Tag Archives: Florida

Siesta Key Surf Fishing

Living in North Georgia means that as I was growing up, most vacations would be spent along the Florida coast.  Every trip I would spend hours just thinking about sitting on the sand and *maybe* catching a fish or two during the entire trip.  If there was a pier near by, I knew that would be a sure thing because honestly, who can’t put a piece of squid on a small hook and drop it straight down.  My whole life, catching fish in the surf has intrigued me.  I think a lot of this has to do with trying it for so long, and never catching a single thing.  In fact, I remember being pretty young, walking down the Panama City beach one evening and there were two guys surf fishing.  All of a sudden one of them jumps up and starts reeling like mad. He ended up dragging a small catfish up on the bank, and I was amazed.  These guys were using the typical, 12 ft+ rods, giant spinning reels and very large lead weights.  When I saw this, a light went off in my head, and I thought I finally figured out surf fishing.

Well, fast forward almost 10 years.  I have acquired a few of these long rods and heavy weights.  My surf fishing success has increased a great deal, but the problem was there didn’t seem like much sport in it.  I would have to stare at the rods just to make sure I noticed a bite, and then when I did, reeling the fish in was little more than dragging in 5oz of lead that occasionally tugged back.  I was using a one size fits all approach to surf fishing and didn’t realize it.

That was, until I got to Siesta Key last year.  I decided to throw some of my bass fishing gear as well as a some of my freshwater trolling gear in with my few surf rods.  As it turns out, this was a fantastic idea.  The surf in Siesta Key was very minimal, and I was on a mission to downsize my gear to fit the conditions.  Not only did we catch a TON of fish (still mostly small sharks and catfish), but they were a ball to reel in.  I still had the old surf rods out, but this time I had much lighter line and much smaller weights on them.  Plus, I up-sized the bait some, and tried to target some bigger fish that would put an actual bend in the rod.  All in all, it was a great fishing trip, and a real eye opener!


The first snook I ever caught came from the surf on our last night!