The surf fishing is warming up — literally. It seems like the cold water has moved out and the fish are chewing better now. There are lots of Whiting, Spots, and Heard-Head Croakers around the surf. Seaweed has been a bit of an issue, but if you move around you can find a clean area. Fishbites, shrimp, sandfleas, and clams are the go-to bait for these fish right now. Just toss a pompano rig out there and it should be game on. There are lots of smaller fish around, so dropping your hook size down to something like a #4 wouldn’t be a bad idea.
If you want to target bigger fish, the snook, tarpon, and kingfish are in the surf as well. As for baits for these fish, try fishing spots, pilchards, mullet, pogies, horn-bellies, or anything else you can get your hands on. If you want to go artificial, try either plugs that dive in the 1′ – 4′ range or swimbaits. I’ve been fishing 60lb tsunami fluorocarbon for Tarpon and 30lb for Snook. When it comes to hook size, a 4/0 – and 8/0 works well, just match it to the size of your bait.
Here’s a recent video of taking on a GIANT tarpon in the surf — and be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel: