Fishing Beaches and or Surf [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fishing Beaches and or Surf


Paxton
05-04-2011, 03:38 PM
Another possible addition to the "Summary of Best Advice Received" Members' Activity

This sub-topic is something I seldom do, so Ipersonally will have next to nothing to contribute.

Suggest we leave this wide open to those who are experienced. Post anything related to the topic, I will sort it later.

The only thoughts I have for possible contributions are:
- reading waves
-reading land structure to find places to fish
- line use (floating/intermediate/fast sink....I know both members who fish all of them at some point and some who swear by just one of them..............when/why etc.?
- sighting??????
- tide choices or what technique to use at what part of the tide?
- presentations

OK...as you can see, I know little...justwanted to give ita start. All of the above are things that I personnally don't know.
Thanks,
Ron

jalthoff
05-04-2011, 07:25 PM
Learned the hard way on Block Island last fall .... BACK UP!

Stripers like the "wash" ... on a steep beach the wash is literally where the land and water meet. I had a 30 incher swim behind me when I waded 5 feet from dry sand into 18 inches of water - taught me a lesson that paid off later that day!

(Paxton - love these threads - thanks for starting!)

dudley
05-05-2011, 08:44 AM
One of the first and most important things I learned was from Lou Tabory's book Inshore Fly Fishing.
" When the wind is in your face, the fish are at your feet"

Most surf techniques I've learned on my own through trial and error, but I've come to appreciate the Abrams style floating line dead drift in the longshore current

juro
05-05-2011, 09:59 AM
GREAT STUFF RON!!!

I just got back last night and will think about these key topics and try to contribute what I can.

Couple thoughts right off the bat...

- look for longshore bars with deep inner channels
they break the waves and create very fishable lanes

- even straight beaches have longshore current on tide changes
swing them like you would a river mouth, low and slow

- sinking / intermediate lines penetrate surf better than floating
raise the line over the crest to prevent loss of tension and strip after the break

- move away from patrolling seals
or expect your fish to be murdered on release

dudley
05-05-2011, 10:44 AM
As far as I'm concerned, the sweet spot in the tide is when water coming over the bars is starting to break with some gusto. At this point there's plenty of water in the travel lanes, there's turbulence that confuses bait, but it's still early enough so that there's plenty of time before the water get too wild to be fly rod friendly.

Sinking lines have their place, but only if you're actively stripping. Otherwise the currents are in control. When you want to dead drift or even hold stationary, mending with a floating line is best. No worries about your fly sinking to the fish's level if mended properly. A long rod helps to lift your line up over the breakers.

saltfly
05-05-2011, 11:28 AM
When wading the flats....Knee Deep-Too Deep.:tsk_tsk:

Paxton
05-05-2011, 02:38 PM
Great start!!! Maybe I will venture more often to "the dark side" and fish some surf :hihi:
I for one, really have a lot to learn re beach and surf....my doing this type of fishing is primarily in the Fall in RI...chasing diving birds down the beach and looking for bait and fish shadows in the 1st wave with RI 's South orientation.
Maybe after this thread..I will have a clue and be more successful when the weather heats up and the flats are dead. It will beat blind casting or fishing blind....whichever is more true :)
Ron

dudley
05-05-2011, 04:44 PM
I'll go on if it's okay. I don't want to hog the discussion, but I get jazzed just thinking about fishing the surf.

The most important thing to remember about fishing the surf is to never, ever turn your back to the water.
Waves come in sets, often in a series of 7, and just when you think that you're safe to turn and retreat, here comes the big one.

Reading the water is nearly as important as in trout fishing and low tide is the time to check the structure.
The single most productive area is likely to be a fairly deep bowl along the shoreline that faces a break in the outer bars.
This is where you can expect to have a longshore current turn and exit or even two apposing currents meet and funnel out through the bars. Lots of turbulence, lots of current passing through an area like this. Breakers on their way in get knocked down a bit here too so that it's (somewhat :rolleyes: ) easier to fish

Paxton
05-05-2011, 05:00 PM
Dudley...hog and get jazzed up all you want....if you or others have info...please continue to share...can't create a good reference guide without contributions. Plus selfishly...I want to be able to catch a fish somewhere other than on a flat if need be and I am sure that I am not alone.
Ron

dudley
05-05-2011, 10:33 PM
A few more points....

Mung... The best structure for holding bait and attracting game fish is "up north" in Wellfleet and Truro. This is also where the mung first hits the outer Cape and collects in the holes and between the bars. As you travel south from Eastham to Orleans to Chatham the water is less and less effected

I like a full sinking line in heavy surf or when the wind is way up. The thin full sink will cut through both wind and waves. Just don't use it in conjunction with a weighted fly as you'll be dragging your fly through the sand on every cast.

Which leads to sharpening..... carry and use a file. Your hook point is going to be in contact with the bottom regularly so check it after every few casts. As you move is a good, giving you time to survey the next "hole"

It's important to keep in contact with your fly. You need to be able to feel resistance when you strip.
If you can't feel it, try a weighted fly such as a Clouser or one with a muddler style head that "pushes" water

When it comes time to land your fish.. It ain't easy. So hopefully you have a stout leader.
As the surf breaks, clamp down on the line and back-up and let the fish be pushed up on the beach as you pull. The retreating wave will attempt to pull it back. Hold steady until the next wave and do it again and then again until you're able to grab the fish without going for a swim. Remember that it's better to loose the fish rather than bust your rod..... or a rib

Paxton
05-07-2011, 06:30 PM
Dudley, Jalthoff and Juro...great info and thanks.
One question (maybe a stupid one)....are there any aditional special fly presentation tips for say...sighting a fish in a wave (lead?, just strip, let it sink? etc)...or fish in the suds......steady retrieves in promising areas...bottom bumping?
I have seen some guys cast out and continue to let more line out and just let the fly bounce or stay in the turbulance.............the reason I ask the 3 of you is that either others who surfbeach fish have not yet had a chanceto contribute or we just don't have many members who surf/beach fish (me included )...if the later...the 3 of you are IT.
Maybe the answer to my question is obvious..ie. just cast and strip....I really don't know.

Ifyou have more info..please add to what you have already posted....not just what Iasked above...anything that would help a novice or less experienced member like me.
Some info youmayhave not shared because it is very elementary to you...it is not however to the novice or to someone like me who does it very infrequently.

I will let this thread run its course for a week or so then categorize/summarize as done on the other related threads.
Thanks,
Ron

jalthoff
05-08-2011, 07:38 AM
[QUOTE=Paxton] are there any aditional special fly presentation tips for say...sighting a fish in a wave (lead?, just strip, let it sink? etc)...or fish in the suds......steady retrieves in promising areas...bottom bumping?
/QUOTE]

I have caught very few stripers blind casting in the surf, but that is probably because most of my surf fishing is focused on sight casting. Much easier to convince the wife to go for a long beach walks where I just happen to have my fly rod in my hand. Works (for the relationship) as long as I keep talking while I scan the incoming waves for movement/shadows! More productive of course when I go by myself and concentrate on specific areas, but if we're walking, say, on Nantucket's South shore in the right tide and light, there's plenty of opportunities during the walk to find fish!

For sight casting, I tend to cast 10 feet or so in front of the fish to give the fly time to sink to fish level, and let it sit until I know the bass is within 2 - 3 feet of it. Then I do short strips until I see the bass turn on it, and then longer strips so it looks like the fly is speeding up to escape.

Sounds simple, of course, and I fail more often than I succeed, but when it works, it's quite a rush!

My 2 cents

saltfly
05-09-2011, 07:46 AM
Alot of people overlook the water right in front of you.Try casting parallel to the beach and swing [let the wave] fly right up on the beach then let the wave pull it back into the trough.Also when the wave breaks and runs up the beach cast as the wave retreats so the wave also pulls the fly back into the trough.This will not dull the hook point as quickly.Do not overlook the outer beaches right now.The seals aren't around and the fish are scooting up the outer coast now.My thoughts on this is the fish run up to Nantucket and hit Monomoy so they never go into Nantucket sound.My largest[measured,I kept the fish] was 44" on Longnook beach in Truro on May 15th.I know some taken were bigger but don't count because they weren't measured.This went on for 3 evenings in a row from 6-9pm.It's also happened to me along Nauset in years later at about the same time.

juro
05-09-2011, 08:10 AM
saltfly - nice fish!

I had a 4x4 tundra for a long time, on the beach constantly. Then I got single and bought a city car. Missed the beach so bad I sold it in a year and got a jeep :)

Yep about that time isn't it :smokin:

PEC54
05-09-2011, 09:56 AM
Alot of people overlook the water right in front of you.Try casting parallel to the beach and swing [let the wave] fly right up on the beach then let the wave pull it back into the trough.Also when the wave breaks and runs up the beach cast as the wave retreats so the wave also pulls the fly back into the trough.This will not dull the hook point as quickly.Do not overlook the outer beaches right now.The seals aren't around and the fish are scooting up the outer coast now.My thoughts on this is the fish run up to Nantucket and hit Monomoy so they never go into Nantucket sound.My largest[measured,I kept the fish] was 44" on Longnook beach in Truro on May 15th.I know some taken were bigger but don't count because they weren't measured.This went on for 3 evenings in a row from 6-9pm.It's also happened to me along Nauset in years later at about the same time.
Longnook beach is by far my favorite backside beach,this place has more structure, long shore bars, cuts and gullies.Before they started to shut down most of the beaches for off road driving this was the area my Dad,brother and I would head to during the comm. rod and reel seasons.Many memories and large stripes came from this area.There's some excellent info posted here not much more I can add,if there is anything of input I can offer is fishing the backside with a 2 hander enables you to back out of the bone crushing waves and vicious taking sand out from around your feet backwash from receding waves.If you find an area with this backwash that empties into a trough where a longshore bar has been split and washed away get to the side of it and fish it like the current of a river,the fish will be in the hole just past the bar.

Paxton
05-09-2011, 03:06 PM
Unbelieveable info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just might give a shot at more beach/surf fishing...now that I have a clue....seriously!

If those of you who have contributed to this thread have collegues who also fish the surf/beaches...please encourage them to share their info as well.

We members have the makings of a great primer for the novice as well as a great sharing/reminder document for the experienced.

My sincere appreciation! Info shared on this and related threads has exceeded anything hoped to obtain.

Contributions will be organized in categories and summarized. But not this week...I am on grand-daughter (23 mths old) duty as my daughter and son-in-law are moving to a new home all this week.

Anyone interested in a primer on "diaper duty"- techniques, presentations and disposal of "contributions""? :eek:

I am becoming an expert! I write now, as she is asleep..thought it would never come :smokin:
Ron

Greg Pavlov
05-10-2011, 11:36 AM
Dudley, Jalthoff and Juro...great info and thanks.
......
I have seen some guys cast out and continue to let more line out and just let the fly bounce or stay in the turbulance.............
I used to do that quite freely but nowadays I'll do that only to the extent that I maintain contact with the fly. You should definitely do better that way most of the time.

JonC
05-10-2011, 08:56 PM
Most of my experience on the ocean front is around Nauset Inlet and the beach to the immediate south, back when there there were a lot of fish around. What I enjoyed most was wading out to the bars as soon as the tide allowed and swinging the fly across the the bar and off the edge, casting to breaking fish in foam, swinging the fly in the main outgoing current, fishing the holes behind the bars etc, etc, there were so many choices in a place like this. The current and turbulence made perfect place for the stripers to chase bait and some very memorable catches took place. Daybreak and evening bought a predictable crowd of regulars so even if the fishing wasn't great there was always a lot of talk and gazing through binoculars at whatever might be happening a little further out than our reach. But I guess the point is to learn the structure and find out where you can wade to and for how long because the bars and their edges and holes are perfect ambush zones for the bass.
Jon

Quentin
05-10-2011, 10:46 PM
When walking along the beach, don't hesitate to just stop and make a few casts once in a while at random, even if you don't see any fish or birds or bait. I've had numerous occasions when I've done this and caught a fish right away. Sometimes you can stumble upon a hot spot that you never even knew was there.

Q