To many, the surf zone may seem like the domain of bait anglers, but this is simply not true. Those who prefer to throw lures to catch their fish can be equally at home in the surf. In fact, fishing with lures can be a good way of being more selective with your target species. Predatory fish such as tailor, Australian salmon, trevally, mackerel and mulloway all show up regularly on our surf beaches, and landing these hard-fighters off the beach is a huge rush, especially if using lures!
Getting set to do this is a little different to bait fishing. One thing you want to achieve is maximum casting distance, so this means long rods, and preferably spin reels. Those who spin the surf also tend to use heavier lures for maximum distance.
The Storm Gomoku Surf Rod range is excellent, and they have rods to suit everything from tailor to mulloway. Going up the price range a bit, the Ocean Legacy Specialist Spin range and Nomad Design’s range of Inshore Spin Rods is great for anyone going after larger pelagics such as trevally and mackerel from the beach.
The key to fishing the beach with lures is to cover a lot of water. You can do this by making long casts out past the breakers, retrieving quickly, and taking a few steps between each cast. Beaches can have a lot of dead water along them, so it pays to stay mobile until you find some action.
Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to stumble across feeding fish, and in this situation try to work out what the fish are eating - granted this isn’t always easy. Generally, casting slightly off to one side of the chaos (rather than right on top of it) and retrieving your lure quickly past them should see a few peel off in pursuit.
Spinning the surf is a great way to enjoy a beach walk while getting some fishing in at the same time. Some pursue this activity more seriously and chase seriously big fish from the surf, and if that’s a pathway you want to go down, there’s only one way to find out if it’s for you!
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