Surf & Pier


Last month was crazy, with the beach and pier closures. For those of us who were able to get our toes in the sand, we experienced some great surf fishing. May should be even better. Hopefully, you are reading this between your fishing trips.

Pompano, whiting, and black drum have been plentiful and eager to take a fresh bait. My favorite go-to baits, are live shrimp cut up into thumb-nail size pieces, fresh clams, and live sand fleas. Almost always, I use a double dropper rig with 2/0 Eagle Claw L197 circle hooks. My most effective rigs include a white float on the top hook, and a clear orange bead on the bottom. Nothing will shy away from this set up. Last month I scored a double sheepshead on this rig! Try flea on the top hook, and clam strapped on the bottom hook with Miracle Thread. This thread is now available at Strike Zone Fishing.

Whether you are in the surf, or on the pier, the boys in the grey suits will be in full force this month. To get your string stretched, just soak a whiting head in a deep trough along the beach. The blacktip sharks will be actively feeding on them, and the pompano. I like using a foot of 480 lb. cable, tipped with a 10/0 L2022 by Eagle Claw. Above that, six feet of 300 lb. mono to avoid being tail whipped. This fish will run 70 to 160 pounds. So, make sure you have enough line, 300 yds of 30 lb., to soak up the first run. Blacktips are a blast, because in shallow water, they almost always go airborne when hooked.  My personal best happened on Crescent Beach. The tide had dropped out leaving a deep, eighty-yard-wide trough about 4 feet deep.  It put on a big show. Twenty one jumps, total including flips, spirals, and tail walking!  This is why I have nicknamed them “Beach Marlin”!

I am pleased to announce that the Florida Surf Casters Club will be holding their 16th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament on Saturday May 16th. This tourney is for pompano and whiting only. The weigh-in will be hosted by the Strike Zone in Jacksonville, Fl. For more information go to  or call Steve Austin 904-386-4565. As a founding member of the club, I want to thank Dave Workman, and his team at Strike Zone Fishing for making this tourney an ongoing success!