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The Ultimate Surf Casters Guide

Surf Casting

Surf casting distance is important but is it necessary to catch big fish from the surf? It’s quite common to think “bigger fish”… deeper water. Even myself as a youngster growing up, I was under the impression that the best fish would be in the deepest water. So it was my goal at the time to cast as far as I could.

Even now, in my 60’s, I still try to cast as far as possible. I’m not really sure why because I know better. I guess old habits just die hard.

Big Fish Aren’t Always In Deep Water

Not everyone who loves the sport of surf fishing has the ability to cast 60, 70 or 100 yards. Maybe they have an injury or just lack the skill. Whatever the reason is, I’m here to say it doesn’t necessarily matter.

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Beach Access

Learning about a new location you plan to visit for surf fishing can be a daunting task. In this article I want to teach you several ways to go about it.

Some of these methods will work better than others. It just depends on the information you can gather from your search.

Since I was planning a trip to visit a friend in Pompano Beach I’ll use that as an example

First I Do A Search For The Bait Shops

I did a search for “Bait Shops In Pompano Beach”. The search returned 15 shops. Some had websites. Most didn’t. Some had Google reviews. I selected three close to the beach and called them.

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I told each one I was planning a visit to the area to do some surf fishing. Then I asked them what kind of bait did they recommend for the area and if they could suggest spots where I could get access to the beach. I didn’t just the pop questions though. I made it more conversational and friendly.

Here’s what I found out. Shop #1 had bait recommendations and suggestions for beach fishing access (I spoke with the owner).

Shop #2 didn’t answer the phone after 8 rings and I didn’t followup further.

Shop #3 just told me every kind of bait they had even though some of it wasn’t for surf fishing. Shop 3 didn’t have any idea regarding beach access either which I found strange but I spoke with what I though was just an attendant. I’m sure if I had talked to an owner they would have handled it much better. That’s the problem with some help these days. They either don’t get the proper training or don’t care

So the winner of this approach was Shop #1.

Next I Tried A Search For Beach Access

I did a couple of different searches… “Pompano Beach Access”, “Broward County Beach Access” and “Florida Beach Access”. One of the searches produced the map at the top of the page with details for each of the locations.

Another search produced the PDF listing shown below.

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The listings above gave me several possible locations. I was also able to learn about parking and amenities too. Between the map and the PDF it was easy to use Google Earth to actually see more details at each location.

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Some of the locations were public parks located on the beach. Each of those locations had web pages with pictures, reviews and specifics.

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Without the Internet this would have been much more difficult and time consuming.

Lastly I Posted A Request On A Forum

Although it had 11 views after 12 hours there wasn’t a single reply yet.

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Now that’s not to say that after a day or two someone might step up and help with a reply. Even though I didn’t get a response the forum was still useful. With a little work I could go through several posts and do a Google search on the location given in some of the titles.

That’s not always reliable though because the names are sometimes so generalized that a search doesn’t help.

The whole process just takes a little work. After this exercise I was easily able to come up with five locations that would likely turn out to be useful.

All you need is one location where you can find other surf anglers fishing. A Saturday or Sunday is your best chance. In most cases I’ve found other anglers more then willing to share their knowledge. When you actually get there just approach them, be friendly and start a conversation.

Remember it’s a conversation not 20 questions. Don’t make them feel like you’re interrogating them.  No one likes that and they will likely shut down.

Try some of these techniques the next time you are planning a trip to a location that you’re not familiar with. Make some new friends and return again in the future.

Let me know if this was helpful.

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Artificial vs Live Surf Fishing Bait
There’s a lot of things about surf fishing that will get you by but not having good bait isn’t one of them. You don’t need the best equipment or good casting ability to catch fish on a regular basis but you do need good bait.

Without a doubt my favorite artificial bait is Fishbites. There’s nothing like it. It’s the next best thing to live bait.

The science behind Fishbites and the years in development is why they work so well. Don’t take my word for it. Watch the video below to learn why.

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My new favorite rig is the Mortician Rig. I first learned about this surf fishing rig from another surf angler. He calls himself the Mortician on a forum I frequent and he came up with this rig he calls the Mortician Rig.

My regular surf rigs are usually made with 60# fluorocarbon leader. The reason I use the heavier leader material is so I can use up to 6 ounce sinkers if needed for bigger surf conditions. Since you never know what the surf will be like until you see it, I like to have a leader that’s strong enough to handle anything from 3 ounce up to 6 ounce sinker.

In a previous post I explained that I spool my reels with 65# braid so I don’t require a separate shock leader. I never liked the way it feels when the shock leader knot goes through the last eye on the tip of my rod. The  65# braid serves as my shock leader and main line with no knot to worry about.

The problem with a 60# dropper loop rig is that you can’t down size the hooks for those surf fish that have smaller mouths. The Mortician Ring solves that problem because it will accept any size hook without sacrificing the strength of the leader.

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Surf Fishing Mindset

Hint: It’s Not Your Bait Or Casting Distance.

Do you ever feel like you’re not getting any better at surf fishing? Or you’re not progressing fast enough?

Have you ever wondered why some individuals rise to the top of their sport?

Certainly some of them have a lot of talent or seem gifted like a pro golfer or race car driver but that’s not the reason.

Although that’s important that’s not what allowed them to rise through the ranks of their peers.

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There’s a lot to learn about surf fishing but if you can just remember to apply the three C’s I promise it will make you more successful catching fish from the beach.

Is it possible that all this time you’ve been focusing on the wrong things?

Yes it could be possible if you are focusing on too many things. I say this because there’s so much to remember when you’re first getting started that it’s easy to overlook a small important detail that trips you up. Even if you’re more experienced something minor can still affect your results.

So let’s get into the 3 C’s

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Surf Fishing Beach Structure
Surf fishing the structure and knowing what to look for is key to finding the fish. When you’re new to surf fishing all the water looks the same but once you can identify different kinds of structure it changes everything.

When I say look for the structure, what comes to mind? Let me explain. The structure I’m referring to is the underwater terrain that is only detectable after you study the surface of the water. Sometimes it’s very obvious but other times it’s quite subtle.

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Improve Casting Distance

When you’re at the beach and you throw out your best cast do you really know how far it went out? It’s very deceiving to judge distance while looking out over the water. Wouldn’t you like to know for sure?

Not to long ago my neighbor wanted to learn how to surf fish. He had plenty of experience casting with fresh water equipment but since surf casting is a lot different I needed to give him some pointers.

My method certainly isn’t original but it is effective to improve your casting distance.

At first, when you try this out, you might be surprised that you aren’t casting as far as you think you are.

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This article is mostly for those surf anglers who haven’t experienced the results that they want to achieve. The Law Of Large Numbers says the more times you do something the closer you’ll get to your expected outcome. It applies to surf fishing based on the number of times you go out to try your luck. As you fish more often your level of success becomes more and more predictable and consistent.

It order to make that happen it isn’t enough to just go out and fish. Let me explain.

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