If you’re getting ready to setup a surf cart you probably don’t want to forget anything. Once you’re ready start surf fishing everything you need should be right at hand. Everyones list will vary somewhat but these are the essentials that should be on every list.
For starters one or two long surf casting rods 10′ to 12′ in length to fish live bait. Most will want to have more than one surf fishing rod. You could stop there but why not bring a short rod too. Something you could cast into the breakers to catch bait or pickup some other quick action near shore. You would be surprised how many nice sized fish are feeding close to shore between the beach and the breakers. After all that’s where a lot of bait is anyway.
The big rods will need sand spikes to set in after you put them out. A light weight comfortable chair and an umbrella will keep you out of the sun. Sunblock will prevent a bad burn. Then you’ll want coolers for beverages and cold storage for your catch.
Whether you bring bait with you or catch them from the surf you should have a bait bucket with an aerator. Some surf anglers like to use sand fleas which can be obtained at the waters edge and just kept in a bucket of wet sand.
Don’t bring all the surf tackle you own. Sort your tackle box down to the essential items needed for several hours of fishing. It’s better to have a few smaller tackle boxes setup for different kinds of fishing than one monster box that has more than you expect to be using. Weight is a factor when you’ll be lugging that cart across the sand.
Check your tackle box out the day before and refill anything that’s running short. Inspect terminal tackle for rust and deterioration. The saltwater environment is pretty harsh. A swivel or a snap could be ready to break at any time. Go over any used hooks and sharpen the points. Make sure you have enough leader material. Ideally you should have all your live bait rigs assembled in advance.
If you’re not up on the latest regulations bring along the species list for size and bag limits when you got your fishing license. These days the regulations are changing constantly.
Here’s the list:
- Two surf rods serviced and ready to go
- One smaller casting rod to fish the breakers
- Sand spikes for the surf rods
- Coolers for beverage & fish caught
- Bait bucket and aerator
- Utility bucket
- Optimized tackle box pre-checked out and restocked
- Surf fishing regulations
- Light weight comfortable chair
- Umbrella for sun
- Sun block
- Fresh bait (one or two kinds)
- Sand flea rake if you plan to use them for bait
- Clean rags or a towel
This list will get you by. After a few surf fishing trips you will probably fine tune it to your preferences. Take the time to use a checklist and save yourself the grief of leaving something essential behind.