Spring Time in the Panhandle- Surf Fishing 101

It's finally Spring in the Florida Panhandle, water temperatures are rising, the tourists are returning on spring break, and the fishing is getting better by the day! In this blog we explore the basics of surf fishing and give you protips to ensure success when targeting species in the surf. 

Surf Species:  

With the Gulf water temps nearing the 70 degree mark, more and more species are becoming active in the surf. Species of fish like Pompano, Red Fish, Black Drum, Cobia, Whiting, Bluefish, and Spanish Mackerel are starting to show up in good numbers.


When targeting these species in the surf it is crucial to have the right gear. Here at Eat My Tackle we offer the best Surf Fishing combos to target all of the surf species. Our Surf Fisher Long Cast Spinning Reel offers anglers a specially designed spool that maximizes cast distance and has a max drag of 50lbs. Choosing the right rod is the next step to surf fishing success. Most Surf Rods have a length of 10” or more, making Eat My Tackle’s Surf Fisher Rod a perfect match for surf fishing. Another piece of gear that drastically helps while surf fishing would be sand spike rod holders, the perfect solution for not having to hold your rod while waiting for a  bite.

As far as the rigs to use while surf fishing, there are many different styles and types of surf rigs to choose from . One of the most common rigs to target most surf species would be the Double dropper loop rig featuring floats and beads to attract fish to your baits. The style weights most commonly used for surf fishing are Sputnik and Pyramid sinkers, both do a great job at holding your rig in the surf. 


Some of the most popular baits for surf fishing are Sand Fleas, Shrimp, Blue Crab, Ghost Shrimp, and artificial baits like Fish Gum or Fish Bites. When using artificial bait such as Fish Bites or Fish Gum you can also tip your hooks with a fresh sand flea or piece of cut shrimp to further entice hungry surf species to your rig. The artificial baits will stay on the hook longer than most other natural baits

Where to Fish: 

Being able to read the surf conditions is absolutely crucial in targeting species in the surf. One of the most common things to look for when picking a good surf fishing spot would be troughs. A trough is the area between the beach and the sandbar and is generally between 100-200 yards wide. They can be anywhere from 1-7 ft deep depending on the tide stage. When fishing a trough in the surf it's not uncommon to have multiple holes within the trough that have anywhere from a 1-2 ft depth difference, making these holes an ideal spot to cast a bait. Another thing to look for while picking a piece of beach to fish would be “rips” otherwise referred to as “cuts”, these tend to be the best places to fish baits in the surf. Watching sandbars and noting a low spot in the sandbar, where water chooses the least path of resistance is where these rips form. Rips tend to start off as a low section on a sandbar and get deeper overtime making it one of the best places to fish on the beach. 

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