2 hook bottom rig is for BAIT! Always have one ready or have one out.
Casting in the dark is one reason I cast so much in a hay field.
In the dark it's all about timing and the sound of the reel since you have lost the sense of sight.
You ingrain the timing in your skull. You ingrain the different sound pitches of the reel in your skull to the point.....you know when to thumb that spool. Most of my surf fishing is done at night on a dark beach.
For the big drum. I'm no expert but I fish for them in a good place to fish for them which helps me tremendously.
The key to surf fishing for me has been to build a cart number one if I'm not driving on the beach. That way I can can carry a large variety of hooks, weights, crimper styles, leader lines, swivels, beads, and BAIT! Well let's not forget the case of beer and a top shelf bourbon for the celebratory moments. You have to be adaptive.
I hit the beach every time with squid, shrimp, mullet sides, and finger mullet. My bait may not be always be the freshest but the idea is that I have bait and hopefully can procure fresher bait in the surf with my not so fresh bait or a net.
Crabs, half them jokers, pull the arms off and rig them for drum. Drum love a crab.
Sand fleas will land big drum. Seen it many times. I know a man that's all he will fish with and he catches more big drum then I do. Catch mullet from the surf and filet or chunk them. I've even landed big drum on whole live mullet and croaker I caught out of the surf.
There are many pieces to the surf fishing puzzle that has to fall into place. It's a science as well as an art and I only know couple of people who have it mastered but would love to fish with more. One will catch fish when nobody else is on CALO.
Surf fishing is more than finding a beach and casting bait. There has to be a reason you are fishing in the spot you are fishing. It could be a cut in the bar, a slough, a hole, or rock. Anything to hold fish and fish bigger fish eat. The clues are on the beach as well as in the waves. It's no different than fishing in a lake or a pond in that respect. You are either fishing for fish that may just happen by or you are fishing where fish congregate.