Okay, you have your gear set up and it’s time to fish the surf. While the best beach fishing is from 7 am til about 11 am, there is however the odd afternoon bite. The first thing you need is a good cup of coffee, and a comfortable chair.
The birds are your first indicators to where the baitfish are; lots of birds are usually a good sign. The bait fish occasionally drift to the edge of the rocks or boulders found to the west of the casa and are schooled and driven to the surface by feeding fish. The “boil” is what you’re looking for and again the birds are usually the first to know.
You have spotted a boil forming over the rocks or a school of fish shooting through the waves and now it’s time to get ready. Don’t rush; get yourself and gear calmly down to the waters edge. Wade out as you prepare to cast; a cast thrown too soon is usually unproductive.
Get yourself in a spot just past the breaking wave in waist to chest deep water so that you are not thrown around in the breaking wave. The next step is to cast beyond the next breaking wave and to the edge of the boil which is usually 50 to 100 meters out from where you are at.
The cast is placed perfectly and you start to reel in and never pause or slow down too much as the aggressive fish may get too good of a look at your lure, and shy away…WHAM. Your rod tip bends down and you want to instinctively set the hook like you would with many soft mouthed fish like trout and lift your rod up high…DON’T…keep your rod tip low and try to get the line straight and taut before swinging the rod to the side as the hard mouthed Jurel or Roosters have your lure clamped tight in their mouth .
Fish on….your reel screams line out and you have no idea what you have on? Best bet is to work yourself into shallow or no water until you see what it is (later you will be able to tell by the way the fish acts). A Needle fish, Sierra, Barracuda, or Manta, deserve respect.
Timing is everything and comes with practice and patience.
Every 4 hours of casting, re-tie your lures and cut back the line where your finger rides while you cast to prevent losing lures. A rod holder made from a piece of PVC sunk into the sand works great and prevents reels and rods from getting the dreaded sand and saltwater in them while working on your line or catching your fish.
Remember to always rinse your entire rod, eyelets and reel with fresh water after every use. Lubricate and clean on a regular basis.
Safety First, Success Second – Surf fishing can be a dangerous sport due to strong waves and undertows. Never go fishing without letting someone know where you’ll be fishing and when you’ll return. Make sure to watch out for swimmers around the areas you’re surfcasting. Wear plenty of sunscreen and protect yourself from the sun.