Surf Fishing Question
What is there to target with the fly rod surf fishing OC in August ..... anyone have recommendations of flies (size, color, make)?
Every rose has it's thorns.
Gary......lots of people would disagree with that statement. Pretty popular on HI. I helped a guy land a 44-45" Red off The Point one night. A very effective method of targeting Stripers on the coast as well.
Originally Posted by crabby and son
Grady White 226
The term "good eatin size" is generally used by those that catch small fish.
Clyde, Been surf fishing for 48 years and never seen a fly rod in use. How can you get out there with a fly rod???...........Gary
Every rose has it's thorns.
Gary, there's a difference between chucking bait or lures in the surf & casting flies. There are many who fly fish the coastal surf, but not all surf areas are suitable for flies. The fish do have to be in close to shore.
I've fished the surf in OC, and even in July & August. However, there has to be structure that will draw the fish to the shore. It's possible to catch in the surf with flies where there is only beach, if there's bait there, but that would be very hit & miss & you could fish for many, many days without even a follow.
Used to be some structures that were put in place to help control beach errosion, don't know what's still there, as I've not been to OC in many years. They were made with pilings & planks, and some has rock piles. Crabs & baitfish will be attracted to such structures, and in turn the predators. The tide will wash holes around the ends of such structures & that's where you'll be wanting to cast your flies, and get them near the bottom. I found that out going tides were best, because as the water level lowered, the crabs & baitfish would have to leave the safety of the structure, and would be washed down into those holes to the awaiting predators.
I learned about this many, many years ago, and quite by accident. We had a weeks vacation in OC, right on the beach, and we were fishing the surf each morning & evening with bait before & after the bathers got out there. Caught a few small sand sharks, and nothing else.
Then early one morning saw a fellow walking the beach & casting a lure that looked like a big Rebel Minnow around those breakwaters, and saw him hook & land a Striper about 24" long. I didn't have a fly rod with me then, but did have some lures, and gave it a try. Ended up catching some decent size Flounders & Stripers, and a few other species. Found those holes later in the day wading around. Makes sense that's where the fish would be, not way out on a sand bottom where only the sharks were patrolling. That was back in the early 80's.
Since that time, we went to OC a few more years for vacation & I took a fly rod along. Worked as well as long as I got the flies to the bottom.
It's not surf casting like the guys with the big casting or spinning rigs, but it's still fishing the surf!
houli, if there are any of those structures still along the beach, that's where you want to fish. Otherwise, you would do better to try on the south end at the inlet & off the rock jetty or go north up to Indian River inlet in DE & try there.
When I fished there I used an 8 wt, and flies like Deceivers, Seaducers & Bendbacks. Always liked the Bendbacks best, because I tied them heavily weighted & they snagged less. Those days were before I knew about Clousers, which would likely be my first choice now. I primarily used size 1/0 hooks back then, which was sufficient for the size fish caught. The flies were all in the 3 to 5 inch length range. Colors didn't really seem to matter, but I've always done well with anything of basic white with a contrasting back, such as black, blue, olive, gray or chartreuse. Even some red or orange worked at times. Back then I tied most flies with bucktail, but today with all the different available materials, you can use most anything you like.
I would bet something like a Murdich Minnow pattern would work very well.
Hope this helps!
PS, one more thing! If you buy flies, & don't tie, go to the Albright Fly Rods website & order some flies. They have them for 79 cents each right now. I was looking at their site this morning. The Half & Half's should work well in sizes from 1 to 2/0.
Last edited by bigjim5589; 07-07-2012 at 01:38 PM.
Thanks for taking the time to explain. I surf fished O.C. over the past 48 years and had good luck way back. Since they have been dredging for beach replenishment, not so much. I used to fish the Mid Atlantic Surf Tourney but it just wasn't producing , so I bow hunted. I have had much better luck in Assateague and of course Hatteres. My apologies to houli. My bad as I have never seen it, I thought it was never done............Gary
Every rose has it's thorns.
Gary, no problem. The MD coast is not the best place to throw flies in the surf. There are many more who surf fish with flies as you go north from NJ & up. Many fly fish the surf in NY, Mass & RI, places like that. The shore features up north are better, as the fish tend to come in closer to shore. I only recall seeing fish in the surf at OC once. It was an all out blitz, Stripers & Bluefish herding baitfish into the beach and that was in the late fall. Saw Blues literally beach themselves chasing bait. You could see them in the waves, like surfers. That's the perfect situation for flies, but it just doesn't happen often & when it does, you have to be there at the time, with the right fly equipment or you miss it. I've seen pictures & reports posted of such an occurance up north, and down south along parts of the NC coast, but don't think it happens here all too often. That's likely why you've never seen fly flingers in the surf, plus like you say, when there are fish here, it usually takes some distance casting to get to them from shore.
I started fly fishing the surf around 1991.
Originally Posted by bigjim5589
It was a happening thing, just couldn't avoid reading about it back then as all the magazines and trade press seemed to mention it.
After catching blues two at a time in the surf at Hatteras with a dual butterbean jig on my Speck trout rod, I figured these crazy blues would fall for a fly easy.
I bought a 9W rod to practice with and started bringing it with me on all my Hatteras trips.
For me the big challenge has been dealing with the wind that always seems to be blowing in my face at my favorites fishing spots, and managing and stowing all the stripping fly line in that basket around my waist.....while the waves are pounding my feet.
I do love casting a sinking line in a clear green slough with a saltwater fly...all the while hoping to get a strike and play that fish in a swell.
Unfortunately, I haven't been in that many blitzes lately - but I'm still trying.
I've been knee deep in blues in the surf that were 10 lbs and larger, blues that were in a total frenzy...chasing bait fish on the beach, blues biting onto a broom handle plug with no hook.
I have no idea what I would've done with a 12 lb. blue on a light fly line, but it would be fun!
Bunkerbuster, I know what you mean! A 12 lb Blue on a fly would be a load of fun! I've caught some up to about 5-6 lbs on a 6 wt.
I started about 1966. The majority of fishing I do, or have done in tidalwater has been in the rivers & creeks around the MD portion of the Chesapeake. I have a small jon boat & a Gheenoe, so that type of water is better for those small craft, and better for fly fishing IMO. I like fishing for LM bass, panfish & Stripers & Bluefish when I can find them. I've fished in DE, FL, NC, & SC too several times. I enjoy fly fishing the most, but also fish with other types of tackle. Fishing the surf can become an addiction when you fish somewhere that provides good action. I guess I've been lucky, but really haven't fly fished in the surf all that much, not compared to some who fish there a lot. As I said in my reply to Gary, when we have the good fortune to find a blitz, with fly rod in hand, just enjoy it while it lasts, because unless you spend a lot of time fishing, you won't witness that type of action too many times particularly here, and not with flies. I saw that one time in OC, and have seen it out on the bay a few times, but frankly other than the one time in OC, did not have a fly rod with me. I fished a lot when I was younger, before I had a family, but once I got married & kids came along, that has limited my fishing.
Back in 2010 I got down to the SC coast for a week, but had no success at all with a fly rod. We have another trip there planned for next spring, and I'll give it a try again. But, because I don't get to fish like I used to, I'll also be taking my surf spinning equipment. If I can't hook up with a fly, I'll take the next best thing! Pullage is pullage!
I think we could get one of these critters to take a fly....
Originally Posted by bigjim5589