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Down for the week in Emerald Isle wanted to join and see what the best bait everyone is using for surf fishing. Best rig ect. Was down at the beach yesterday using 4lb rig with squid strips. Caught nothing but some guys down the beach were doing really well. Any help would be great
 

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Hey NY,
You sound desperate! The bait depends on what fish you want to catch. Shrimp is always a good bet for most species. Are you using a spot rig, flounder rig or something else? Cut finger mullet is good for drum. The local bait and tackle shop should be able to give you info. I've never really used squid in the surf so I can't comment on it's effectiveness. Try shrimp or mullet is my suggestion.
Gery
 

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Red X Angler
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never had much luck with squid in the surf. Mullet, Shrimp good bets!
 

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Shrimp will catch the biggest variety of fish as long as it is fresh. If the shrimp doesn't have a clean smell to it; you won't catch nearly as many fish. The same applies to mullet.
With all the chafing and abrasion your line takes in the surf I expect you to have trouble landing a fish thrusuf on 4LB. I think you might fare better if you add 15 yrds of 8lb to take some of the abraison and help with the surge of the surf when landing fish. 10 is usually about as light as I go with bait when surf fishing. 8lb for lures. That sand is just like sand paper.

PS There are some pretty big sharks that are feeding on the mullet in the surf. I'd be very careful about wading there....especially early morning and late evening.
 

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Depends on what you want to catch. Fresh shrimp is a great all around bait for bottom feeders like croaker, VA. mullet and small flounder. Sand fleas (mole crab) are great for Pompano and sometimes drum. Cut bait such as mullet or mackerel works great for drum or bigger flounder. You can use a 2 hook bottom rig (weight on the bottom with two hooks above then a swivel to attach to main line) for most species. A Carolina rig works well too, esp for flounder and drum.

BTW - I consolidated your three threads with the same question into one thread - so some of the answers overlap.
 

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One thing nobody has mentioned yet that is probably your best bet is Berkley Gulp! You don't have to worry about it being fresh. Bloodworms, 2" shrimp, and 1/2" sandfleas is what I'd suggest. Fishbites bloodworms are also good.
I've never used any of those products but I've read a lot of reports by people who had very good luck with it. I'd suggest using a #6 aberdeen hook with the bloodworms and a #4 aberdeen hook with the sand fleas and shrimp. Gold hooks are pretty popular and I think you will cetainly be able to find those if not the bronze.
Here are some tips from others on the gulp! that I'd like to pass along.
Bloodworms: Cut them into 1/2" to #/4" pieces and make sure to leave the hook point and barb exposed. works best for Spot, Whiting and Croaker but other fish will eat it just like the real thing.
Sandfleas: Whiting ,pompano and puppy drum love'em.
Shrimp: They are a little large whole for spot and smaller whiting. Use them whole for just about anything else in the surf. Cut them up or use the bloodworms for spot and whiting.
One last thing. I noticed a couple of people recommended a 2 hook rig. That is the most common rig for " whatever is biting ". I don't recommend you use it with 4 lb line though. If you put on some 8 Lb test you might be able to use it but I would stick with 1 hook. If it were me I'd put a 3/8 oz egg sinker above a swivel and tie an 18" piece of 12 lb test to that with a hook on the other end. You can put a bead in between the weight and the Swivel to protect the knot. I don't but it is a popular option.
 

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Good point Al... I figure Mike or Forrest would've mentioned it...

But cant loose with Shrimp, Squid, or finger mullets.... any one of those should work if somethin is hungry. Would be worth a shot to toss out pink gulp squiggly tail, or penny shrimp gulp..
 

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The only thing I can add is that I would step up the line to at least 10-12 lb. range. Wave action beating on it in the sand will take it's toll on 4 lb. line.

My favorite thing when surf fishing is to start out tossing a Gotcha or Hopkins shorty plug into waves until I catch a bluefish--fillet blue and cut into chunks--tie on a double drop rig with pyramid sinker heavy enough to keep line tight size 2/0 hooks will probably be a good size to start.. Use the fresh cut blue for bait--it will catch any of the above mentioned species plus more bluefish...GOOD LUCK!
 

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If you decide to buy a cheap 10 lb outfit I would recommend a Shimano FX reel. I've used those in the salt before and they take it in stride. What ever the price range Shimano reels hard to beat as far as spinning reels go. For a rod: something rated for 1-3 oz. or at least 3/4 -2 oz and 7'-8' will handle the light bottomfishing duties fine. The lighter option is also better for throwing lures to blues and spanish.
 

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Sinkerman-you're right to warn of sharks in the surf now. We were at Ft. Fisher the other weekend and there were several sharks 4-5' working together to drive mullet to the shore. Middle of the day too. Spotted the first one when I was wading out to cast and made a rather undignified retreat to the shore. Proceeded to sit on the beach and watch as they fed in water less than waist deep. Probably more scared of us than we are of them, but no point taking a chance.

As for bait, I've started doubling up on my 2 hook rigs. I use about a 1" strip of fishbites bloodworm and a piece of shrimp together. Kinda like a fishy buffet. Plus when the bait stealers get your shrimp you aren't just soaking bare hooks..that fishbites really lasts and works pretty darn well.
 

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Red X Angler
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I've tied a few 4 hook rigs too (thanks Sinker!! for the "HOW TO" on a previous post) and I'm gonna try them out in Surf City as soon as the weather breaks. I varied the length on each one with the top being the longest and added a little slip on walleye float to the top one to keep the bait high in the current. I want to vary bait combinations and see what it does.
 
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