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#11038914 - 08/13/15 12:39 AM What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf)
noobpc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 150
I just cannot seem to get any luck in the salt. Went wading into the Galveston beach surf near 83rd street and got skunked again.

Any diagnosis and advice on my errors would be greatly appreciated. I'm not targeting anything. I just want to catch SOMETHING when I'm out there, be it hardheads, small reds, anything.

Story:
Arrived at about 5pm with frozen shrimp and fresh shad. Baited up 3/0 circles on wire leaders and 2 oz. pyramids with 1 rod on shrimp, the other with cut shad. Waded out to the first sandbar and cast into the gut in between the first and second, then walk back to shore and place in rod holder. First sandbar is maybe 30-40 yards out, with the second being another 40-50 out.

Saw lots of bird activity just past the second bar with small baitfish and jumping. Saw a big shark swimming with the baitfish. Dorsal fin broke the surface multiple times. Maybe 6 ft long.

After 20 mins of the rods bobbing up and down due to wave action, I checked both and baits were gone. Increased one of the hook sizes to 6/0 and baited up with a bigger piece of shad. Waded to same location and tried to cast as close as I could to the shark.

3.5 hours pass, still nothing. Never saw any hits.

It was very difficult to keep a tight line. The wind/waves kept on putting slack, and I felt like every time I tried to take up the slack, I'd end up reeling in the bait.

****

I'm beginning to think I need to wade to the second sandbar, but I am scared after seeing the shark swimming around.

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#11039228 - 08/13/15 08:53 AM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
eramos Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/01/15
Posts: 67
Honestly unless that shark was starving hes almost never going to hit anything is isnt alive. They like to feel the heartbeat of their prey. Especially the panic right before they attack. I have heard of people catching them on dead bait but this is my experience.
As far as the slack change weight or style. For example a topedo weigh will hold with less weight. Or a spider weight will almost hold too well.

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#11040406 - 08/13/15 06:01 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
noobpc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 150
I wasn't necessariy trying to get the shark, although it wouldve been epic. I'm mainly looking to catch anything. I couldn't even get the small croaker jumping around to take my shrimp.

Is it better to fish off the rock groins?

For the slack line situation in which I described, would your suggestion be to use a big spider weight? Not sure how much more 12 lb line can handle.

Please excuse the ignorance. Fishing saltwater is still alien to me.

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#11040727 - 08/13/15 08:29 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
eramos Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/01/15
Posts: 67
Maybe not a big spider weight, you may not want to use 12lb mono. Maybe a 30 lb braid because it sounds like your going after some big fish with a 6/0.
Start here is you want to fish in the surf.
http://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/topic/59116-reading-the-water/
You could use a 2oz spider wieght but if its a rough surf or there is seaweed its not going to work.
Get a cast net and get some live bait going. Or wade out there and fish with some live shrimp for a bite.

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#11040868 - 08/13/15 09:22 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
noobpc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 150
Ya, I wasn't really targeting any big fish. I would've been happy if a hardhead was landed. I just decided to use the 6/0 in the final minutes as a balls to the wall attempt to get something to bite a bigger piece of shad.

I waded as far as the first sandbar, and casted to the second gut, but I am too scared to wade any further out than that.

Is there a certain area that produces better than the strip of beach that I posted?

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#11040951 - 08/13/15 09:55 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
eramos Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/01/15
Posts: 67
Just depends, winds and current move underwater structure. Learn to read the surf in the link I posted to have a better chance. Maybe change to mullet or pin fish too. Also if you want to use a bigger piece use a stinger hook.

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#11041117 - 08/14/15 12:21 AM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
waltmeda Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/21/13
Posts: 52
Here's my 2 cents if your not targeting anything specific. Increase the size of your line to 20lb or 30lb. Use a 4oz spider weight to keep your line from dragging in. Use small circle hooks. For bait use squid, shrimp or fishbites. With this set up you will catch reds, black drum, whiting, croaker and hardheads. You may occasionally catch a small shark too.

With the set up you had the fish were nibbling off your bait. Keep tension on your line so that when the fish grab your bait there is resistance. With the circle hooks, they hook themselves and you don't need to set the hook. If you have bait in the water for more that 15 minutes with the set up I described above, reel in because your bait is gone.
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#11041128 - 08/14/15 12:54 AM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: waltmeda]
noobpc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 150
Originally Posted By: waltmeda
Here's my 2 cents if your not targeting anything specific. Increase the size of your line to 20lb or 30lb. Use a 4oz spider weight to keep your line from dragging in. Use small circle hooks. For bait use squid, shrimp or fishbites. With this set up you will catch reds, black drum, whiting, croaker and hardheads. You may occasionally catch a small shark too.

What are fishbites exactly? On their website, it looks like they are scented lures? They seemed kind of expensive. Would fresh shad pieces work well?
Quote:
With the set up you had the fish were nibbling off your bait. Keep tension on your line so that when the fish grab your bait there is resistance. With the circle hooks, they hook themselves and you don't need to set the hook. If you have bait in the water for more that 15 minutes with the set up I described above, reel in because your bait is gone.

How should I best rig circles for surf? Double drop shot? Is it necessary to use wire leader at all times in the surf? I keep worrying about saltwater fish biting off line.

All I have is a 7' catfish rod that doesnt cast as far as normal surf rods. Do I need to wade out to the first sandbar and cast into the second gut, or is the wade/first gut going to hold appreciable fish numbers?

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#11041165 - 08/14/15 06:16 AM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
eramos Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/01/15
Posts: 67
I like the the double drop rig but it hinders casting distance. I have heard of people using extra large mono/flourcarbon. Like 100-300lbs. Ive caught in 1st and 2nd and 3rd sandbara. It really depends where the fish are. best bet is to try all three. One of my biggest reds came from the 1st sand bar.

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#11042101 - 08/14/15 02:38 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
waltmeda Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/21/13
Posts: 52
Eramos - I agree. I've caught some big fish in the wade gut and just over the first bar.

Noobpc - Some people swear by shad but I have never had much luck with them. It's just a personal preference. As for the fishbites, you don't need them. Frozen squid and/or frozen shrimp work fine. Walmart sells some cheap wire leaders. Buy a few of these to get you started. Personally, I use a triple drop shot leaders but I make my own. As far as distance, try casting from the beach. If you don't have any luck try walking out a little. Sometimes the fish are in really close and other times they are out a little. I think you'll be fine casting from the beach. If you live near Katy let me know. I'll give you a few leader set ups to get you started.
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#11042270 - 08/14/15 03:47 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
waltmeda Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/21/13
Posts: 52
Caught these on my bait rod a few weekends ago. 3 hooks and 4 fish!! Top hook had squid, middle hook had fishbites, bottom hook had shrimp. It is rare that I only pull in one fish with this rig. Casted without getting my feet wet.

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#11042397 - 08/14/15 04:50 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
noobpc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 150
Wow, a 4 for 1! I think that top fish is a young black drum?

I guess I might try frozen shrimp/squid drop shotted with a 4 oz spider next time I go.

Is it necessary to use larger 8+ ft surf rods? I know with shorter rods, come shorter casting distances, but I just picked up this catstik on sale and it would be a shame to find out it is useless already.

Any hot spots that produce this time of year?

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#11042592 - 08/14/15 06:37 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
waltmeda Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/21/13
Posts: 52
Use what you've got. That same rod was what I bought for my first surf rod. I think everywhere on the Texas coast is a hot spot right now. Now go fishing!! You can't catch any fish from behind a computer screen. smile
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#11043710 - 08/15/15 12:57 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
noobpc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 150
Thanks!

Will report with my next results. Fingers crossed

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#11045738 - 08/16/15 05:10 PM Re: What am I doing wrong? (Galveston surf) [Re: noobpc]
Razzorduck Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 763
Loc: Dallas,TX for now....Going coa...
Use fresh dead shrimp. Much better than frozen!
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Razzorduck
Better tighten that drag boy, He's gonna spool ya!

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