For Dorothy the beach is a place to walk, pick up shells and sit around and do nothing. While I enjoy much of that, especially with a Jimmy Buffet approved drink in hand, I also love to fish the shore. There is an excitement about shore and pier and brackish water fishing that to me just doesn’t exist in a lake or a river. Do a bit of research on any lake or river (fresh water river) and likely there are 6-12 fish if that that are common. When you look at fish you are likely to catch the number is likely to be closer to 6 than 12.
Now let me remind you of what I caught just in species on the Sanibel island coast, only about 5 of the 10 days I was there was the surf ideal for fishing by the way.
Here is a list of the species I caught while on vacation in the Sanibel Island Surf…
- Spanish Mackerel
- Gafftop Sail Catfish
- Hard Head Catfish
- Jack Cravalle
- Blue Runner
- Speckled Sea Trout
That is 10 species and I am leaving out some of the little odd bait fish stuff that also managed to get hooked like Pig and Pin fish. So that alone is a dozen. We took a quick trip down to the pier as well, we just missed a guy landing a black tip shark and we saw another guy catch a nice nurse shark. When the surf was clear at one point I found myself surrounded by about a thousand or more (no exaggeration) cow nose rays. Though I managed to intentionally not catch any.
I have fished the Texas coast many times and while not quite the diversity of Florida’s coast it is also a great deal of fun. I have often caught red fish, sea trout, whiting, sand trout, croaker, sail cats, hard heads and a lot of other stuff. I have also managed to catch a few small black tip sharks down there. I even remember one day when the surf was really clear and I was standing about waste deep on the second sand bar and several of us watched a bull shark that was at least 8 feet cruise by just 10 yards in front of us, while we all backed slowly onto the bars shallower area, no one panicked and the fishing continued.
Join Me Today To Discuss…
- My basic gear, not much different from lake fishing
- Medium action spinning rod
- Snap swivels
- 10-14 pound premium mono
- Bait casting sinkers
- Bait holder hooks #2 – #4/0 generally snelled
- Cut bait (shrimp, cut whiting, squid, etc)
- Stepping gear up for bigger fish
- Medium Heavy to Heavy Action rod and reel
- Steel leaders
- Large circle or khale hooks
- Simply put, bigger bait
- Paddle boards, surf boards, etc. – not necessary but functional
- The basics of surf fishing – easy as it gets
- Guts and bars are your friend, if they are there
- Tides, high is best but it is not that simple
- Surf reports, calm water equals better fishing
- Seasonality – what is there and when
- Piers – sometimes the only valid option but crowded
- When wading shuffle – sting rays!
- Beyond Cut Baits
- Whitebait, Theadthins, Pinfish, etc.
- Cast nets
- Sand Fleas and Small Crabs
- The DOA shrimp – probably one of the best artificial
- Live Shrimp
- A bit on brackish rivers, bays, etc.
- There is a lot in common, especially on piers
- Better for crabbing, fun at low tide
- Fish tend to come in “runs”
- Boats are great but that is another show
- In some areas wading can be dangerous – Alligators!
- Safety and Comfort Gear
- Needle nose and hemostats – consider a glove
- Basic first aid kit – have aloe gel on hand
- Jelly Fish Sting Treatment – Link
- Good knifes and a cleaning board – if keeping fish
- Really good cooler, lots of ice
- Water, water, water, water and water
- Sun Block – water really fries you
- Bait buckets for live bait, bait containers (avoid the chomp)
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