Surf Basics

R ight now as I type, it’s cold and rainy and miserable and I’m throwing a fit like a five year old because I can’t go fishing. Don’t act like you don’t do it too.

However, by the time you read this the sun will be out, the birds will be singing, and it will be hot—really hot, stupid hot. But big fish will be biting in the surf. All will be right with the world—unless you don’t have the first clue as to how to surf fish, but that’s where I come in.

I’m no surf expert, but I’ve met a few. I will now pass along a few of their tips and tricks to get you started.

Surf fishing appears to be an easy endeavor, right? You throw out a line, then sit around getting a nice deep mahogany tan while waiting for something to bite. It can almost be this easy, but you’ll need to do a little prep work beforehand to attain this level of simplicity.

First, you need to find a way to hold multiple rods at one time while engaging in other beach activities such as getting bait, digging for treasure, or sucking in your gut. Do you have four arms (not forearms)?

Me neither

That’s where a rod holder comes in handy (there’s a joke in there somewhere). Before you drop 40 or 50 dollars at an on-line tackle store buying a single rod holder for the beach, which will probably break or get lost, you need to visit your local hardware store.

Go to the back where they store the plumbing material and pick up a ten-foot section of two-inch PVC pipe. For less than ten dollars you now have all the material you need to make two surf rod holders.

If you want to be precise, measure the pipe and mark the halfway point. If you’re a real man and don’t need no stinkin’ tape measure to figure out where the middle is, just eyeball it.

Close counts in this case. Now, at the highly precise middle of the pipe, take a hack saw and make a 45 degree cut all the way through the pipe turning the once ten-foot-long piece into two five-foot-long pieces with beveled ends.

Using these rods holders is fairly simple. Take a shovel, which you should always have at the beach to dig out your stuck truck (not that it’s ever happened to me), and dig a hole about a foot deep. Place the beveled end of the pipe into the hole and push it down while twisting to get it deeper. Then fill the hole back up with sand.

Your rod holder is now anchored securely with the top about four feet out of the sand. This additional height helps keep your rod tip higher so your line stays above the waves as they roll in, which in turn keeps debris from collecting on your line and wiping it out.

So you have a rod holder, and I assume, a fishing rod, but don’t know what to put on the end of it to catch fish. You’re in luck again, because I know people who know how to do that too.

Most likely you will be fishing with some type of live, or used-to-be-alive, animal as bait along with a weight and a hook. A leader is typically used to keep all of this in line.

Start the leader by tying a barrel swivel onto your main line. To the side of the swivel (not attached to the main line), tie on three to four feet of heavy (30-50 lb) monofilament. Slide a plastic bead on this line, followed by a snap swivel, followed by another bead.

Now attach this to another barrel swivel. On the other side of the swivel tie four to five feet of even heavier (80 lb) monofilament. Then finish this off by tying on a circle hook. The snap swivel will connect to your surf weight.

If you are worried about the length of this rig while casting, take the hook and hang it on one of the legs of your spider weight. It will stay with the weight while in the air, but is knocked loose when it hits the water.

Email Greg Berlocher at ContactUs@fishgame.com

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