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Noah Huebner

Fly fishing the surf

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I'll let guys from up north respond about the actual fishing - but in my area, south Florida, most will use a full Intermediate fly line in the surf since it sinks below the waves and allows you to fish without nearly as much "push" from waves...  Hope this helps

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Where are you planning to fish, Noah?  I fish mainly South Jersey, from Brigantine to Cape May Point.  Most times I'll fish from a jetty or alongside the jetty or along the inlets.  I've fished from the beach a few times.   I'll use an intermediate line or a sinking line.  Most often a sinking line since there's almost always an on-shore breeze blowing in.  The South Jersey beaches are sloping and there isn't a whole lot of structure off the beach.   There are a few sand bars but that's about it.  Unless you see fish working the surf it's purely blind fishing.  That's one of the reasons I use a sinking line.  I might have a shot at a flounder, sea robin, ray.

As Capt Bob said an intermediate or sinking line will keep you below the wave action.  You'll also have to pay attention to the tides.   I've always found fishing two hours before and after the top and bottom of the tide to be most productive.  Dawn and dusk are also good times.  If you are going to be fishing an area where the sand bars are closer to the shore, pay attention to the troughs between the bars and the shore.  Summer is not the best time to fish from the shore.   Depending where you are,  late September through November that's when the bait fish start moving out of the back bays and inlets,  will be the best time.  Peanut Bunker, Finger Mullet, Bay Anchovies and Silversides are on the move and the stripers and the bluefish will be wherever they are.

Flies, Clouser minnows, Deceivers, Half and Half, Bait Fish patterns that imitate around here, Peanut Bunker, Sand Eels, Silversides and Bay Anchovies.  Stripers will take crab and sand flea imitations..   

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agree with Capt Bob & Philly, I use 9wt intermediate or sinking lines, the beach can be good, there is most always a trough line formed between the high and low tide wave action that will hold bait and the bass know it. look for other structure rocks, tidal pools, river / stream outlets on the beach at low tide and the way the sand bars form the troughs. Always pay attention to the birds they fish for a living and will show you where the bait and fish are. I have caught more than a couple of flounder and fluke from the beach also (Clouser's) they work the trough line also. Line management (stripping baskets help),  wind, wading the beach or fishing from jetty, back casting room, have to be considerations. Lots of fun and new challenges to learn and explore. I have found most river outlets better on the dropping tide. Tides, currents,  wind, and light (night, dawn, dusk vs bright days) have a large effect.  fishing is best with wind from the west , fishing is least with wind from the east has more than some truth to it. may take little time to learn a area then a storm will come thru and change things, makes you appreciate what a good guide goes through in the course of a season or more. 

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From a long, long ways south... An easterly wind is certainly difficult to fish -- but it drives bait and the fish that feed on them, at times, right up to your feet where I am... Figuring out how to benefit from the situation - not easy... 

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