Surfcasting Tips


With the rough weather over and tides more favourable, beach anglers are looking forward to much improved catches from the shore.  Holes, guts and trenches are one essential ingredient to secure a catch of snapper for your table fare.  Another is the presentation of your bait and finally, selecting the right type of rig to suit the conditions.  The first part I have covered before but I’ll briefly recap.  Where two waves join running parallel with the beach they create a sandbar, these can be easily identified as to where the waves are breaking offshore, behind these breaking waves you will find deep water.  In my experience snapper patrol a beat along an area not unlike a feeding trout.  Any smooth water between two sets of breaking waves is usually a sign of a hole, gut or trench.  The angler should not fish directly into the centre of these areas but instead concentrate their casts on either the left or right-hand side, as this is where food will tend to be forced through the movement of the water. 

Next is bait, when the fishing is good just about any type of bait presented will secure a catch, however, when times are tough bait presentation is paramount.  At the moment pilchards are large so they need to be cut into sections.  Starting with the humble pilchard, a diagonal cut from the top of the back fin back down to the anal cavity will provide you with miniature fish-type bait.  Starting with your hook on the back near the tail pull the barb and hook completely through to come out on the underside again near the tail.  Having the point of the hook forward slide your hook in and roll out midway through the angled cut of your piece of bait.  Tie this all up with cotton and you have a miniature swimming fish.   

Squid is your next bait, I prefer to peal off the top main body section of skin down to the dangly tentacles thus leaving a nice white fleshy piece of bait.  Start at the top of your bait and sew your hook through at least three times.  When nearing the bottom of the bait place your hook through the tentacles and eyes of the squid leaving your barb fully exposed, bind up with bait cotton.   

Because you are targeting a large snapper a standard running rig is best with your sinker sliding along your main line. Quietness of the rig is the key at this point so instead of swivels I have a split ring for the sinker to butt up against, and I tie a single 4/0 hook to the other side of the split ring. Try these tips and be patient. 

Quote of the week: Thinking is the hardest work there is which is probably why so few people engage in it.  -  Henry Ford. 

Tight Lines

Gregg Smeal

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