Surf Fishing Report: July 2015

Summer time surf fishing forces anglers to apply a number of tactical changes and presentations to surf fishing. The summer doldrums are upon us with flat ocean conditions and light westerly winds. Added to the angler’s woes is that the heat index is skyrocketing and crabs are eating our baits of the hooks.

Therefore, the time has come to start salting our baits. Why you ask? If you have ever surf fished during the hot summer months you may have noticed that many times you reel in to check your bait only to find it’s gone. Well my friends you have got the crabs. Those little guys will eat your bait so gently that you won’t see the rod move. Without the wave action and other factors that force the crabs to stay out of sight during the fall/ winter the crabs have free run of the ocean floor during the summer. So why salt? I salt shrimp and clams using Kosher Salt for the following reasons: It dries out the bait and makes it tougher for the crabs to eat it off the hooks. Secondly, using Kosher Salt in the drying process keeps the baits at their natural color. The result is a tougher bait with a natural color that the crabs can’t eat off your hooks as fast.

Not interested in salting baits and all that mess then here is that answer, the product is called “Fishbites” and continues to get outstanding reviews from the local surf anglers because the baits work when others won’t. The baits stay on the hooks longer and does a very good job of catching whiting, sheepshead, pompano and drum. Fishbites is also used extensively by river fisherman to tip their trout touts and gigs. The product I use comes in a package of two 12 inch strips so you can cut off as much or as little as you need or in pre-cut pieces that the river anglers use. They have several different scents, clam, shrimp, crab and in colors that include red, yellow and pink. Finally, the product needs no refrigeration and can stay in you tackle bucket until needed.

Tip: “The Sandwich” communally used when fish won’t bite and/or the crabs are eating your baits of the hook before you can get the rod into the rod holder after the cast. The sandwich is deployed as follows. First hook a small piece of clam scented Fishbites on your hook follow that with a fresh piece of clam and finish it off with another piece of Fishbites. It’s that simple and it works, keeps the clam in place and scents the water just like you were chumming you own bait. Even if small fish/crabs eat off the fresh clam the Fishbites continues to draw fish to you hooks because of its strong scent and it being harder to tear off your hooks than the clam. Many anglers fish Fishbites only and report great success.