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My wife wants to surf fish

By: Aliphatic
4/3/2021 3:38 PM

We’re headed to Frisco for May 22nd through the 29th.

Neither one of us have any fishing experience beyond catching trout in our childhoods out of small PA streams.

I keep trying to communicate that no, we can’t buy 14$ rods off Amazon and expect this to work.

We have no idea how to tie any knots, we have no idea what gear we may need, etc.

She says she’s willing to do the research and learn.

I said I’d make a thread and ask you folks how to start.

So how does one go surf fishing on the outer banks, knowing literally nothing about fishing?

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By: Aliphatic
4/3/2021 3:49 PM

What gear will we need? What can we rent versus buy? Do you need gloves in case you’ve gotta get a hook out of a fish mouth?

You don’t use worms in the ocean, right? What kind of bait do you use?

Do you need sinkers or floaters?

How do you tie all that stuff up on the line?

How do you know what’s legal to keep and eat? Should you try to cook anything you catch?

How do you know what to keep? Or do you just throw everything back in the ocean?

What about those pvc pipes to hold the rod?

I think she’s in way over her head, and I suggested horseback riding instead, but she wants to surf fish.

Where do we start?

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By: Pickle
4/3/2021 5:30 PM

Go to Walmart on your way in. Buy a "Disposable" 7 or 8 foot spinning combo for $39. Go to the nearest tackle shop they will set you up with " Terminal" tackle. Get a two hook bottom with small hooks and 2 oz sinker. Buy a dozen Bloodworms or Shrimp. Cast the baited rig 75 feet and wait for a bite. Oh How do you Cast????? Oh well I got you started. Have fun.

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By: Mikec
4/3/2021 8:55 PM

Stop at Frank & Frans in Avon and I am sure they can set you up for a modest cost. Don’t forget licenses. There is another small shop in Frisco, , Bob’s Frisco tackle and convenience store, they also can set you up. Frisco Rod & Gun is more expensive. Red Drum in Buxton can also set you up.

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By: Rick
4/3/2021 9:35 PM

Try this site it will help you with the beginner stuff You will need a license too Available on line. You can pickup regulations there too.

Click to follow link...

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By: robluc
4/3/2021 10:46 PM

Make sure that you have the spinning reel facing up on the top of the rod when retrieving. Oh and those bloodworm bite.

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By: bosoxtodd
4/4/2021 7:30 AM

When I started dating my wife 10 years ago I introduced her to the outer banks and saltwater fishing. It had been a few years since I had fished, so I had no gear and we started from scratch.
We went to Bass Pro and bought Penn saltwater combos (rod and reel) for $99/any size. I believe we started with a 7 and 8 foot rods. Great deal and those combos are still going strong today.
As for everything else, there are a lot of great videos on youtube for surf fishing. Just search "hatteras surf fishing" and you will find videos on everything from gear to knots to techniques and everything in between.

Also, fisherman love talking fishing. I feel like I learn a little more every trip to Hatteras just by putting in the time fishing but mostly just by talking to other fisherman on the beach or at the bar or shooting the bull in the tackle shops.

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By: TwentyPSI
4/4/2021 8:36 AM

I've posted this information on surf fishing with bait before but this is a good excuse to run it out again...

Study your beach at low tide to learn its structure. Fish are foraging at specific places within this structure. Some spots will be more productive than others, even within a 200 yard stretch of beach. Look for anything distinctive. A point of sand sticking out from the beach, a deeper hole, or a shallow sandbar beside a drop off into deeper water. More fish will be caught around these spots or near a break in the beach bar.

There's often an offshore sand bar running parallel to the beach somewhere between 10 and 40 yards out. Incoming waves will break as they come over this sand bar, smooth out, and then break again against the beach. The water between the bar and the beach is the slough (pronounced sloo). Almost all of the fishing action is in the slough. I prefer a narrower slough as it concentrates the fish closer to shore.

The offshore bar isn't uniform - there are low spots (breaks) in the bar where the water flows into the slough as the tide rises and flows out as the tide falls. Fishing is often better in the vicinity of one of these breaks. You can tell where these bar breaks are by watching the waves as they break over the bar at low tide. Look for places where a wave crossing the bar doesn't break at all or not as much. These breaks in the bar are typically about 20 yards wide. Often, the slough is deeper in front of these breaks in the bar. The color of the water in these holes will be a little darker. Sometimes, there will be a point of sand sticking out from the beach in front of a break.

You'll be fishing for two types of fish - bottom feeders (spot, croaker, sea mullet) and game fish (bluefish, flounder, puppy drum, trout).

The bottom feeders are foraging on the bottom (doh!) of the slough for sand fleas and any other bits of edible stuff they can find. They feed close to the beach or in the aforementioned holes. Fish for them with small hooks (#2 or #4) on a top and bottom rig with a weight that's just heavy enough to hold the bottom. For bait, use small live sandfleas, 1/2" pieces of shrimp, or 1/2" pieces of bloodworm. The tackle shop also has imitation bloodworms that aren't nearly as gross or expensive as the live ones. Most of the bottom feeders will be 6 to 12 inch light weights but, who knows, you might tie into a pound and a half citation sea mullet. A 3 pound world record Southern Kingfish (aka sea mullet) was caught in November, 2019 in Avon.

Bluefish, puppy drum, and sea trout prowl the slough eating small bottom feeders. Fish for them with with medium hooks (#1 or #1/0) on a top and bottom rig with a 2 or 3 ounce diamond sinker that will hold the rig in one place - you're going to let these fish come to you. Use 2 inch by 1/2 inch strips of scaled, fileted baitfish (the tackle shop has a cooler of striped mullet out front) or small whole shrimp. Even better, filet a bottom feeder you've just caught!

Flounder are a different kettle of fish. They lay on the bottom of the slough facing into the current and let their prey come to them. Fish for them with a flounder rig and 3 inch by 1/2 inch strips of squid body (tackle stores sell frozen squid). The water in the slough is moving to the left or right depending on the tides and wind. Look for a place where the slough narrows or gets more shallow. That's where the flounder might be. Position yourself by this spot, cast up current and let the baited rig drift into the target area.

A few more things...

** Get a license and know the minimum legal size for the game fish (there is no minimum for the bottom feeders).
** Dawn and dusk are sometimes better than mid day but often you have to fish when you can, not when you want to.
** If you've got a good size fish on, try to "surf it in" on an incoming wave rather than dragging it in against an outgoing wave.
** Watch other fishermen. If they're catching fish, ignore the preceding gobbledygook and do what they're doing.
** Surf fishing is hit or miss at best. A frosty beverage or three may help to pass the time.

islandfreepress.org/fishi...

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By: obx bingy
4/4/2021 11:11 AM

Some good info. so far Ali, for a minimal investment you can do it. Go and have a good time, lots of info. on the net as too knots ( you do not need too many different types of knots, I like the Palomar knot) etc.. I do suggest you use circle hooks the bait shops are a great help and always willing to help with info. The pvc things are called sand spikes, you can purchase them but I prefer too make my own and yes they are made out of pvc pipe as this holds up a lot better than the plastic tube type you see.

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By: Dhart
4/8/2021 5:43 PM

Trilene knot, deveoped by Berkley Fishing. Strong, multi-purpose, and easy to tie after some practice.



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By: lowtide
4/9/2021 8:37 AM

What Twenty PSI said.

Most folks focus on the equipment and get hung up on the technicalities of the sport when learning to read the water, recognize habitats, and think like a fish are much more important. "When" and "where" are the keys to fishing, imho. At this point I could bore you to death with stories of traveling internationally hauling expensive fishing tackle and gear through customs, hiring guides and the best boats available only to be out fished by locals in a dugout using handlines and handmade lures but I wont.....the point is "fish like a local", learn from them and don't overthink it.

As many have advised, going to the local tackle shop (offseason or when they are not too busy) and humbly admitting your lack of knowledge will get you the basic gear you need. Then just go out and do it. You will learn as you go. It is a journey, an adventure, a never-ending learning process. And after forty or fifty years of doing this you can respond to questions on fishing pretending you are knowledgeable.


Fish

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By: robluc
4/9/2021 9:21 AM

Ever see waves coming in that don't break in the middle somewhere? That's a rip and there's a break in the sandbar. Cast right into that spot. You don't need to heave your line way out. Reel in the slack so you can feel your weight. You will feel the water pull your line, but be patient. When you feel 2-3 quick tugs, that's a fish so reel it in.

Girls love to fish. Here's my daughter showing everyone how it's done.

Greg MD
Love it.

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By: Aliphatic
4/9/2021 6:41 PM

Thank you guys! There’s a massive amount of information in here. I really appreciate it.

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By: Greg MD
4/9/2021 7:07 PM

Thank you guys! There’s a massive amount of information in here. I really appreciate it.

Aliphatic


There's lots of good info to give when we don't have to constantly defend ourselves.

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By: John Bull
4/10/2021 1:04 AM

Probably on the second page of this forum there’s a thread titled surf fishing basics- or something to that effect. Hit Frank and Frans or Red Drum. Both have the essential tackle and bait, both can sell you rods/reels. Red Drum tends to have more stuff and a little higher end stuff.

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By: John Bull
4/10/2021 1:14 AM


By: Mstaszew
4/10/2021 4:48 PM

Lots of good info here and I’ll toss out a curve ball. Try pier fishing. You can rent gear there, your license is covered, and you can still fish in the surf. I didn’t read all posts in detail, but if it wasn’t mentioned you want to get a “sand spike” to hold your rod while you bait it, grab a beer, etc. Just get a cheap PVC one. There’s no need for one of the metal spike versions unless you guys take up an interest in it.

EDIT: I see bingy mentioned them. Get one for each of you for sure.

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By: J4yDubs
4/10/2021 6:20 PM


There's lots of good info to give when we don't have to constantly defend ourselves.

Greg MD

Which is exactly why we discourage the political talk. It always turns into an argument that's not going to change anyone's mind.

My advice for a first timer is to keep it simple. Don't worry about tying the right knot. Don't worry about reading the water. Don't worry about having the best gear.

Buy a cheap open face spinning reel with a 7-8' rod that has (or can hold) 12-20 pound line (a catfish rig will do just fine). Buy a few 2 hook pre-made bottom rigs. Buy a few 3oz sinkers. Buy a pack of #2 hooks. Tie the rig to your line (don't worry about the knot, just knot it a few times; the fish don't care, it just needs to hold). Clip the hooks to the top clips and clip the sinker to the bottom.

Get some shrimp and put a small piece on both hooks (you should be able to get 3 baits out of one medium/small shrimp). Now comes the hardest part. Casting. Before you even leave for the beach, do everything above except for the hooks. Find an open area and practice casting. Search YouTube, but you basically just need to open the reel (click the wire guide open). Hold the line with your finger and when you reach the top of the swing, let it go. You can't teach it by typing, so watch videos and practice.

The pole holders are just PVC pipe cut at an angle to make a point. You can buy them cheap or make them cheaper.

My biggest concern is your timing. I'm not sure how successful you'll be in May. If you can wait until an August or Sept trip, you'll probably do better.

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By: lowtide
4/10/2021 10:16 PM

May is a great time to fish on Hatteras. Seatrout! Also Blues, Drum, and Northern Kingfish. The fish really don't know what month it is. Fish Go catch'em.

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By: Greg MD
4/11/2021 1:40 PM

Learn how to tie a proper knot. Any old half assed knot won't hold. There are animated gifs on the web to teach yourself. You'll save money on tackle and you don't want to be responsible for hooking somebody when you lose your rig out in the water. There are different knots required for braided line and monofilament.

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By: J4yDubs
4/12/2021 12:15 PM

Learn how to tie a proper knot. Any old half assed knot won't hold. There are animated gifs on the web to teach yourself. You'll save money on tackle and you don't want to be responsible for hooking somebody when you lose your rig out in the water. There are different knots required for braided line and monofilament.

Greg MD

So which knot do you recommend for tying your line to a pre-made 2 hook bottom rig? Just saying learn to tie a proper knot is leaving a big part out of the solution. What's a "proper" knot? We'll assume mono since that's probably what will come with a cheap reel.

I still stand by my suggestion to just tie it on. No, it won't look nice. No it's not what you should do if you want to do it again, but it will be fine for a first time out. Many more rigs are lost casting than with knots failing.

Keep it simple, get your line in the water, and if you like it, then start learning how the "internet pros" do it.

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By: Greg MD
4/12/2021 5:26 PM

The Trilene or palomar knots were already suggested and both are stronger than the line itself and work fine. But for a hi-lo rig to mono, I would use a reverse improved clinch knot.

If a knot fails, it leaves a telltale curly corkscrew at the end of your line. If the line gets rubbed and breaks, you can usually feel the chafing by drawing the line through your lips. If the line itself fails, you will have neither the corkscrew nor the chafing.

www.knotsforfishing.com/k...

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By: Greg MD
4/12/2021 6:45 PM


Keep it simple, get your line in the water, and if you like it, then start learning how the "internet pros" do it.

J4yDubs


I bruised your ego again, lol.

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By: J4yDubs
4/12/2021 8:00 PM


Keep it simple, get your line in the water, and if you like it, then start learning how the "internet pros" do it.

J4yDubs


I bruised your ego again, lol.

Greg MD


It's not about me. It's not about you. It should be about helping others. Sorry you can't see that and are instead intent on owning J4yDubs. I promise you, nothing you post on OBC will affect my real life. I hope the same goes for you and others.

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By: Greg MD
4/12/2021 8:28 PM

If what you say is true Dubs, then why do you persist in taking cheap shots?

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