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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a question. maybe not a simple answer.

I was always was taught best time to fit the surf is last 2-3 hours of rise and first 2-3 hrs of the fall. so pretty much high tide.

But if you look at bite times (major) they are pretty much at the last few hours before low tide each day. I didn't look at minor times.

So for just surf fishing am I on the right track as usual or do you guys follow bite times.

High tide makes sense to me cause the fish should be coming into the holes that fill the beach at high tide, but then again at low tide you are casting out to the holes the bars form out further.

They are polar opposites pretty much. one you are fishing at high tide other low tide.

opinions. . . .all are welcome. even a bit of an education. . .

thanks,
jim
 

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In the summer months, I prefer sunrise and sunset. Fish never seem to bite when the air gets hot. However, sunrise and sunset work well throughout the year for me. I do pay attention to the tide tables, but rely on them more in the spring, fall and winter. Usually, an before and after the tide changes works best. I always look at the lunar calendar, but it rarely influences my fishing. JMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ok so pretty much fish a bit before and after either low or high tide. that way fits in with both what I was taught fishing at high tide a bit before and after and a bit of major bite times which seem to be a couple hours before the tide is at its lowest each day.

in the past you have to fish when people aren't in the water so it is like you say sunrise sunset. I usually get up at 5 and make my way out and fish till 9:00-9:30 AM and then again after dinner if able into dark. once dark hits I fell like I chicken out and go in cause the bugs get bad and it's more difficult to manage rods and casting, but this year I do have a big ol' lantern which im sure the bugs will love!
 

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I suggest a head lamp and small flashlight instead of a lantern. Lots of anglers frown on bright lights, especially on dark beaches like Hatteras Island. Try 100% DEET for the bugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I suggest a head lamp and small flashlight instead of a lantern. Lots of anglers frown on bright lights, especially on dark beaches like Hatteras Island. Try 100% DEET for the bugs.
I have a small flashlight and headlamp always with me. I do a lot of night cat fishing. We don’t use lanterns either. I never thought about that. My bad. I use bug spray. It never helps it seems.
 

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get serious deet bug spray. Night fishing is really fun and brings out different fish that are rare during the day, and the suns not sweltering and you have the beach to yourself! You can get like 200-300 mini glow sticks from Amazon for 10-15$. That’ll last you forever. Scotch tape them to the tip of your rod. Headlamp when you need it and you’re good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks man. I got glow sticks. Use them for the rod tips when cat fishing. My buddies and myself are river rats in the summer up his place. We fish at night for cats so having glow sticks for bites or bells even is a necessity. Same with a headlamp and flashlights.
I do have to get spray though. Cause what I usually use on the river doesn’t cut it on the beach. I really want to spend time out at night this trip. It is awesome at night just chilling and waiting for a tip to drop.
 

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Salt Strong just released a great surf fishing video that covers tides, and it depends on that beach’s structure. I think solunar periods are less important in waters with a lot of current and movement, and your time of day is generally right.

My trifecta: a solunar period falling right around sunset on an incoming tide on a high-impact beach with an onshore wind.
 

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I wish I could contribute a scientific answer but here's my anecdote. It's recreational. For 20+ years my wife & I have spent a week in September & a few weeks in May soaking bait on OIB. When the mullet are schooling in the surf I castnet some & "trade up" for blues. When the baitfish aren't obvious our expectations are low but that doesn't diminish (much) the pleasure of fishing on the beach. Tides never seem to matter. There are always hungry fish. We have caught bluefish, shark, trout, Spanish mackerel, whiting, pinfish, ladyfish, blowfish, catfish, cow-nosed rays, red drum, black drum, flounder, sea robins & even a gull. The gull was a challenging catch & release of a non-target species. If all we caught was sunshine & a chat with a new friend it was a good day fishing. I wish you good times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wish I could contribute a scientific answer but here's my anecdote. It's recreational. For 20+ years my wife & I have spent a week in September & a few weeks in May soaking bait on OIB. When the mullet are schooling in the surf I castnet some & "trade up" for blues. When the baitfish aren't obvious our expectations are low but that doesn't diminish (much) the pleasure of fishing on the beach. Tides never seem to matter. There are always hungry fish. We have caught bluefish, shark, trout, Spanish mackerel, whiting, pinfish, ladyfish, blowfish, catfish, cow-nosed rays, red drum, black drum, flounder, sea robins & even a gull. The gull was a challenging catch & release of a non-target species. If all we caught was sunshine & a chat with a new friend it was a good day fishing. I wish you good times.
thanks man. oh i will be fishing whenever i have the chance regardless, but i wanted to make sure i really gave it my all when the right conditions are in front of me. even though we don't live down here, i look forward to this trip every year. every year i try to better myself but at the end it's always a blast. i'm all packed and ready to go i think. first few days the tide will be in my favor during sunset and actually sunrise, then it gets dicey so hopefully i can get some lines out during the day if there aren't a lot of people in the water. we are ocean front so if the neighbors aren't out i usually throw in if my kids aren't in the water.

i'm excited. really excited. i booked a full day trip also for tuesday to go out for snapper and then whatever the captain decides. i told him we just want to catch fish so it's up to him. we aren't picky. a fish is a fish is a fish well unless it's a ray cause that gets old quickly.
 

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Last week I had one of my PB days of surf fishing. I started fishing the second hour of a falling tide, started around 10 am.Around 11:00
The bite turned on. In the next two hours I caught 6 slot drum, and 5 speckled trout over 16 inches. Plus several small to medium size mullet. All released back.
All were caught on shrimp fish bites! In the white water in ankle deep water.
It was around 82 and very sunny.
I went to the beach to kill some time and relax.
no relaxing that day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That’s awesome man! I wish I had a day like that. We are down here now. It poured last night. This morning I got out at 630 till 10 am.
5 really nice blues. 2 my 8 year brought in. He had a ball. He also managed a small founder that was a lot easier for him. We nabbed a few mullet and croaker that has been our cut bait. All the blues were on the cut mullet. The mullet and croaker were on shrimp I salted. Nothing on fish bites which is so weird for down here. Oh 3 sand sharks. Did the typical nature hour for kids walking by. They always get a kick out of them. 2 guys were fishing down from me a few houses. Didn’t look like they landed anything. I could be wrong.
So all in all a really fun morning but nothing for any dinners yet. Hopefully it doesn’t rain tonight so we can get out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Today was bla. Just a bucket of random catches. I want to getcthe kids on more fish. Anything. Small bait stuff even so I set up a double drop with #4 circle mosquito hooks with the hope it will catch anything. I missed a lot of fish today with 1/0 circles. I did have the biggest hit I ever had. I swear my tip was in the sand. The guy I was talking to was like “holy s&)t bit it snapped off in 2 secs. I’m assuming a big blue or a a shark maybe but my money is on a blue.

I’m trying at least.
 
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