Pier and Surf Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm primarily a very bad fresh water fisherman up here in GA. We had a cabin on a local lake and a small bow rider, and I enjoyed dock fishing or fishing from my kayak. And I only caught one fish in a two year period! HAHAHA But, I enjoyed being out by the water and the process of fishing, even though I wasn't catching. :D

We sold the cabin and boat, and we are moving down to Boca Raton in February! I'm excited as I have loved the beach since I was a little kid, and we plan on taking advantage of our proximity to the ocean to hit the beach often. I saw people surf fishing on a scouting trip to Boca in November, and my interest is peaked! If we're going to be going to the beach, why shouldn't I also be partaking in one of the activities I also love, even though I seem to suck at fishing!?!?

My wife has suggested that I maybe see if I can rent some surf fishing gear to try it out to see if it is something I want to dump a bunch of money into. The thing is, I don't really know what to look at getting my hands on. So I'm looking for suggestions and a little help with the knowledge so I can at least get my hands on a basic setup to hit the beach with.

THANK YOU!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,048 Posts
Most guys up and down the beach there fish for pompano and Sea Mullet.. Of course there is no telling what else you can catch in the surf down there. Id say buy a Penn Battalion 11 ft 2-6 ounce rod and a Penn Battle 4 or 5000. You will meet a bunch of folks fishing the beaches there. You will spot the ones who consistently catch fish .. Watch them and ask questions they will steer you right. You will see them in little groups spaced out along the beach fishing 2 to 3 rods apiece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Most guys up and down the beach there fish for pompano and Sea Mullet.. Of course there is no telling what else you can catch in the surf down there. Id say buy a Penn Battalion 11 ft 2-6 ounce rod and a Penn Battle 4 or 5000. You will meet a bunch of folks fishing the beaches there. You will spot the ones who consistently catch fish .. Watch them and ask questions they will steer you right. You will see them in little groups spaced out along the beach fishing 2 to 3 rods apiece.
Thanks! That's something I forget to ask that I think you just answered for me. And that was, how many rods?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I pulled up this page as I always find great resources here and am heading to OBX next weekend. I saw your question at the top and figured I would try to pay it forward a bit. I'm sure the salty regulars don't like seeing this sort of question all of the time, and believe if you searched properly, you'd have all of the answers you'll need. When I started surf fishing though, I still had more questions than I could find answers to. My reply comes with a caveat; you should take the advice of most people on this forum over mine. I'm in Ohio and surf fishing is an 8–10-hour drive for me. I fish rivers and creeks the most; a fly angler first, but also really like smallmouth fishing on a spinning rod. Whatever the location or technique however, if there are fish to be caught, I'll try catching them.

First, I wouldn't ever want to hassle with a rental rod for the surf. I'm not certain anybody would rent a setup either, I can't see a good business model there. People always abuse rental gear and I bet 3/4 of them would put the rod down into the sand. Staff would be needed to clean the reels after every rental, and equipment damage fees (and ensuing arguments) would be a constant on most rentals.

You may not need to buy new gear if you want to give it a precursory try. If you have any existing gear that can throw a couple of ounces, it will work at low tide (which is also the best time to fish). If you ever chased catfish in Georgia, a catfishing setup will be great to see if you like it. Most catfish rods are built to throw heavy weight, which is necessary when the surf is rough. My first time in the surf, I tried said catfish rod, a steelhead rod, and a musky rod, all fit the bill of having some length and able to throw weight, but the musky rod was too stiff. For the reel, other than shark anglers, I've only seen spinning reels in use. If all of your reels are low-profile bass-style bait casters, I wouldn't recommend using one of them. If you have one of the more traditional bait casters or "conventional reel", that will work since it would be easy to clean. Whether a "saltwater" reel or not, rinse off your reel in clean water after every trip, lube often (I like reel butter), and NEVER put your reel on the sand, that will ruin a $1000 reel just as fast as a $10 one.

If you want "actual surf fishing gear" to soak weight and bait, I suspect you can get into a serviceable quality outfit for around $100; one of the Tsunami combos perhaps. A setup with the durability of what charter captains use may be around $150. On the boat, you'll notice Penn Pursuit ($50-ish) or Fierce ($75) reels predominately, with Shimano Siennas ($40) mixed in (even though the Sienna isn't a "Saltwater Reel). If you aren't chasing monster drum or sharks, I see no reason to get larger than a 5000 size if using mono/Fluoro, or 4000 size if you are going to use braid. I personally found the miscellaneous annoyances with braid too much and went back to using mono (either Ande or Berkley Big Game) on all of my reels and use Fluoro on any rigs I tie. I suspect most dedicated surf anglers use braid with a shock leader though. For a "true surf rod", it would be worth looking at an Okuma Longitude or Penn Battalion 2 rod. When in stock, Wally World has the Penn rod much less than everywhere else. An 8' medium heavy/heavy action Penn fierce combo will be $125 and very good if you don't want to put a lot of money into something that only works for weight and bait in the surf; it would be great on a pier and other forms of surf fishing.

Use that 8' fierce combo (or medium to medium light rod/reel) to drift live bait (get from a cast net or sabiki) unweighted on a big 5/0 hook near an inlet or pier is another technique. Use a heavy leader (30-40lb) when doing that. In addition to live drifting, that lighter combo will be good to use when casting spoons, Jigs, and topwater into the surf. To me, seeing a blue hit a zara in calm surf is more fun than catching a bucketmouth in fresh water on the same plug.

For weight and bait tackle, there isn't a lot needed. I would recommend getting Owner Mutu circle hooks in size 2, 1, 1/0, and 2/0. (Larger if the bait won't fit on a 2/0 hook). The Owner "ghost rigs" are really great for being lazy and quick with a fish finder rig. (This is a Carolina rig with a pyramid style sinker on a sinker slide). The other rig would be a high/low style. They are pretty easy to tie, but you can buy ready-made ones and just clip on the hooks and sinker. While they don't come with super high-quality hooks, I still prefer the cheap rigs that come hook attached over the ones where there are snaps to put your hook on. The premade pompano/spot rigs that have floats next to the hook are productive as well. The essential piece of gear though is your sinker, have some from 1 ounce to as large of a weight and bait total that your rod can handle (I typically go a bit higher). I've found that if a pyramid is still getting tossed around and I can't add more, a sputnik sinker is really worth the cost. I try the lightest pyramid I can get away with, and increase. If I hit a wall with regular pyramids, then I'll try a sputnik before giving up and packing inland. For bait you'll want to try fresh shrimp, live fish (mullet, spot, etc), frozen squid, frozen shrimp, and sand fleas (you can catch on the beach). Get your baitfish via cast net or sabiki rig. Also fishbites, I can't count how many times they (either the shrimp or bloodworm flavor) have saved me from a skunk.

Be sure to follow when the annual mullet run comes through, everything you can imagine will be in surf range. Also watch reports for the pompanos, soo tasty!

Another piece of gear for bait and weight fishing I find invaluable is a Shibumi shade. Though the price of admission for it sucks, your wife will love having that also.

Don't discount the sound. It's great fun and you can use light tackle. A cheap combo of a 3000 size Penn Pursuit and an Ugly Stick Intercoastal rod is hard to beat. It'll work to bring in a 30" snook. I haven't fished Boca, but I'll bet you'll have flounder, trout, and snook, available all up and down the intercoastal. Probably sheepshead near structure. Find public access points where you can get to wadeable areas in the sound. Also hit the inlets and points where fish move into the sound side. I love catching Snook and trout at the inlets in Naples with shrimp and a popping cork.

At some point you'll have to get a guide to chase the silver king, I've been meaning to head to Boca just to try that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I pulled up this page as I always find great resources here and am heading to OBX next weekend. I saw your question at the top and figured I would try to pay it forward a bit.
Wow! I appreciate the time you took to write that, and you've given me a place to start. I'll be Googling stuff for the rest of the day now! :D

I've got a medium Ugly Stick spinning combo that I tend to use the most on the lake. Would that be worth messing with in the surf to start with? If/when I decide to buy something substantial for the surf, I was thinking about looking at Facebook Marketplace to start out with before I bought anything new. Gotta keep the wife happy, after all we're buying a house in an area where real estate costs more than we're used to!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Wow! I appreciate the time you took to write that, and you've given me a place to start. I'll be Googling stuff for the rest of the day now! :D

I've got a medium Ugly Stick spinning combo that I tend to use the most on the lake. Would that be worth messing with in the surf to start with? If/when I decide to buy something substantial for the surf, I was thinking about looking at Facebook Marketplace to start out with before I bought anything new. Gotta keep the wife happy, after all we're buying a house in an area where real estate costs more than we're used to!
That medium ugly stick combo will work perfectly in the sound no doubt. Without seeing it, I think it probably will work for the technique of drifting live bait, also spoons and plugs. It may work for weight and bait in the surf as long as you don't substantially go over its "lure weight" rating. If it's a GX2 it will be less forgiving of over-weighting than the old style. I like Wally World's Ugly Stick Intercoastal, because it uses the old blank style. Fill your reel up with 12# Berkley Big Game, watch for a day with calmish wave activity, go at low tide, and throw to the first trough. I think you'll succeed in catching sea mullet (aka kingfish, aka whiting) on one of your first trips. Catching pomps may prove a bit harder with that combo, but here's where my lack of knowledge really fails me.

The other thing to check out on this site right away is how to read the water. Rips are the easiest sign, but there are illustrated guides here on P&S that are invaluable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I just found your earlier post. You said above that you sold your boat; was that the Kayak? If you still have the Kayak that will be very productive in the sound and inshore waters.. (Again, having not been to Boca) I suspect you may be able to find sandbars in the sound to paddle to, wade, and get into some really nice trout, flounder, etc. If you can find mangroves, there is another place you must take the kayak. That medium rod will be perfect. Snook, snapper, and you might even be able to get onto some of the tarpon in the waterways, but other than a small one you'll get broken off on its first jump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just found your earlier post. You said above that you sold your boat; was that the Kayak? If you still have the Kayak that will be very productive in the sound and inshore waters.. (Again, having not been to Boca) I suspect you may be able to find sandbars in the sound to paddle to, wade, and get into some really nice trout, flounder, etc. If you can find mangroves, there is another place you must take the kayak. That medium rod will be perfect. Snook, snapper, and you might even be able to get onto some of the tarpon in the waterways, but other than a small one you'll get broken off on its first jump.
I was going to give my kayak to a friend, but my wife convinced me to hold onto it in case we could put it in the water down in Florida. I'm glad I did!

It's nothing awesome. In fact, It was a rather inexpensive kayak from one of the big box sporting goods stores that we bought for fun. After awhile though, I modified it to fish from.

Tire Boat Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire


Boat Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies Wood Vehicle Watercraft
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Weight and bait in the surf is a lot of fun, but I think you'll catch a more quality fish in the sound and in mangroves in that beaty. You're in a huge playground, I'm jealous!

I have free access to a couple of really nice Native Kayaks (my in-laws). I'm going need to take it to the salt here soon, I'm thinking 8 hours driving with them on the roof won't be fun but still worth trying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
OHMatt gave you the good scoop. You'll do fine and have a ball.

Nice yak. I hope you ain't gonna paddle with that big blue pack atop the deck, specially if'n there's a buncha weight inside, too top heavy. When I yak or canoe, the heavy stuff goes down on the floor board in order to remove top heaviness and reduce boat pitch 'n' roll, or the tendency to flip when the weather comes up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OHMatt gave you the good scoop. You'll do fine and have a ball.

Nice yak. I hope you ain't gonna paddle with that big blue pack atop the deck, specially if'n there's a buncha weight inside, too top heavy. When I yak or canoe, the heavy stuff goes down on the floor board in order to remove top heaviness and reduce boat pitch 'n' roll, or the tendency to flip when the weather comes up.
The kayak actually handles great with it! It has a lightweight plastic milk crate inside and just a couple of small Plano style tackle organizers. It's not heavy at all. My biggest concerns with putting it up front were that it'd get in the way of casting (but it doesn't) and that it'd act like a sail (it doesn't). I agree, it's really unconventional, probably goofy looking and all, but it puts everything within easy reach from the cockpit. 😁
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top