Need advice on surf fishing. - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 09-01-2015, 11:49 PM   #1
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Default Need advice on surf fishing.

Hey guys, I'm new to the Forum. I have a couple questions for yall.
I'm going to be staying in gulf shores right past little lagoon pass on the lagoon side. I want to do some surf fishing. I would like to catch some pompano or whiting or trout or flounder. What is the best bait or artificial lure to use. What kind of rigs? Im just knew to surf fishing. I have a bass boat and have tons of jerkbaits, top water plugs, can I throw those and get bit?
I have a big penn reel and would love to hook up with a big shark.

Just need some help. Thanks in advance.

Dan
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:14 AM   #2
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Hi Dan, welcome to the forum- and the addiction!
Depending on WHEN you are visiting will have some affect on the answers you will be looking for. Fall (now) -typically Sept thru late Oct - maybe even into Nov (depending on how the cold fronts start moving thou the area), is one of my favorite times of year for fishing our area of the northern gulf coast! Inshore, surf, and beyond- anything goes this time of year... And that area of Gulf Shores is great. You can fish the pass area at Little Lagoon for all kinds of fish, or the surf on the gulf! Your strategy will be affected by everything from weather, tides, lunar table.... But let's keep it simple. Start with the gear and tackle:
If you are bringing fresh water gear- salt water and sand will try to wreak havoc On it! Keep it clean after every use if you intend on keeping it long- fresh water rinse rods/ reels and a good reel cleaner wipedown will be most beneficial.... Actually that's the best advice for any gear after a trip.
A regular piece of advice I give is - how similar inshore artificial lures are to freshwater baits used! I even use Coffee Tubes and Spinner Baits for everything from Redfish, Trout, to flounder! Although I might pay a little extra to buy a few saltwater versions and leave the freshwater stuff at home (after some time in the saltwater, the hooks and connections might start corroding and rusting). A few of my favorites that won't break the bank include Strike King Redfish Magic, DOA shrimp and / or DOA CAL jerk Shad. A few others include Heddon Spook topwater lures, MirroLure MorriDine and SheDog. Chris V has been doing well with Tsunami swim baits and Unfair Lure RipNSlash on the beaches, and I always keep a large silver / chrome spoon handy.
Speaking of Chris- it would probably be worth your time to go see him at Sam's Stop and Shop on Canal Rd in Orange Beach, he can definitely give you some good tips and what and where to fish for best results!
A good spinning reel is usually preferred for surf fishing with a nice 7' (or so) surf Rod. Maybe a 4000 - 7000 series reel (17-20 lb class max to optimize casting).
You will also do well fishing the inlets on the incoming tide in Little Lagoon- like any fishing, you need to be looking for ledges, structure, or bait.... On the beaches, you'll be looking for troughs, holes, and other breaks in the sandbars.
Tip- fishing on days when there has been a full / nearly full moon all night will likely be tough!
Fishing the lagoon side will likely produce trout, redfish, flounder, black drum among a few. Fishing the beach may also produce redfish, trout, flounder- as well as pompano, bluefish, maybe Spanish mackerel- to name a few.
You can always step the game up a bit by fishing with live or dead baits- shrimp, sand fleas, cut baits (depending on your quarry)- just remember, you may get more undesirable by-catch (catfish, lizardfish, etc) with cut baits sitting on the bottom!
Well, I was trying to keep it simple-
Oh- one more note, a lot of the public beaches along the Gulf Coast have a shark fishing ban- make sure it's ok to shark fish before you start stringing lines up!
I hope this was helpful- I'm sure more suggestions will follow from other experienced anglers who frequent that area.
Tight lines!
Mike

Last edited by badonskybuccaneers; 09-02-2015 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:15 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for the information. I'm going to try to go by the tackle shop tomorrow afternoon and stock up. I hope to fish Friday morning through Tuesday. Night and day I hope. My best friend just got in his new 25 ft sea hunt with twin 200's. So we will be out all day Thursday. I've very familiar with offshore fishing. I've just never surf fished. I've got most of the stuff I need to get started I will try to get some of the lures you mentioned. I have a couple more questions for you.
1. Is it easier to buy sand fleas or buy a rake and catch them your self.
2. When using live bait do you put it directly on bottom or midway up.
3. Do you prefer a double rig or single.
4. What size hooks weights on rig?

I really appreciate all the information you gave me. That was very considerate to take time to respond in such detail. I've got a 7 yr old that is to little to go offshore. So I won't him to have some fun.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:04 AM   #4
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Default Fishing The Gulf

Badonsky,
There are many people (just like me) who probably get only one chance a year to fish the salt water in the gulf. For obvious reasons that time is cherished a whole lot more than you guys who can fish it regularly. I start reading PFF every day for two months before we make the annual journey to Destin, Orange Beach or Gulf Shores (fished them all).

It's great that you took the time to post such well thought out tips. I, for one, have never caught a red but it is on my bucket list along with a tarpon and a couple more salt water species. When guys like us make the mistake of going into the local Wally-World and load up on crap that we don't need it is a waste of money so your suggestion on lures is great.

Just thought I would add my appreciation for all of us lurkers who want to learn more. Very nice of you to spend the time to help others. I've been fishing the Destin area for over 30 years but ALWAYS willing to learn something new.

Have a great day Badonsky, once again thank you!
Frank-Chattanooga, TN.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:10 AM   #5
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When are you coming Dan?
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:37 AM   #6
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I agree with most of what has been said. In your situation, I think I would buy sand fleas or maybe fresh-dead shrimp. A rake takes uip a lot of room in the car transporting it home and there's no guarantee you will be able to catch some.
I like a double drop rig available at the tackle shop. Use circle hooks. I can't remember the size , #2 maybe ? I just know them when I see them.
I like 9' and 10' rods for surf. Make you some rod holders about 3 1/2'-4' long out of thick-walled PVC. Cut a point on one end so it goes in the sand easier.
A cart is nice but probably not practical to buy one just for a week, plus transport being a problem.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
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Thanks again. @chris v. I am leaving Tuscaloosa this afternoon around 2.
I was like a little kid last night. I cleaned up my tackle bags. Relined my rods. Oiled my reels. Went outside and fished in my yard a couple of times. Didn't sleep.

Is there any stores open after 6 pm. We are going offshore early in the morning. My buddy told me to pick up 5lbs of cigar minnows, 5lbs of squid. Can I get those just about anywhere?
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFowler View Post
Thanks again. @chris v. I am leaving Tuscaloosa this afternoon around 2.
I was like a little kid last night. I cleaned up my tackle bags. Relined my rods. Oiled my reels. Went outside and fished in my yard a couple of times. Didn't sleep.

Is there any stores open after 6 pm. We are going offshore early in the morning. My buddy told me to pick up 5lbs of cigar minnows, 5lbs of squid. Can I get those just about anywhere?
Hey Dan, Chris is probably out wetting a line this morning. I know that "can't sleep" feeling- I still get it every time the night before we head to the keys!
Sam's is open until 10pm this weekend (they resume "winter hours" Monday night- closing at 9pm), and Chris should be there from about 1pm until close. And I think both Sam's and J&M open around 5am.
I agree with welldoya on the flea rake and bait- fresh or live is best, but buying a sand flea rake is probably not anything I would suggest for a weekend getaway. I will say that you probably can't beat live shrimp for some good inshore action, but fresh dead will do very well on the surf.
Pompano rigs will help keep those dead baits off of the bottom, a gulf rig will do pretty well.... But if the catfish and croakers aren't bad, I'd prefer a plain old knocker rig. Check on Chris' recent posts- like I said, he's been doing pretty good with just a couple artificials on the beach in the mornings.
Have any other questions, holler!
Glad I could help, and good luck out there!

Last edited by badonskybuccaneers; 09-02-2015 at 10:44 AM.
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