size – heavier leaders will attract larger fish like rays and sharks whereas lighter leaders may be more attractive to smaller fish. Lastly, make sure that the bait is placed close enough to the ocean floor so that small fish can find it easily.

What Do I Need To Know About Surf Fishing Safety?

Safety should always be your first priority when surf fishing! Make sure you are aware of any local laws and regulations before you set out, and always check the weather conditions prior to fishing.

Additionally, it is important to stay alert for unexpected changes in currents or wave heights and never try to wade too far out into the water – you should be close enough that you can touch the bottom with your feet at all times.

Finally, make sure to wear a life jacket if there is any possibility of you being swept out into the ocean.  With these safety tips in mind, have a safe and enjoyable surf fishing experience!


To wrap up, surf fishing can make for an enjoyable and successful outdoor activity. It requires knowledge of the water, a good set of gear, plenty of bait, and patience. As with any trip outdoors, safety should be paramount, as you are susceptible to the elements.

All in all, no matter your skill level or motivation for fishing off the shoreline, if you do your research ahead of time and plan carefully, surf fishing can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have out on the water. You never know what kind of day you may have out catching waves while honing in on that big catch!

Older Posts