Surf fishing ideas?


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Old 12-23-06, 03:15 PM
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Surf fishing ideas?

I've recently moved to the southern coast of Oregon and now have access to surf fishing. I've surf fished in Hawaii, California, and Florida, but none of that prepared me for these surf conditions. The water is very cold, the surf is intense, and the tide is dramatic. In other areas, wading out into it and fishing was very doable, but doesn't seem to be much of an option here. I went surf Perch fishing and was fairly successful at catching them the way the locals advised, but it just wasn't much fun. I had to use a veritable bowling ball for a weight to keep the bait out there, and once the fish hit and the hook was set, I couldn't tell if I had a fish until I saw it skipping across the sand with the weight because all I could feel was dragging the weight. Most of the fun of fishing is the fight and this was like just harvesting fish meat, which I can do at the local grocery store. Any ideas for a bit more challenging, lighter tackle method of surf fishing under such conditions?
 
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Old 01-01-07, 03:07 PM
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Tough Surf

Smokey, I'm a boat fisherman myself but I have heard of using a heavy rod & sinker to cast the lighter tackle. As memory serves me, they used something similar to a downrigger release clip so after the strike & hook set you were actually fighting the fish with light tackle. It has been many moons ago I heard this so I could be way off base.
 
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Old 01-01-07, 04:09 PM
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Hey!! Now that's a great idea. The surf is pretty rough right now so I think I'll wait till it calms down some, but as soon as it does, I'm going to try it and I'll let you know how it works. Thanks!! I had considered trying to run out into the water, cast the bait, leave the bail open as I charged madly to safety, then close the bail and let the bait float where it would thinking the fish would find it because that's pretty much what their natural food is doing, but this sounds like it might work better.
 
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Old 01-01-07, 04:38 PM
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Wild Idea

A couple of guys around here & elsewhere on the east coast actually carry their bait out in a kayak, drop it, & paddle back in. They do this to fish, for example, the far side of a bar they can't cast to. If you are that adventuresome, may be worth a try.
 
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Old 01-01-07, 04:54 PM
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The water's too rough for that. I don't think I'd make it unless it were an especially calm day. If it were, I might consider it though.
 
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Old 01-02-07, 09:32 AM
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With the right wind, kite fishing is an option. Two rods are used, one to "fly" the kite and one for fishing. The fishing line is attached to the kite with a release clip (I used downrigger clips) and the bait is carried out beyond the rough surf. Then you have the option of leaving the bait suspended by the kite or releasing it to the bottom.
I started kite fishing for sails in the keys and later used it in the surf in the Carolinas. It is a really effective method with live bait.
 
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Old 01-02-07, 11:26 AM
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Huh... Do tell. That sounds interesting. I'd imagine getting the hang of it has a bit of a learning curve. We've got a pretty steady breeze most any day so it's certainly doable here. I'd like to learn more about that because we've got a good supply of strippers I might be able to catch that way.
 
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Old 01-02-07, 04:47 PM
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Smokey - You're right about the learing curve. I dunked a few kites before I got up to speed. It works best with two people, one to get the kite out while the other pays out the fishing line(s). I routinely fished several rods/baits from one kite. Just add releases at different points on the kite line.

Kite fishing was pioneered in the Keys in the early 70's. A very effective way of presenting a live bait on the surface. It is the most effective way to catch sailfish that I know. Also great for anything else that feeds near the surface.

I've used it in the surf for bass and blues with good success. The biggest problem is with wind direction. On a boat it doesn't matter but from shore you need a wind blowing out. I've fished live bunker on the surface this way and also used a kite just to get a bottom bait out past the surf with a heavy sinker. Just reel out until it gets where you want it and pop the release. I found that a cloths pin works better than a downrigger release for this.

You can buy kites and kite rods, although I always used an old Penn Senator to fly the kite. The large spool kite reels make winding the kite in and out easier but like anything else, they're overpriced (IMO).
 
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Old 01-02-07, 09:45 PM
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I am just blown away!! I had no idea. I've been searching the internet about kite fishing and it's really a big deal. There's all kinds of stuff about it. It seems to me, once I've conquered the learning curve, I could use that to get the bait out, drop the rig Grady suggested from there, bring in and stow the kite, and go for it. The ocean's too rough right now to try it, but I could practice at the park until I can drop it where I want it in order to be able to get a jump on the actual experience. (Without hooks of course. I wouldn't want to worry anyone. Well, maybe a few. There are a lot of little dogs out there to practice on.) A guy could even use some top waters that way. Hey, thanks guys! This opens all sorts of possibilities. Now I really can't wait for summer. In the mean time, I'll start hitting yard sales and thrift shops looking for more fishing gear. No one can have too much fishing gear.
 
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Old 01-03-07, 07:35 AM
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Smokey - Glad you could find the kite info on the net. Here's some more tips ...

Use a short, heavy "boat" rod to fly the kite. Cheap as you can get - just make sure the guides are in good shape. In a stiff wind there will be a pretty good load on the rod. Use a conventional reel instead of a spinning reel. It will give you better kite control. Again, you don't need an expensive reel for this. I used Penn's Senator's only because I got them used and cheap. I used braided nylon line because it was lighter and stronger than mono. You want to minimize sag and stretch in the kite line. The newer braided monos are probably good for this.

You will probably have to experiment a little with releases. I used both downrigger and outrigger releases with sucess. I also have used clothspins wrapped with a rubber band. Outrigger releases allow you to "adjust" a live bait to keep it on the surface. A line run through a swivel clamped in a clothspin does the same thing for 1/10th the cost. If you're bottom fishing, clip the line in the pin or in a downrigger release. when you get the bait out where you want a good yank will release the fishing line.

Since you're on a DIY forum, I'll assume you're handy. I suggest buying your first kite and then using it as a model to make your own. The harness is probably the only unusual aspect. I made a half dozen or so (actually my wife did most of the making, I would probably hurt myself with a sewing machine) from a used backpacker tent I got at a yard sale. Think light, strong and reasonably waterproof materials. I bought a half dozen cheap kids fishing rods to cut up for for the frames. I ended up experimenting with different sizes for different wind conditions.

Good luck - I've fished for left coast stripers in the SF Bay area and done some salmon/steelhead fishing in the Northwest, but never any surf fishing out there. I've driven Hwy 101 and from what I remember, the surf looked pretty intimidating.
 
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Old 01-03-07, 03:15 PM
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Thanks, I'll store all this info for later use. Yes, I'm pretty handy and was considering that very approach. The surf is very intimidating here and right now doesn't even look like an option. But that won't last much longer and I intend to be ready and practiced up by the time I'm ready to brave it again. Many thanks to all participants for the path to a new adventure. I'll put up some pictures of my first success story.
 
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Old 01-03-07, 03:52 PM
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As long as we are on the subject of gear & tackle, either of you guys know anything about Avet reels? A friend & fishing buddy has one & loves it. I've been thinking about an MXL two speed but before plunking down that kind of coin, I'd like to get some more input.
 
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Old 01-03-07, 04:42 PM
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I wish I did, but, I'm afraid I don't. Most of my gear is who knows what yard sale stuff. My only concern is catching fish, not so much the brand of dynamite.
 
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Old 01-03-07, 04:52 PM
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Dynamite

Now there's an idea The way my luck was this past year, dynamite for bait might be the answer. Most likely all I'd get would be junk (skates, stingrays, oyster toads, etc.)
 
 

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