Beach fishing or surf fishing can be some of the best forms of fishing. There is nothing like chasing Australian Salmon down the beach and casting lures in hopes of landing a big one.
However, putting the positives aside. Beach fishing can become quite sandy, dirty and tiring. Especially if you’re heaving a lot of equipment around. From experience, I’ve decided to write this blog post on how to fish off the beach but also avoid the mistakes I made when it came to setting up.
The type of fishing rods required for the beach
When it comes to beach fishing the best option is to use a Surf rod. These rods are specifically designed for the beach and allow you to cast an absolute mile into deeper water.
Surf rods are considerably longer in comparison to a general-purpose spinning rod and often come in 10ft and 12ft lengths. While longer surf rods are available from 16ft to 18ft. However, do you need these? in most circumstances probably not.
My recommendation and what I personally like to use is a lightweight 10ft graphite spinning rod with a 2500 size spinning reel. This allows me to move freely and ables me to work lures up and down the beach.
Most surf rods can get quite heavy and if you’re bait fishing this may not be a big factor. However, if you’re casting lures then going light as possible is the best option. As this prevents putting too much strain on your arms throughout a fishing session.
My go-to beach fishing rig if choosing to use bait
Ideally what you want from your fishing rig is to hold its position in the water. A Paternoster rig or bottom rig with a star sinker will work best. The star sinker will allow the rig to anchor its self in the sand.
The weight of the sinker is crucial and it will depend on the conditions. On a calm day, a lightly weighted sinker will suffice however, on a rough day a heavier sinker will be required. The rig can be kept simple with a single dropper line or altered with a double dropper line.
An alternative to bait fishing is to use lures. Various lures are available on the market from soft plastics to metal lures and these can be simply attached to your mainline or leader line.
Pack light as possible if you plan to use lures.
When it comes to beach fishing there are two options. One is to use baited rigs and wait patiently for the fish to come to you. The other is to use lures and work along the beach.
Using baited rigs requires you to move less frequently and allows you to bring a lot more equipment. While if you plan on using lures you want to be able to move freely and not have the equipment restrict you from moving along the beach.
If you decide to use lures as I often do. Plan to pack light as possible and carry the following essentials.
Surf rod with a leader line already attached (On hand).
Small tackle box filled with metal lures and soft plastics (Backpack)
First aid kit (Backpack)
Wet Wipes (Backpack)
Durable empty plastic bag for carrying caught fish (Backpack)
Lip grip (Backpack)
Measuring Tape (Backpack)
Longnose pliers (Backpack)
Back up leader line (Backpack)
Usually, what I get away with are my single surf rod on hand and a backpack filled with only the essential items. This enables me to work my lure along the beach freely without restricting me to one spot.
However, once I’ve called quits on the day. I’ve got an esky filled with ice in the car waiting for me to transfer the caught fish.