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Hey everybody, first post here! I need some tips on catching bigger fish from the surf. I have very little experience with surf fishing. I fish beaches in South Carolina, but have only done so a handful of times. I normally just catch small fish like spots and croaker. I’ll be heading down this weekend to do a little fishing and I want to target some bigger fish as well. Any species really. Anybody willing to help a newbie? Thanks guys!
 

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Start fishing cut bait and live bait to start catching the predatory fish. There are tons of sharks and bluefish to be caught along with some red drum, though most of my surf redfish have been bycatch when using sand fleas or shrimp. One of the last blacktips I hooked was on the head half of a croaker. Fought him up to the pier and had to break him off. Wish he would have bit through my 100 lb mono.
 

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I fish the suds with fresh bait. Use 3/4 oz egg sinker with bead and barrel swivel. Tie 4' clear line and sharp hook on other swivel spot, usually #2. Toss just past the suds and let the waves do the work. Slowly reel now and then. You would be surprised at what bites in shallower water. My other pole a 2 drop rig. Practice tying them yourself. You will get better results. Also jigs with hair and bait work in the suds too. Have to read the water and not be afraid to try and do something different. Plenty of videos on YouTube to help you learn. Good Luck...….
Kim🎣
 

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Thanks for all the responses everybody. I think Imma run 2 double drop rigs for smaller fish and a fish finder rig with maybe a 5/0 or 6/0 circle hook with cut bait.
 

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Thanks for all the responses everybody. I think Imma run 2 double drop rigs for smaller fish and a fish finder rig with maybe a 5/0 or 6/0 circle hook with cut bait.
Sounds good. Catch bait and put out strips or chunks on the fishfinder rig. Use 60 or even 80 lb mono so the bluefish don't bite you off instantly.
 

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Now, lemme ask you this; if I use 60-80 lb mono for my leader, what size swivel do you suggest?
Like line size, swivel size doesn't dictate the size of fish you can catch. If you use a quality 40 lb swivel you can still catch an 80 lb blacktip because you won't ever reach the breaking point of 40 lbs of pressure on it, but too small or not a premium product means it can fail. I typically pick the size that "looks right" of a trusted brand more than worry about the rating. 80-120 lb swivels should be ok. I don't recommend barrel swivels. Crane or ball bearing are better.

I use these AFW Mighty Minis in 411 lb test for bluefish, red drum, sharks, freshwater catfish, etc. I wouldn't use them for pompano or trout or something similar that's small and has good vision.

 

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What are you going to be fishing with? For a rig I'd use a Hatteras style drum rig which is basically a short Carolina rig like 6 to 8 inches. I'd use 150# mono for my leader or some single strand if you are in a area with big sharks and want to catch them and use a short casting leader of the heaviest mono you can cast well, I use 150# mono. The casting leader is to prevent sharks from using there body to break your line. If the current is real bad use a spider weight to keep your bait in the best area. Typically bigger fish sit just behind where the waves start to turn from swells to a cresting wave. Fresh bait is best bait and using what you catch on smaller rods usually work for cut bait.
 
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