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Crash course in salt water fishing...

bowhunter1023

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#1
I've been saying for years I was going to go to the beach prepared to fish and never have. That's going to change this year. North Carolina has a great deal on a 10-day license for $10, so there's no reason not to! We'll be on Ocean Isle, so I have access to open ocean, tidal backwater/waterway and both the inlet/outlet of the waterway. I can catfish a little bit, but I'm far from being a fisherman. My thought was I'd get me a decent surf rod that I can also catfish with, and run my standard egg sinker with 12-16" leader and offset sport hook w/ bait like I was targeting big catfish. Maybe that's a terrible idea though, so I'm seeking advice that even a rookie can follow.

Thanks fellers!
 

OHIOOutdoors2

Active Member
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#2
For surf fishing I don’t use a real big rod (most of the time). I use about a 7’-7’6” MH-H spinning rod. This seems to make the fight a little more fun with the smaller surf fish and you get a much better feel. I prefer to stand and hold the rod with a finger on the line instead of planting the rod in a pvc pipe in the sand. Also, most of the time you don’t need to throw as far from the beach as you can get it. You will get a feel for the distance away from the beach within a few alternating distance casts.

A standard surf rig I think you’ll see a lot of guys suggest is a pompano rig with a pyramid sinker 1-3 oz depending on the surf conditions.

That Carolina catfish rig could do you right on the salt as well. My only worry is that you’d be rolling around in the surf but could be good in calmer water.

Common bait is squid, shrimp, or sand fleas in the surf for bottom fishing. I’d recommend the fleas as they are free. Then once you catch a fish or two that are legal to keep chunk a couple of them up for bait.

In my trips to saltwater I have found that less terminal tackle is better.

I hope something in my rambling is helpful to you. Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you!
 
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triple_duece

Ragin Cajun.
5,338
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#3
Depends what your fishing for. If for fish under 25# use a 6.5-7’ medium heavy bass rod. Reel can be anything from a good bass reel to a spinning reel. I run this set up w 15# Berkley big game. 25# leader with a 1oz egg sinker on top of a good barrel swivel. Kahle hooks work good w live bait. In the surf or heavy tide “current” you will need more weight for sinker. Remember 3 1oz weights don’t work like a 3oz weight as the work independently.

No telling what you will catch surfside but back bay should have redfish, specks, flounder, maybe pompano, Spanish mackerel, sheep’s head, drum and plenty of hard head catfish and sail cats. May be a few jack fish and more salty water fish. When you go try to find a guide, tell him your new to the area and would like to fish the surf and back bays. I’m sure he will point you in the right direction.

I use this setup for fresh and salt water. Caught redfish over 45# with it also and hooked and lost bigger fish. Also caught many black drum up to 50#.

I have Calcutta reals and penn battle for reels. You can use bass fishing gear.

Now if your wanting to fish for bigger fish you can use power pro line. Just back your real with some mono so the braid don’t slip or bind in the layers on the real.
 

Buckmaster

Senior Member
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#4
I'll be down there in 2 weeks. I'll try but I don't expect to catch anything from the surf other than a sunburn. It's hot and water temps are high. You may catch a ray or a sand shark but I wouldn't spend too much or set your expectations too high. My son wants to go Cobia fishing so we shall see about that when I get there and see who's catching what and where. Last time we went Mackerel fishing and caught about 30 on a half day charter before we went Cobia chasing.
 
Likes: MoonLab
#6
Also go to the boundary house in calabash one night for seafood, trust me it is the best place I have ever eaten seafood or for that matter any food.

Try the warm honey mustard bacon salad dress.

Trust me you will love it.

Only about 15-20 minute drive.

Also you are coming within 10 minutes of our house, if you need to stop and eat in Asheboro, holler I will treat you to some good BBQ
 
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Buckmaster

Senior Member
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#9
I'm getting packed up for my trip. A friend of mine just got back from OBX and said the water temps were too high and the surf and pier fishermen reported slow and pan/bait fish being caught. I'm going with a few chunks of cut bait from a recent catfish catch with hopes to catch a small sand shark or ray from the surf. On Monday I have a deep sea charter booked for a full day so my son is excited. Wahoo and dolphin is the current report but anything goes 40 miles out. There's always the fish market if all else fails. I'm taking my fry daddy and 4 boxes of Shore Lunch original. I got my $12 NC license today.
 
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Jackalope

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#10
Pyramid weight, wire leader, dual swivel and a circle hook. Take a small bass pole with a float and panfish hook, cast it just behind the wave break to catch some bait. Use anything to catch them, from bread to a hotdog weenie. Not sure of the regs there for species but a small live pompano makes a great bait. By small I mean 4-6 inches.
 
#11
I'm getting packed up for my trip. A friend of mine just got back from OBX and said the water temps were too high and the surf and pier fishermen reported slow and pan/bait fish being caught. I'm going with a few chunks of cut bait from a recent catfish catch with hopes to catch a small sand shark or ray from the surf. On Monday I have a deep sea charter booked for a full day so my son is excited. Wahoo and dolphin is the current report but anything goes 40 miles out. There's always the fish market if all else fails. I'm taking my fry daddy and 4 boxes of Shore Lunch original. I got my $12 NC license today.

Where are you going out of and what boat? If top water fishing is slow see if they can put you on some tile fish, this was a new fish to us. It is awesome, nice and meaty, cooks great, has great flavor.
0AA35A32-8487-4636-A73F-F5C05EFDF320.jpeg
 

Buckmaster

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#14
From the surf I was going to try a 2-3 ounce egg sinker with a split shot or two to hold its spot. Cast it out with a hooked chunk bait and let whomever picks it up run with it. I'll know I have a decent bite.
 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
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#16
Also go to the boundary house in calabash one night for seafood, trust me it is the best place I have ever eaten seafood or for that matter any food.

Try the warm honey mustard bacon salad dress.

Trust me you will love it.

Only about 15-20 minute drive.

Also you are coming within 10 minutes of our house, if you need to stop and eat in Asheboro, holler I will treat you to some good BBQ
A few steps ahead of ya brother, but I appreciate the advice! We eat there for our last meal every year. We found it the first year down there and it has become a tradition. Their scallop appetizer with the remoulade sauce is one of the finest dishes I have ever had!
 

Buckmaster

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#18
Caught 2 croaker yesterday from the surf. Nothing today. Supposed to be 99 degrees today. My rig, a slider in between split shots with a 3 ounce triangle sinker, cut bait (catfish) on a small treble.
4F565474-D3C8-41DE-8536-E02A696B7101.jpeg
3AE6E9C7-D466-4CC2-A387-B45434DCDB0B.jpeg
 
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