By Joe Sheaffer
When I was in my teens, my grandfather would take me fishing on the Shenandoah River on weekend camping trips. We would wade in the river and he taught me how to read the flowing stream and where the most productive areas were to fish. Granddad would concentrate on the backflows and eddies of the flowing water and many times the fish would be waiting there to feed on whatever came down the river. The more time spent fishing our local beaches, there are many similarities to fishing the river in those good ole days. Looking for Rips or Blowouts as I call them, usually during a falling tide, can be very productive. The best days tend to be when the surf is ripping and turned up, causing more current on the back flows as water tries to return back to the Gulf. Being able to read the surf and find the sweet spots in these areas can be a worthwhile challenge. I usually like to walk the beach looking for these areas. Finding the right Blowout may take some time, but it can be worth the effort.
Some rips are very noticeable and some can be a bit more challenging to spot. You are looking for current backflows (exiting current against the incoming surf) that cause eddies, cuts and bowls along the surf line. Presenting a lure or live bait in these key areas may result in catching many different species of fish. Snook, spotted sea trout, flounder, pompano and many others can be found feeding in and around Blowouts. Not all Blowouts are the same and many aren’t holding fish. Walking the beach and fishing many Blowouts, will give you the best chance to find a productive area. Sometimes, if the surf conditions are in a stable pattern, you could fish the same Blowouts over a few days, adjusting the time of day to fish by the daily tidal cycle. In many situations, it could be good one day and the fish are gone the next.
I typically use a ¼ oz jig with a 3-4 inch paddle tail (white, silver or bluish colors). Bucktails, spoons, plugs and live bait can be very productive options as well. Your lure presentation can be adjusted depending on current, depth, and contour of the areas fished. When fishing the Blowout, I may pop my jig off the bottom, swim the lure along the cut or bowl adjacent to the Blowout, or allow the lure to just lay in the surf. These and other presentations can be very effective. If you’re looking for a different fishing experience during the hot days of summer, head to the beach. Fishing the surf and Blowouts may turn out to be an awesome fishing experience!