Surf Fishing And Coastal Shore Fishing
Shorelines represent banks to game fish searching for an easy meal. Schools of smaller critters seek for shelter and food in the shallower water and structure that a shoreline offers. Surf and coastal shore fishing can be done right from the edge of the ocean, from jetties and breakwaters or from a boat.
Surf fish often run close to the beach, searching for food right in the wash of the breakers. Most gamefish like to feed in moving water when current stir bait. Best fishing is almost always on a rising or falling tide. The old rule is to fish "two hours before and two hours after the top of the tide." Rising or Falling tides are best since they cause bait to move and endorse active feeding among coastal fish.
Points of land that extend into the surf or are on coastal waters usually have rougher edges, which mean they have more vegetation and hold drift food better than the flat beach. These points usually have access to deeper water so bigger fish. Normally, the same type of structure will be the same under the water's surface. Sheer cliffs indicate deep water below. Sharply dropping points on land should follow the same pattern under the sea. Fallen trees offer a haven. Gentle beaches simply ease into the sea.
Back to top
The points and bars where two bodies of water meet that produce clashing rip specific stages of the tide are where the baitfish and other sea creatures will be tumbled, and predators will just wait for them. Crabs, shrimp and minnows flow from the rivers, ponds, creeks into coastal waters, especially at low tide. Game fish don't go into the shallow water of ponds and creeks; it will meet food at the mouths of merging water. Inlets or openings that dispense water into the sea are possible hot spots, since they release masses of bait with the current, especially effective in the falling tide.
You may see feeding fish jumping on the surface, or perhaps they will be betrayed by sudden, swift flurries of harried bait. Sea birds get together in over feeding fish. If you see a baitfish jumping to the beach it mean that predators, like a strip bass or blue fish are feeding close to shore. Also look for different colors in the ocean, you can see a spot of weed beds and rock piles with weeds and other creatures attached to them. Weeds are the food for a bait fish, and where the bait fish the game fish is right there. Very good spots for fishing are around the edges. Fish tend to congregate along edges.
Where waves crash up against jetties and breakwaters, and then drop to the bottom, a hole deeper than the ocean floor takes shape. Small shellfish and bait fish looking for calmer water and a place to hide in those holes. If the bottom changes from rock to sand, grass to mud, or any other type of land, look for the fish near that middle zone. Most predators prowl back and forth on a flooding tide if there are no deeper pockets where they can lie in ambush. Clear water conditions enable you to spot fish either cruising or holding. You can sometimes see them back under the branches.
Structure such as trees, rocks, drop-offs, holes, creek mouths, converging currents are great places to fish. Underwater current that flows in and around points, sandbars and rocks tries to find the quickest way out. And it forms a faster-moving river of water through the obstacles. Roily water is anywhere where currents work against jagged or eroded shorelines, such that the water becomes muddy or sediment filled. Turbulent, agitated or swirling water not only stirs up sediment but food as well, and such waters can be productive for finding fish. Try to fish around the edges of these areas.
Back to top
Rock fishing offers the shore based angler the chance to catch many species of fish that would normally only be accessible to boat fishermen. This is especially so on headlands where migratory fish species travel up and down the coast.
The wind drives and holds the bait there while oxygenating the water at the same time. Fish face into the flow of water. If they are holding, look for some structure to protect them from the water's force. Flood tides generally produce more fish along beachfronts on both coasts. Some species stay behind the mouth of a feeder stream at the bottom of the tide, waiting for bait to throw out their shelter.
Fishing Methods used for fishing deep offshore reefs include paternoster rig which is highly effective for drifting over the reef and sand patches. Another method is to locate an area of reef or a gravel bed and anchor up, them a berley trail can be established with the use of small pieces of fish and chook pellets. For this style of fishing a floater or general running rig is best, although the size of sinker you need will depend on the tide and current, as you want your bait to sink to the bottom in a slow and natural manner. One more method is to put out a bobby cork rig with either a pilchard or live fish as bait, it is a great way of catching tuna, mackeral, kingfish and a host of other species.
Back to top