The Ultimate Shoreline Fishing Guide for Beginners

Shoreline fishing, also known as surf fishing is a great way to break the monotony of being confined in your office or work station all week. The best bit about this kind of fishing is that you don’t need a boat and you can practically try it anywhere from the river or stream behind your home, the lake a few miles away, the man-made structures near you such as jetties and piers to the beach. Thus it gives you a chance to keep your trials and everyday worries at bay and enjoy the serenity of nature without having to break your budget. It is especially an excellent way for newbie anglers to get their start in the world of fishing as it is quite simple and easy to master. If you are a beginner below are a few guidelines to help you learn the ropes of shoreline fishing

Shoreline fishing guide


Getting started 

The secret to being a pro in all types of fishing is having the right equipment. Therefore, before you hit the road in search of the ideal shoreline fishing source, here is a well-detailed list of the must-have equipment 

The fishing rod 

Basic shoreline fishing rods are usually available in many sizes from 7 feet to 18 feet. The ideal fishing rod depends on the type of fishing you plan on doing. For instance, if you plan on indulging on floating, then a fishing rod measuring 6 feet to 10 feet is ideal. Nevertheless, note that apart from floating there are different forms of shoreline fishing, for instance; feathering and spinning. 

Besides the form of fishing, the rod type is also affected by fishing conditions. For instance, when there is limited fish on the spot you plan on fishing on, then it is advisable you go for a light rod as you will be casting many times. Using heavy gear such as a heavy fishing rod and reel on the spot with less fish means that your arms will tire out quickly and you’ll be going home with aching shoulders due to the numerous times you’ll have cast. 

fishing rod and reel
A fishing reel 

Even though there are countless types and models of fishing reels in the market, they are often grouped into two categories, namely; the fixed spool and the multiplier. 

Each type of reel comes with its perks and cons. For instance, on the one hand, the multiplier is great in casting longer distances and is excellent in catching bigger fish and when using heavy lines. However, it is very unforgiving on casting errors. Thus the lines easily tangle and can take ages to untangle. It is therefore ideal for the pro angler. 

On the other hand, the fixed spool fishing reel works best with lighter lines and is more forgiving on the casting errors done by most beginners. This makes it perfect for you as a newbie as it does not tangle up and is excellent in fishing floats and spinning. As a novice, you can never go wrong with a fixed spool fishing reel. This combined with the highly portable Fishtrax fish finder not only offers you a great fishing experience but also ensures you don’t go home empty-handed. 

Apart from your experience, the right fishing reel is also determined by the type of rod you plan on using. Hence keep this important fact in mind while choosing the reel as well as the rod. 

The Bait 

This is quite obvious as you cannot fish without bait. The type of bait to carry depends on 

The kind of fishing 
The season 

fishing baits


The good news, however, is that you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to the type of baits you can use in shoreline fishing. Below are a few examples 

  • Freshly dead or frozen shrimp 
  • Pieces of clams 
  • Hermit or peeler crabs 
  • Live prawns 
  • Chunks of freshly cut fish can also work for some fish species 
  • Squid 
  • Rag or lugworms 
In a nutshell, there are so many baits you can use. You only have to keep in mind the earlier mentioned factors. To get the best results and make the most out of your shoreline fishing experience, try and use fresh bait or if possible live bait as this usually boast firmness and contains the right flavor for the target fish. 

Other equipment needed 
  1. Your tackle 
  2. A bucket for storing your catches 
  3. A small first aid kit in case you hurt yourself (accidents are inevitable) 
  4. An extra spool of line 
  5. A depth sounder and fish finder to make your experience in finding the right spot and depth more smooth sailing. 


When is the best time to indulge in shoreline fishing 

Even though some areas of the shore naturally have a high population of fish, the number of fish on the shore usually depends on the conditions of the seabed or the bank. In other words, there are times that shoreline fishing may seem pointless even in spots where you usually find a lot of fish, and there are times that it can be ultimately rewarding on any spot you choose. 

Usually, the early morning hours/dawn are the best for shoreline fishing because; first, fish love to feed in the morning when the temperatures are still low, and then they laze in deeper water during the day. This means that they’ll be in large numbers at the shore in the morning than during the middle of the day. 

Just like dawn, dusk is yet another great time to fish on the shore. Thus, if you aren't a morning person, then you can try shoreline fishing in the evening though the results won’t be as great as compared to an angler who fished at dawn. To get the best results out of your dusk shoreline fishing experience, ensure you have the right enhancive fishing gear. 

Things to do while shoreline fishing to increase your success 

To ensure that you go home smiling, here are some of the things that will set you up for a successful shoreline fishing experience

Walking around 

Due to the excitement and anticipation, most beginners often begin casting the moment they hit the shoreline, and they end up going home dejected. To ensure you don’t end up like them, walk around the bank in search of the most productive areas. Be on the lookout for the movement of fish in water. Also, consider rocky or areas with vegetations as these also tend to harbor lots of fish. Use your fish finder as well so you can get a rewarding spot and avoid going too deep with a depth sounder as some waves can knock you over. 

fish finder


Try to remain as invisible as possible. 

Due to their exposed nature while at the shore, naturally, most fish scatter whenever a shadow crosses their path to avoid predators from above, for instance, birds of prey. Therefore, if you are fishing when the sun is still up, try and stay as low as possible so your silhouette doesn’t scare away fish before you can even cast! 

Cast parallel 

Again, as a beginner, it is hard to resist the urge to cast as far as possible. While in some cases this might work, in most shoreline fishing sources, for instance, lakes, the majority of the fish are often close to the shore. Therefore, for more bites and a fruitful shoreline fishing experience cast parallel. 

Parting shot 

When done right, surf fishing can be just as rewarding as offshore fishing as most fish species often follow smaller prey fish to the shore. Therefore don’t be heartbroken if you have no boat as angling at the shore allows you to enjoy the outdoor environment as much as an angler who is several miles from the shore.