Surf fishing

Button

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
188
Location
TX coast
Anyone here fish the surf/beach?
Interested to hear of any diehard surf fisherman. Don’t disclose specific locations/home beach unless you feel the world needs to know..geographical area is plenty.
Species you fish for, tackle, camp set up, beach sand/shell/rock(terrain). Also interest to hear of any fish you loathe catching. For me on the gulf coast it’s the ‘Tourist Trout’ aka hardhead catfish. Nonresidents(it works both ways) are thrilled to catch anything but It will ruin your day with one jab of its barbed poisonous pectoral and dorsal fins. However I’ve seen multiple great blue heron swallow hardheads whole. I know you shouldn’t feed wildlife but when my heron friend is eyeing a pesky hard head I can’t help but toss him one 1st thing in the morning when I wake up after a sandy nap/night, no sane/knowledgeable person wants to wake up and deal hardheads 1st thing in the morning. However they do make good Cobia(ling) and sometimes shark baits. CD96F7CE-987D-440D-9736-B71C483BF687.jpeg
 

Boarmaster

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Apr 14, 2019
Messages
386
Location
Fort Myers , FL
I did a bunch on the Outerbanks NC back in the 90s and up until 2007. I lived near there back then. Moved to SWFL and took up wadefishing then Flats out of a skiff now into kayak fishing. Every place they surf fish has its own unique way of doing it.
Here about the only surf fishing we do is out on Sanibel Island and Cayo Costa for snook with a flyrod in the surf.
 

Sccritterkiller

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Apr 8, 2019
Messages
837
Hit the OBX couple times a year...species depends on time of year. Spring and Fall are the best times for big baits. The winter bite on artificial is usually epic if you can get a weather window.
 

.270

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
303
Location
TX
I have been getting into surf fishing since moving to Texas, being the closest accesable public land I head there as often as I can. Too bad it took me four years of living here to discover PINS. Not much of a surf fisher but I am learning. Hardheads are a pain in the ass but my kids enjoy em. I just throw back and never mess with em.
The seaweed is what I loathe the most.
 
OP
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Button

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Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
188
Location
TX coast
I have been getting into surf fishing since moving to Texas, being the closest accesable public land I head there as often as I can. Too bad it took me four years of living here to discover PINS. Not much of a surf fisher but I am learning. Hardheads are a pain in the ass but my kids enjoy em. I just throw back and never mess with em.
The seaweed is what I loathe the most.
Oh yes the sargassum can get terrible. It hasn’t been bad for a few years which is nice. Many years ago it was completely unfishable, weed stacked up on shore several feet high.

Waking up in the middle of the night to battle a seaweed monster on your line…good times.

pins is awesome, I was there last weekend. Chartreuse fish bites in the 2nd gut resulted in several nice pompano.
 

Mt Al

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Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
834
Location
Montana
Been to the Texas coast a few times surf fishing and it was a blast! Can't wait to go back. Caught many hard heads and skates but the spec trout, drum and the rest make up for it. A few times something massive and lightning fast took my line and those are experiences I'll never forget. I'd almost give up hunting to fish the coast more often, going back this February-ish.
 
OP
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Button

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Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
188
Location
TX coast
Been to the Texas coast a few times surf fishing and it was a blast! Can't wait to go back. Caught many hard heads and skates but the spec trout, drum and the rest make up for it. A few times something massive and lightning fast took my line and those are experiences I'll never forget. I'd almost give up hunting to fish the coast more often, going back this February-ish.
What part of the coast will you be fishing?
One of the weather windows in February I routinely catch my largest redfish.
 

FLATHEAD

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Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
491
Just recently have taken up the sport. Loving it!!
I mean if you live on the northern Gulf of Mexico,,,,,why not?
The good: Whiting(my favorite eating so far), Spanish Mackerel,
Redfish, Speckled Trout, Black Drum, Redfish, Bluefish.
Not so good: Hardheads, Stingrays.
 

.270

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
303
Location
TX
Oh yes the sargassum can get terrible. It hasn’t been bad for a few years which is nice. Many years ago it was completely unfishable, weed stacked up on shore several feet high.

Waking up in the middle of the night to battle a seaweed monster on your line…good times.

pins is awesome, I was there last weekend. Chartreuse fish bites in the 2nd gut resulted in several nice pompano.
Fish bites in the first gut always give my kids some action throughout the day. Mostly hardheads and pan whitney but the occasionally red or black drum make up for it. Seaweed monster's that pull the drag out are my favorite. I caught a small pompano in casting into the second with a spoon the other day but thats about it. Mullet are in the first gut and I am hoping to capitalize on it soon. I am heading out to pins next weekend but hopefully get to sneak away for a morning session this week.
 

7-Pointers

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Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
174
Location
California
Didn't draw any decent tags in CA this year so been spending a lot of time collecting surf perch along the CA coast. Like to have something I caught or killed in the freezer...having friends over tonight to share fish tacos in fact. I like the accessibility of the coast relative to the mountains from where I live, and the fact I don't have to train all year to go surf fishing :).
 

Sherman

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Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
144
Didn't draw any decent tags in CA this year so been spending a lot of time collecting surf perch along the CA coast. Like to have something I caught or killed in the freezer...having friends over tonight to share fish tacos in fact. I like the accessibility of the coast relative to the mountains from where I live, and the fact I don't have to train all year to go surf fishing :).
Lived there for the first 35 years of my life. I do miss the beach. One of my favorite fish was the surf perch. Find a pier, drop a crab net about 1/2 way down, start fishing just behind where the waves are breaking with a sabiki rig, fill the ice chest.

Once in a while I would get and octopus in the crab net. Chop those up and use it for shark bait at night. Sharks love the octopus.

Besides that, the Cod and Halibut were personal favorites.

Now I live in NE Colorado trying to learn how to freshwater fish while a crab net hangs in my garage.
 

Mischief209

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
235
Location
Central,Ca
CA coast from Monterey to Mendocino. Surf perch, stripers, and personal favorite is crab snarring with a 12ft surf pole. Great summer bite for perch and stripers. I've also caught Leppard sharks, rays, herring, mackerel unintentionally. Last year i converted an old power wheels into a beach fishing cart. Works good until deep soft sand so I'm now working on getting better traction on that sand and it'll be great.
 

FLATHEAD

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
491
Just recently have taken up the sport. Loving it!!
I mean if you live on the northern Gulf of Mexico,,,,,why not?
The good: Whiting(my favorite eating so far), Spanish Mackerel,
Redfish, Speckled Trout, Black Drum, Redfish, Bluefish.
Not so good: Hardheads, Stingrays.
Got to my spot this am as the tail end of the front was pushing through.
Not a bad morning, but the Sharks dominated.
Caught 3 smaller ones and lost 3 larger, didnt bring any wire.
Caught what is probably my best Ladyfish @ 25"inches.
Bunch of Blue Runners that I used as bait.
And a dang big Stingray. Called it a day after that.
May be back in the morning, with wire leaders to see whats happning.
 

FLATHEAD

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Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
491
Went down to the beach this afternoon with my son.
Penn 6500 w/10ft. surf rod, 25lb mono main, 3ft of 60 lb mono leader, 18 inches single strand wire, 8/0 Owner circle hook.
Using the head of a huge Ladyfish from the weekend. My son thought it was excessive.
Rod was in the rod holder of the beach cart that had the cooler ,ice, bait, gear, etc..
We were getting bored when we got owned. I mean we got slammed hard.
No warning, no bouncing rod, - It was like a truck ran by and snagged our line.
The cart jumped off the ground and flipped over, EVERYTHING went flying.
My son saved the outfit from going in the surf.
Never seen anything like it in my life. THE most impressive hit I've ever witnessed.
Fish took 100 yards of line in a matter of seconds, stopped once or twice and kept going.
Then the line went limp. Reeled it in and everything was gone, cut on the main line above both leaders.
Everything gone.
Maybe the tail of the fish/shark cut it? I dunno, kinda new at this.
All total, maybe 30-40 seconds of mayhem.
Gotta re think some equipment.
 

Fordguy

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Joined
Jun 20, 2019
Messages
203
Whiting, reds, specks, and pompano are all on the list when I visit the gulf coast. Spanish macks occasionally make it in close enough to catch in the surf too. Big spade fish are good and even blues are good if cooked fresh. As for the fish I don't care to catch- hardheads and rays top the list. I've heard that rays can be good eating, but I've yet to try them. That might change my point of view.
 
OP
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Button

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Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
188
Location
TX coast
FLATHEAD sounds like a shark picked up your bait and tail whipped the line, though I’ve had a few 5’+ stingrays pickup baits with explosive long runs. Could have been a jackfish and found a weak spot in the line, they make fast long runs as well. Ladyfish is one of the best shark baits, however they are soft and crabs will usually pick them apart quickly(1.5hr) in the summer. I run all my drags loose enough that my rods will not fly out of my pole holders, yet tight enough current will not strip line. I only use circle hooks and letting them take line on the pickup is a good thing.

These were a few rays from many years ago that we were confident they were big sharks when the picked up the bait. Until we got them close the 1st bar and they stuck to the bottom.

F5A171E5-42FC-4A1D-BA16-6C180228121D.jpeg 344EC342-DCE4-42FB-ADAE-450FF37683C5.jpeg 3D0B848A-DBD4-4610-8E08-FE0409B36427.jpeg
 
OP
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Button

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
188
Location
TX coast
Whiting, reds, specks, and pompano are all on the list when I visit the gulf coast. Spanish macks occasionally make it in close enough to catch in the surf too. Big spade fish are good and even blues are good if cooked fresh. As for the fish I don't care to catch- hardheads and rays top the list. I've heard that rays can be good eating, but I've yet to try them. That might change my point of view.

Don’t discount rays the big ones are a worthy experience. 5’ diameter ray will whip most men to the point of embarrassment and cutting the line. Even those in ‘Elk Shape’ accustomed to 10’000ft. Sea level southern ray will whip your a$$.
I’ve cut into many southern stingray to use as shark bait, the big mama rays are released. Their meat looks good. White color and very firm. I keep saying I’ll keep a 20#er to eat. That’s when they really thicken up. But I end up letting them go or using for bait if I feel like targeting large sharks.
 
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