According to the latest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report, 7.7 million anglers went saltwater fishing in 2006, spending $8.9 billion while making 67 million fishing trips. The popularity of saltwater fishing, including surf fishing, is undeniable, and with good reason. Public access to ocean water is guaranteed by the Public Trust Doctrine, and for a few hundred dollars anglers can purchase all the gear necessary to pursue world-class fish. Surf fishing, where anglers cast into the ocean, is done without a boat on places such as piers and beaches.
Whether it's a conventional or spinning rod, your fishing pole should be 8 to 10 feet long, rated for 3 to 6 ounces. The extra length helps keep your line above the waves, making it easier to feel fish bite.
Your fishing reel should hold at least 220 yards of 12-pound-test monofilament. Set the drag on your reel to release line at 4 pounds of pull.
Clams, worms and squid baits are universal to surf fishing. When targeting large species like striped bass and bluefish, chunks of mackerel or menhaden are effective.
Fish are attracted to structure. Inlets, rock jetties, breakwaters, points and sand bars are all good pieces of structure where fish are often plentiful.
Spring and fall are migratory seasons for fish, and this is when the best surf fishing occurs. The best surf fishing occurs at dawn, dusk and during the night.
Article Written By Stephen Byrne
Stephen Byrne is a freelance writer with published articles in "Nor'East Saltwater," "Sportfishing" magazine, "Pacific Coast Sportfishing" and "Salt Water Sportsman." As a fishing charter captain, he was also interviewed for a feature in "Field and Stream." Byrne studied environmental science at the State University of New York at Delhi.