I don’t have a boat, but I want to learn to fish from the shore of the ocean. What do I need, and how do I cast, etc?

I don’t have a boat, but I want to learn to fish from the shore of the ocean. What do I need, and how do I cast, etc?

The answer to this question depends on which shore you will be fishing from. Since fishing from a deep water seawall or similar location requires similar gear to fishing from a boat I will assume you are talking about surf fishing. The key to surf fishing is getting your bait to where the fish are. This often requires long casts, in some cases very long casts. Fish feed at different areas in the surf. Sometimes a normal cast with a spinning rod will suffice. More often than not however you will need specialized equipment to get the job done. Casts of two hundred feet and longer sometimes need to be made. The most important piece of equipment is the surf rod. Length is the key factor that needs to change. Experienced surf fisherman often use rods ten to twelve feet long for good reason, they cast for much longer distances. It will need to be a heavy action strong rod to handle the weight you will be using at the end of the line. A free spool casting reel is much better than a spinning reel for the same reasons. The problem is you need to be an expert to use this type of reel without backlashing when casting for such long distances. Your choice of fishing line is important as well. I advise using a power line because of its smaller diameter. Monofilament of equal diameter certainly casts farther but if you are targeting anything except the smallest of species you will need the strength of power line. If live bait fishing, you will need to buy weights in the three to five ounce class. The severity of the surf will determine just how much weight is required to hold your offering in place.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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