Welcome to Apex Fishing Tips, this section of our website is about fishing from the surf and how to catch fish when surf fishing. Surf fishing is a popular fishing method used by anglers to catch fish from the shoreline of a beach. This web page is going to help improve your surf fishing skills and help you catch bigger fish, more often.
Below you'll find 10 surf fishing tips that will help improve your knowledge of surf fishing and your success at catching fish. Surf fishing is a great way to get out on the beach and enjoy some time fishing. Many saltwater fish species are easily caught from the shore and surf fishing doesn't require a boat. Continue down below to learn how to surf fish.
In addition to 10 surf fishing tips, we have a checklist of all the fishing gear and tackle you'll need to go surf fishing. You'll also find some awesome pictures of other people surf fishing from around the world. If you need more resources and information on surf fishing, you'll find it at the bottom of this web page.
10 Surf Fishing Tips
When it comes to surf fishing, the most popular and successful fishing rig is the fish finder rig. This provides some of the best presentation of bait and is designed to work perfectly in the surf. You can purchase Fish Finder Rigs are outdoor sports retailers, bait shops and online. You can tie this yourself using a three way swivel, two way swivel, a crane swivel, a pyramid sinker, a bead and a hook. Google "fish finder rig" for a diagram on how to tie it.
A few other popular fishing rigs for surf fishing are the flapper rig, the fireball rig, the sliding sinker rig and the double-drop bottom rig. You should test out all the different surf fishing rigs until you find the one that works best for you.
There are a few different types of live bait you can use when surf fishing. Some of the best live bait includes shrimp, squid, mullet, crabs and cut bait (piece of a fish).
You'll have the best success at surf fishing if you do it during the high tide. During low tide conditions you can scout out some good locations for surf fishing. When the moon is near or at a full moon, you'll be able to surf fish throughout the night. The illumination from the moon allows fish to feed throughout the night.
You'll have success catching fish in or near holes, pockets (small deep holes), jetties (rocks), sandbars and troughs.
When you do get a fish hooked, as you reel it onto the shore try to time it with the waves. As the waves start to come in, land the fish ashore and try to pick it up before the waves go back out. This will save you time and energy.
Don't leave your bait out in the sun, especially if it's alive. The sun can heat up and kill bait fish in bucket in as little as 60 minutes. If there is little to no shade, you'll need to use ice to keep your bait fish cool or constantly change out the water.
Invest in a pair of polarized sunglasses and binoculars. This will make it easy to survey the area where you're fishing and will protect your eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays.
Invest in a fishing rod holder specifically for surf fishing, don't use your bucket or cooler to prop up your fishing rod. Waves can knock your fishing rod over and pull it out into the ocean. Additionally, if you hook a very large fish it will pull your fishing rod into the ocean faster than you can say "oh no!"
You should never sacrifice your safety for success. Surf fishing can be dangerous both to you and others around you. Before you cast out, make sure no swimmers or surfers are near the area you're casting into. Beware of the tide schedule and plan accordingly as the tide comes and goes. Never leave any damaged or unwanted fishing gear on the beach. It can hurt other people and kill wildlife.
About Surf Fishing
Surf fishing is a fishing method where you fish from an ocean shoreline or from the ocean surf in waders. It's a great way to enjoy the beach with your family and get to go fishing. Surf fishing is usually done with a fishing rode that is at least 7 feet with an extended butt section. A common misconception is you need to cast out far when surf fishing to catch fish, a successful anglers can catch fish in as little as knee deep water.
Surf fishing is a great way to enjoy the beach, but you need to be safe when doing this method of fishing. Don't leave any unused hooks, lures or line when you leave, people walk on beaches barefoot and wildlife frequents the shoreline. Beware of the tide and wave conditions when you're surf fishing. You can lose your equipment to powerful waves and even be carried out into the water by them. Safety first when surf fishing.
Surf Fishing Checklist
The below surf fishing checklist has the fishing gear and tackle you might need when fishing on a beach.
Valid Fishing License
Surf Fishing Rod
Surf Fishing Reel
Fishing Rod Holder
Hooks (various sizes)
Weights (various sizes)
Lures, Jigs, Power Bait and/or Spoons
Live Bait (worms, minnows, etc.)
Casting Net (if you want to catch bait)
Fishing Stringer (unless you catch and release)
Measuring Tape (to measure your fish)
Fish Scale (to weigh your fish)
Needle Nose Pliers
A Clean Towel
First Aid Kit
Surf Fishing Pictures
A picture of someone surf fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. (Credit: Gary Derifield / Flickr)
A picture of someone surf fishing in Monmouth Beach, NJ. (Credit: SteveG1949 / Flickr)
A picture of a group of anglers who are surf fishing. (Credit: A. Strakey / Flickr)
Surf Fishing Resources
Surf Fishing Basics - An educational article by Bass Pro Shops that teaches you the basics to surf fishing.