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Surf Fishing?

Williamstown...
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Surf Fishing?

My family and I will be traveling to Sanibel Island in early July. We are taking my 15 year old nephew who loves to fish here in KY but has never been to the ocean. I have fished the surf before in Mrytle beach but never in the gulf, any tips or good beaches to use, or should we just go to the pier? We are staying a Pointe Santo if that is any help.

Orlando
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1. Re: Surf Fishing?

You will need a Florida fishing license for the adults. www.myfwc.com

The only difference between my Atlantic set-up and my Gulf set-up is the amount of weight. I use a 3oz sinker at Cocoa and 1-2oz on the Gulf.

A normal Gulf rig will work with shrimp for bait.

Brookfield...
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2. Re: Surf Fishing?

Last year my father-in-law and I had decent luck fishing right off the shore at Pointe Santo. It was my first time casting in the surf, so you're probably ahead of the game. We used a combination of bait with sinkers, and cast-and-retrieve with artificial lures. I enjoyed the cast/retrieve more, as opposed to just letting the line sit out there, but both methods brought fish in.

We had a lot of fun and caught and released fish several days out of our trip.

We did try the pier but I didn't really enjoy it, and we had no luck there. Seemed like you needed a bit more equipment investment to be successful, but I'm fairly novice in this area so I wouldn't take my word for it.

Madison, Indiana
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3. Re: Surf Fishing?

I'll toss in a comment too, my family always fishes in the surf; we typically stay at the end of West Gulf which is quite secluded, but usually beach walkers are curious and stop to talk to my husband, son, and daughter. They prefer Turner Beach at Blind Pass for some of the best fishing, and would agree with NE Dave that fishing at the pier is at the bottom of their list. Too crowded, and no luck catching any.

It's a lot of fun, and can keep you busy! You can get live shrimp for bait at Bailey's, the Bait Box, and the marinas at Castaways and Jensen's--depending on the time of year, get them early or they're gone.

Williamstown...
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4. Re: Surf Fishing?

Awesome! Thanks everyone so much, my nephew is beyond excited to go fishing so I just want to make sure he catches something. Once again thanks so much for the advice.

Indianapolis
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5. Re: Surf Fishing?

Tell him to go out at sunrise with a rattletrap and bone colored Zara Spook and walk the beaches. I caught several good snook with those 2 baits last year. Seems like once the sun got very high they would shut down. Fishing with shrimp is fun also. You never know what you'll catch.

Madison, Indiana
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6. Re: Surf Fishing?

Should have mentioned some of the varieties we've caught off the beach--pompano, snook, sea trout, sheepshead, lady fish, sometimes even a little baby shark!

First fish I ever caught, third cast I'd ever made, was a 24" snook off the beach. Obviously not a fisherman, I hardly knew what to do with it--LOL. And now that I'm more experienced, I doubt I'll ever catch anything comparable to that snook!

Williamstown...
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7. Re: Surf Fishing?

Lawson- when you are casting those lures are you just using a standard 7 foot pole and working the shallow water or are you casting out and retrieving?

Also another question if anyone can answer. I usually use a steel leader but have been reading about flourocarbon leaders, has anyone ever used that instead of a steel leader and do you get more hits?

Once again thanks for all the help!!!!

Clearwater, Florida
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8. Re: Surf Fishing?

If you get live shrimp. Try ripping them in half as you use them. I've never noticed any worse luck doing this and you double your amount of bait. Good luck!

Orlando
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9. Re: Surf Fishing?

I haven't used a wire leader in the surf for years. The only reason to use one if there are a lot of Blue Fish or something else with sharp teeth running.

Your standard Gulf Rig with two or three hooks with a 15 pound test line should be strong enough unless you get really lucky.

If you plan on doing something other than catch and release, be very careful about the Snook. They have a VERY small legal slot size. They also have specific seasons. Look at the other regs on the site I posted above. Most of the edible fish other than Whiting will have some sort of size or number limit.

Indianapolis
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10. Re: Surf Fishing?

Garrett, I have been using a 7' spinning rod MH with a 2500 series Shimano reel. I use 20 lb Power Pro line with a 15lb fluorocarbon leader. I'm no expert by any means and have learned most of what I know by fishing forums like Florida Sportsman and Pier and Surf. The Bait Box is a nice tackle shop and the guys and gal in there are usually really helpful. It really is hard to imagine how shallow the snook will be on the beaches. Most of the time they will be caught in less than 2' of water. Good luck to you and your nephew.

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