Surf Fishing

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Frank, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. Frank

    Frank Beach Crab

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    Good Day, I have been browsing the board for a while now to see what's happening in SoWal. It is the best website to get REAL INSIDER information about the pulse of the area. I live in Atlanta and have a house in Santa Rosa Beach...we get down there about 10-15 times a year. Needless to say, we love 30-A and thanks to Kurt for creating the forum.

    Anyway, everytime I am down there I see more and more surf fishing. I'd like to pick up a rod, reel, tackle and try it myself. Does anyone have recommendations on some gear to get started?
     
  2. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Frank,
    Glad you enjoy the board!

    There are several places to get a medium weight surf fishing rod and reel combo. Lightweight is fun too but takes a little more care and patience.

    The keys to catching pompano and other fish in the surf are water conditions, temperature, tide, and location. Fish might bite in muddy water, but the best conditions are clear to fairly clear water, and flat to moderate surf. A moderate chop on the gulf is okay, but as soon as the water becomes rough and dirty the pompano split.

    Look for a sandbar that can be reached with a moderate to long cast. Ideally, there will be a break in the bar, or an opening at one end. Success with pompano comes on beaches where you can cast to, or sometimes past, the bar. You can catch fish on both sides of the bar. Concentrate on the deep edge that can be found along the beach side.

    Not to be forgotten is where waves break on the beach. Not only pompano, but many species of fish will follow these edges, looking for food dislodged by the breaking waves.

    Most folks using the pre-rigged two-hook bottom rigs, with hooks sized from #3 up to #1. They usually have pre-snelled hooks with fluorescent beads. On days when the water is clear, keen eyed pompano shy away from too much hardware in the water. Put together a homemade bottom rig, tied from a 30-inch piece of 25-test clear monofilament. Hook sizes remain the same, and maybe add a plastic fluorescent bead just in front of the hook eye.

    While pompano may be caught on small jigs in the surf, most of the time they are caught on pieces of fresh bait. Shrimp and sand fleas head the lineup. Sand fleas (mole crabs) are small crustaceans that live in the sand between the high and low tide marks on the beach. They can be dug by hand or with a wire scoop. The scoops are available at many tackle shops. The fleas will die if put in a bucket of water, but will last for a day or two in a few inches of damp sand.

    Most tackle shops sell fresh shrimp during the summer, and shrimp may be available either with the heads on or off. Either will work fine. If no fresh bait is available, you can get frozen baits at most shops. Check your baits frequently, since small crabs and little fish also love the taste of shrimp.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Frank

    Frank Beach Crab

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    kurt, thanks for the input. one more question....any suggestions on what areas are best? i am usually where draper lake and the gulf meet but could go anywhere.
     
  4. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Just about anywhere is good as long as there are not too many swimmers.

    I haven't checked sand fleas lately but they're usually scarce in the winter. So you'll have to use frozen bait and/or shrimp.

    Post your results. :)
     

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