It’s winter. I’m cold. I want sun.
This summer, my son’s wedding was a destination wedding. The bride’s family normally does a reunion on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, so they decide to wrap the wedding into that annual event. The basswife, who is a beach lover from way, way back, instantly ratified that decision and settled the matter.
I was perfectly fine with this as it meant a week on the beach and a chance to try surf fishing again. I had a brief exposure to it last year when I visited my friend, Jeff, over in Ocean City, but did not actually fish on the beach. We merely observed others fishing on the beach and considered the possibilities.
Upon arrival in Duck, I instantly visited the Walmart to purchase the best outfit 30 bucks would fund. Surprise! They had a kit that consisted of a rod, reel, and a small box of lures; exactly what I needed. From talking to the beer guy on the beach last year, I also knew that I needed some real bait, so I picked up some frozen squid from the bait store in the little shopping area near our rental. Ready to go!
How complicated is surf fishing? Compared to fly fishing, it’s a piece of cake. All you do is bait the hook and throw it out. The only real strategy (other than picking the right place) is the time of day. Apparently, the experts prefer to fish when the tide is moving in or is already at the high water mark as that allows the fish to run up closer to the beach. However, following that guidance means being out on the beach early in the morning or late in the evening. While I’ll get up at 0400 to drive to the North Branch, no way am I getting up that early on a beach vacation. Evening? Hey, that’s Miller time and I’m back in the hot tub at the condo by then.
So, surf fishing boiled down to taking the rod with me when we went to the beach. It’s pretty easy. You bait the hook, fling it out, stick it in the ground and wait for nothing to happen. But, while waiting you have to intensely watch the pole which also gives you plenty of time to watch the humanity walk by on the beach. It’s amazing how unconscious some people are. Geez. There’s the rod sitting in the sand. Do you think people recognize this and walk under or around it? No. I caught more people with this rig than I did fish.
But, surf fishing did provide a purpose to being on the beach, so even though I caught zero fish, I’ll do it again this year. After all, I have a 30 dollar investment and cannot let that go to waste.
This is all you need. No vest, no waders. Just 30 bucks and the best gear Walmart provides.
When surf fishing, this is what you see. Sometimes you also see the pretty girls when they walk under your rod, but you have to actually be awake to enjoy that.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore