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Surf Fishing Gear Advice

By: Fox757
8/13/2019 9:22 PM

Hello! We rent an oceanfront house every year during the last week of August usually in Kitty Hawk. (This is our 10th year.) Fishing from the shore is one of my greatest pleasures. I also used to regularly fish from the Lynnhaven pier until they sold it. I mentioned that because I do like to fish year round. I currently have 5 poles, 4 of which need new reels. So, I think this is a great time to ask for advice to improve the likelihood of good fishing during our upcoming trip to OBX. I am the main fisher of our family. My kids (8 and 10) like to fish a little. My husband occasionally tosses the big pole in. I'm 5'5" and recovering from a car accident so this year I won't be using the big pole. My dream is to catch another flounder ( it's been 3 years), but would happy with anything that's good eating. The kids and my husband would be happy catching anything.
Here is what I have:
**2x Shakespeare Amphibians - 5'6" Medium Action - 1 needs a new reel**
**Shakespeare Catch More Fish - 7' Medium Action - needs new reel**
**Penn Fierce II Graphite - 7' - Xtra Fast Action- needs new reel**
**Penn Battle II Graphite - 10' Moderate Fast Action - likely needs new reel**
It might be nice to spike one and hold one. Last year was my first attempt at using a lure with constant reel in - I'd like to explore that method more - not sure I was doing it right. I've only used front drag (not sure I set it correctly) and prefer right retrieve. I usually use a bottom rig with 2-3 oz pyramid. I've tried a variety of bait. Only frozen shrimp (not fresh) so far. The shrimp and blood worms seem to fall off. I have artificial bait from last year - too old now?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

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By: Fox757
8/13/2019 10:10 PM

Advice on new reels or new rod/reel combo, lines, which rod/ reel and setup for lure fishing, artificial bait any good in OBX?

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By: Alexy
8/14/2019 2:13 AM

You are pretty close for what you are doing and targeting a good 7ft medium heavy rod will work for you. I would suggest a quality bottom rig made of fluorocarbon line and a #6-7 hook.
For bait try blood worms real shrimp squid or sand fleas. If you want something that will stay on the hook better and take a few hits try some fishbites artificial lures in any of the above flavors.

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By: Pickle
8/14/2019 7:31 AM

Alexy is right on Target. In addition to my Charter operations I have a Part Time reel repair service. I see a lot of reels. You say you need reels. Both Penn Fierce and Battle reels are good BUTTTTTT do not stand up to heavy use. Their Gears (Main and Crosswind wear real fast. The smaller Outboard Guide Boats use a lot of Battles everyday and they need service every year or two.
Parts are readily available and cheap. Actually the more expensive Spinfisher V have some issues (Main Gear and Anti Reverse) also. If it's in your budget I would investigate Shimano mid range reels (Sustain, Spheros and Stradic). Do Not Buy A Shimano STELLA. Way toooooo expensive for what they are. Daiwa makes a few decent mid priced reels. The BG series are good. If you can find some old BG's they are worth their weight (They are heavy) in "Gold". On the less expensive end the Daiwa Sweepfires are good for occasional fishing and definitely a decent value for once a year fishing. Lastly Flounder, well good luck on that. Fish in close constantly retrieving small strips of Squid through the Surf Zone right to the beach. Do Not Cast Far. Good Fishing

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By: Pickle
8/14/2019 7:31 AM

Alexy is right on Target. In addition to my Charter operations I have a Part Time reel repair service. I see a lot of reels. You say you need reels. Both Penn Fierce and Battle reels are good BUTTTTTT do not stand up to heavy use. Their Gears (Main and Crosswind wear real fast. The smaller Outboard Guide Boats use a lot of Battles everyday and they need service every year or two.
Parts are readily available and cheap. Actually the more expensive Spinfisher V have some issues (Main Gear and Anti Reverse) also. If it's in your budget I would investigate Shimano mid range reels (Sustain, Spheros and Stradic). Do Not Buy A Shimano STELLA. Way toooooo expensive for what they are. Daiwa makes a few decent mid priced reels. The BG series are good. If you can find some old BG's they are worth their weight (They are heavy) in "Gold". On the less expensive end the Daiwa Sweepfires are good for occasional fishing and definitely a decent value for once a year fishing. Lastly Flounder, well good luck on that. Fish in close constantly retrieving small strips of Squid through the Surf Zone right to the beach. Do Not Cast Far. Good Fishing

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By: Fox757
8/14/2019 3:22 PM

Thank you, Alexy and Pickle!!!

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By: Fox757
8/14/2019 3:33 PM

3 years ago



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By: J4yDubs
8/14/2019 5:25 PM

What Alexy and Pickle said. A ton of experience right there.

I'd take the two 7' rods. When you said the reels need to be replaced, what's wrong with them? Frozen? Gears? Just plain broke?

It's hard to go wrong with Penn reels and that's what I prefer, but last year I bought a Okuma Avenger ABF-65. Saw it on Slickdeals for under $40 on Amazon and had to try it. It's very nice and smooth and gets good reviews, but I still prefer my Penn reels (I'm sure my history has something to do with that). Watch for the price to drop on Amazon.

Good luck! And catch one for me!

John

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By: Fox757
8/14/2019 5:48 PM

Thanks, John!
To make a long story short, the reels are not broken just gone. I figured the 2 7' rods would be for me. Spike one and hold one. I usually visit TWs a few times during the week. They are always gracious with their advice. I'm sure I will make multiple trips this year as well. (Do they have fresh shrimp?) Just trying to be a little more prepared ahead of time so I can get to the water quicker. I saw a Shimano Spirex for a reasonable price that I am drawn to in part for the color. ?? Would that be ok for one of my 7' rods?
~ Sarah

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By: Fox757
8/14/2019 6:15 PM

When using a lure - no weight? Just line attached to lure? Should I attach bait to the lure? Would one of the 7' rods work or would one of the smaller rods be better?

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By: Pickle
8/15/2019 8:11 AM

Lures should be tied directly to your line, no swivel or "Jewelry". This way you get the best action, nothing to interfere with the designed action. Okay I know some will say you need a heavier leader, even wire because of Bluefish or possibly shock leaders for casting far. Well I'm talking about fishing with a 7 foot medium action rod for Trout, Founder, Bottom Fish. Lures will be 1/4 to maybe an ounce, sinkers no more than 2 oz. Casting might be up to 50 yards (not with 1/4 Grub tail). Bait on Lure, basically No!
The only time possible would be on a Bucktail with a thin 3 inch piece of squid bouncing on the bottom. No weight should be added to Lures (no Pinch ons or in lines). There are certain Flounder rigs that may employ a small 1 oz inline weight but those are bait rigs. Please understand each person has there own favorite lure or rig. I like to employ the KISS rule (Keep It Simple Stupid). Don't forget your Fishing License. Please enjoy and leave one for me.

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By: Fox757
8/17/2019 7:13 PM

Do I need to use shock leaders?

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By: Fox757
8/17/2019 9:22 PM

Just read about the proposed limitations on flounder fishing. If approved, no recreational flounder fishing for a year and only a few weeks for commercial fisherman. Do you know when the vote takes place (nvm Aug 21-23) and how do you feel about it?

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By: Pickle
8/18/2019 8:10 AM

This subject is highly controversial. It is a Federal call, not a State regulation, although States have to enforce it. North Carolina Fisheries are controlled by NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Region, headquartered in St Petersburg FL. The Southeast Region is HUGE and some regulations are enacted for the whole Region. This is where NC takes a beating. In other words if a species is determined to be overfished in Florida or Georgia a decision will go out for the whole REGION regardless of conditions within a particular State. OverFished is a overly simplified term. It's all based on Scientific Research on Stock Levels. Each State will be furnished Quotas broken down by Commercial and Recreational fishery. Here's the BIG PROBLEM with Flounder. North Carolina has two species of Flounder, The Summer Flounder, aka Fluke and Southern Flounder. It is the Southern Flounder that is of concern to the Feds, not Fluke, although there are quite a few restrictions on them all the way to Maine. GUESS WHAT, our principal Recreational Flounder here in NC is Fluke, not Southern Flounder, but yet they are grouped together. I would guess 8 out of 10 Recreational Fishermen do not distinguish one from the other, nor can they tell the difference between the two. So Fluke pays the price for their "cousins" problems. Something about Recreational Flounder Fishing. On the Outer Banks, quantities caught and fishermen Targeting only Flounder is small. Surf Fishing is pale compared to boat fishing and even boat fishing is very limited to certain areas and those who know. Now go up to NJ and NY or even the Eastern Shore of VA Flounder (FLUKE) is highly sought Recreationally and can grow to monster sizes compared to our "anorexic" Flounder. Our big fish might be 24 inches, whereas 5 to 10lb plus fish are caught regularly North. Bottom Line you can't fight City Hall and in view of our very limited "Flounder" catches it will have very limited effect on most of us. Commercially, it's another story. For those of you who don't know there big populations of good size Flounder in our Sounds but they are almost impossible to catch on Hook and Line. In addition Commercially we have Ocean Trawlers fishing off NC all Winter for Flounder, go try and catch them in the Ocean, good luck.

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By: John Bull
8/22/2019 3:57 PM

Regarding a shock leader. I wouldn't use a shock leader for this type of fishing. If you are using a "heaver" a stout rod that's well north of 11' in length for drum or big blues, you definitely need a shock leader. For the rod length you're talking about 12-14 lb test is fine. For a heaver that is tossing large baits with 8 oz. sinkers you'll want to us 17 or 20 lb mono with 50 or 60 lb mono shock leader.

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By: Fox757
8/22/2019 8:18 PM

Thanks, John!

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By: Fox757
8/22/2019 11:37 PM

Any thoughts on the fish finder rig?
Is it difficult to assemble? After many years of buying ready made rigs, this is will my first attempt at building one on my own.

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By: Bill
8/23/2019 5:19 PM

Experts call me out on this one if you will, but don't get hung up on the Reels.

If you are like me and wade out into the surf to cast unless you break those Reels down and clean them really good they have a short life span in the surf.

I get about two years out or a reel, and try to find cheaper ones in the tackle shops. Generally 20-30 dollars.

I fish several times a year from the surf in Delaware and of course when I am in the OBX.

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By: John Bull
8/26/2019 1:45 PM

Regarding putting together your own fish finder rigs, it's not that hard, but does take some patience. You'll need to get a bunch of large barrel swivels, the slider for the weight, and some 100 or 110 lb test line to make it with. Then practice snelling hooks (6/0 or 8/0 for drum), and practice tying the your line to the swivels. You can also get a crimping tool and some crimping beads and do it that way. Essentially you'll have a barrel swivel, then say 18 to 24" of line for the weight to slide on, another barrel swivel, and a short bite leader with the hook fastened to the bottom swivel. I do make some of my own, but I'm not convinced that the ones I make are as good as the ones I get at the tackle shop yet!

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