40 posts in this topic

Hello, everyone. I am new to this forum. I live in Charles County, MD (Waldorf), and will be traveling with family to Assateague Island in Sept 09. We intend to RV dry camp on the island. I have not surf fished for years, since I was a kid living on the west coast. I am more familiar with charter boat fishing.

Any advice on how to catch well on AI. I will catch and keep Drum, Strippers, anything...really. My wife thinks that I am crazy planning this far out, but due to other hobbies, family, and work, I don't go fishing out much. For this surf fishing trip to AI, this is what I have for fishing gear right now, and other items:

- 6-8 feet rods (3 each);

- Spinner Reels (3 each);

- 17 lb line on two of the reels; 7 lbs on one (mostly for freshwater); 25+ on one;

- Assortment of lead weights and swivels;

- 1/0 up to 3/0 hooks; No octopus hooks;

- Artificial lures for saltwater is limited (mostly have freshwater stuff);

- Cat litter plastic bucket (5 gallon);

- ATV red wagon (bought for my son to carry around, but very good for rough terrain to carry);

- Portable folding chairs with a little umbrella to attach

- MD fishing license (saltwater);

- Waders (mostly used for freshwater);

- Net with handle about 3 feet long or so;

I think that I need, but please validate, the following:

- Spikes to hold the rods;

- Steel leader or rig for Strippers;

- Mullet for bait (don't have aerator);

- Propane lantern for night fishing (that is legal right for surf fishing??)

I have read about setting up a fish finder rig, and noticed that you can buy those also.

What else??

Thanks.

Lito

Edited by litofishing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd highly recommend bigger rods (I use an 11' and bring a 10' to throw plugs and catch smaller baitfish). A medium to heavy spinning reel is plenty for the surf if you are just out there to catch a fish. I would use 12-14 lb. test on your lightest reel, the 17 and 25 sounds good, but use a lighter line if you plan to throw lures. Make sure all your tackle is heavy! The Assateague surf can be rough, so use 3-6 oz. weights with heavy swivels (I try to stay away from snap swivels in the surf). Hook size really depends on what you wanna catch: the smaller the hook, the small the fish is that will be hooked on the end of your line and vice versa.

I generally use smaller size hooks for spot, small dogfish, kingfish, croakers, and other little guys, while medium and larger sized hooks are a must for bluefish, stripers, flounder, large dogfish, and sharks. I wouldn't worry about having a limited selection of saltwater lures... the only times I really throw them is when I can physically see a blitz or feeding frenzy... if you're out with the kids, I'd just stick to throwing out bait and kickin' it back. The 5 gallon bucket, red wagon, and chairs are always an extremely good idea, and YES, you need need need sand spikes!!! Don't ever let your reels touch the sand and make sure that each time you're done fishing, you clean your reels with hot tap water to prevent the salt from building up/corroding the metal parts within the reel. I surf fish in Delaware mostly and know that it's required to have a fishing license to all 17-65 years of age when surf fishing, and I believe Maryland is the same, so I'd buy the license (better safe than sorry).

The waders will likely be unneeded, but that's a personal choice. During September I usually still just wear shorts and flip flops, but you may decide that it's a bit chilly and the waders would work well. No net required: use the surf and waves to wash your fish in and you'll be fine. Heavy or even steel leaders are never a bad idea in September simply because it is when the bluefish run is in full force. Take caution though... bluefish have teeth and WILL bite you. If you begin have tear offs or the line becomes frayed near the hook, it is more than likely due to the mouths of blues. Make sure you use a needle nose pliers to remove a hook from a bluefish or any toothy fish for that matter. Mullet is fine to use for bait, but they really don't need to be live. Some of my favorite baits include mullet, bunker, freshly caught baitfish from the surf, clams (especially for stripers), Fishbites Articficial Bloodworms (good all around bait), and squid. Night fishing is one of the best times to fish! Assateague is notorious for the big toothy critters prowling the surf on those warm summer nights... yup, I'm talking about sharks.

By September, the sharkin' has died down a little bit as more anglers focus on the blues and the upcoming striper season though, and the sharks move to deeper water. Always always always expect to catch skates and dogfish at night. If you do hook up with a skate, don't bother fighting it to get your hook back, when it comes up to the beach, cut the line a safe distance away from it and let the surf run it back out... they have a nasty, spiny tail that'll hurt like hell if you get nailed by it! Some other things to take into consideration are bringing a sperate cooler (with ice in it) from your food cooler to keep your bait in. If you plan to keep some of your catch, make sure you know the regulations, limits, sizes, and season on all fish. Check your bait every 20 minutes or so.

Try not to "over shoot" the fish... this is especially true at night because many fish will come closer to the shoreline to feed when it is dark. The fish are often times just beyond the breakers, so manke sure you're out far enough that the surf doesn't bring your rig back into the beach, but also not too far as you can sometimes over cast the fish. Hopefully this has been helpful to you, please repost if you have any more questions.

-Tyler

Edited by Sam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the equipment you have I would be targeting flounder and bluefish in the surf. You might get onto some king fish if you get lucky.

Keeper stripers are a pretty rare catch for september (although not unhead of) and keeper drum within the slot is pretty rare also. Depending on which part of september you go you might get really lucky and hook into a huge bull red drum. I been trying for 3 years now and I haven't been successfull yet :(

PS-- no fishing license required to fish the coastal areas in MD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now, late September is the targeted time frame.

What months are good in AI for Strippers, Blues, and Drum?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blue Fish, Black Drum, Stripers: April - May, November - December

Red Drum: September - October

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right now, late September is the targeted time frame.

What months are good in AI for Strippers, Blues, and Drum?

Late September ... go buy a 10 11 or 12 ft rod (tica rods are cheap) and toss as far as you can. use big 8/0 or larger circle hooks and bait with bunker or spot. This would give you the best chance at huge bull red's.

Do a search on these boards for a fishfinder rig and start tying some up now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you guys handle sharks? I have eaten them and like them, but have never caught one. Is it worth keeping within the regulations, or just cutting line and going for the blues, and red drums?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How do you guys handle sharks? I have eaten them and like them, but have never caught one. Is it worth keeping within the regulations, or just cutting line and going for the blues, and red drums?

Sharks are pretty easy to handle. Just have a large pair of pliers or channel locks to get the hooks out. Obviously don't stick your paws in mouth of a shark. I find the bigger they are, they easier they are to handle.

I think they are putting Sand Bar sharks on the list of species you can't keep, so that only leaves pretty much blacktips and spinners that you can keep from the surf. Unless you really study shark ID I wouldn't be keeping any of them.

Honestly late sept its mostly sand tigers that you are going to catch and baby sand bar/duskys.

Now dogfish sharks on the other hand can be kept and some people say they are quite tasty. I never eaten one so I can't say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, all of you, for the extremely helpful tips.

What about artificial lures? What do most folks use at AI? Are there particular types for particular fish?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't realize sandbar was on the list..I always keep one a season...bummer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Didn't realize sandbar was on the list..I always keep one a season...bummer.

You will just have to get that big blacktip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coop, 12 foot Hammerheads aren't on the list either....

Just a thought. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you, all of you, for the extremely helpful tips.

What about artificial lures? What do most folks use at AI? Are there particular types for particular fish?

Lito,

Welcome aboard. When the blues are running in the surf a Gator Spoon, Hopkins Lure or Stingsilvers work pretty good.

For Stripers Panther Martins swim baits, Bombers, Mirrolures and surface lures works well for me. I am sure others will chime in.:icon_wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- 6-8 feet rods (3 each);

- Spinner Reels (3 each); - Good for smaller fish, large fish can be caught but may be tough. 25# on a freshwater reel? What kind of capacity?

- 17 lb line on two of the reels; 7 lbs on one (mostly for freshwater); 25+ on one;

- Assortment of lead weights and swivels; - Have weights from 3-10oz and a rod that can handle the weight

- 1/0 up to 3/0 hooks; No octopus hooks; - In sept, with big red drum, I typically fish a hook no smaller than a 5/0, the 1/0-3/0 may work for some bait though :) And I'd get circle hooks instead of J hooks, at least for the larger hooks.

- Artificial lures for saltwater is limited (mostly have freshwater stuff); - Anything shiny that you can throw far enough. Swimbaits work great as long as you are prepared to change them often if the blues are in the water.

- Cat litter plastic bucket (5 gallon); - I'd opt for a cooler instead of a 5 gallon bucket since I don't see that on the list

- ATV red wagon (bought for my son to carry around, but very good for rough terrain to carry); - if the tires are small don't bother with it...the deep sand will swallow up the smaller tires and it'll be harder to pull than to carry the stuff.

- Portable folding chairs with a little umbrella to attach

- MD fishing license (saltwater);

- Waders (mostly used for freshwater);

- Net with handle about 3 feet long or so; - I've never taken a net to the beach...I wouldn't waste the extra space or weight.

I think that I need, but please validate, the following:

- Spikes to hold the rods; - Yup, gotta have these, you can buy them or just go to home depot and get PVC pipe to make them. Don't be like me and always forget a mallet to knock them into the sand....

- Steel leader or rig for Stripers; - Steel leader is not necessary for striper, if the big blues are in they are a wise choice, but I wouldn't use one unless I was specifically targetting large blues. 40-100# leader on your hook will usually suffice.

- Mullet for bait (don't have aerator); - Aerator?? Whats that :) throw all your bait in the cooler and don't sweat the extra cost for the aerator or batteries. And in sept, I'd use Bloodworms or Fish Bites for bait on small rods (to catch fresh bait) and until you get some good spot or whiting use bunker.

- Propane lantern for night fishing (that is legal right for surf fishing??) - Don't worry about a lantern on the beach, instead spend the money on a good LED Headlamp and use that. If you search Lights while fishing on this forum you'll see some very heated discussions on the negative impact of lights cast into the surf, whether it be headlights or a constant propane lantern.

I have read about setting up a fish finder rig, and noticed that you can buy those also. - Fish finders are easy, I make my own, that way I trust the knots/crimps, know exactly what my leader is etc....Just snell your larger hooks yourself and buy the slides....piece of cake...

What else?? - We could all go on for days on this catagory....basically...here's the minimum you need to get away with fishing in the surf. 1 Small rod with a double bottom or fireball rig for catching bait, Bloodworms or Fish Bites for that rod and only because you're going in sept, 1 surf rod capapble of throwing at least 8oz. Make sure your reels are spooled with good fresh line. Oh, and I prefer mono and not braid on the beach, but thats a completely different topic.

Thanks.

Lito

Ok, so thats my opinion :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i use crimp to tie the end of the leader to the swivel but I do snell all my hooks. Practice the snell knot and learn it. Its a very useful knot. Honestly its pretty easy to tie with larger lines, I actually snell my shark hook leaders with weed whacker line when I am not using wire.

I tried and tried and tried and tried some more to learn to tie the snell knot by looking at pictures/video on the internets. Igormothra (Oliver) showed me how to do it a couple times on the beach one day and the next day I was a pro and could almost do it blindfolded.

I know this is getting off topic a bit, but another knot I use constantly is the palomer knot, it takes about 2 minutes to learn and can be used in almost every situation.

If you are learning knots here is a basic list that will pretty much get you anything you will ever need.

Palomer Knot

Snell Knot

Surgeons Loop Knot

Improved Cinch Knot

Albright Knot

Dropper Loop

If you can learn those 6 knots inside and out you can make any rig and tie pretty much any fishing line. 3 of those knots are extremly simple (although they might look complicated on paper). The Palomar, Surgeons Loop and Improved cinch can be mastered in about 10 minutes.The snell is easy once you see someone do it a couple times. The albright and dropper loops can be tricky and you might need to practice bit.

Some people will also include the Uni knot in the above list, however truthfully I never learned how to tie it, I am sure I could pick it up in a couple minutes, but I never really had a good use for it. I stick to the knots I Mastered and until I need another knot I probablly won't learn the Uni knot.

The other knot I use almost every surf fishing trip is a spider hitch to a no-name knot to connect my running line to my shock leader. You can also use the albright knot to accomplish the same task.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great info, guys. I'll make this one a "Sticky" thread!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 100 lb, 1 mm thick mono line that I bought will only loop through the eye once. I can't get the line to loop in twice, which is what is called for, I think, to make a snell hook.

Also, on the clinch knot, it is a bear. The line is so thick to loop. Any suggestions besides crimping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The 100 lb, 1 mm thick mono line that I bought will only loop through the eye once. I can't get the line to loop in twice, which is what is called for, I think, to make a snell hook.

Also, on the clinch knot, it is a bear. The line is so thick to loop. Any suggestions besides crimping.

When you snell a hook you don't have to put the line through the eye at all.

I used to use a palmor knot to tie the other end to the swivel, however I found it easier to just crimp it on. You are correct, the cinch knot is a bear to use on thicker or stiff line, I won't tie anything over 50lb test with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I think that I got it. I did not go thru the eye, and it turned out OK. However, because the line is so thick, it is really difficult to tighten. I may stick with crimping, but will see. I will try a few more. Thanks for the help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yep, I think that I got it. I did not go thru the eye, and it turned out OK. However, because the line is so thick, it is really difficult to tighten. I may stick with crimping, but will see. I will try a few more. Thanks for the help.

I use needlenose pliers to really cinch down my snell knots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tie up to 80# and that's it.

The 250 and 400 wire I crimp.

Just make sure you use aluminum for mono and steel for wire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read of the need for a shock leader between the rod main line, and your barrel swivel holding the leader and hook. The picture attached above recommends 50 feet of 50lb line for the shock leader. How is it tied to the main line? Just a blood knot or surgeon's knot, or do you use another barrel swivel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have read of the need for a shock leader between the rod main line, and your barrel swivel holding the leader and hook. The picture attached above recommends 50 feet of 50lb line for the shock leader. How is it tied to the main line? Just a blood knot or surgeon's knot, or do you use another barrel swivel?

Albright knot

Blood will work as well but I find it harder to tie correctly 100% of the time and the knot is usually bigger than the albright.

I personally tie a spider hitch in my running line and attach it to the 50lb shock leader with a no-name knot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have read of the need for a shock leader between the rod main line, and your barrel swivel holding the leader and hook. The picture attached above recommends 50 feet of 50lb line for the shock leader. How is it tied to the main line? Just a blood knot or surgeon's knot, or do you use another barrel swivel?

50' really? I don't think I've ever wrapped that much shock on my reels. I usually just make sure I have 4-5 wraps on the spool and thats it....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That picture listed above says 20ft of 50lb test.

Fishaholic is absolutely right, as long as you have a couple wraps of the shock leader around the spool of your reel you are fine.

The length of the shock leader really depends on a couple of variables. #1 length of your rod, #2 length of your drop when you cast.

I always add a couple extra feet when I tie my shock leader onto the main line, this way I don't have to change the shock leader every time I tie a new rig onto the line. You also have some room to cut back nicked up shock leader.

Another thing to beware of is the 50lb line. That can vary from person to person and needs to be modified depending on what weight you are throwing. Personally for me I use 50lb line for anything up to 8oz of weight. After I get above 8oz I will start snapping the shock leaders when I cast, so I have to step up to 60 or 80lb shock leader when throwing more than 8oz of weight.

The cardinal rule says 10lb of shock leader for every ounce of weight you cast. Example 4 oz weight requires 40lb shock leader, 8oz weight requires 80lb shock leader. I find this cardinal rule way overkill for the most part and really only follow it if I am casting in a really crowded area. You will learn by trial and error what size shock leader you need for different sized weights.

Just remember that when casting and the line breaks, that chunk of lead sinker is now a bullet and can cause serious injury and even death. So always be aware of whats going on around you when you cast.

Edited by ffemtreed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

Help us keep the lights on by becoming a Site Supporter!
Site Supporter