Who hasn’t gone out surf fishing and been totally skunked. It’s bound to happen sooner or later. As you develop your fishing skills it will become easier to avoid the inevitable most of the time.
There’s a lot a variables to consider that affect whether or not you’ll catch fish on any given outing. The best surf anglers will tell you they catch most of their fish before they even hit the beach. That’s because they plan each trip to put the most advantageous conditions in their favor.
If you’ve read my other articles you know that I recommend scouting the beach at low tide for the best spots to fish. I also realize that it’s not always possible to do. Sometimes you just want to hit the beach and start fishing.
Things To Try If You’re Not Catching Anything
On this particular day, although I planned to fish around the high tide, when I arrived at the beach there was hardly any surf at all. There wasn’t enough wave action to locate a break in the sandbar. I couldn’t even tell where the sandbars were even though I knew they were there. So I had to pick a spot to setup under less than ideal conditions.
At first I just studied what little surf there was and observed the surf line at the edge of the beach. I was looking for anything unusual that might be a clue for a spot to fish. There wasn’t much to pick from so I just setup on a spot that sort of looked promising.
Since I wasn’t getting any action I took a little walk along the surf line to see if I could find a spot that was holding some sand fleas (mole crabs). Upon finding a spot I moved one of my rods there to try it out. Within a couple of minutes I got a nice strike but wasn’t quick enough to set the hook. Since this looked like it might produce some fish I moved my other rod over with it.
So while I was waiting for another strike my next thought was whether the fish were in close or further out. I couldn’t see where the sandbars were because there wasn’t enough surf action. To figure that out I cast one of my rods out as far as I could. Then every few minutes I cranked it in about 10 turns to see if I could get some action.
When it was in fairly close I caught a small whiting. As I was getting ready to try it again I noticed a sand flea that hadn’t washed back in with the surf. At the time, all I was using for bait was Fishbites so I decided put the sand flea on and try it out.
While I Was Waiting I Tried Murphy’s Law To Catch Fish
This is how I used Murphy’s Law to get a strike. I knew that if I took a break to get a sandwich and wasn’t able to manage my rods Murphy’s law would help me out and make something happen. Sure enough my rod went off when both hands were full.
Fortunately for me I got lucky. It was such a hard strike I didn’t have to set the hook. I just put the sandwich down and landed the best fish so far.
Apparently after trying all those different things all it took was switching to another type of bait (and Murphy’s Law 😉 LOL). When things are slow you just never know what’s going to work.
I only caught three fish that day before I got it dialed in. Too bad I had to leave for an appointment or I might have had quite a successful day.
If you’re not catching fish don’t just sit and wait. Try some different things to see if you can get on to something that works. With that being said, don’t be too quick to change things up until you give them a chance.