Though not as well known as more conventional fishing techniques, surf fishing has quickly created a dedicated following amongst anglers. The appeal of surf fishing lies in the ability to land big fish without needing access to a boat. Not only does this make surf fishing relatively inexpensive, but it also makes it highly accessible to all. Many anglers prefer to surf fish from flatter beach areas, though equally good results can be had from rocky ledges and coves up and down the coast of Maine.
Surf fishing for striped bass is fast becoming a common sight along the coastal regions of Maine. Experienced surf anglers will cruise along the beach or coastline looking for likely spots to fish, such as sheltered coves or eddies. The presence of seabirds may indicate a school of baitfish, which can be equally worthwhile following as they will no doubt attract striped bass.
As surf fishing is a specialist technique, dedicated equipment is required to get best results. Rods suitable for surf fishing are typically anywhere between 10 and 12 feet in length, and are often coupled with heavy duty spinning reels. Remember that you will be looking to cast your weights and bait up to 100 yards off shore beyond the breaking surf, so when you purchase your equipment, make sure that it is designed for surf fishing and will stand up to the job. Weights are an important factor in surf fishing, though multi-ounce pyramid sinkers come highly recommended and will help keep the line tight.
Striped bass are known to take a wide range of bait, so it is worth experimenting to see what yields the most success. Striper anglers particularly favor live eels or baitfish, though artificial lures or eels can also be used to good effect. The most appropriate size and type of bait will depend largely on the size of the fish you’re looking to catch as well as what is naturally on offer in the waters.
Surf fishing for stripers can become frantic, especially if you hit a large school. Though schooling fish are typically relatively small, perhaps around 25” in length, much larger striped bass are usually not far behind. Persevering and aiming further out can yield excellent results, with locations such as York Beach renowned for its striped bass action.
If you try surf fishing, you will soon recognize why so many anglers are giving this variation a go. Landing really big fish is possible, and with plenty of different species on offer along the coast of Maine, surf fishing looks set to remain popular.
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