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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys surf fish with? I'll be going more this spring/summer but I'm currently using a 12 foot Ugly Stik with 20lb mono with a 40lb shock leader rigged with a fishfinder rig with 80lb short leader with a circle hook. I'll hopefully be buying live bait in the future to fish for reds in the surf, however, what do you guys use to fish the surf? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

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One of the biggest things I can recommend, especially if you fish with live bait, is to buy a cast net and learn to throw it. Also, for most fish you will catch in the surf you will not need an 80 lb leader unless you may be going for bull drum or large rays of some sort. You may want to get a smaller rod to fish with shrimp and use some of the fish you catch with that on your larger rod for larger species.

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A one ounce gold kastmaster on a 20# flouro leader to 10-20 power pro on a 7'6" rod with a 4000 real and hold on! Blues, big blues, flounder, drum Spanish etc etc....
 

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What do you guys surf fish with? I'll be going more this spring/summer but I'm currently using a 12 foot Ugly Stik with 20lb mono with a 40lb shock leader rigged with a fishfinder rig with 80lb short leader with a circle hook. I'll hopefully be buying live bait in the future to fish for reds in the surf, however, what do you guys use to fish the surf? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
First tell me what you plan on targeting & where?
Reds can be caught in any number of ways. With lures, metal spoons, jig heads, bucktails, Gulp, bait ( cut / dead / live ) ....... ICM
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had originally planned on using my rod to aim for bull reds but I probably should reduce the leader. I do have a cast net that I throw on occasion. I think I'll try brickphils method with the 2 hook bottom rig. I bought 4" gulp shrimp without knowing it.! I don't know if that'll make a huge difference but we'll see I suppose.
 

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downsize dramatically you'll have more fun the only big fish going to catch from the surf usually are chopper blues and redfish in the fall...sharks ..and Black drum. ..
 

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I had originally planned on using my rod to aim for bull reds but I probably should reduce the leader. I do have a cast net that I throw on occasion. I think I'll try brickphils method with the 2 hook bottom rig. I bought 4" gulp shrimp without knowing it.! I don't know if that'll make a huge difference but we'll see I suppose.
What fish have you caught in the surf? How far can you cast, can you cast in the dark?

Bull Reds are not that easy to target from the surf. There's a lot of planning needed.
You have to understanding their habits & know where, when & what to look for, to be successful.
I'm fortunate to have friends ( Bird Dog, All Day Ray, David C. ) that do, that is the only way I was able to land a few.

Fish finder rig is superior to a 2 hook bottom rig for targeting big fish; Bull Reds, Cobia, Stripers, Sharks & Tarpon.
Rod lenght plus a couple of turns around the spool of 40# to 50# mono shock leader to a 150# swivel to a short 3" 80# to 125# (bite leader) to a 8.0 to 10.0 circle hook (depending on brand) is what I use.
There's much more that goes into making up your rigs; Like why the short bite leader, crimps or knots, snell or loop to the hook.
Using fresh bait, cut, chunked or live is important. You'll need a cast net.
Save the Gulp for Puppy Drum & use the 2 hook bottom rig for Virginia Mullets.

Hope this helps. ...... ICM
 

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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.
 
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