Fishermen / anglers - beach casting?

What sort of beach is appropriate to fish off just standing at the shore? ie standing at the water’s edge and launching a cast out into the sea with a big rod.

The background to the question is that I’m thinking of getting a rod and reel for some fishing off the rocks on a forthcoming holiday - I’m no fisherman but I did it a fair bit when I was younger using spinners, feathers - big cast out and reel it back in style.

I’m thinking is there anyway I’d use the rod to go fishing when I’m home and I can’t really see it - freshwater angling is really popular here (the UK), but I don’t think I’ll have the time to get into it. Fishing off the beach, though, is a possibility as I visit my parents a lot on the Lancashire coast. Thing is, I have never, ever seen anyone fishing on the beach. It’s the type of beach where the tide goes out half a mile and the water doesn’t appear to get deep for ages. I guess you could wade out and start casting, but I’m wondering if this type of beach is all wrong for the rod and reel.

Just from experience here in South Africa the surf fishermen look for the deep gully to cast into or alternatively a rocky reef or something similar. I think fishing in the shallow water would be a bit of a waste of time myself.

Depends on what sort of fish are in the water where you are. On shores not much different from what you describe, my dad would cast into the breakers and pull stuff out. But he was an incredible fisherman. I think he could cast into a puddle of dog pee and pull out a fish. I wouldn’t expect to see a lot of fish inside of the low tide line. If you want really long casts, don’t stand on rocks, get on the beach. You need sure footing and plenty of clear space behind you to cast way out like that.

Sure footing, yes - but unless you’re fly fishing, the clear space behind you need not be much more than the length of your fishing rod (which, admittedly, will for surf-casting be substantial).

If the sea goes out a long way its the sort of place where flatfish come in on the flooding tide to feed… id look up about catching them. And it don’t have to be deep to catch them, they lurk very near where the tide is encroaching on the shore.

If you want to cast really long distance, you need to lay about 30 feet of line out behind you to lengthen the lever. I don’t know if it’s really 30 feet, I didn’t measure, but it’s much longer than the length of your rod. My dad taught me how to do this. I couldn’t accurately measure the distance, but I think you can get a cast of at least 100 yards this way. You need a sizeable lure also, or additional weight of some kind. My dad used a wooden fish several feet in front of the actual lure. You also do a kind of whip snap to get the line taught before you throw. Takes some practice.

Here’s slow motion video of “pendulum” casting. It appears to require room behind the angler that’s not a lot greater than the length of the rod.

That’s pretty cool looking Xema. I’ll have to try that sometime.

Surf fishing and fresh water fishing are two different sports. Surf casting takes a large reel and a long pole with 30 pound test line. Fresh water fishing is done with smaller equipment and lighter fishing line. You can’t really use one for the other.

If you have never seen anyone fishing at a particular beach there is probably a very good reason. No fish. :smack:

Take a walk on the beach at low tide and look for shells and spend your money on a good fish dinner.

I wonder if channels between offshore islands, or between such an island and the shore, tend to be good places. About 20 years ago I spent a few days on Santa Cruz Island, and one of the guys in the party simply cast his line out into the surf, and a short while later had a beautiful catch. I don’t remember what kind of fish it was but it must have weighed ten or twenty pounds. IIRC this took place on a westward facing beach, but there is another large island to the west.

A couple of easier options, depending on your budget, might be fishing piers or charter boats. I’ve used both in the U.S., I I’d assume there are similar businesses on your side of the ocean.

A fishing pier is just a long dock that juts out over the water. At the ones I’ve used, there’s usually a gate and a bait shop at the beginning of pier. If you want to fish, there’s a admission fee to the pier. They can also rent you equipment and sell you beer.

Charter boats work in various ways. I went on a couple that charged a fee for a spot on the boat, which held a dozen or more anglers. The charter company provided life vests, crew, guide service, and fishing equipment. You could go for a half day or a full day. These boats usually hit a few selected spots, without much input from the guests.

Another type is smaller, holds maybe 4 fishermen, can provide equipment, and is considerably more flexible about where you want to go and how you want to fish…but costs more.

Some of these outfits also have a deal with a local restaurant, where you bring in your catch and for a fee they’ll cook it up with all the trimmings…while you relax at the bar instead of spending an hour or more cleaning fish.

It’s probably not the best spot, especially during the day. At night, it could be much better, though. It’s common for night fishing to be much better because fish come into the shallows to feed.

Here in the States, we call it surf fishing, and/or surf casting, with surf casting referring to the specific techniques used to throw bait and lures into the surf.

The culture of surf fishing is very localized. Depending on what part of the coast and which ocean, people go after different species, from palm sized fish that make great eating, to sharks. Yes, sharks, weighing hundreds of pounds. (Search youtube for Texas/ surf /sharks. ) The targeted species, the location, the type of beach, all make a world of difference in terms of equipment and tactics.

There are scores of message boards, books, videos, advice sites for the favorite fish species here. Striped bass in the northeast, red drum (channel bass) on the NC Outer Banks and Gulf Coast, halibut here in So Cal. Different fish, different beaches, different lures, different baits, different rods and reels.

The techniques for the British surf are specialised to the unique conditions you find there. So, UK websites, and asking around at local shops, are probably your best bets. Also hiking around the waterfront to find the rocky areas, jetties, breakwaters, and places where deeper channels are reachable from shore.

I happened on a used book several years ago, called The Angler’s Guide to Sea Fishing. All about saltwater fishing in the UK. Species, baits, rigs, types of fishing area. Simple, clear, lots of color pictures. It’s fascinating to see the different fish species and approaches.