Thursday, July 17, 2008

Surf Fishing Has Been Fun

Once or twice a day I head down to the beach and cast a few lines and with the puny waves and blue-green water it sure has been a pleasure. As many friends know, I'm not a "producer" and I like to let everything go unless it is a big trout - I actually bend down the barbs on my hooks so they can get off easier. Thanks to Fred Mallet, former SPI Alderman, I learned a lot.

Yesterday I nailed a nice ladyfish, which of course flopped off the line about 5 feet in front of me. Then I got smacked by a Spanish Mackerel and on the next cast I guess it busted my line because of his or her sharp teeth. So only having one pole and one lure now gone, I went home to rig again.

Everyday is different and today I hit is a little late, about 6:30, so dinner was over but I still had some blow-ups from the diminutive whiting, which although is considered a trashy fish is fun on very light line - at least a jerk on one end of the line and a jerk on the other!

The surf might increase over the next week as some tropical waves come in, but I know the "dog days" are yet to come. The surf crabs will hunt for tourist toes while magnificent tarpon jump the waters just out of casting reach.

I keep asking people if they see birds and jumping fish out off the beach, since that would be a sign of schooling bait with predators feeding on them - predators from trout to sharks. So far, I haven't seen any of such pods of fish coming down the beach on the tide and current but I know it is still early, and they will come.

The Zen of fishing is not the catching, but the perfect cast, or the imperfect one that briefly hooks a fish for reasons I can't fathom. Or just being happy and not thinking. Often little kids speaking Spanish will come out to "help" me fish and I am not cross; I smile and try to be careful about casting the lure so I won't git one. They had not invaded any more space than I did with the fish, anyway.

Plus I get to walk the the beach, which is good exercise ... and wash my dirty Crocs!


Bruce said...

Sam, well I do agree that the zen of fishing is casting, but then again I haven't caught the most fish in my neck of the woods. Great post! I look forward to reading more on the trials of sur fishing. Where I am the birds really don't chase until late august into september. Where are you fishing?


Sam said...

Down by the tip of Texas on the Gulf, South Padre Island. just a barrier reef island or as we say, a glorified sandbar. There's a wild end to the north where the shark fishermen go, but lately I just walk right into the surf in front of the beach houses and condos. The swimmers don't seem to scare the fish off in the least.

You're right the bait and birds should school up later in the season.

Caught some nice sports fish and some weird ones, like a King Snake Fish, Look-down fish, giant needlefish, small sharks, large surf crab, bar jacks, and my favorite "what the heck is THAT?"

Joni said...

I have watched the surf fishermen during the winter with the heavy line and poles and it seemed pretty intimidating to my mountain stream and lake experience. Yet, I have talked to a few folks that say you can fish with normal equipment - just need enough weight on the line - and it sounds like a good way to walk the beach and just maybe catch my supper.

I would have no idea what I caught, if I was ever that lucky, or unlucky as the case may be, unless it is a species of trout, and I don't suppose there are too many of those little brookies that I love hanging out!!

Oh well, one more thing to learn and now I have another source of fishing advice.

Sam said...

Hi Joni,

actually, I use very similar equipment as to a trout fisherman in Colorado, maybe more like a bass fisherman in New York, real light stuff. In the summer I get right in with the fish instead of using a surf pole, also called a long pole. Fly fishing is another good method but I'm not very good at it.

And - sacre bleu - no heavy weights and bait. Many of the lures I use are similar to large trout or small bass lures. Little gold and silver spoons no more than an inch and a half or two inches are good lures.

So if folks know how to trout fish, there's really no difference except the fish, many of which have rather sharp teeth!