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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In no way shape or form am I taking credit for this brilliant peice of information on how to read the water. The creator of this work goes by the handle of Rumble Fish aka Poppy on a different site and here is the link to the information http://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/showthread.php?t=417339

And here is the information if you do not feel like going to the page:

Part 1 - Reading the Water

Why is this important? If what lies below the surf waters was thoroughly understood and embraced, the more success the surf fisherman would have at catching fish! Sounds simple, but truth is reading the water is difficult.

So what is below the surf waters? Well, certainly there are fish, we already know this...and for many of us that is all that needs to be known... So, for those so inclined, I guess reading the water is not a prerequisite to successfully catching fish... And there is some truth in this...a surf fisherman can totally disregard what the water is telling him, make a cast, and put a fish on the beach...happens all the time. Why? Because the fisherman more than likely, but unknowingly, had put his offering into the surf where there happened to be a fish... The question though is why was that fish there? Was it by random chance that the fish happened to be swimming by at that exact moment? Well yes, maybe...but the fish may have very well been there for other reasons...one of those reasons is what I will call the physical environment or "structure" of the surf waters or more precisely the structure of the sandy bottom of the surf waters that attracts game fish...

I'll address bottom fishing w/ bait along the sandy beaches of the the DelMarVa coast. Fishing the inlets, rock groins, piers and backwaters of the DelMarVa peninsula is a subject unto itself and perhaps can be discussed in another thread...

Our beaches for all intended purposes are typically very flat w/ a gentle incline. This beach structure is rather common up and down the east coast and is deceptively uninteresting at first glance. The following is a simplistic drawing of a cross section of the beach and surf...

Note, there are "generally" 2 main sandbars that run parallel to the beach...in the drawing they are labeled the outer and near shore sandbars... Also, there are "generally" 2 main sloughs (troughs) that too run parallel to the beach... The location of sandbars is revealed above the surf waters where waves initially crest and rollover...these crashing waves are called "breakers." The outer sandbar of course has larger breakers, while the near shore sandbar breakers are smaller... The sloughs also are revealed above the waters where there are little to no breakers. The next image is a picture of a typical looking surf on the DelMarVa coast...

The above picture I took not for the waves but something else...let's see if any of you sharpies can identify what is going on...

Now that this basic surf structure is understood visually the next step is easy... Fish will frequent the sloughs in the surf, especially Stripers. They like to get as low as possible w/ their bellies virtually touching the sand as they cruise the sloughs...it is here they are most comfortable plus the slough gives them a certain degree of stealth as they move about looking for food... So, placing your offerings in the slough would be optimal as shown in the next image...

A less viable option IMHO would be to place the offering on the sandbar...if the slough does not produce fish I would considered placing the offering on the sandbar...but only during high tide and not at all on the near shore sandbar at low tide...the water would just be too skinny at that time and location...
Lets look at another surf structure that probably accounts for more "fishy activity" than any other—the out-suck aka rip current aka hole aka riptide aka break in the sandbar, etc. Here is a drawing that depicts an out-suck...for simplicity purposes only 1 sandbar is shown...

Note, not all "breaks in the sandbar" are out-sucks... This picture shows a wide break in the outer sandbar on AI...but there was no out-suck.

Remember, Stripers like moving water and current...here they are masterful and powerful swimmers, using their broad tails to maneuver about in the surf... So the area around an out-suck from the feeders, through the neck (channel) and out into the head is prime Striper habitat... Why? Because at the out-suck water is swirling about, forming a current to and past the outer sandbar wherein small bait fish can get swept up or caught in the dynamics of the moving water and ending up as easy prey for the Striper.

The place where Stripers will congregate the most at an out-suck of course is at the head or just outside the outer sandbar. Here they lie in wait to ambush their prey...sort of like a feeding station. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to place (cast) an offering beyond the outer sandbar as the distance is too great. However, the Stripers will come into the neck and even the near shore feeders of the out-suck when they are hungry (which is all the time) looking for prey... So optimally, you want to place (X) your offerings perhaps as follows...note, a very good area would be the ends of the sandbar which are sometimes called a shoulder...

Out-sucks are hard to see at times, especially at water level... I'll climb a dune or stand on my truck to see better the water conditions. Also, out-sucks are more pronounce at or near low tide.

Finally, here are some pic's of out-sucks... Standing on a beach they could look rather subtle and therefore easily overlooked...




Poppy

Part 2 comming soon...
 

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Hope you don't mind...

I took the liberty of redoing the image links in the original post.

Part 1 - Reading the Water

Why is this important? If what lies below the surf waters was thoroughly understood and embraced, the more success the surf fisherman would have at catching fish! Sounds simple, but truth is reading the water is difficult.

So what is below the surf waters? Well, certainly there are fish, we already know this...and for many of us that is all that needs to be known... So, for those so inclined, I guess reading the water is not a prerequisite to successfully catching fish... And there is some truth in this...a surf fisherman can totally disregard what the water is telling him, make a cast, and put a fish on the beach...happens all the time. Why? Because the fisherman more than likely, but unknowingly, had put his offering into the surf where there happened to be a fish... The question though is why was that fish there? Was it by random chance that the fish happened to be swimming by at that exact moment? Well yes, maybe...but the fish may have very well been there for other reasons...one of those reasons is what I will call the physical environment or "structure" of the surf waters or more precisely the structure of the sandy bottom of the surf waters that attracts game fish...

I'll address bottom fishing w/ bait along the sandy beaches of the the DelMarVa coast. Fishing the inlets, rock groins, piers and backwaters of the DelMarVa peninsula is a subject unto itself and perhaps can be discussed in another thread...

Our beaches for all intended purposes are typically very flat w/ a gentle incline. This beach structure is rather common up and down the east coast and is deceptively uninteresting at first glance. The following is a simplistic drawing of a cross section of the beach and surf...

Note, there are "generally" 2 main sandbars that run parallel to the beach...in the drawing they are labeled the outer and near shore sandbars... Also, there are "generally" 2 main sloughs (troughs) that too run parallel to the beach... The location of sandbars is revealed above the surf waters where waves initially crest and rollover...these crashing waves are called "breakers." The outer sandbar of course has larger breakers, while the near shore sandbar breakers are smaller... The sloughs also are revealed above the waters where there are little to no breakers. The next image is a picture of a typical looking surf on the DelMarVa coast...

The above picture I took not for the waves but something else...let's see if any of you sharpies can identify what is going on...
A less viable option IMHO would be to place the offering on the sandbar...if the slough does not produce fish I would considered placing the offering on the sandbar...but only during high tide and not at all on the near shore sandbar at low tide...the water would just be too skinny at that time and location...
Lets look at another surf structure that probably accounts for more "fishy activity" than any other—the out-suck aka rip current aka hole aka riptide aka break in the sandbar, etc. Here is a drawing that depicts an out-suck...for simplicity purposes only 1 sandbar is shown...
Evan
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
PART 2: Reading the Water, Again...

Once again, In no way shape or form am I taking credit for this brilliant peice of information on how to read the water. The creator of this work goes by the handle of Rumble Fish aka Poppy on a different site and here is the link to the information http://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/showthread.php?t=537410&highlight=reading+water

Here we go again:

In the time that followed the thread I wrote about Reading the water…

http://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/showthread.php?t=417339

…I received a lot of pm’s and e-mails from readers asking questions. A lot of the questions, actually more like comments, centered around fishers not being able to see or find the surf structure that I spoke about in that thread. Specifically, the fishers wanted to understand more about the out-suck aka rip current aka hole aka riptide aka break (cut or channel) in the sandbar. Although that last thread from several years ago had a few pictures of such structure, I thought I would make another thread w/ more pictures along w/ some description.

Now, before we get to the pictures, keep in mind “reading the water” and finding that structure on an open, sandy beach w/ little incline, such as we have along the DelMarVa coast, is difficult. Difficult because things like rip currents do not readily develop in most of our surf waters. They are just not common and if they do develop, can go completely unnoticed to the untrained eye…

OK some basics again… This drawing illustrates the setup of a rip current—approaching (incoming) waves turn into Breakers at the Sand Bar…crashing over the Sand Bars the Breakers bring additional water into the Slough (trough or gut)…the water in the Slough gets funneled into Feeders that turn the water around, forcing it through a Neck (cut or channel) in the Sand Bar and back out to sea in the form of a Head.

These first 2 pictures are aerial photos…they show very clearly the turbulence and “white water” from the rip current just outside the breakers… These are magnets for fish like Striped Bass…


This next picture is a little different…clearly shows a rip current at the end of a sand bar by evidence of the breaker on one side and the head outside the breaker… But there does not appear to be a breaker on the other side of the rip current. It may be that the sand bar on the other side is lower and/or the breaker is curling (breaking) from right to left and has not reached the other side of the rip current. Nonetheless, there is clearly a break (cut or channel) in the sand bar. Again a place where fish will congregate…

Manmade structures like small rock groins and pipe out-falls in places like Ocean City and Rehoboth can produce rip currents. This drawing shows the mechanics of how a rip current is formed at a rock groin.

This next picture is a good fishing spot for tossing lures…shows a pipe out-fall and clearly a rip current by evidence of the head. Also note the second prominent rip current down from the pipe out-fall. Finally, if you look hard enough there are actually 2 smaller rip currents that I did not mark in the picture. I can smell the Striped Bass in this picture!

Here’s another picture of now 2 pipe out-falls near each other…I marked 4 rip currents… Interestingly there was no rip current forming at the upper pipe out-fall. This whole stretch of water is got Striped Bass written all over it and its a lure tosser’s dream!

This picture is classic…the sand bars are actually exposed at low tide and the breaker activity is minimal. Yet, check out that rip current w/ a very distinct break (cut or channel) between the sand bars and a head…

know what you are thinking…what surf fisherman has an airplane to scout out rip currents? OK fair enough, so lets now look at rip currents from the surf fisherman’s perspective…

Here’s an oldie but a goody…just classic and easy to spot!

This next picture is from last May at that favorite island on our coast… It was skinny water (low tide) when I took the picture…later that evening I pulled 8 Striped Bass out of this rip current in one tide—all between 20# and 38#… Interestingly, there must have been 2-dozen fishers who went by and didn’t see this—thank you!

The next 2 pictures show rip currents that could have been easily missed…subtle in appearance!


Here’s a small and almost undetectable rip current in the making…

Lets look at the above picture up close… To be honest, it takes years of reading the water and developing a trained eye to be able to spot something like this…
OK, so now we got (hopefully) a good mental image of what these rip currents look like… Now lets briefly talk in general terms about how to surf fish them… This discussion is aimed at bait fishing, but could easily apply to the lure tosser too… This next picture shows a rip current that developed relatively close to shore…the head of the rip current is easily within casting distance and I would place bait over the breaker right into the it…

If the rip current and break in the sand bar (cut or channel) are further out as shown in the next 2 pictures, I would try to launch bait to each side of the rip current neck and over the breaker if possible (where’s Critter Gitter) along w/ maybe a placement in the middle of it too…


This last picture is really interesting…it’s telling me 2 different things. The closest breaker has a cut or channel in it and a rip current has formed. The next 2 breakers further out are crashing over sand bars, but I am not sure there are rip currents.

Again, rip currents are not that common along most of our coast…I can go weeks w/o seeing one. But if you spend the time and make the effort to find them, the payoff could be some very good fishing ;)...

Poppy
 

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to answer the question from kingfisherman23, it looks like a school of fish out there. excellent pictures, very helpful.

sorry that was from the other site, the question of what else was of interest in one of the pictures.
 

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Wish I had this info years ago and I aint sayn I can still read the beach near as well as some (blind in one eye and cant see out the other and cross eyed to boot) :rolleyes:

I dont remember if any of the post said but the best time is at low tide to find the cuts and out-sucks,, one trick is not all outsucks go straight out from the shore line, I have seen a few times they go out on a 45.

If ya follow me down the beach you will notice I stop and sit for a few mins.,, I am slow and takes me a bit longer to find what I am lookn for :mad:

I always wondered years ago while I was sitting on the beach less than 100' away from the next guy and he was catchn and I was just sitting,,, guess he found the cut and or the out-suck :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wish I had this info years ago and I aint sayn I can still read the beach near as well as some (blind in one eye and cant see out the other and cross eyed to boot) :rolleyes:

I dont remember if any of the post said but the best time is at low tide to find the cuts and out-sucks,, one trick is not all outsucks go straight out from the shore line, I have seen a few times they go out on a 45.

If ya follow me down the beach you will notice I stop and sit for a few mins.,, I am slow and takes me a bit longer to find what I am lookn for :mad:

I always wondered years ago while I was sitting on the beach less than 100' away from the next guy and he was catchn and I was just sitting,,, guess he found the cut and or the out-suck :confused:
yep glad i found the info out before i learned the hard way, really hope this helps out everyone but especially the noobs, such as myself. :D
 

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casting your bait behind the wave.

we dont see many rips out here in nyc. but do get alot of cuts from ripply sand.
ive tried and tried. not that successful. fishing cuts and shoulders. maybe our fish dont like them.

but concluded in my area. just dropping the bait behind the first or second bar during first hour of incoming tide
or the last hour before outgoing slack. gives best results.
regardless of wave action. weird right?
 
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