I live right by the ocean so I’m able to do a lot of beach fishing year-round. It’s one of my favorite types of fishing but there are a few key things to know so in this post, I’m going to be showing you how to find good beach fishing spots.
There are a number of different factors that go into catching fish on the beach. It’s different than lakes and rivers because the elements (wind, tide, location) do have a big impact on the fish. You could go fishing today and have a tough time keeping them off the hook and then get absolutely nothing the next day.
We’re going to be talking about how to plan before you go, what to use for bait, which beach to pick, how to read the structure on the beach, and how to find the fish. You can catch fish by going and randomly tossing your line in but you’ll increase the odds if you follow these steps. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details of beach fishing.
Plan Before You Go
This is something you should do anytime you go out fishing. I’m sure you’ve been out and spent a bunch of time going from spot to spot only to catch nothing the whole day. If I’m going to go out for 5-6 hours then I’m going to be prepared and know exactly where I’m going and what I’m going to use. A good thing to do is check Google Maps for potential spots.
The first thing you’ll want to look at is the weather. The weather has a big impact on whether or not you’ll be successful. If it’s mid-summer and is hot then you’ll want to go fishing at sunrise or sunset. During the day you probably won’t catch much. If it’s an overcast day or is raining then the time really doesn’t matter.
The next thing is the wind speed and direction. If it’s super windy out then you should probably stay home. It’s going to be not so fun for you and you’re most likely not going to catch much. Knowing which way the wind is blowing will also help you because you’ll be able to find a spot where the wind is blocked. If the wind is coming from left to right then you’ll want to be as close to the left side of the beach as possible because you’ll get the most shelter.
The last thing is the wave size and tide. If the waves are really big, fishing isn’t going to be the best. I’ve always had better luck when things were calmer. You’ll also catch more fish when the tides are moving. The best times to go are when the tide is moving in or moving out.
Know What You’re After
The next thing you’ll want to do is figure out what type of fish you’re after. I think it’s best to pick one species of fish and then you’ll know what rod you need to bring, what type of line is needed, and the bait or lure you’re going to use.
I’ve been out randomly and just thrown whatever I had, and even though that can work, I found I had the most luck when I picked one thing to go after. You’ll then know what type of hooks you’ll need, what sinkers to get, and what bait to bring.
Picking The Right Beach
The biggest thing with this is picking a beach that has the right structure (we’ll talk about this next) and one that shelters you from the wind. Some beaches aren’t worth your while because they just don’t have the structure that fish are looking for.
The main thing is the wind direction. Beaches are u-shaped and will almost always have two headlands. If the wind is moving north to south then you’ll want to be as close to the south headland as possible. It’s going to protect you from the wind and the water there will be a bit calmer. The south end of the beach will most likely be choppy and rough and not have much fish.
There are two main structures you’ll find at the beach. The first is a sandbar and the second is a pocket. It’s going to be important to find these if you want to catch the most fish and it’s pretty easy to do so.
Sandbars are pretty easy to spot because the water above it will be a lighter color compared to everywhere else. You can also tell when the waves go out because they’ll hit the sandbar and break around them.
Pockets are deeper spots on the beach and are normally between two sandbars and a little bit further out in the water. The water above them will be darker so they’re pretty easy to spot and these are where the fish are most likely going to be. When the water goes out, it’ll hit the sandbar, break around it, and then that will create a deeper pocket.
Find The Feeding Areas
You need to get in the mind of the fish and really think about where their food source is. That’s the main thing that’s on their mind and if you can cast your line in the same spot as their food then you’re going to eventually get hit.
The first place you’ll want to consider is just off the edge of a sandbar as the depth starts to drop. When the waves retreat, it’ll stir up the sand and crabs, worms, and whatever else will be flushed into those pockets. If you can imitate that then you’ll have the best odds of catching something. Cast on the sandbar and drag your bait off the edge.
The second place you’ll want to fish is where rivers, creeks, and streams come into the ocean. This is where a lot of baitfish or prawns will be coming out and the bigger fish will be sitting there waiting for their next meal.
The final spot you’ll want to check out is at the headlands. There are normally a lot of rocks here and that’s where crabs and a bunch of other stuff will be hiding. These are all food sources for the fish so they’re going to be in the area.
Walk The Beach
The final thing you want to do is always be moving. Don’t just cast your line out and sit there for three hours. If you don’t get a bite within the first 5-10 minutes then reel in and move to a new spot. It’s always good to test different locations and different baits when you’re fishing.
Another thing you can do when you’re fishing is experiment with your distances. What you’ll want to do is cast out, reel in a bit, leave it for a few seconds, reel in some more, and repeat this process. It’ll give you a good idea where the fish are at and if you do get a bite then you’ll know where you need to cast next time.
Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.
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