Us On...

Hooked On Beach Fishing

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On: Tue, May 19, 2009 at 10:07AM | By: Merry Beth Ryan

Beach fishing offers land-based anglers a measure of excitement equally as enjoyable as boat fishing. The equipment needed is reasonably affordable and available at your local tackle stores. If you are going to try beach fishing, now is the time. Florida has thousands of miles of coast, with beaches in close proximity to some of the most productive fishing in the state. What makes this type of fishing appealing to many fishing enthusiasts is that you do not need a boat to participate. Accessibility is the key to this type of fishing. You will be surprised what you can catch from the shore. This time of the year a lot of fish are migrating through, following pods of baitfish.The fish you can catch are not all small. The occasional Kingfish, as well as Tarpon, can be caught beach fishing. It is also that time of the year when sharks move closer to the shore in search of food. It is best not to swim at first light or dusk because that is when the sharks are most active. You can fish off the beach, a bridge, or a jetty, as well as any other structure, if you have the proper equipment. This type of angling is more often a waiting game. To enhance your trip make sure you bring all the needed amenities: lounge chair, tackle box, rods and reels, bait bucket to keep your bait alive in, sun canopy, refreshments, sun block, as well as lots of patience. You also will need a sand spike, or rod holder, which will be driven and secured into the sand. A sand spike can be purchased at most fishing tackle stores. You can also construct one yourself very easily. All you need is a four foot length of 1-3/4" PVC from your local hardware store. Use a hacksaw to cut one end on a 45 degree angle, and cut the other end square. Clean the rough edges by scraping them with a razor knife. The angled end will be driven into the sand; the other end is for the rod handle to go into. Before you set up you fishing spot you will need to know how to identify beach formations in order to choose a productive fishing area. If you want to catch fish on a regular basis, look for beach gutters or holes; they will yield the most fish. Holes are formed by erosion, which allows water to rush through. This erosion stirs up the sand and releases food items, making the fish hang around for their meals. Waves breaking over the sand banks also stir up food, which is a fish attractant. The most productive beach fishing areas are located where swells exist between the breaking waves. These areas will hold large numbers of fish as well. Pompano, Snook, Trout, Redfish, and even an occasional surprise species of fish, such as a Cobia or Flounder, can be caught beach fishing. If you bring a “Florida snow shovel,” or better known as a sand flea rake, you can get some sand fleas, which are an excellent Pompano bait. You never know what you might hook into while beach fishing. A variety of fish cruise our local beaches. After you have chosen your fishing spot on the beach it is time to set up. Place your sand spikes close to where you will be sitting so you can keep a eye on the action. All too often we all have been walking the beach and had to duck under a fishing line that was left unattended. This can be a dangerous situation, so, please, always be responsible and attend to your gear while fishing. Make sure the drag on your spinning reels is set loose enough with the bail closed to prevent loss of rods and reels. The game of patience now begins. You now have all your lines out and you are waiting to be interrupted by that music-to-your-ears sound of screaming drag. When this happens be ready to set the hook and have some fun reeling up your surf fish. Be careful of birds on the beach, as well. Do not feed the birds. As always, be very careful when casting your line. Look in all directions before casting. Be sure there are no people in your path, as well as no birds. There is plenty of room on our beaches for all to enjoy, so, please be considerate and respect each other's space. Don’t miss out on the fun beach fishing offers. It is something everyone can do. You do not need a boat; you simply need time, as well as desire, and you will be on your way to experiencing perhaps one of your most enjoyable fishing outings ever. Try not to be intimidated by the salty-looking angler who seems to be able to cast his bait a country mile; get out there and join in on the fun. Who knows, you, too, may become a seasoned veteran to beach fishing before you know it. You see, going to the beach does not have to mean the old routine of setting up your beach chairs, slathering yourself with sun block, and soaking up the sunshine. It also can be a day spent enjoying beach fishing while being able to soak up all the wonderful offerings a Florida beach has to give us. Who knows, if you’re luck, you just may end up going home with dinner and some wonderful memories of standing barefoot in the surf . Life is good, so get out and enjoy it! You too may become hooked on beach fishing.



marieandjim | 3:42PM (Thu, Nov 29, 2012)

Does a non resident need a license to fish from the beach in New Smyrrna Beach Florida?

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