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Does anybody have any tips or thoughts on actual 'beach' fishing - like standing in the surf and casting in to the breakers?

I was out for a little while last night but there was so little in the way of swell that I started walking across the beach itself, casting from knee+ depth in the surf. Felt like a lovely way to be fishing and made a really pleasant chance. I didn't catch anything but it was nice to be trying something different.

Really, it was just bait fishing stylee but with an XLayer flavoured with a couple of dabs and smears of gel, mounted on a 6g jighead. Everything felt right somehow.

The foot of surf didn't cause too many problems wading (although I'll go prepared with chesties next time, rather than the waist jobs) and the current was drifting my bait nicely from left to right. Keeping the rod tip at water level, or slightly under it helped a fair bit in keeping the braid and fluoro beneath the rollers; I just lifted it very slightly sometimes to give the bait a quick 'shake'. Eventually I reached the right hand side of the beach, having slowly followed the rolling bait up with the current. It was dark by this point and here I found what I was looking for really as backwash from the rocks behind me was aiding a little rip and working together very nicely indeed. If there were going to be any fish here, traditionally this would be where! Unfortunately this end of the beach is nearly always covered in weed. With this being the highest tide for some time, there was even more weed in the water than normal and drifting a bait around becamse pretty much impossible. I wouldn't have expected any sensible bass to be within 100yds+ of the waters edge, so my XLayer didn't stand much of a chance.

Anyway, that was last night's story (a short session that ended fishless), but does anybody else spend time fishing clear sandy beaches? I don't mean fishing from rocks over sand, I mean actually ON the sand, surrounded by it. I don't mean in estuaries either, but actually lively surf beaches?! Great beaches for bait fishing, but does anybody have lure experience in the UK in such places?

To me, it makes sense that a drifted softbait could be lethal at times. You'll quickly search an area that a bait fisherman wouldn't cover - only thing lacking is distance, and we all know that lures can be made to do some pretty good things these days.
 

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I do. I do it in a wetsuit though and have only really tried properly with hard baits. My pearl of wisdom is not to let a wave hit you in the midsection just at the point it breaks, as the 'slap' effect is quite painful.

I have done well on a certain sandy featureless beach at night freelining squid about two rod lengths from me as I wade, letting the current fish it all the way along, so I'll be sure to give it a go with some softies. Roll on the autumn!
 

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We fish St Ouens, St Aubins and Grouville Bays like this quite often.
St Ouens is the only true surf beach but yes, we do fish it in the water, over sand.
Hard on reels though. Wave slap can kill dry land reels real quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have done well on a certain sandy featureless beach at night freelining squid about two rod lengths from me as I wade, letting the current fish it all the way along, so I'll be sure to give it a go with some softies. Roll on the autumn!
That is why I can see it working so well Mark. it does with bait, so.....

Hard on reels though. Wave slap can kill dry land reels real quick.
Good to know it's been tried and tested. I'll be giving it more of a go as I quite enjoyed it really until the weed made it tricky. Will sort myself out with a VS or ZB this year so will get in there proper. Hoping to join the surfers ;-)
 

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Ben,
I do fish a couple of (seemingly) featureless sand beaches around here, Mainly schoolies, but with enough larger fish present to make it worth doing when conditions are right.
The trick is finding the depressions in the beach, as this is where the bass tend to hold. Gaps in the breaking waves are the place to be looking Ben.
Great fun in the summer, wet wading in shorts. Just move slowly as in the shallow water the bass are often very wary. Oh and watch out for the last minute take as your lifting the lure out of the water.
Can really make you jump!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Know what you mean mate. Looks like we're in for a proper, proper bit of swell over the next few days, but following that it should be ideal. I'm a total stresshead at the moment with so much going on, so I'm gagging to get out to make a day/night of it some time soon.
 

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Does anybody have any tips or thoughts on actual 'beach' fishing - like standing in the surf and casting in to the breakers?....
Thoughts? Yes, it is one of the first places I would take a novice to catch a bass off the shore. Not hard to fish and in some cases very predictable.
 

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what do you mean?
My experience of this Ritchie is two-fold. Firstly, the pressure of a wave hitting the reel tends to force water into the reel, rather than a 'splash' whilst on the rocks etc . . . . & secondly, in my experience, the surf on a beach contains far more suspended sand particles, and when these get into your reel, it's goodnight Irene !!
 

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My experience of this Ritchie is two-fold. Firstly, the pressure of a wave hitting the reel tends to force water into the reel, rather than a 'splash' whilst on the rocks etc . . . . & secondly, in my experience, the surf on a beach contains far more suspended sand particles, and when these get into your reel, it's goodnight Irene !!
Oh sugar. I spend most my time getting pounded by waves with my saragosa. Cheers for your answer mate. Might take my reel for a service!
 

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My experience of this Ritchie is two-fold. Firstly, the pressure of a wave hitting the reel tends to force water into the reel, rather than a 'splash' whilst on the rocks etc . . . . & secondly, in my experience, the surf on a beach contains far more suspended sand particles, and when these get into your reel, it's goodnight Irene !!
Well done Si.

That and when waves hit you. And they WILL. They direct UP and in behind the rotor cup. Trapped water in there might mean and does mean you can no longer turn the handle. Not great if a big girl smacks you around at the same time.
 

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Modify an older reel.

Cut out the rotor cup with a dremmel.
Wash the reel under warm water each trip.
drill an 2 holes in the reel body and syringe silicone oil in the body every half dozen trips or so. Fill to about 50% capacity or the reel becomes hard to turn.
Then, plug both holes with self tapping screws.

Or...

Pick up an old Mitchell Nautil off ebay but I don't like high retrieve ratio.

Penn have a waterproof reel too I believe and, then there is the new Certate ?

Surf is hard on reels.
 

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Great thread. With the gales we have right now in the south the seas will be too rough imo. Saturday/Sunday look ok though. Lots of weed this year due to the excellent growing conditions but once the weed has been deposited above the high tideline conditions should be great for the beach I fish most. It's shingle with gravel and sand and my favourite technique is to flick a soft plastic no more than ten metres usually diagonally along the beach and twitch it back in the breaking waves. Most takes seem to come in the curl of the breaking wave but you have to be ready at any time as the takes this way are invariably dramatic. No soft sucks but a wham bang and off goes the line. Sometimes you get a fish in the white foam which is even more exciting when right under your rod tip.
Nick
 

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Great thread. With the gales we have right now in the south the seas will be too rough imo. Saturday/Sunday look ok though. Lots of weed this year due to the excellent growing conditions but once the weed has been deposited above the high tideline conditions should be great for the beach I fish most. It's shingle with gravel and sand and my favourite technique is to flick a soft plastic no more than ten metres usually diagonally along the beach and twitch it back in the breaking waves. Most takes seem to come in the curl of the breaking wave but you have to be ready at any time as the takes this way are invariably dramatic. No soft sucks but a wham bang and off goes the line. Sometimes you get a fish in the white foam which is even more exciting when right under your rod tip.
Nick
oh yea...

Been there, done it, wet the tee-shirt.
At night....

Our surf comes alive but, you still need to able to read the beach.
I would recommend everyone learn to do that.
 

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I fancy trying this as I catch a lot of bass using bait, from a clean sandy beach, usually no more than 50 yards out. I figured that if they are taking bait close in, why not try plugs? Will certainly be trying once this rough sea flattens off a bit.
 
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