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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just getting into surf fishing. I currently live up in Atlanta, but will be moving back home to Brunswick, GA as soon as my home sales. I'm looking forward to that slower pace! When I was younger I did alot of brackish water fishing with my dad, but it was always with dead shrimp, but I'm wanting to start surf fishing those parts (SSI, Jekyll, amelia island) and I'm really unsure of the the best setup for what I already have.

I have a 9ft 'hand me down' abu garcia medium action rod with a abu garcia spinning reel. The reel markings say it will take 300yds of 17lb test, up to 180yds of 25lb test. I've taken the reel completely apart, cleaned, and lubed it--It appears to work very smoothly. I have not put new line on it yet.

1)I'd like to target any/all eatable fish from the surf. Hell, I just wanna have some fun, relax, and hopefully put some meet on the table.
2)What would be the best setup for the combo I have given the area I plan to fish? Line size? Setup (larger version of the carolina rig? Hook type/size?
3)bait?

Also, I have 2 young kids that will be going to the beach with me a lot. I'm wondering, if I used circle hooks can I take my eye off the rod for minutes at the time? I read circle hooks set them selves? There is also a very good chance that my little girl will catch some blue crabs and I'm wondering if I can fish with those. I'm one of the tightest persons you will ever meet (not poor just tight with money), I'm always looking for the best bang for my buck. With that said, I know some may think that I need to upgrade my rod and reel, but that just can't happen right now. I've had my home for sale for 6 months now and with the housing market like it is right now, I may end up loosing 5 to 15 thousand dollars because I have to sell this thing! I'll be transfering back home Jan 1 2009!
 

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Jody,

Sounds like you are on the right track. The rod and reel you have will serve you just fine. Load it with 20lb monofilament preferrably yellow in color. It will be easier to see for you and the beach walkers passing by, especially if you are leaving the rod unattended. I fish with my two little girls all the time. Hard to watch everything and everyone all at once!

Might want to pick up a 7ft Med Heavy rod with spinning reel for a second rod. The nine footer is fine for long casts and soaking bait, but remember you'll be throwing it over the heads of lots of fish. That's where the smaller set-up will come in handy.

Two hook bottom rigs with pyramid sinkers are the old stand-by. Lots of people are using fish-finder rigs also. Cut shrimp, cut finger mullet and live finger mullet all work just fine.

Get a cast net. Won't cost you more than $30. Five or six foot spread will do. It will save you lots of money in bait, plus it's a blast to throw(once you get the hang of it). You can catch finger mullet and shrimp when you figure out where they are. Here is a link on how to throw it. Click on the "Learning to Throw a Cast Net" link. Half the battle is learning how to hold it!

http://www.islamoradasportfishing.com/castnet.htm

Once you get down there, talk to the locals. You be surprised how much information they will share. Good luck with the house!

RM
 

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personally i like 15 pound test line(i like having large line capacity. ur reel seems like it would work. a lighter 7 or 8 foot rod would be good to have to cast lures. casting lures when u wait for the fish to bite is a great idea once ur setup. liek the post above, cast net is definately recommended(5 foot 3/8 or 1/2 inch mesh, smaller is better as less bait are gilled nettet). fish finder rigs or carolina rigs(different rigs but both with a sliding sinker) are my favorties. 2 hook bottom rigs work better for smaller panfish(croaker, spots, whiting, small blues, pompano, etc) though. buy a couple of rigs to start out and pay attention to how its is tied. then make ur own rigs at home and save some money(20 or 25 pound test mono works well for tieing 2 hook bottom rigs, use a tie two dropper loops, loop the hook, attach a sinker and ur ready to fish).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input guys. I might just meet you both in the middle and use 17lb test, with a 40lb mono shock leader. I've been reading alot hear lately and understand I should use a shock leader, but let me ask. I have a spinning rod & reel and I don't see how I the splice of the shock leader will not get 'hung up' in the eyes of the rod while casting, or at least slow it down? Maybe I'm over thinking and this is something that wont be an issue?

Also, I already have a few 7ft rods, with zebco 808, or 888 can't remember. While I realize a spinning rod reel would be ideal, the 808s are just gonna have to work, and they seemed worked fine in the surf and the piers the past few years I've visisted, not alot of line lenght I know. I was just hoping to catch something bigger, now that I got a bigger rod/reel.


As for the cast net, I been looking at them already! Hopefully someone here lives around brunswick/jekyll and can tell me a good spot to catch some bait? I'm thinking a pier wouldn't be the best place to try and catch bait, and instead a boat dock or low bridge? If it is okay to cast the net off the pier then I'm cool, I just never saw anyone do it from a pier.

I
 
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