BEACH FISHING: ETIQUETTE AND TIPS
When heading down to the beach, there are some tricks and tips which make for a more successful outing, both for you and those around you.
KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN AND YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL
Sure, everyone will have to keep their distance that is just a normal part of beach fishing but it is easy to lose your sense of position. Keeping your eyes open and looking around all the time is essential to staying safe and keeping others safe from your huge reach and cast over the breaks.
If you are fishing a beach and notice a lot of sweep in the surf, you should walk slowly along the beach with your line out. If you are stationary, often your line can be washed back to the shore and the waves cause a lot of line twist. If you walk up the beach, you should be able to avoid this. If there is a group of you, get in line and all walk together at the same pace. Just make sure you rotate positions so everyone has the same chance of success.
Click-on sinkers are a great new idea which allows you to quickly change sinker sizes. They simply click onto your line with a hinge and can be quickly snapped on and off to accommodate for shifting conditions in the water.
Using swivels either side of your sinker in choppy conditions will help to avoid line twist. If you only have one, use it on your rig as the closest item to you to reduce getting your line twisted up.
WATCH OUT FOR OTHER LINES
Give your fellow fishos plenty of space. The golden rule is not to cast over their lines. The waves make a dog’s dinner out of two tangled fishing lines, so make sure you know where the sweep is going before you cast out. If you aren’t sure, take a walk down the beach and look at everyone else lines before casting.
KEEP LIGHTS OFF THE WATER
Jewies and Greenback get nervous when lights shine on the water. If you are fishing at night, keep your car headlights and torches off the water when pulling up to the beach or if you are setting your bait. If you want others to do the same, there are wading bags which have reflective panels to alert approaching fishos to your presence at night.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT WADERS
Having a decent set of waders will make your life easier every time you venture down the beach. I always recommend going a size larger in the boots for two reasons: firstly, it allows you to flick them off in a hurry if you need to; secondly you can wear additional layers on your feet in the winter.
If possible, invest a pair of waders with a chest strap. We’ve all got a story where we are fishing in the shallows and a wave knocks us off our feet. If you haven’t got a chest strap your waders are going to fill up much quicker. If you fall in a hole then it might buy you a little more time to escape before your waders fill up and begin to drag you down.
If your waders have been sitting unused for a while, make sure there is no damage from rats or mice. I once had a pair that got chewed through and I didn’t notice until I was knee deep in the sea and my foot was sodden. Even though waders are great for keeping dry in the shallows remember that freak wave can come along and suck you under and hold you down when wearing waders – it pays to keep out of water that is getting over your crotch. You will stay warmer too.
If you are fishing somewhere you don’t know and you are alone and looking for that quiet and unpopulated stretch of beach to fish all to yourself. Rip tides can usually be spotted in advance as gaps form between the waves as they head to the shore. Rip tides are caused when the incoming waves hit the beach exactly perpendicular to the beach – that is straight on – the water has nowhere to go but under and back out to see. That’s your dangerous rip tide. Always be wary.
What do you think? Have you got any beach fishing tips of your own? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.