What’s the appeal behind fishing? For some people, it is being one with nature and visiting the water where humans aren’t the native species. For others, it is the thrill of using every opportunity available to score a big catch and demonstrate skill.

Whatever the reason people like fishing, be it the relaxing or sporting aspects, or a combination of both, it is clear this hobby is huge. But that’s because not all fishing is equal – there are different types out there, and they each have their own unique qualities.

Take surf fishing for example – this type of fishing, which is often done for sport, is noteworthy for its unique techniques and equipment.

Have you ever been interested in surf fishing? Today we’ll be talking about how to get started, giving you the basics as far as background, equipment, benefits, dangers, and more. Let’s get started!

What Is Surf Fishing? Understanding the Basics

Contrary to what the title may suggest, this form of fishing doesn’t require you to jump on a surf board and try to snag fish while riding the waves – though for the competitor at heart, this may be an interesting prospect!


Think about the nature of fishing. What does it involve? The main objective is to catch fish, obviously, which sometimes requires us to get as close as possible to these animals themselves. Outside of hopping on a boat and cruising to the middle of a lake, there aren’t a lot of ways to do this.


That is unless you’re a saltwater fisherman who wants to throw their line out in the ocean. Surf fishing sees fishermen wade out into the water, sometimes to ankle-deep or waist-deep levels, in order to get a bit closer to the fish.


Nothing says that surf fishing must be done at the ocean on the shore – it can be done on the edge of bodies of water by rocky areas or even near piers. It often requires a long rod and the proper type of lure to deal with the near-shore currents.


Surf fishing participants are sometimes known as surfcasters or beachcasters, and while not everyone may realize what surf fishing is just from the term alone, it is likely they’ve seen it take place if they’ve ever visited a busy beach.


Before we start talking about surf fishing techniques and tips, let’s go over the common types of equipment you’ll need in this type of fishing.

Surf Fishing Equipment: What Do You Need?

When it comes to fishing, having the right type of equipment is vital to success. Despite how some fishing fans love to claim they can conquer the waters no matter what they’re working with, having the proper gear will unquestionably make things easier.


Surf fishing is no different from other types of fishing in the sense that the gear is adapted accordingly. Sure, some people use the same rod for any type of fishing they do, but here is a brief overview of the fishing equipment you’ll need to get the best results as a surfcaster.

  • Surf Rod: Remember, surf fishing is about giving yourself a longer casting range, and part of that involves having a longer rod. Surf rods are usually between 9-15 feet, much longer than the 6-8 feet rods used in standard fishing. As you may imagine, longer rods take some time to get used to so be sure to practice beforehand.
  • Reel, Main Line, and Leaders: A standard saltwater spinning reel will do the job for your surf fishing adventures. As for the line, you will want to make sure you’re using something that can handle well in the surf. The go-to option is usually fluorocarbon, though it can be somewhat pricey. Finally, you’ll need a shock leader to absorb the stress placed on the line from such a long cast.
  • Tools: It is wise to bring a few tools during your surf fishing expedition. These include needle-nose pliers or a knife for cutting lines or bait. It’s also wise to have a sand spike to hold your rod, and a cooler to hold your catches. Finally, bring a cart or bag to keep track of all your gear leading up to the big day.

We know what kind of equipment you need, and we know that gear matters – but it is important to reiterate that there’s no type of gear that can compensate for poor technique. When you’re looking to start surf fishing, make sure you have the right approach.


Proper Surf Fishing Techniques to Get You Started Right

Starting off surf fishing with the right approach is crucial for getting the best results. If you’re just starting out, you need to make sure you pick up good habits. Bad habits are hard to break, and good habits can help you hone your skills quickly and see better catches quicker.


The great news about this type of fishing is simple – it isn’t overly complicated. If you’ve got the feel of regular fishing, you’re in luck, as this can help you out substantially. The surf fishing approach simply requires you to ​pick a good spot​ and obey a few simple ideas.


To cast, you simply hold the rod overhead and bend your arm to a 90-degree angle, then give it a simple flick to launch the bait into the water. Once you’ve got the feel for it, you’ll be able to send your bait out further and further in successive casts. It is also important to note you should have your arm straight after you finish the casting motion.


To make sure you have the right type of location, look for the position of the water on the shore. Finding the sand bar is critical to getting your line out and ending up right where you can get the most fish. If you see areas of the beach with coarse shells, there is a higher chance there will be holes around to catch fish, so be on the lookout for those.

The Dangers of Surf Fishing: What to Look Out For

When you’re starting out with surf fishing, you should know you’re in for an exhilarating experience and a potentially more enjoyable method of fishing. But for every positive an aspect of fishing has, there are also negatives to consider.


To teach about the basics of surf fishing also involves expressing the inherent dangers therein. We know that any activity that takes place in the water must be approached with caution. Particularly, standing on the coast of a beach means you’ll need to watch out for the undertows that can sweep you off your feet.


Don’t underestimate the strength of water even at a shallow level – given how it can approach at different angles and do so on soft, sandy surfaces, it can be easy for even a strong individual to get knocked off their feet. And even if they aren’t swept out further into the water, taking a spill like that can be painful.


There’s also the threat of sudden drop-offs. The ground isn’t always even, and this can lead to people trying to move out and get closer to the fish only to take a painful spill. And given the rods are longer than the ones used for normal fishing, users should be careful not to hook themselves or others.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Surf Fishing?



Some people are more adept at water sports than others, and they may even have a natural knack for fishing that others don’t.

If you’re starting out with surf fishing, the best thing you can do is get the basics down first. A solid foundation is key for getting better, and can undoubtedly help accelerate your success – whether that means increasing your chances of scoring a big catch or simply staying safer.

Your result times for this style of fishing may be different than someone else’s. But the important thing is to make sure you are safe and set up for success. Surf fishing is a hobby and sport many people love, and getting started is as easy as grabbing the right gear, finding the right spot, and using the proper technique.

Featured Image via: Pexels.com

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