Surf Fishing

The best tackle for surf fishing is: a 7 to 12 foot medium to heavy action rod with a heavy-duty spinning reel, a 17 to 20 pounds test line with 30 to 40 pound test leader line, lures such as jigs, plugs, soft plastics and metal spoons or live bait, a variety of hooks ranging in size from 1/0 to 10/0, depending on species and size of bait used, 3 to 8 ounce thinkers, a rod holder sand spike that could hold your rod in place. Surf fishing puts demands on you and your equipment unlike other saltwater fishing (see Saltwater Fishing Gear).

Once you've assembled your fishing tackle head to the beach and look for a variety of areas either by checking your topical map or asking a fellow angler. Pay attention to where the waves break off the shore and you will generally find a trough that runs parallel to the beach. These are areas with fast-moving current and baitfish will often be found (learn more about baitfish). Look for jetties and rock formations that extend out into the water and influence the current. Jetties are good places to try surf fishing. The waves that crash up against the jetty create holes as the waiver seeds. Since the whole is deeper than the ocean floor it attracts small shellfish. These hiding spots create ambush spots for predatory game fish.

Points are natural sander land formations that protrude out into the ocean and create an area of current where game fish can corral baitfish. At low tide you can wait out on to the point and cast beyond the breakers. Always be aware of title conditions and take a fishing buddy along whenever possible for safety reasons.Surf Fishing - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

Inlets are another reliable place to fish because there are two colliding bodies of moving water or current. Inlets are marked by the presence of other notable fishing features such as a jetty or bridge, sandbar, sloughs and deep holes. The fish in these areas tend to be stationary so use Bates with the Carolina rig, a jig or plug that will move along with the current to provide a natural presentation to the fish.

If you can spot a school of baitfish with a good eye then you might be able to catch a bigger fish. Game fish strike fast and leave. If a predatory fish is in the middle of the school of baitfish, this is what appears to be a whole and you can cast your bait to the outside edges of the baitfish schools. Baitfish and schools of larger fish swim so close together that they actually change the color of the water. Train your eyes to look for those moving patches of color. Birds that fly above slow-moving baitfish are another sign that this is a good area for fishing.

Currents run along the shore and form pockets of deep water. This deep water appears darker than surrounding water and bigger fish move in the shallows. The calmer waters between where the big waves crash and the calm water starts are called breakers. The crashing waves create a trench in the shore. Food settles in the trench and it provides an ideal location to find fish.

Underwater currents can collide near points, inlets or other natural man-made structures. Where these currents meet, food will collect which attracts game fish.

Good anglers see different colors in the ocean and they learn to spot weed beds and other creatures attached to them. The smaller fish feed on the weeds and that attracts the fish that you are after.

Tides rise in lower two times per day and this always affects were fish are located and how they feed. Shallow areas may be a very good spot to fish during a high tide. A slough may be good during low tide. Running tides are best as a cause bait to move and promote active feeding. In general, the best fishing is almost on a rising or falling tide.

Water that flows in and around points, sandbars and rocks and tries to find the quickest way out is a riptide. This escaping water forms a faster moving river. These deep rivers attract predatory fish. Foam from crashing waves collects debris and small Marine critters. This then attracts the bigger fish.

Surf fishing is magical along the Texas Gulf Coast (see Best Bets for Fishing). It's easily accessible, and the catches can be phenomenal.