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can you eat stingray

Can You Eat Stingray?

It’s no rare occurrence for surf anglers and anyone fishing around coastal areas to hook something that they believe to be a large trophy fish of species like mackerel, redfish, or some of the other more popular saltwater variations.

Once they get their catch closer to the shore, they realize that it’s just a stingray. Most anglers will simply remove the hook and discard the creature back into the sea, but some ask the question ‘are stingrays good to eat?’

They are commonly found along virtually any coastline throughout the world and some stingrays can grow to be massive in size.

The prospect of eating them might sound foreign to some, but it’s actually quite popular in some parts of the world.

Many anglers who have eaten stingray say that its taste can be compared to that of shark or some other sea creatures.

In this article, we will explore whether or not stingrays are good to eat and cover everything you should know regarding how to prepare and cook them.

Are Stingrays Good to Eat?

Stingrays have a reputation as being one of the more mysterious animals in the ocean. They certainly have one of the most unique body shapes of any other creature and some stingray species are known to be dangerous as they can strike with their tail and hurt people.

One of the more famous instances in which a stingray attacked someone happened off the coast of Australia when a large stingray fatally attacked famed explorer and television host Steve Irwin.

Most stingrays are not dangerous, but it is important that you are aware of the few species that can do you harm. If you’re able to catch one and safely get it into the boat, you might want to keep it and prepare it in one of the different ways we will mention later in this article.

The question of whether stingrays are good to eat can only be answered by those who have actually tried eating them.

Also Read: 5 Best Florida Fish to Eat

Their flesh is not as desirable as some of the more popular fish species, but stingrays do offer a very unique texture and flavor that some people like. The majority of a stingray’s body, however, is not something you would want to eat in most cases.

Their flesh can sometimes be very rubbery and it also contains large amounts of cartilage that is very difficult to remove. However, if you know how to properly clean and prepare the stingray, you can get quite a bit of meat from it.

What are Stingrays?

Stingrays are one of the most recognizable fish in the entire ocean. Their distinct body shape and structure feature large, flat wings that have pointed ends. They are also know for having a long tail that, in some species of stingray, is equipped with a sharp barb that can become extremely dangerous if you get too close.

Stingrays live in virtually every part of the ocean where the water is mostly mild throughout the year. You won’t find them in the frigid waters of the northern Arctic or in the seas surrounding Antarctica.

Stingrays have a set of eyes that are situated on the top of their body towards the front and their mouth is located underneath. These fish often have sharp, pointed teeth in some cases, but are mostly known to have round or flat molars.

There are more than 200 different species of stingrays that live in the oceans and some are even able to swim up into freshwater rivers and lakes.

Stingrays are often caught by anglers using a rod and reel and fishing for other species, and many fishermen and women look at the species with disdain as they seem to be nothing more than a nuisance on the water.

However, in other parts of the world, stingrays are a common menu item at many eateries and they are prepared in a number of ways.

Most stingrays are found in the coastal areas near the shore instead of out in the open waters.

There are a select few species that live in the open ocean and are known to grow to incredibly-large sizes, but the largest stingray that’s ever been caught with a rod and reel was landed on the Mae Klong river in Thailand in 2015. It’s wingspan was an astounding 14 feet and the fish weighed nearly 800 pounds.

Can You Eat Stingrays?

Eating stingray meat is a common practice in countries around the coast of Asia such as Singapore and Malaysia.

There are no species of stingray that are known to be harmful for us to eat, so you can keep and cook any size or type of stingray you want. Many anglers say that stingray, when cooked the right way, can be more tasty than most other fish species they are targeting.

Also Read: Can you Eat Marlin?

There isn’t much meat on stingrays that is suitable for consumption. Most of the stingray’s flesh besides the wings will be very rubbery and not quite what you want when it comes to texture or taste.

However, the flesh surrounding the mouth on the underside of the stingray, as well as the wings are parts that you should keep as they can be cooked in a variety of different ways.

Stingrays Mercury Level

While the flesh of stingrays have been described as tasting much like sharks or having a slightly similar feel and texture, these unique fish don’t have the same high levels of mercury that sharks possess.

Stingrays are not known to have dangerous levels of mercury, so you’re safe to eat them in any amount you want, as frequently as you want.

They are known to live to be roughly 5 or 10 years old, which means they are nowhere near living to be as old as sharks and other ocean creatures that are capable of living to be as much as 30 or 50 years or more.

There is usually a correlation between how old a fish can be to its mercury level as fish are known to collect mercury in their flesh throughout their lifetime.

What does a Stingray Taste Like?

Believe it or not, stingrays are actually said to be one of the better-tasting creatures you’ll find in most coastal regions.

Their taste has been compared to that of sharks, scallops, or even lobster as it has a somewhat salty tinge that isn’t overbearing and can actually be quite pleasant when cooked with the right spices or other elements that help to bring out the natural flavor of the creature.

It’s typical for people in the ocean villages and cities of Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore or Thailand to catch and prepare stingray flesh with certain elements like spicy sambal sauce or even soy sauce.

There are numerous ways that stingrays are prepared in different parts of the world and you can find countless recipes online that point to the use of certain spices and other flavorful items that you can use to cook stingray with.

How to Cook Stingray

There are a number of ways most anglers catch stingrays, such as by rod and reel or even through spearfishing, which is very common in parts of Asia.

The methods of preparing the stingray typically include grilling them, but they can be sauteed or even fried depending on your preference. It’s important that you properly clean the stingray in order to take as much of the meat as possible.

Since stingrays are nothing like the average fish, anglers might be unaware of just how to clean them after they’ve been caught. There are plenty of videos online that provide detailed instructions on the best ways to clean stingrays, as well as the many different ways they can be cooked.

For people in the United States who commonly enjoy stingray, they are known to cut them into small strips and fry them in a pan with oil and breading.

They can also be broiled at a low or medium level and combined with citrus fruits like lemon, as well as parsley and paprika for a desirable flavor.

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Types of Fishing Reels

5 Different Types of Fishing Reels

If you are new to fishing then all of the different types of fishing reels that are available may well be confusing.

Making the right choice as to what kind of reel to buy will come down to what you will be fishing for and most importantly how you will e fishing for them.

With lots of reel options available it can be easy to mismatch your rod and reel.

The following is an overview of the most common types of reels that are used in both salt and freshwater fishing.

Types of Fishing Reels

1. Spinning Reel

Spinning reel are the most popular kind of fishing reel in use today. They are suitable for both beginners and experts and can be used for a variety of different types of species and techniques.

A spinning reel is more traditionally called an open face reel but that term has faded over the past few decades.

A spinning reel has an fixed open spool design and uses a bail arm that spins around the spool to lay the line down onto it as you turn the handle.

As the bail turns around the spool the spool moves up and down so that the line is laid out in an even manner around the spool.

Spinning reels are designed to sit on the underside of a rod and are cast by opening up the bail and releasing the line as you cast the lure forward.

The line will then fall off of the spool with little or no control.

The drag setting on a spinning reel is normally located on the top of the spool and is adjusted by turning the knob to either tighten the drag or loosen it.

Spinning reels vary greatly in the sizes that are available. Larger saltwater spinning reels can hold hundreds of yards of very heavy line whereas smaller freshwater spinning reels can hold a couple of hundred yards of light line.

You should make sure to match your spinning reel to your spinning rod for the best casting performance.

All rods come with a line or lure rating that is usually printed just above the handle.

Once you know what weight or lure or sinker you will be using you can then choice an appropriate rod, line and then finally what kind of reel to match.

2. Baitcaster Reel

Baitcaster reels are designed for all day casting but they do have a somewhat steeper learning curve when it comes to the casting technique that is required to use them.

They are used extensively in the bass fishing world particularly by tournament anglers.

Unlike a spinning reel a baitcaster sits on the top of the rod and has a spool that is free to spin during casting.

As you cast the thumb is used to apply light pressure to the spool which allows you to control the speed of the spool.

This can give you much better accuracy when casting but it does take a bit more skill to master.

You can adjust the speed of the spool via the braking system or the spool tensioner.

Some reels come with a magnetic breaking system the slows the line down at a faster rate towards the end of your cat which reduces the risk of a faster turning spool than the line speed.

If the spool spins faster than the speed that the line is moving at you can get what is called a birds nest, which is were the fast spinning spools grips onto the slack in the line and starts to spool it backwards on top of the line that is already on the spool resulting in a big messy knot, commonly referred to as a “birds nest”.

3. Conventional Reel

Conventional reel look like larger bulkier baitcasting reels and they are built for strength and power, with the ability to fight large fish.

They can be used to cast but their casting ability is not as good as a baitcaster reel.

Conventional reels will normally have much lower gearing on them so that you have more torque when you turn the handle.

This gives you the ability to haul much larger fish up from the deep than with other kinds of fishing reels.

Some will also what is called a two speed reel, one speed that is lower for fighting big fish and then at the flick of a switch a much higher speed that allows you to take in line much quicker depending on your needs.

There are two different types drags used on conventional reels:

  • Star Drag
  • Lever Drag

Star drag are best used for casting, particularly surf casting as the spool will generally run a lot freer when casting.

4. Spincast Reel

Spincast are more traditionally called closed face reels and the are generally quite cheap to buy.

Of all the fishing reel types spincast reels are by far the most simple to operate.

You will most commonly see a spincast reel being used by a child and they often come in a low cost rod and reel combo that is aimed at youngsters.

They have a fully enclosed nose cone on the top of the reel with a small opening for the line to run out through.

Spincast reels have a smaller trigger button on them that when pressed releases the line.

This makes it very easy for a child to learn how to cast and will let them concentrate on the fishing rather than the casting.

They are meant to be used when targeting smaller panfish and will normally come pre-spooled with light monofilament line of them so they are not really used to target larger species of fish.

5. Fly Reel

Fly reels are unlike any types of reels in that they are usually only used with a fly rod and are mostly used as a way to store the line not to fight the fish or to cast with.

Fly casting used a special type of thick line that is fed through the rod eyes as you swing the rod back and forth.

Line is stripped from the reel as it is needed by your free hand.

Although some anglers do use the reel to fight some fish particularly larger fish. However true purists of fly fishing will fight the fish by hand and not on the reel.

They are designed to be very light weight as fly fishing setups need to be a light as possible.

You will often see fly fishing reels that have the spool machined so that material is removed from it in order to make it lighter.

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Are Striped Bass Good to Eat

Are Striped Bass Good to Eat?

Striped bass are among the most unique and most highly-targeted fish by surf anglers and others who fish along coastal areas.

They are one of the few fish species that are anadromous, which means they are capable of surviving in both freshwater and saltwater. These fish are also capable of growing to immense sizes of well over 50 pounds in the right conditions.

With the popularity of fishing for striped bass comes the question of whether striped bass are good to eat. There are anglers who agree that striped bass are one of the tastiest fish in the Atlantic coastal waters around the United States.

In fact, they are considered to be the best table fare of any fish within the bass family and their meat is very high in nutrients and flavor.

Are striped bass good to eat? Many would agree that they most certainly are and there is lots of information you should know in relation to eating stripers and how to properly cook them. In this article, we will answer the questions related to whether or not you should keep these fish for their fillets.

Are Striped Bass Good to Eat?

If you’re reading this article, you’re either planning to catch striped bass or have already done so and are wondering whether these fish are worth the trouble of filleting and cooking.

Anglers who go through the effort to catch striped bass do so mostly for the thrill of fighting and landing such an impressive fish, but there are also great rewards as it relates to the meat that they offer as well.

Out of the many varieties of fish that are classified as bass, striped bass are considered to be among the best table fare of any. The simple answer to the question of whether striped bass are good to eat is a resounding ‘yes.’

Like most other fish that are capable of growing to massive sizes, striped bass that are very large are also very old. Throughout the time in which these fish grow to be giant trophy stripers, they also accumulate various metals and toxins in their bodies.

Also Read: White Perch vs White Bass

These metals and toxins are guaranteed to make very large striped bass taste poorly, no matter what lengths you go to clean and properly cook them.

If you’re planning on eating striped bass, make sure you don’t keep one that’s more than about 36 inches in length as the meat will usually be too soft and filled with unhealthy toxins and metal.

Instead, you should target striped bass that are about 18 to roughly 30 inches to get the ones that will offer the best taste.

What is a Striped Bass?

Striped bass are also know as stripers, linesiders, and stripes and are found in almost every coastal region throughout the eastern half of the United States, In addition to the stripers that live in the ocean, you will also find many of the rivers throughout the area east of the Mississippi River in the United States to be teeming with striped bass.

They are one of the most popular of all freshwater and saltwater game fish species for many reasons, their versatility and great strength and size being just a few.

These fish have very peculiar habits that set them apart from most others. They live most of their lives in the ocean, but will migrate up into the freshwater rivers where they will spawn and lay their eggs.

There are various methods of catching stripers that include fishing with heavy rigs from the surf, as well as fishing from boats far out from the coast. Unlike salmon, which migrate from the sea into freshwater rivers, striped bass do not die after they spawn. Instead, they will live and can actually spawn more than once a year.

The construction of large dams that helped create vast reservoirs in many areas of the United States turned out to be devastating to the striped bass populations that once swam many hundreds of miles up America’s largest rivers.

However, various states in this part of the country have made efforts to restore the striped bass population by stocking them in lakes that are blocked off by dams.

Striped bass can be found as far north as Canada and as far south as Florida. The world record striped bass is a whopping 81-pound behemoth that was caught in the winter off the coast of Connecticut in 2011.

There is no denying that stripers are among the greatest fish in North America and you can truly enjoy your catch by keeping striped bass of the right size, as well as preparing them the right way.

Can You Eat Striped Bass?

Just like the versatility of the striped bass’ many habitats and natural range, this fish can also be cooked and prepared in a wide variety of different methods. The answer to the question of whether or not you can eat striped bass is a resounding yes, as long as the fish is properly cleaned and prepared.

The meat of striped bass is quite unlike most others you’ll find in and around North America. The middle section of the striped bass’ filet is made up of a reddish colored meat that is by far the tastiest portion of this fish’s meat.

This fish’s middle section is known as the bloodline and failing to properly clean striped bass can result in the meat being ruined and becoming overly oily, which will also spoil the taste.

In order to make sure you drain all the blood from the fish before you filet the meat from it, you will need to ‘bleed’ the striper right after you’ve caught it.

There are a variety of different ways to do this, but the easiest one involves taking a pair of fishing pliers and, while holding the fish with your thumb by the mouth, insert the pliers down into the mouth and use it to rip out the striper’s gills.

This needs to be done right after you’ve caught the fish while its heart is still pumping in order to ensure that the blood will be drained as much as possible.

Once you’ve removed these gills from the fish, be sure to dip it down into the water or keep it submerged in a bucket of water as the bleeding portion of the remaining gills will quickly clot and slow the amount of blood from draining.

Once you’ve done this, you can get ready to filet and cook your striped bass.

Striped Bass Mercury Level

Striped bass are known for growing very large, which means they will have a longer lifespan than most saltwater or freshwater fish. This long lifespan also means that more mercury will accumulate in the fish’s meat over time and is another reason why you should not bother with eating striped bass that are longer than about 36 inches.

The mercury levels in striped bass and other fish have been rising in recent decades and biologists and scientists believe that various industries are to blame as their products and manufacturing processes lead to more mercury finding its way into the waters around the United States.

Striped bass are known to be fish that contain a slightly higher amount of mercury than other species.

It’s recommended that you consume no more than two servings of striped bass per week with one serving being about 4 ounces of meat.

What Do Striped Bass Taste Like?

Striped bass are known as one of the best-tasting fish in North America. They are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that help provide the human body with many benefits from increased metabolism to enhanced brain function.

The taste of each individual striped bass will differ depending on where the fish was caught. Stripers that are caught in saltwater tend to have very flaky meat and offer a bit more flavor than those caught in freshwater.

Stripers that come from freshwater lakes or rivers will usually have more fleshy meat, but will lack the flavor of saltwater striped bass.

Be sure to bleed the fish out before filleting it so that it will have the best possible flavor when cooking.

How to Cook Striped Bass

Striped bass can be cooked virtually any way you might cook almost all other fish. These fish can be deep-fried, poached, broiled, smoked, grilled, or even toasted.

Overcooking striper fillets will cause them to lose their flavor, so be sure that you don’t go overboard with whatever cooking method you choose.

One of the best ways to cook striped bass and maintain the flavor of the meat is to broil it. By coating the filet with butter and various citrus fruit juices like lemon, as well as spices that are commonly used in grilling fish, you can cook these fish in a way that helps them soak up the spices and butter to create a hearty and bold flavor you won’t soon forget.

You can also grill these fish using the same method of basting them with butter, lemon juice and spices like paprika, salt and pepper.

Be sure to cook them at a temperature of no more than 180 degrees Fahrenheit and turn the fish fillets after every 5 minutes.

You can use various online videos and other resources to view the many methods for preparing striped bass fillets, as well as the most popular recipes used by avid anglers.

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Are Pompano Good to Eat

Are Pompano Good to Eat?

Pompano are among the most popular species of game fish that saltwater anglers target along the coast and while offshore fishing.

They travel in large schools and have predictable migratory habits that cause them to travel northward in the spring up the coastline and back south in the fall. These fish are known for being considered one of the best species in regards to table fare.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether pompano are good to eat, as well as certain things you should consider when catching and cooking them.

Are Pompano Good to Eat?

Yes Pompano are really good to eat, they require very little seasoning and are pretty simple to cook.

Pompano are unlike any other saltwater fish species in terms of their taste and the ease with which you can cook them. They are not overly-large fish and can easily be cooked in a pan due to their smaller size.

Pompano typically grow to about 5 pounds and their fillets can very easily fit inside most pans, which is why many anglers refer to them as a species of saltwater panfish.

Anglers target pompano from the lower parts of the New England coastline all the way down into the Caribbean Islands.

They run in very large schools that swarm the coastline and surf fishing anglers are often able to catch them in very large numbers when they move through an area, which is usually referred to as a ‘pompano run.’

Pompano are not allowed to be harvested in vast numbers the same way other saltwater game fish are, which means their fillets often come at a premium price.

Most restaurants cook them as a filet, but some people leave the skin on as it is known to add taste and hold the meat of the filet together while cooking.

You can cook pompano in a variety of different methods that include frying, grilling, baking and broiling.

What is Pompano?

Pompano are a peculiar type of saltwater fish that are typically found swimming in very large schools that swarm coastlines when they are on their annual migration pattern.

They are known by a variety of different nicknames such as jacks, wireback, cobbler, and others that have been bestowed upon them over the years by anglers from various parts of the United States and the Caribbean.

They have a shiny silver skin instead of scales and their skin color appears almost translucent at times in the sunlight, especially underwater. This coloration helps them to camouflage quite well in most water conditions as their skin will reflect the water around them to some degree.

Their body shape is relatively compact and small with the largest ones weighing no more than about 3 or 4 pounds.

Also Read: Jack Crevalle vs Pompano

Their body profile is very wide and their head slopes down in a rounded shape, which gives them a very distinct look compared to most other fish species.

Pompano are also known for having a deep-forked tail and their mouth doesn’t have the same sharp, pointed teeth that you find in most other saltwater species that swim near the coastline.

Their habitat is mostly surf flats that feature oysters and plenty of grass beds for them to hide in. Anglers can catch pompano a very short distance from the water’s edge.

Most avid pompano anglers know that you will typically have better luck casting only about 20 feet into the surf when the pompano are in a specific area.

These fish prefer the churning, turbulent waters near the shore to the more calm, clear water that you’ll find farther away from the surf.

Pompano are known to stay close to the coastline in most areas and they often prefer waters that are at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Their annual migration begins in the spring when waters of the Florida coastline begin to warm up to the 70 degree mark. Pompano will school up and sweep the coastline in droves, devouring much of the small crustaceans they find along the way.

Their range extends all the way down into South America and they are known to travel as far north as Boston, Massachusetts.

Can You Eat Pompano?

The simple answer to the question of whether or not you can eat pompano is a definitive yes. These fish are perhaps the most popular species among all others when it comes to the taste and quality of the meat on their fillets.

Most avid surf fishing and offshore anglers describe pompano as the best-tasting saltwater fish species in their region. This assertion is hard to argue with and the evidence for their superb quality in taste can also be shown in the demand that we see for pompano at local seafood markets and with commercial fishing companies.

Pompano are so highly sought-after that the United States government has placed strict limits on how many individual fish a commercial fishing company can harvest each season, as well as how many an individual angler is allowed to keep per year.

In addition to their outstanding taste, pompano have as many, or more, health benefits than most other saltwater fish in the western hemisphere.

They are known for having a very high nutritional value compared to most other saltwater fish species. It’s a fish that is packed with protein and a moderate amount of healthy fat.

You’ll also find plenty of vitamins such as B1, B-12, Phosphorus, B3, and many others in their meat, especially if you cook them and consume them with the skin, which is loaded with higher amounts of important vitamins.

Also Read: Pompano vs Permit

Pompano are one of the most popular fish species that doctors recommend you eat for certain benefits like brain health due to the high amounts of healthy fats they have.

The fillets also contain the needed vitamins and minerals for strengthening bones and joints as well. Their meat is also capable of helping you lower poor cholesterol thanks to their high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as saturated fats.

The high nutrition content of pompano fillets also provide you with other highly-impactful health benefits such as increasing your metabolism.

The fish’s meat is very high in B vitamins, which is crucial in the overall function of your metabolism. Their fillets also contain good amounts of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, and other contents.

Pompano Fish Mercury Level

Though their meat is among the best-tasting of any species you’ll find in the ocean, there is a real concern with the mercury content of pompano as well. If you do eat pompano, it’s only recommended that you do so sparingly.

The mercury content in their meat is so high that health experts recommend that a person weighing 150 pounds only eat about 6 ounces of pompano per week to remain safe from the harmful effects that can come with mercury poisoning.

Compared to other fish species, pompano has a much higher mercury content and you should be wary of eating too much at one time. It’s so high in mercury content that pregnant women and women who are nursing should probably avoid eating too much pompano just to be safe.

What Does Pompano Taste Like?

Pompano has a taste that is considered to be mild compared to other fish, which are sometimes described as being ‘too fishy’ or too bland.

It would seem that pompano is a happy medium between the two and the fish is also known for offering a bit of a sea salt taste as well. This natural sea salt taste helps to accentuate the flavors of whatever spices or other elements you use when cooking pompano.

There’s no denying that pompano are among the best-tasting fish you’ll find among the many different saltwater fish species in the ocean. If you’re wondering what they taste like and what the taste can be compared to, it will really depend on how the fish is cooked and what kind of elements you use to season it.

This fish has a reputation for being a ferocious fighter when hooked and anglers often say that pompano is a fish species that certainly ‘punches above its weight’ when it comes to the intensity with which they fight.

This ability to fight harder than most fish is due to the fact that pompano are endowed with a muscular body and shape. This muscle tissue turns out to be a very soft filet when cooked the right way.

How to Cook Pompano

Cooking pompano and getting the best flavor from it revolves around cooking it the right way. You should take caution when handling the fish as soon as it’s caught. Be sure that you carefully filet the fish and wash it before cooking so you’re not getting any unwanted elements in your meal.

The best way to cook pompano is almost always agreed to be on the grill. Using a grill allows you to include a vast array of spices and other flavors that are able to be cooked into the meat in a way that combines with the natural salty flavor of the pompano to create an exceptional taste.

If you don’t want to use a grill, baking the fish is another great way to get the most flavor out of pompano.

Most people prefer to add plenty of lemon juice to their pompano filet in order to reduce the fishy flavor, but you can turn to any number of citrus-like fruits for this purpose.

You can also broil pompano, but cooking with this method will not produce the same level of flavor that grilling or baking will.

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Where to Cast When Surf Fishing

Where to Cast When Surf Fishing

Surf fishing involves the use of many tactics that are vastly different from any other form of angling. The crashing waves and the foam created by them create a chaotic and somewhat unpredictable environment, but knowing when and where to cast in the surf is key to catching fish along the coast.

Some fish species can be caught within 20 feet of the shoreline while others are farther out and require you to cast out past the breaking waves.

Understanding how far out you should cast when it comes to surf fishing starts by understanding the fish you’re going after.

Once you develop an understanding of how the fish feeds and its habits, you can typically predict their behavior and know where you need to cast.

In this article, we will cover everything you should know when it comes to the question of how far to cast when surf fishing and what type of saltwater fish species you can expect to catch at varying ranges from shore.

Types of Fish Close to Shore

There are a few types of popular game fish species that are usually caught closer to the shoreline than others. This often happens at specific times of the year, but you should know that some fish come very close to the water’s edge as they feed on bait fish or other creatures in the surf.

In most cases, the fish that come up close to the shoreline will do so as the tide is rising or falling since this causes certain conditions that are favorable for them to have an advantage over their prey.

Fish species like pompano and redfish will usually use the rising or falling tides to chase bait fish towards the beach. Doing this often allows the fish to pin their prey into tight windows of water that make it easier for them to catch bait fish as there is less water for them to swim in.

Also Read: Surf Fishing for Pompano

Some fish also feed more vigorously in rough surf conditions because the surf can cause small bait fish to become disoriented in the rolling and crashing water.

You might occasionally catch other types of fish close to the shore, but it’s important to know whether the species you’re going after will venture very close or remain out in deeper water past the breaking waves.

If you do plan to fish close to the shore, cast your line out about 20 feet into the water where the waves form white, foamy suds as they roll in.

Fishing Farther Away from the Shore

Most surf fishing beginners start out by fishing for the species that are easiest to catch. It’s common to make the assumption that you can catch most types of saltwater fish near the shore, but for fish like mackerel, striped bass, flounder, sea trout, and even sharks, you’ll need to fish much farther than you might expect.

Also Read: Surf Fishing for Sharks

Catching these fish requires getting your bait out as far as possible since most of the popular types of saltwater fish cruise along the coast just past where the waves are breaking.

In order to get your bait out far enough, you’ll need to have a rod that’s capable of casting out to such a distance. You’ll also have to use things like a shock leader and heavier weights to get your bait out as far as you can without snapping the line.

Most surf fishing rods are made to be heavier than your average fishing rod and longer because it’s designed to allow you to cast it harder, which launches it out as far as you’re able to cast.

It’s important that you try to vary the distance you’re casting out into the surf as the fish might be closer to the shore on some days and farther away on others.

It’s also a good idea to pay close attention to the times of day at dawn or dusk, as well as the rising or falling tides as this plays a major role in where you can expect to find fish at specific times.

Reading the Beach

One of the most useful tips you can learn when it comes to understanding how far to cast when surf fishing is being able to read the beach.

There are a number of different variables and scenarios depending on the beach you’re fishing at and being able to read the water helps you decide where to fish and also exactly where you should cast.

This is one of the hardest things for beginners and novice surf anglers to do, especially if they do not regularly fish in the surf.

Being able to spot sand bars, breaks in the waves and areas where small or large schools of bait fish can be expected is key in understanding where you should cast.

Sand bars are perhaps the most important aspect of being able to read the beach as you can usually expect there to be bait fish nearby, especially if it’s out very far from the shore.

Most novice anglers can’t tell where sandbars are located unless they’re protruding out of the water, but you can typically spot one by watching how and where the waves break as they roll in.

Rip currents or tides are another very important element that surf fishing anglers can use to determine where they should cast their fishing bait.

A rip current is often formed in locations where a sand bar breaks and water is sucked out toward the ocean at a much more rapid pace. While these tides are extremely dangerous for swimmers, they are often a fisherman or woman’s friend as you can usually expect to find bait fish nearby.

Also Read: Surf Fishing Rigs

Smaller fish will stay near the rip tide and use it, waiting for other creatures to pass by that they can feed on.

Finding an area of the beach that has a deep hole is also a big advantage as you can expect there to be big fish in or near the hole. Fish will often stay in holes as they can hang out near the edges and ambush any unsuspecting bait fish that are passing by.

It’s very hard to find where holes are in the surf just by looking as you won’t be able to see them. However, you can typically identify them by looking for large deposits of seashells or coarse sand that looks different from the usual sand that’s more fine in quality.

Look for Darker Water

Looking for areas that are darker than the rest of the beach is another solid method used by surf anglers to find schools of bait fish or various game fish species along the shore.

The darker color is caused when the surf is rough enough to disturb the sea floor and disperse sediment into the water. Smaller fish and many other creatures that game fish like to feed on will be attracted to these areas as they are rich in food opportunities.

Fish will mostly be searching for various species of crustaceans in these areas. It’s common for a number of different surf fish species to feed on sand crabs, and many variations of crabs and other prey that are frequently found when the sandy bottom is swept away and exposed.

Watch the Birds

Seagulls and other types of birds are a surf angler’s best friend in most cases because they can serve as your eyes in the sky.

These fish are naturally gifted with the ability to spot areas where there are abundant numbers of bait fish and you should pay close attention to exactly where there are flocks of seagulls making dives into the water.

These areas that birds swoop down into might move or even start and stop very quickly as the fish will move around to different areas once they no longer feel safe.

Be sure to cast your surf fishing bait out directly into the area where the birds are diving or focusing on as this will also be the spot where you can expect to find fish.

Conclusion

Finding out how far out you should cast your bait when surf fishing often requires a bit of homework and knowing what to look for. You can often get a head start and go to the right areas by watching and looking to see where other anglers are fishing.

Be sure to use proper fishing etiquette and don’t get close to any other angler, but once they leave the spot, you can move in and claim it for yourself.

You can also ask staff or patrons at your local bait shop for tips on specific locations that are good to fish. Using these tips will get you in the right location and allow you to make the best decision on how far out you should be casting when it comes to surf fishing.

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Best Fishing Carts

Best Fishing Carts 2021 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Most of the fish that can be caught along the coastline of any beach are some of the largest saltwater species you find. In order to catch fish of this size, you’ll have to use bigger, heavier gear and tackle.

This is usually not an issue for beginner surf anglers as they might only have one rod and a few hooks and sinkers, but avid anglers typically collect a wide assortment of surf fishing gear over time.

It’s important to have all of this gear with you and a good fishing cart is the best means to transport all your surf fishing gear from one point to another. 

Surf fishing carts are typically used on the beach, but they are also commonly used on piers to catch a variety of different saltwater species.

Like anything else in the fishing industry, a good cart can range greatly in price and can also be quite expensive in some cases.

Before purchasing your surf fishing cart, you’ll need to make sure you are aware of your own needs so that you’re getting the right cart. 

In this article, we will cover our picks for the best fishing carts that are currently on the market and explain how each one presents you with a range of great features and capabilities for fishing from the beach. We’ve listed these carts in no particular order. 

Best Fishing Carts

1. Gorilla Carts GCO-5FSH

Gorilla Carts has a reputation in the fishing industry for producing some of the toughest and most durable products on the market.

Their beach fishing carts are made of exceptional quality and feature a number of components and capabilities that you’ll only find on premium-quality fishing carts. 

The Gorilla Carts GCO-5FSH Poly Bed Fish & Marine Cart is a clear addition to our list of the best fishing carts for a number of reasons.

With dimensions of 51 x 30 x 26 inches, it’s one of the largest models you’ll find on our list, yet it is also relatively lightweight for its overall size.

One of the most important things surf anglers pay attention to when selecting a good cart is the size and weight of the product. It has an aluminum frame and is built to provide you with outstanding durability. 

Anglers will appreciate the fact that Gorilla Carts designed this model with a total of eight quality rod holders, four on either side.

It’s capable of holding up to about 200 pounds, meaning you should have no problem wheeling the cart back with a cooler-load of fish. This model features a tackle tray that anglers can use to tie their lures on and easily store other items like knives and pliers in an easy-to-access location. 

This fishing cart is highly mobile and portable as it can be folded down into a very small and compact size for easy travel. You’ll also have no problem quickly assembling the cart once you’re ready to hit the beach. 


2. Muscle Carts HDBC-Blue Fish and Marine Cart

The Muscle Carts brand is aptly-named as most of their products have a reputation for being exceptionally tough and capable of withstanding just about anything you’ll encounter on the beach.

The Muscle Carts HDBC-Blue Fish and Marine Cart is another worthy addition to our list and has a number of things that surf anglers will appreciate.

The cart is made to be very strong and durable, while also being rather lightweight compared to others of similar dimensions.

The frame is made of sturdy aluminum, but the walls of the cart are made from a polyurethane material that’s much lighter than anything else other brands commonly use.

This cart is large enough to hold your tackle box, cooler, fishing rods, chairs, and much more. 

It’s capable of holding up to 220 pounds of gear and equipment, which is more than enough for more avid surf anglers to pack in all their gear and wheel it across the beach to their favorite spot.

Thanks to the large, inflatable tires, you’ll have no problem pulling this cart over sand or on any other surface. This cart makes a strong argument for being the top fishing cart in today’s outdoor industry. 


3. Fish N Mate (No Front Wheels) Sr Cart

If we were to rank each option from best to last, the Fish N Mate (No Front Wheels) Sr Cart may very well prove to be our top choice.

There are plenty of reasons for anglers to prefer the quality and convenience of the Fish N Mate Sr Cart, but the higher price is usually something most beginner or novice surf anglers might not be willing to invest.

However, the cart certainly lives up to much of the hype built up around it and is easily one of the most popular ones on the market today.

It’s made of an extremely durable aluminum tube frame that’s also designed to have corrosion-resistant properties that mean you won’t have to deal with the usual saltwater corrosion that often ruins fishing equipment over time.

This cart is one of the most popular models among serious surf fishing anglers, but it can also be used for a variety of different outdoor activities that require you to haul a considerable amount of gear over any given distance. 

The Fish N Mate Sr Cart is one of the more pricey options on our list, but there’s no denying that it’s a worthy investment for anglers who are looking for the best. 


4. Sea Striker Deluxe Surf, Pier and Beach Cart

If you’re in search of a more budget-friendly fishing cart model that still offers much of the same performance and capability you find in the premium options in today’s market, the Sea Striker Deluxe Surf, Pier and Beach Cart is an excellent cart that deserves your attention.

This is one of the most commonly-purchased models among online retailers and tackle shops around coastal areas for the simple reason that it’s a great product offered at a fair price.

The cart is made of heavier metal than some of the other’s we’ve already listed and is a bit smaller when it comes to the overall capacity.

However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not capable of allowing you to easily carry the bulk of all your surf fishing gear across the beach or pier with ease. It’s capable of holding a 54-quart fishing cooler on board and features 7 plastic rod holders. 

The tires are a bit more heavy-duty and are capable of being wheeled across virtually any terrain. This is a great option for any angler who might be looking for a more affordable fishing cart that offers plenty of carrying capacity. 


5. Juggernaut Carts – AFCART-BLUE

If you’re in search of a smaller cart that is capable of traveling over just about any type of sand, dirt, or any other area, the Juggernaut Carts Blue Fish and Marine Cart is an excellent choice that is also priced at a rate that most anglers can afford.

The cart is made of a durable aluminum frame and features heavy-duty stainless steel rod holders and other components. 

The tires are inflatable and make it much easier for you to travel over sand to your favorite fishing spot. This cart is also very durable and has a carrying capacity of 220 pounds, which is more than enough for the average surf fishing angler.

This cart is also popular as it can double as a simple beach-goers’ cart to hold all your items needed for a relaxing day on the water. 


6. Drifter Marine Pier Cart Combo

Some carts are better suited for being wheeled over the deck boards of a long pier, but can also be used across the beach as well.

The Drifter Marine Pier Cart Combo is one such brand that is easily considered one of the best pier-fishing carts that is also used on the sandy beaches.

It features everything you need for a moderately expensive price that serious anglers will likely see the value in once they take an inventory of the features and quality of the cart.

It comes with a bait preparation platform that also offers a bait bucket, which fits inside a holder. It’s only capable of holding up to 125 pounds of capacity, but that’s enough for most anglers.

Weighing in at only 22 pounds, this is one of the more lightweight fishing cart models that is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to lug a heavy model across great distances on the sand or piers. 


7. Berkley Fishing Carts

It’s no secret that Berkley is a household name in the fishing industry. Their fishing products are extremely well-made and popular for good reason. The Berkley Fishing Carts lineup is no exception.

This cart features a unique overall design that allows you to store your gear higher up off the ground than other carts are designed for, which means you won’t have to bend over as much when reaching into the cart to grab your gear or get into the cooler. 

What’s best about this model is that it can fold up into a very compact, portable size that you should have no problem fitting into almost any type of vehicle. It has a bait cutting and prep station as well as four rod holders on either side for a total of eight in all.

It can easily hold up to 200 pounds of capacity and makes it easy to wheel heavier weights thanks to its overall design that is focused on giving you as much leverage as possible. 

The cart is well-made and is capable of traveling over dirt, sand, docks and just about anywhere else you need to go to get to your chosen fishing spot.

The best part is that the Berkley Fishing Carts are priced at a rate that even beginners and novice anglers should be able to afford. 

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Best Fishing Coolers

Best Fishing Coolers 2021 -[Buyer’s Guide]

A successful fishing trip often involves more than catch and release. For serious anglers who want to keep their catch and enjoy the rewards of their efforts later as a meal, it’s important that they have the right cooler to preserve their fish.

Thanks to recent innovations over the last few years, many brands in the outdoor industry have started producing coolers that far outperform those that were used by fishermen or women just a few decades ago. 

With so many new brands and cooler options, it can be hard to understand if it’s really worth it to spend hundreds of dollars on something as simple as a cooler.

Knowing whether a particular type of insulation material is actually worth the cost and also whether all of the features many premium coolers offer can be a tough call for most anglers. 

In this article, we will explore some of the best fishing coolers that are currently on the market, as well as some of the characteristics and performance capabilities you should look for when it comes to purchasing your next cooler. 

Best Fishing Coolers

1. Seavilis Roto Molded Cooler with Wheels

It’s hard to find a cooler that offers premium quality cold capability along with all of the features that serious fishing enthusiasts demand.

Many brands are known for producing these super premium cooler models, but sometimes the price can be just too much for what you’re actually getting out of the product.

The Seavilis Roto Molded Cooler with Wheels is a model that is arguably the best fishing cooler for the money that’s currently on the market. They are sold in three sizes that include a 45, 50 and 70 quart model.

The Seavilis Roto Molded Cooler is made of the toughest material you’ll find and it’s actually able to float if it does happen to go into the water. This means you’ll be able to bring this cooler along when you float down the river, or if you’re going on a multi-day offshore fishing adventure.

Every angler knows that carrying a fully-loaded cooler is never fun, but this model features wheels that actually make it easy to maneuver on the dirt, or the boat dock. Each of the components are made with high quality materials, from the stainless steel handle to the military-grade handles.

You’ll also find that this cooler is capable of holding ice for up to a week or even longer in cooler temperatures. It’s easy to see why this one is at the top of our list and if you’re looking for the absolute best cooler in the outdoor industry, this is one that deserves consideration.


2. Landworks Rotomolded Ice Cooler

There are plenty of brands in the outdoor industry that offer coolers at a premium price.

In many cases, these coolers are slightly more expensive than they probably should be, but there are a select few that produce solid products that are actually worth investing a few hundred bucks into if you’re a serious angler.

The Landworks Rotomolded ENHANCED Ice Cooler is one of those coolers that’s worth the cost as this one is easily among the best coolers you’ll find today.

The cooler offers a simple, practical design that’s made with rotomolded material, which is extremely durable and able to block out external heat to keep your cooler’s interior freezing-cold. The walls of the cooler are 3 inches thick and the top closes with a commercial-grade freezer gasket that works to trap the cold inside and make sure it doesn’t seep out. 

Landworks designed this cooler with virtually everything an avid angler needs on the water. It has a drain plug, ergonomic handles, a built-in bottle opener, leak-proof lock and many other things that appeal to anglers. The best thing about the Landworks Rotomolded cooler is that it’s not over-priced and is actually worth the money you’ll invest.


3. YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

It’s no secret that Yeti makes some of the top coolers in the outdoor industry and has been producing exceptional models for several years now.

The YETI Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler is easily one of the best coolers you’ll find today, but we have chosen to place this cooler at our No. 3 spot simply because its price is likely to be outside of what most anglers are willing to pay for a fishing cooler.

However, if you’re going to invest in a solid product that will serve you well on long fishing trips in extreme environments, this might be the one for you.

It’s capable of holding 55 pounds of ice when fully-loaded; it is known to hold that ice without melting for at least seven days or more in 90 degree heat. This is Yeti’s very first cooler with wheels and it certainly lives up to the hype that’s been built up around it. 

The wheels, like the rest of the cooler, are incredibly well-made and durable enough that you won’t have to worry about one popping off when you’re wheeling your cooler onto the boat deck or offloading with a full load of keepers.

The handle is made so that one or two people can pull it together, making it a breeze to move from one location to another. The Yeti Haul is the perfect blend of toughness and performance that serious anglers are looking for in a cooler.


4. Engel 65 High Performance Hard Cooler

Engel might be among the lesser-known cooler brands in the outdoor industry, but their products are quickly gaining a reputation for being made of premium quality materials and able to perform when you need them to.

The aptly-named Engel 65 High Performance Hard Cooler is another solid addition to our list and one that is made for fishing. 

The company boasts that this cooler is able to hold ice for as many as 10 days at a time, which has been proven by anglers who have used it in various locations.

This kind of ice-retention capability makes it possible for you to go on a fishing trip that’s more than a week-long and still have cold food and drinks or a place to store your catch. Rugged durability is what the Engel 65 High Performance is all about as this one is also bear-resistant.


5. RTIC Hard Cooler

RTIC is a brand that has emerged in recent years as real competition for the likes of Yeti and other premium cooler companies.

The RTIC Hard Cooler is a worthy addition to our list of the best coolers for fishing and is packed with outstanding features and great quality that combine to make this one arguably the best value for the price. 

It offers heavy roto-molded construction and similar rubber latches that have become popular on the top brands and models of fishing coolers. It’s advertised to hold ice for as many as 7 days at a time, but the cooler’s seal is not quite as solid as other top models.

This cooler offers many of the features you’ll look for in a great fishing cooler, but some of the components like the handles, drain plug, and other features are not quite as well-made as other brands.

Nevertheless, it’s a great choice for anglers who want durability and a moderately lightweight cooler that they can take anywhere.


6. Engel Cooler with 4 Rod Holders

The Engel Cooler/Dry Box is an option that doubles as a capable cooler that you can take on fishing trips or any other outdoor adventure, or use as a means to keep your most valuable equipment and belongings totally dry during your exploits.

This model is a bit smaller, but it’s perfectly-made for kayak anglers who are looking for a more compact cooler that also offers rod storage and enough durability to handle anything they encounter on the water. 

The plastic material this cooler/dry box is made of is not quite as thick and won’t hold ice for as long as some of the models we’ve already mentioned, but it will serve as a cooler that can hold up to 45 pounds of ice and four built-in rod holders.

It features the old-school style stainless steel latches that are more prevalent on toolboxes, but the Engel Cooler/Dry Box offers a solid gasket seal that will keep the heat out and the cold air intact without leakage.


7. Igloo Outdoor Sportsman Series

The majority of anglers will likely be looking for a more budget-friendly model than some of the ones we’ve already mentioned on our list.

The Igloo Outdoor Sportsman Series is easily one of our top picks when it comes to fishing coolers that deliver quality without the hefty price tag.

This cooler has all the same features you typically need for a serious fishing, but is made with slightly lesser quality components and materials than the top brands’ products.

The cooler is made with a thick polyethylene material and features UV inhibitors that help block the sun’s rays from penetrating the cooler’s interior and making your ice melt.

It offers a threaded drain plug that allows you to connect a garden hose to for easy drainage and cleaning, as well as an extendable carrying handle that folds in to let you make use of as much space as possible. 

The Igloo Outdoor Sportsman Series cooler is capable of holding ice for as much as 5 days, which is plenty for most anglers. You’ll probably find that this cooler gives you everything you need for a price that’s much more appealing than most premium options.

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Light Tackle Surf Fishing

Light Tackle Surf Fishing

There are an abundant number of different fish species you can catch along the surf at any beach. Some of the larger varieties of fish require the use of large, heavy tackle to not only cast your rig out as far as possible, but to also bring in your catch.

Surf fishing with light tackle is also very popular as there are plenty of smaller fish species that are considered excellent table fare, or just fun to catch.

Light tackle surf fishing is a great way to test your angling skills and truly challenge yourself when it comes to catching fish in the waves.

There are several unique techniques and tactics you can make use of with light tackle when surf fishing and some of them are highly productive for the most sought after saltwater fish species.

In this article, we will cover the basics when it comes to light tackle surf fishing and also explain the best strategies you can use and why they work.

Surf Fishing with Light Tackle Overview

There’s nothing overly complicated about light tackle surf fishing. It mostly requires that you stick to the basic rules and techniques that most anglers are already accustomed to using if they’re well-versed in freshwater fishing.

The basis of any type of surf fishing, whether you’re going light or heavy, revolves around why type of fish you’re aiming to catch.

If you’re targeting bigger fish, you’ll obviously need larger line, hooks, sinkers, rods and reels, but light tackle is much simpler as you won’t have to deal with so much big, heavy gear.

When using light tackle to catch fish in the surf, there are a few specific areas you’ll want to pay close attention to in regards to your setup.

It’s important to make sure that your rod, reel, line, and other components are strong enough to withstand going up against the might of the waves, as well as the fish that are likely to bite your lure or bait.

When you do catch a fish, it becomes more of a challenge to get it onto the beach using light tackle because you’re more likely to have the line break or have the fish give you a stronger fight against your reel’s drag.

Most Common Species for Light Tackle Surf Fishing

You can use light tackle to catch anything from sea trout to pompano and species like mackerel and many others from the beach. It’s also a bit more fun trying to wrangle these feisty fish species by using lighter rods and reels.

There are anglers who would much rather use light tackle in the surf to catch these smaller species than to lug big, heavy rods onto the beach and try to catch larger-sized fish.

Pompano are arguably the most popular species of fish you’ll catch from the surf with light tackle. They’re smaller than most other saltwater fish you will catch, but pompano are known for being tenacious fighters that will put most light fishing tackle to the test.

If you fish inlets and flats around coastal areas, you’re probably already accustomed to catching sea trout, but these slender fish species can also be caught from the surf. They’re one of the most popular fish along the southern coastal states along the Atlantic and into the Gulf of Mexico.

There are other species like red drum, flounder and striped bass that can be caught using light tackle in the surf. These fish are one of the most exciting to target and fight as they can be found on virtually any beach and have a reputation for putting up a formidable fight against light tackle.

Best Light Rod and Reel

If you’re planning to use smaller bait or lures, you’ll need a lighter rod in order to have the ability to cast out as far as you need.

In most instances, the fish you’re after might be just a few dozen feet into the foamy surf at the edge of the beach, but going after some species requires that you have the ability to cast out pretty far.

You should be aware that these lighter rods are much more likely to snap when you’re fighting a bigger-sized fish, so it’s crucial that you’re very careful if you do happen to hook something larger than what you’re expecting.

If you’re going after fish and trying to use a more subtle bait or lure presentation, having a lighter rod will also allow you to create more lifelike twitching motions and other movements.

Some lures such as spoons are meant to be retrieved with a twitching or slight movement along the bottom. Being able to create this type of movement while the waves are pulling and crashing around the lure is tough, but you can manage to attract certain fish if you’re patient and understand just what to do with your rod and lure.

Some of the best light tackle surf fishing rods that you can use are basically the same style that you’d employ for freshwater fishing scenarios. Brands like G. Loomis, St. Croix, Penn and others are excellent when it comes to making lightweight rods and reels that are perfect for fishing with lighter tackle.

When it comes to the best saltwater spinning reels for light tackle, most experienced anglers will use a size 2500 or even as large as a 4000 in some cases. You’ll be using lighter fishing line, so you won’t need to have the bigger spools that most surf fishing rod and reel combos offer.

Best Lures for Light Surf Fishing

Using a lighter rod for surf fishing opens up the possibility for you to fish with different lures than most surf anglers. In most cases, surf fishing enthusiasts will use a large rod that’s made to launch bait out as far as possible, but a lighter rod allows you to have a greater amount of control over the lure’s movement in the water.

In most cases, you’re using specific types of lures that are tailored to only catch a certain species of fish. Jerkbait lures are one of the most popular surf fishing lures that are capable of catching a wide variety of fish if used in the right way.

These lures will stay on top of the water and only dive just a foot or two, in most cases, below the surface. You can jerk or twitch your rod to produce the type of erratic motion that entices many game fish species to bite when they’re cruising along the beach looking for their next meal.

Also Read: Best Surf Fishing Baits

Spoons are another ideal choice of lure for fishing with light rods and surf reels as you can also use them in a variety of different ways to catch fish. For many avid surf anglers, spoons allow the opportunity to vary their retrieve and catch fish at different times of the year when they’re more or less active.

Topwater lures such as poppers are another popular choice as they will stay on the surface of the water and produce the telltale splash and bubbling movement that many saltwater fish are looking for along the beach.

Other Light Tackle Tips

Surf fishing with light tackle does have some similarities that you will find coincide with what you’d do with heavier tackle.

Fishing is still best during the low-light hours of dawn and dusk and can even be more productive for light tackle anglers as the lures you can use give you a bigger advantage.

Using a popper or jerkbait early in the morning is an excellent way of attracting the bite of a hungry mackerel or red drum.

Fishing during the early morning or late at night usually means that you won’t have to contend with beach-goers who want to play and swim in the water. Having the whole beach to yourself is the best way to determine which spot is the most ideal location.

Once you’ve decided on the best spot for fishing along a particular stretch of beach, you can go and get set up early in the morning and start fishing before anyone is able to move into the location.

Conclusion

Surf fishing with light tackle is something that anglers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy. It’s much easier to learn and get the hang of since you’re not having to deal with overly-large or heavy gear and equipment.

Using light tackle is also the best way to get young anglers acquainted with surf fishing. By using the tips and information we’ve outlined in this article, you should have the knowledge you need to get started fishing at your favorite beach using light tackle strategies.

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Surf Fishing Gear

Surf Fishing Gear List

Surf fishing requires the use of a certain set of gear items that are mostly unnecessary when it comes to inshore fishing around inlets and flats, as well as offshore angling.

Fishing from the beach means you’re constantly dealing with the waves that are sometimes incredibly strong and able to pull your bait out of position toward the shore, or away from it.

If you want to be a skilled surf fishing angler, you’ll need to have the right gear that will allow you to adequately deal with the surf, as well as the many other factors that play a role in your overall success on the beach.

In this article, we’ve compiled a surf fishing gear list of 11 items that every angler must have before they plan their first surf fishing trip.

Surf Fishing Gear List

1. Rod

When it comes to surf fishing rods you’re going to need a rod that will be quite different from deep sea fishing or any other kind of angling you might do in freshwater or saltwater.

For most species, you’ll be required to cast your bait well beyond the crashing waves in order to get it to the right spot where certain species are found.

In order to do this, you’ll need a longer rod that is capable of launching the bait and your rig out to a much farther distance than you could with any other rod.

It’s also crucial that you have a rod that is strong enough to withstand the heavy weight and pressure you’ll experience from fighting most of the popular saltwater game fish species. Even some of the smaller species that are caught in the surf will put an exceptional strain on your rod, so it’s critical that you have one strong enough that won’t break.

2. Reel

You’ll need a bigger, stronger rod for surf fishing and this concept also applies to the reel you’ll need to use. The best surf fishing reels needs to be big enough to hold a decent amount of heavier fishing line, such as 20 or even 50 pound test in some cases.

The reel should also have a good drag system that will help you in maintaining control over your line and the fish when you’re in the middle of an intense fight.

Although there are a number of different reel types for fishing, spinning reels and conventional reels are by far the most popular for surf casting.

3. Line

The best fishing line for surf fishing is going to be one that’s heavier than what you’ll use for inshore fishing or especially for freshwater angling in lakes and rivers.

It’s recommended that you use monofilament fishing line for fishing in the surf because it has more stretching ability and makes it easier for you to cast farther in most scenarios.

It’s very important to use a shock leader line when surf fishing. The purpose of this shock leader is to withstand the extreme amount of pressure that you’ll put on your line when you make a very hard cast while using heavier surf fishing rigs and bait.

While most fishing lines might normally snap under such pressure, a shock leader that’s at least 50 pound test monofilament line is able to stretch and keep your line from breaking under the immense pressure.

4. Hooks

As you might expect, surf fishing requires the use of bigger hooks if you intend to go after larger-sized fish. Shark anglers, especially, will typically use hooks that are as big as 8/0 or 10/0 to make sure they are big and strong enough to hold up against a powerful predator like a shark.

Most anglers will use a circle hook for surf fishing. These hooks are usually much less likely to injure a fish and give it a greater chance of survival if you do have to release it.

5. Sinkers

There are a huge variety of sinkers that are commonly used in surf fishing. Most anglers prefer to use a pyramid sinker because this type is designed to dig into the sandy bottom and hold itself in place much better than a rounded sinker thanks to its pointed end.

If you’re fishing in especially rough water with a very strong pull that might rip your surf bait out of place, you can use what’s known as a sputnik sinker to help provide extra stability.

The key to choosing the right kind of sinker for surf fishing is to understand what type of fish you’re going after and to also have a good knowledge of how the bait presentation will look and function underwater.

6. Sand Spike

Keeping your bait in place and your rod secure is a big part of being a successful surf fishing angler when you’re using a rig that is meant to sit in place in the surf. Using a sand spike is crucial in accomplishing this and will give you a huge advantage on the beach.

Most anglers will use multiple rods and will set them in certain intervals apart from one another, keeping them in place using a sand spike.

Like anything else pertaining to fishing equipment, you can purchase better quality sand spikes, but it will likely cost more than some of the cheaper models.

7. Fishing Cart

Surf fishing involves the use of a big variety of different gear, tackle and equipment. Unlike anglers who fish from a boat, anyone who goes fishing from the surf is required to transport their gear onto the beach by hand.

Using a fishing cart is a huge asset in regards to keeping your gear together in one central location and allowing you to move it relatively easily across the sand.

You can’t use any type of cart on the beach and most anglers quickly find out that the sand can render most carts useless unless they have the right kind of tires.

Purchasing a good quality fishing cart for your surf fishing trips will be a solid investment that will pay off greatly in the long run if you plan to do a lot of surf fishing.

8. Pliers

It’s no secret that most of the game fish species you’ll catch when surf fishing will have sharp, pointed teeth that are capable of doing a great deal of damage to anyone who happens to get their hand caught in the fish’s mouth.

Also Read: Light tackle Surf Fishing

It’s very important that you have a good pair of fishing pliers for surf fishing to help you remove the hook from the mouth of your catch. Using a pair of pliers is also better for the overall health of a fish as it means you’ll be less likely to injure it when removing the hook.

Taking the hook out can be a delicate process, but using a good pair of fishing pliers goes a long way in making sure it’s done quickly and easily.

9. Polarized Sun Glasses

You might not think that it’s important to be able to see into the water when you’re surf fishing because the waves and the foamy water make it very difficult to catch sight of any fish that might be swimming along the beach.

However, wearing a good pair of polarized sunglasses will give you much more of an advantage than you might think as you will be able to see into the water more easily and will be capable of spotting structure, fish, schools of bait fish, and lots of other things that surf fishing anglers need to know about.

Wearing a good pair of polarized sunglasses will also help to protect your eyes from the harsh sunlight and UV rays that reflect off the water’s surface, which can cause damage to your eyes over long periods of time.

10. Suitable Clothing

Surf fishing involves being out in the sun and wind for long periods of time, which can do quite a bit of damage to your skin over the course of several hours.

As anyone who spends a great deal of time on the beach already knows, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun and the heat if you want to stay comfortable.

Make sure you are wearing a shirt and hat that will not only block the sun’s UV rays, but will also help keep you cool through the long hours you’ll spend sitting or standing on the beach while fishing.

It’s also a good idea to bring along a rain jacket in case a small pop-up rain shower comes along. Most anglers know that fish tend to bite more often when it’s raining and you’ll be able to catch more fish if you are ready and equipped to deal with the rain.

If you dress appropriately, you’ll be much more comfortable and will enjoy your surf fishing trip a lot more than if you decide to wear clothes that are not well-suited for the beach.

11. Cooler

You’ll need to keep your drinks and snacks cool and protected from the heat, which can be sweltering sometimes when you’re surf fishing.

There are plenty of different cooler models that will work for surf fishing to keep these items cold, but you might also want to have a cooler that’s designed for keeping your fish cold after they’re caught.

Just like most other gear and equipment items related to surf fishing, you can expect to pay a bit more for the better quality fishing coolers that are able to hold your fish. A quality cooler is a good investment and you’ll be able to haul this and your other gear if you have a decent surf fishing cart.

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Best Surf Fishing Rigs

Best Surf Fishing Rigs

Surf fishing is quite unlike any other kind of angling. It requires the use of specialized gear and tackle to deal with the strong pull of the waves and the many different larger-sized game fish species that can be caught from the shore.

In some areas, there are saltwater fish species that far outweigh anything you’ll find in freshwater rivers and lakes. This forces surf fishing enthusiasts to use longer, heavier rods than normal for a few different reasons.

Fishing from the surf also requires the angler to have quite a bit of knowledge about the tides and how different species of fish are expected to react to incoming or outgoing tides.

They’ll also need to know how to catch fish when the surf is higher and stronger than normal as well. If you want to be successful at surf fishing, you’ll have to pay close attention to things like the weather, bait, size of your rod and reel, and a number of other factors.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective ways to rig your bait when fishing from the surf.

These tips are some of the best surf fishing rigs you’ll find anywhere and will work on most beaches if you tie them and follow the instructions on just how to utilize them to your advantage.

Important Parts of Surf Fishing Rigs

When it comes to fishing from the surf, there are a few main rigs that anglers will usually rely on to target some of the most common fish species that frequently can be found swimming along the shoreline.

Also Read: Best Surf Fishing Reels

These surf fishing rigs require the use of specialized gear and often larger hooks, sinkers and other items in order to execute them properly. Here is some important information about the different parts that will make up your surf fishing rigs.

1. Sinkers

The sinker is one of the most crucial parts of any surf fishing rig. When you’re fishing from the shoreline and casting out into the surf, the waves are going to be pulling very hard on whatever surf bait you are attempting to use.

It’s very important that you use a sinker that will ensure that your bait stays in the place you want it to. Without a heavy enough sinker, the surf can cause your hook to tumble around aimlessly in the surf, which will make it much harder for fish to bite it.

The only place that you’re able to catch fish in the surf is toward the bottom below the crashing waves.

Most experienced surf fishing anglers will typically opt for a pyramid sinker when fishing in the surf because they are designed to burrow down into the sand and can then serve as an anchor for your lure.

You can sometimes use another type of sinker if the current or tide is not too strong, but it’s generally a good idea to go with a pyramid sinker.

You’ll need to make sure that the sinker is heavy enough to withstand the strong pull that the current and waves will have on your bait.

You’ll need to use a sinker that’s at least 3 or 4 ounces in weight so make sure it stays in place. If you’re fishing when the current is very rough, you can go as high as an 8-ounce sinker.

Also Read: Best Surf Fishing Rods

Some surf anglers will use an egg sinker, which slides onto the line and is free to slide up or down along your line depending on the angle you have the fishing line.

A pyramid sinker will be stationary, so it’s a good idea to have it secured to a swivel that’s connected to your line so that your bait doesn’t get twisted up in the swirling current and waves.

2. Hooks

When it comes to deciding what kind of hooks you should use for surf fishing, most anglers will go for circle hooks. These are usually capable of piercing the mouth of the fish without doing too much other damage.

The circle hook is designed to be easily removed in a way that won’t overly injure the fish in case you need to release it back into the ocean.

In most cases, it’s recommended to use a 3/0 or up to a 5/0 hook. However, if you’re planning to fish for much larger saltwater species from the shore, including sharks, you can use a hook that’s as large as a 10/0 size.

Best Surf Fishing Rigs

1. Dropper Rig

This is perhaps the most commonly used surf fishing rig you’ll find and it works very well with almost any type of fishing bait. The dropper is very simple, but it involves the use of a three-way swivel in order to properly operate in the surf.

The main purpose of this rig is to keep your bait slightly off the bottom and allow any passing fish to easily see or sense it.

1. Start by cutting two lengths of fishing line that are roughly one or two feet in length

2. Tie the end of your main line to one side of the “T” on the three-way swivel

3. Tie the remaining two lines to the other eyes of your swivel

4. Tie the sinker to the other end of the “T” on your swivel

5. Tie the hook on the bottom eye of your “T” and bait your hook.

This rig helps to keep your hook off the bottom and also makes it much easier to change out the bait on your rig without having to re-tie any part of it.

2. Pompano Rig

The next best surf fishing rig we will mention is a bit more complicated than the Dropper Rig, but it has very similar concepts involved. The Pompano Rig also involves the use of swivels that you will use to connect this rig to your main line, as well as the sinker to the bottom of the rig.

The purpose of this particular rig is to have two hooks instead of one that are up off the bottom where fish like pompano can see it. This rig is capable of catching a variety of other fish species, including redfish and many others.

  1. Cut one length of leader line that’s at least 40 pound test in a two-foot section
  2. Tie a two-way swivel to the end of your main line
  3. Tie two 6-inch fluorocarbon lines to this leader line section
  4. Attach hooks to each end of the fluoro lines that aren’t connected to the leader
  5. Tie another two-way swivel down at the bottom of the leader line with a snap swivel on the other end
  6. Connect your choice of sinker to this snap swivel (pyramid is best)

You can also add beads to certain points of this rig and there are a number of different videos online that you can use as instructions on just where to place these beads or floats.

3. Carolina Rig

This type of rig is also very popular in freshwater fishing, as well as surf fishing due to its effectiveness and the ease with which you can create it.

The Carolina Rig is best for fishing with light tackle or using smaller lures or bait along certain parts of the surf. It requires the use of an egg sinker and two-way swivel, as well as your choice of hook.

  1. Start by feeding your main line through the egg sinker and looping it through the sinker’s hole to secure it in one spot so that it doesn’t slide up and down the line
  2. (You can leave the sinker free so that it can slide up and down the line if you want
  3. Tie the two-way swivel onto the main line just below the egg sinker
  4. Cut a 1.5-foot section of line and tie this section onto the other end of the two-way swivel
  5. Tie your hook on the other end of this line and bait your hook

Conclusion

These rigs are among the most popular surf fishing setups you’ll find anywhere and they are each very easy to use.

If you need further assistance in how to properly tie each of these and other surf fishing rigs, you can check out any one of the many videos online that explain in depth just how to tie each of these surf rigs.

If you follow these directions and study the different surf fishing techniques we’ve listed in other articles, you should be well on your way to successful fishing from the surf.

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