What do I need for fishing off the beach in Florida?

I just moved to west Palm beach Fl and am looking to start shore fishing. What do I need for equipment (rod/reel, bait, tackle and whatever else) to get started? I am looking to keep it pretty basic and, don’t want to spend too much money. Just something decent. Also, what type of fish am I looking to catch. I was told there are bluefish here. Thanks

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3 thoughts on “What do I need for fishing off the beach in Florida?

  1. as far as equipment you want a decent surf rod and reel. you can get some really nice ones on ebay for reasonable prices. but remember you get what you pay for. there is a lot of different things you need to think about when getting a rod and reel. what fish are you targeting? what length rod are you comfortable with casting? are you wanting to just soak baits or use lures? for using lures you want a shorter more flexible rod known ans a spinning rod. for bait fishing you want a surf rod. if using a surf rod you want something to hold it up such as a beach spike or a tripod. tackle i recommend buying pulley rigs from your local bait or tackle shop and 4 to 6 ounce pyramid or grapple sinkers. as for bait it depends on what you are fishing for. you can use anything from beach worms to crab to fresh pilchard or sardines. or tuna. for smaller fish use beach worms for larger fish use fresh pilchard or squid or sardine or even crab. but for your surf rod and reel remember that you get what you pay for. make sure you get a rod that has a good enough weight rating for the fish you are wanting to catch. you don’t want to try to use a bream rod to catch a shark.also remember that a good surf fishing trip depends a lot on using good burly. chop up pilchard or any other really oily fish into little pieces and throw them out a handful at a time or put them in a onion bag or burly bag and tie it off close to where your fishing to wash around in the surf and keep the scent close to where your fishing. it will help to draw in fish for you to catch. good luck with your fishing and hope you catch plenty.

  2. You need a long surf rod, st.croix makes some nice affordable ones. Trust me you do not want to cheap out when it comes to fishing but if you must get an ugly stik. For fishing reels Penn makes some nice, affordable saltwater reels. Next you need fishing line, I would use 30ib mono for your main line and 20ib flurocarbon for you leader line. Next you will need 3/0 – 5/0 circle hooks depending on what your trying to catch. For bait you want to invest in a sabiki rig, you can find these in any tackle shop including walmart. The sabiki rig is used to catch live bait like pinfish. For weights you want to use an egg sinker and attach it a good foot and a half from your hook, sometimes if the water is calm I won’t even use weights and just free line it. You want to hook the pinfish through its nostrils.Dont forget to set your drag, expect to catch barracuda, snook, tarpon, spanish mackerel, jacks snappers and bluefish.

  3. Well, there are a couple questions you need to ask yourself:

    #1. Do you want an outfit that can be used in a variety of settings (on a jetty, pier, Inlet or beach) OR do you want a designated Surf fishing outfit?

    If your looking for a dedicated Surf Fishing outfit you’ll want to get a rod OVER 10FT in length. If you want a more versatile rod you’ll get one that is UNDER 10FT. Why?

    Realize- In South Fl, there are many more opportunity’s for fishing other than on a beach. A dedicated Surf outfit needs to be longer to help your casting distance, BUT, having that extra length on a pier, jetty or Inlet is too cumbersome and (basically) overkill, (and can be dangerous when fishing off a pier where there is little back-cast room).

    In my honest opinion, I’d suggest you get something in the 8-9FT length. You will be able to use it for a variety of fishing situations and the casting distance you lose is inconsequential. And if you decide to become a hardcore Surf fishing fanatic you can always upgrade to a 10-11FT rod.

    Rods can get expensive, but, thankfully, for Inshore and Offshore fishing, there are still a few brands that have a good reputation and are still reasonably priced. Here are a few, with reviews included:

    1. Ugly Stik, Big Water 9FT- http://www.basspro.com/Shakespeare-Ugly-Stik-Big-Water-Spinning-Rods/product/19912/

    2. BPS, Power Stick 9FT- http://www.basspro.com/Offshore-Angler-Power-Stick-Surf-Spinning-Rods/product/10204609/?cmCat=CROSSSELL_THUMBNAIL

    In any regard, DON’T spend more than $100 on a rod. SAVE your money toward your reel. Why? Your reel has working parts and is the most important tool you’ll need when fishing. You can always get another cheap rod- but, even the cheapest, POS reel will easily be in the $60-$80 range. You need a reel that can withstand the harsh saltwater environment and be RELIABLE. Better to spend more on your reel and get something that (if cared for properly) will last a good 20 years than to spend $60-$100 on something that will die in a year or 2. Here are the best reels rated in order from excellent to OK :

    1. Fin-Nor, OFS 45- http://www.basspro.com/FinNor-Offshore-Spinning-Reels/product/89192/

    2. Penn, SSM 650- http://www.basspro.com/Penn-Spinfisher-SSm-Metal-Spinning-Reels/product/72135/

    3. Shimano, Spheros SP5000- http://www.basspro.com/Shimano-Spheros-Offshore-Spinning-Reels/product/103536/

    4. Penn, Battle BTL4000- http://www.basspro.com/Penn-Battle-Saltwater-Spinning-Reels/product/10209995/

    Again, you can buy a cheap Shakespeare reel from Walmart- but, after you buy 2-3 of them in a 2-3 year period you’ll wonder why you didn’t just get a GOOD reel to begin with.

    Tackle and line?

    I suggest you purchase Berkley Big Game (green colored) 15-17LB line.

    You NEED 20LB Fluorocarbon leader material. (Fluro has the same refractive index as water making it invisible under water. An Important addition when you realize the amount of fishing pressure in Florida.) 20LB size will work in a variety of locales. You may want to include some 35LB- but I rarely need something that heavy and neither should you.

    Any other info on rigging, typical fish found in the surf, and “what you need” for tackle can be found here. This website is “older” but has a ton of info for the newbie, Florida Surf/Pier angler- http://amelia-island-fishing.com/fishing/fish/index.cfm

    (Yes, there are Blues to be caught in the dead of Winter- however, most of the year they are unavailable to the shore fisherman.)

    Hope this helps?

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