Fish that are commonly caught close to the beach are species such as the Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel and Speckled Trout. These fish can be caught using bottom rigs, but itís much more fun to target them with lures and light tackle. One of my favorite things to do in off season is to walk the beach carrying a bass rod and a few lures to target roving schools of Bluefish. When you find a school, the action can be hot and heavy. Nothing in freshwater can compare to the carnage a school of these toothy critters are capable of.
A host of other species can be caught from the surf such as Striped Bass, Red Drum and King Mackerel. These fish are capable of topping 50 pounds so we use 10 to 12 ft. rods, big reels and big bait. The head or even a whole spot is a great piece of bait such as a small bluefish. Keep in mind that something capable of swallowing a whole bluefish will test your gear and also your skills as an angler. So, these are the fish to cut your teeth on if you want to move on to catching the big biters.
The big biters such as Sharks, Tuna and Marlin are mostly found offshore near reefs, wrecks and floating debris. For these guys, Anglers usually use live bait rigs such as a lively blue runner. These fish weigh in at an easy 60 to 70 pound and it is not uncommon for them to grow to over 100 pounds. So, heavy tackle is a must if you want to get these fish back to the boat in a timely manner. Line in the 60 to 80 pound test range with a heavy rod and large reel should get the job done but not without testing an anglerís endurance!