Surf fishing advice needed

Discussion in 'Salt Water Fishing' started by Alsey, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. Alsey

    Alsey New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Louisiana
    He everyone,
    I'm soon heading to one of the barrier islands off of Alabama (Dauphin Island) for a week. I'm taking my heaviest catfish gear and my longest rods. My question is do any of you have any suggestions for surf fishing from the beach (baits, rigs,. etc.)? I tried it a little last year at Gulf Shores and all I caught was salt water catfish. I'd love to catch a shark or anything that gets big and fights hard. Any advice will be appreciated and most likely tried.
     
  2. bubbajum

    bubbajum New Member

    Messages:
    278
    State:
    Monongahel
    Hello

    I have the same problem, however we are headed to Hilton Head on July 7th and there is a bait shop that offers 1 hour classes on surf fishing.

    I'm takeing my EB80 Okuma Epixer on a 10ft Okuma Tundra rod, I think that will work.

    Best of luck to ya
     

  3. redfishman

    redfishman New Member

    Messages:
    187
    State:
    South Louisiana
    If you are going to wade fish along the beaches and prefer a bait cast combo like an ambassador 5000 with a 7 1/2 medium action ugly stick, that should do the trick. Using #30 power pro, you can handle everthing from a bull red to trout-flounder-channel mullets and whites-spanish mackeral. Bait - keep it simple--I'd use market shrimp(stink crickets) with a #1 kahle hook . You can use a #40 mono leader approx 18" long attached to a locking swivel.( you can make these). If you like and there is alot of current you can use 2-3 #5 removable split shot on the leader --or completely free line.

    If You are fishing around jetties or where there are alot of underwater water junk,use a clip on popping cork and set the depth to keep it off the bottom and "pop" the cork. This often attracts fish to check out what's happening.
    If you are an artifical fan try ,using a 1/4 oz jig head with a leader with soft plastics.Color? -check locally- colors do vary with locality...dunno why.

    If you are using a cork(my favorite) and it goes down ,avoid trying to set the hook like a bass. Simply raise the end of your rod and start reeling. Reds will usually run a while and you do need to give alot of pressure on hook sets.

    Above all check local regs for creel and size limits or slots . Most bait shops will have a species ID booklet along with regs.

    Hope you will give the catfish family a report when you return!!!
     
  4. Pirate Jerry

    Pirate Jerry New Member

    Messages:
    613
    State:
    Yulee Florida
    Love Dauphin Island but watch out for the Skeeters they can be terrible there.
    Catch the little sea cats, take a pair of cutters and clip the dorsal and pec fins close to the body.Using a heavy short shanked hook, short steel leader and a 2 or 3 oz flat sinker hook them thru the skin just in front of the tail and cast them into a run out between sand bars if you can find one. other wise near rocks or dropoffs. You will have a good chance at catching sharks, saltwater gars, big Gafftop cats, reds, blues, almost anything around loves those little cats. If all else fails catch a bunch of the little cats. skin'em,gut'em,fry'em in butter and have'em with a cold brew............. better than trout .. YUM!!!
     
  5. Alsey

    Alsey New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Louisiana
    Thanks Gregg, Mike, and Jerry,

    Anybody else with suggestions, keep em' coming.

    I've tried beach fishing for the last two years at Destin and Gulf Shores using big chunks of cut squid and all I've caught was saltwater cats. It was fun at first but after the 40th one to three pound salt cat it get's kind of old. So far I haven't caught a salt cat small enough to cut off his barbs and put on a hook. I tried using a cast net in the surf last year and caught about a ton of sea weed. A friend gave me some plastic shrimp that have weights in them and he said walk the beach at sunup and cast it in the schooling fish. Anybody ever use a cork in the surf?
     
  6. redfishman

    redfishman New Member

    Messages:
    187
    State:
    South Louisiana
    Fishing with a cork on the beaches is common(at least in areas of coastal Louisiana). You can use a speckulizer which is an all-n-one-artifical bait with a plastic shrimp on a mono leader with a rattling popping cork that you attach to your line. I've caught many sail cats in schools of speckled trout or white trout. You can even catch the dreaded and cursed "hardhead " cat which will gladly stick you with a nasty barb.

    Be aware if you are "wade" fishing in the surf--you are in fact a part of the foodchain. I'd wear tennis shoes or crocs so you do not encounter a stingray or step on a territorial crab. Never attach a stringer to your body-use a float basket with a long rope . Coastal sharks frequent the breaks (wave zone). Fish often come into just ankle deep water.

    The water should be clear there unless a strong southerly trashes water clarity. Know you'll have a good time!!!
     
  7. Creteus

    Creteus New Member

    Messages:
    1,030
    State:
    Loganville, GA
    You want shark off the beach in the gulf it'll most likely be a black tip. You'll need a reel that can hold at least 400 yards of 40# mono, which I don't like, or 80# power pro braid, which is best. If you want shark you'll need a shark rig. You'll need a 10 foot leader of at least 400# hagwire to keep the shark from biting through or tail whipping your line. Bass pro shops and probably many saltwater talkle shops sell pre made rigs for about $11 buck that comes with the leaders and a #12 hook. Its the way I go. You'll have to get you bait out past the third sand bar, which in the Gulf is bout 250 yards out. If the water is real choppy put your bait in the gully between the second and third sand bars. You can try to walk / swim it out good luck though. The other way is use live ladyfish and let them swim out on thier own. Ladyfish can be caught on squid pieces and live finger mullet in the surf early in the morning on medium to light tackle. The best way to get your bait out is a kayak. Paddle it out and drop it in the best place. Kayak rentals are around $32 per 24 hours. Check out this web site it'll give you all the info from sharkin from the beach. Good luck....

    http://groups.msn.com/TEXASSHARKFISHING
     
  8. kyjake

    kyjake New Member

    Messages:
    714
    State:
    kentucky
    I have surf fishing gear now but I fished the gulf coast with my bass outfits,Abu 5000 and 6000 and a Zebco 33 for catching bait.Once landed a 4' shark with 15 lb.line with 9" steel leader.Was fishing with a fellow last Sept. who landed a blacktip shark with 12 lb. line and short leader but he was almost two hours getting it in.I use jigs with rubber tails or spoons to catch bait.Most of my best fishing has been at night with a moving tide.You can walk the beach or if available some high structure close and find where the waves backwash trenches of deeper water and fish these spots without having to cast so far.Surf fishing is fun and interesting as you never know what you will catch.Gulf Shores is one of my favorite spots on the gulf to fish but haven't been there in years.
    Jake
     
  9. Alsey

    Alsey New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Louisiana
    Hey yall, I'm back from Dauphin Island. The surf fishing was great. I caught 15-20 sharks through the course of a week along with a sting ray, two gaff top catfish, around 100 regular saltwater catfish, and a few trout. The advice I would give to anyone planning on beach (surf) fishing the gulf is take some gear that can sling some bait way out there. I took a couple 10 foot rods with some big Abu baitcast reels and pitched 5 oz lead Carolina rigged with 7/0 gama circle hooks. Don't forget the rod holders and don't get too far away from your rods! That sand starts to give a little when you've got a big one on and your drag cranked down much. I tried dead frozen shrimp a few times but the crabs or small fish pick it clean within seconds. The whole frozen squid cut into big chunks stays on the hook great. They sell it in walmarts and all the bait shops. The hookup is alot different than catching cats in freshwater. They'll give the rod a good bend and then it will look like there's nothing or just a small fish on. When you pick the rod up and reel in 10-20 yards of line the size of the fish will become apparent. It's like they swim towards you a little and then just hang out. My biggest shark was about 2 1/2 feet and about as big around as my calf.

    Anyways thanks for all the advice. The DOA shrimp were the trick to catching the speckeled trout. They were about 40 feet off shore for an hour or two after sunup.
     
  10. Crawdad

    Crawdad New Member

    Messages:
    115
    State:
    Mid-Missouri
    Hey Alsey, what model Abu reels did you use? and what line? To get the suggested 400 yds of line would take quite a reel!
    Also, how far out were you able to get the bait? I don't think i'd want to walk too far out in the surf.
    Sounds like you had a great trip!
     
  11. Alsey

    Alsey New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Louisiana
    Hey Crawdad,
    I took two Abu 7000C3's with two ten foot rods. I had 65 and 30 pound spiderwire original braid on them. I used 18" steel leaders. As far as casting out hundreds of yards, I waded out about 100 feet and then cast as far as I could. Once I walked back out of the water and put the rod in the holder I probably had about 120-150 yards of line out.
     
  12. kastmaster

    kastmaster New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    California
    Use a good flexible rod so you'll be able to see your pole moving, out here in cali we catch halibut, sharks, and black bass some getting past 50 pounds pretty good fights. with bait out wherhe you live i don't know but out here we use shrimp, mackerel and sometimes muschles from the piers.
     
  13. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Take some squid and shrimp along for bait; if there are black drum in the area, get some blue crabs and cut them in half or quarters (depending on size) for bait for them. Be sure to keep some smaller hardhead catfish for shark bait. Cut off the 3 spines, then make 2 or 3 shallow cuts so it will bleed.
    As far as wading out so you can cast out past the third sandbar goes, be real careful if you do it at low tide; when the tide comes in on you, you may have to swim where you waded before.