Depending on the time of year most east coast beaches offer redfish, pompano, whiting, bluefish snook, tarpon and many other varieties to try your luck at catching.
The Canaveral National Seashore is a terrific place to surf fish. This national treasure is located near New Smyrna Beach and Titusville, Florida, in Volusia County and Brevard County. An entrance fee is charged, but there are other things for non-fishers in the group to enjoy. This is just one of many places to surf fish on Florida’s east coast.
Since you are never sure just what might be biting in the surf it is a good idea to use at least a 4000 series reel on a medium heavy rod. Twenty pound braid makes a good mainline. Rod length is a personal preference, but many surf anglers like at least a 9 foot long rod because of the extra casting distance it adds.
A simple terminal rig is all you need. Start by adding a ball bearing snap swivel to a 1 to 4 ounce pyramid sinker, depending on the current. Run the mainline through the eye of the swivel before attaching an inline swivel. Add 20 to 24 inches of 30 pound mono or fluorocarbon leader and connect a 3/0 to 5/0 circle hook to complete the rig.
The pyramid sinker on this rig will bury into the ocean floor, holding the bait in place. Once a fish picks up the bait if feels little resistance because the mainline will slip through the eye on the swivel and the fish are less likely to drop the bait.
This rig will work on all species of surf fish with minor adjustments. In rough seas it might be necessary to increase the size of the pyramid sinker. The size of the circle hook can be changed to accommodate the size of the fish you are catching. If you want to add a second hook you can. Use a longer leader and tie a dropper loop to accommodate the second hook.
Bait up with the cut bait of your choice (ask a local bait shop for recommendation) and get ready for some action.
Flycasters and anglers using artificial lures do well in the surf too!
Even with the 4000 size reel you may hook some monster of the deep that spools you. Large sharks are one of the species that might do it. There is really nothing you can do but grab the spool and break the line unless you gear up to target the larger species. In that case you don’t have the fun of catching the smaller ones.
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Angler Alert: Don’t forget to log you catch online at the Angler Action Program.