Surfcasting means casting the lure or bait from a long distance from the waterline. In this way, you can hide from fish using a long rod and you don’t have to go near water. Mostly you have to use heavily weighted bait to cast large breaking waves from the deserted stretch of beach where the water is foamy.
You can use a variety of fishing equipment and catch any type of inshore species at any time. You do not need any boat for surf fishing, here you a cast from the solid ground so you can enjoy the sight, nature, sounds, and many more.
How to Surf Cast: Tips and Techniques
Surfcasting from the bank or beach is a critical technique if you do not have many experiences. This technique is mainly for saltwater fishing so you can catch many game fish and if you are a beginner, it is the best option for you to learn.
Surf Fishing Tackle
You can catch both small and big fish through the surf line. So you can use both heavy artillery or smaller outfit depends on which type of fish you want to catch.
Surf Fishing Rod
Surf fishing requires special surf rods that are longer than boat fishing rods or other techniques. The length is important here as it has to overcome the height of waves and fit for long casting distance. But the rod should not be too long as it will drop off dramatically when you cast.
Choose a rod that is 10 to 12 feet long so it can toss 6 to 12-ounce sinker because casting heavy bait is necessary.
Also, the rod should be medium powered and medium action so that it can create more torque. This type of rod can handle at least 4 or 6-ounce weight. Also, the surf rod has a long extended butt end.
The reels capacity should be 300 yards of 20-pound line or 200 yards or 30-pound line. Spinning reels are very effective in surf fishing as they can cast long easily. Baitcasting reels are also better, but you should use them only when you are experienced.
Surf Fishing Lines
For choosing the line, the top priority should be a braided line because it can cast accurately from long distances. It also cut the wind and air and has enough resistance. Do not use too much line on the spool, 1/8 of an inch is enough.
Use 30 test pound braided lines. You can also go for 60 to 80 test braided line.
Shock leaders are important for surf fishing. It keeps the line constant while casting heavyweights. So choose long shock leaders so it can wrap enough in the spool and you can pull big fish.
The shock leader should be heavier than the running line. For big fish, you will need a 50 to 100-pound leader. For small fish, the 10-pound leader is enough.
You have to cast far away from water but that does not mean you are not getting into the water. Wear good quality chest waders with a tightened belt. Use proper fishing pants to make proper action possible.
Also, wear a foul weather jacket and protective footwear. Keep a rod holder (sand spike) to hold the rod, a gaff to land the fish, a small flashlight for nighttime fishing, pair of high-quality fishing pliers so that you can cut the leader and remove the hook, stainless steel multipurpose tools, a knife, etc.
Surf Fishing Baits, Lures, and Sinkers
Using any artificial lures or tossing a hunk of meat is very effective for surf fishing. If the angler presents the bait naturally, his success rate will increase.
What is the best bait for surf casting?
Also, the baits rig that contains the sinker and hook should be perfectly held together. For small bottom fish, the rig should have a sinker and 2 hooks that places 5 to 12 inches apart. Use beads, spinner blades, bucktail hair, soft grubs, etc that can easily attract fish.
Surf Fishing Rigs
For bigger fish, use single hooked rigs with at least 12 inches long leader that could be monofilament or braided. Use a three-way swivel with the hooks and attach a leader, a sinker, and a running line to all those rings.
Sinkers for Surf Fishing
The sinker should be pyramid o bank styles because the pyramid sinker can dig into the sand and hold the rig properly. A bank sinker moves the bait to the bottom and slowly cranks the rig.
Depending on the target species, choose a smell free, fresh bait that should be whole or in the piece. If you use finger mullet, use the whole. For bigger fish, use chunks to make a tougher bait.
For thinner bait, use fillet as it can move in the current. Squi, sew worm, shrimp, etc would be the best bait for surf fishing.
Where to Cast When Surf Fishing
The surf angler should have better knowledge about picking a spot where the fish are most active. It can be the beach spot or any other areas on the bank.
Although surf fishing is another kind of stand fishing so the anglers have limited mobility. Knowing about tides and currents is also recommended.
The surf line constantly changes a mix of sand, mud, rock along with the tides and currents. These movements create holes, channels, washouts, or all of these so before picking a spot, look for the area and aware of the stages of the situation. The weather condition also changes the situation. Know the habitat of your target species and wave behavior.
Fish behavior depends on the weather condition. Learning about fish behavior will make your job easy.
Surf Casting Technique
Proper casting technique from a long-distance requires practice, practice, and practice. You need to focus on some things such as the rod should be loaded effectively so start casting slowly then leave it to reach the maximum speed. Do not cast too quickly as the lures and baits only move the rod tip direction.
If you are casting from the beach, you should focus if the area has small trees or bushes, they can prevent the baits from falling on the water properly. Also, check if it has a free license for fishing or you will need a license to cast.
Also when you stop the rod, do not low down the rod tip and keep the target line steady and equal. For longer distances, the rod and line should be close together to prevent slack.
If you are using a spinning rod, release enough tension and use your index finger to stop the rod. Keep your non-dominant foot straight at the target and get a proper stance. The lures should be at least 2 feet away from the rod tip. Do not move faster when you are casting.
Sitting VS Fishing
After casting, as surf anglers, if you want your bait to stay calm, you have to pass the big drum. But in this way, you can only catch occasional fish. To get more fish, you have to work with the drum. Get fresh bait and position it properly, then cover the surf areas.
Some species prefer a moving target, so move the bait ver the bottom and allow the bait to wash down the dropoff. Remember, the bait should follow a natural manner to attract fish.
Start your arm up, take a step then bring your arm across and pull down.
Night Fishing Tips on How to Surf Cast For Striped Bass
Fish mostly feel safer in the shallow water. Striped bass, weakfish, red drum, etc are more active at night. Night fishing does not have much difference then day fishing, just a few modifications are needed especially if you are fishing in deeper water.
Do not use bright light as fish eyes are compassionate so when they see any light spark, they will hide quickly. so do not scan the water with a flashlight or other light. Also, check if the area requires a license for fishing or not.
Arrive at to beach before it is darker so your eyes will adjust the lights changing. Check the situation and the territory in the daytime and pick a spot for fishing. Careful about wading in the surf at night and dress appropriately. The sound of breaking waves will guide you to where you should stand.
Permits and Licence
You will require special licenses and permits for fishing in different states. Most of the states have their regulations and laws to prevent any harm to their natural resources. These protective laws will ensure the safety of their resources through restriction and license as special permits.
So, before going fishing, you will have to check the regulations for fishing in deeper water from the beaches. If it fits, you can ask for the fishing license or even permission with covering the regulations.
How Far Do You Need to Cast for Surf Fishing
How far you want to cast for surf fishing is totally up to you. It goes hand in hand so use longer surf fishing rods to match with the techniques. To pass the breaker, you do not have to always cast from a long distance, sometimes you can cast much closer from the beach.
Normally the casting distance depends on n 30 to 100 yards but if you are a pro, you can cast more than that.
Long-Distance Surf Casting Techniques
Normally fly fishing requires only one hand for good casting, but if you want more distance, you have to use your both hand along with the body. Just hold the fishing rod’s butt and reel with your both hand so the rod tip will be near the ground.
The rod should be move at 45 degrees when you are casting. Move your whole body and give enough force to cast then release the fishing line slowly and increase your casting distance.
Just imagine, you are standing straight pointing your left foot at 12 o chock. Put your right foot at 2 o clock, this position is perfect for casting.