Surf Fishing

Fishing has been the lifeblood of the east coast since the Native Americans crossed the Bering Strait thousands of years ago. A popular style of fishing in the warm waters of the south east has developed called surf fishing. It has been developed to fish the rough waters of the surf without putting yourself or your vessel at risk. The most common way to surf fish is with a 7-9 foot fishing rod, 15-40 pound test fishing line(also called monofilament) and a reel that can hold at least 200 yard of line. Now here comes the fun part. Live bait such as minnows or shrimp is recommended. I personally use dead, headed shrimp. Wiggling minnows draw too many sharks.


1. Find the ocean side of a beach. This is anywhere that the waves break coming in from sea.

2. If you can, walk down the beach look for an inlet. This is where the water's current is very strong, and the ocean tides pushing past or through the beach through a narrow entrance.

3. Step out into the water to about mid-calf. This way you can get optimal distance for your cast with out being at risk of an undertow.

4. A over the side of shoulder cast is recommended. do this by flipping the bell or wire circle that is above the string up. This will allow the line to feed out.

5. Then with one finger pin the line agaist the side of the rod so the line will not feed out until you want it to.

6. Hold the rod over a shoulder, cock it back, then whip it forward. At full extension let go of the line with your finger.

7. The inertia of the weight on the end of the line should take the bait out to sea to a distance around 50 yard.

8. Now your bait is in a area where many big bottom feeders like red drum, black drum, trout, whiting, flounder, and some trash fish like stingrays, catfish (watch out for spines) and shark feed.

9. To convenience yourself, a surf stake is recommended. Simply take a pvc pole that your rod handle can rest in, and cut one end at a 45 degree angle. Insert this angled piece into the sand and it will hold your rod.

10am on a clear weekday morning. Blue skies and gentle slack-tide surf, soft sand & the sun. We carry our boards & poles across warped planks of tetanus and splinters, laughing loud at stupid stories told louder. The three of us, or five or seven but never two, never too few, stride or saunter or strut oblivious to the glare of embittered old beach bums, the fat rich white dying kind with nothing left to do but sit & be angry.

Scraggly hair loose & skin tanned we strip down to something suitably scanty, adolescent as we are, and wax our boards, bait our lines; brand, quality and features are equally irrelevant, all of it unwitting hand-me-downs from the midlife crises of our fathers: futile ballast thrown to our greedy & waiting hands, futile as all things are against the steady march of time, the inevitability of wicker chairs, shady porches & wrinkled grimaces frozen.

We surf. We fish, unsure of what swims here, what it eats or whether we would want to eat it. We maim ourselves with sharp metal hooks & miscaught waves, pride ourselves on little more than sixty seconds of balance and grace and absurdity amidst minutes and hours of awkward bleeding. Pausing to catch breath & nurse saline-soaked pinhole punctures, we sit with our lines cast for more understandable quarry: slender legs, smooth stomach & pretty breasts, bronzed, blonde or brunette or dyed, walking calm & confident in trios or more of available perfection.

Later we laugh & banter more, clothes ever fashionable returning as the breeze rolls in and the sun sets, sitting around a sketchy fire quietly comparing (still enjoying) our prizes: wounds never serious & fish never scaly.

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