If your like most people in North Florida who try their luck at surf fishing, then you most likely make your trek to the beach with the idea that dead shrimp and a heavy weight on the line is going to get you where you need to be to attract the big one. And as you already probably know, the reality of that approach is a lot of stolen bait, a few small Whiting and the occasional Bonnet-head Shark … if your really lucky maybe a Trout or Redfish come your way once in a while.
Well here is something to consider that can produce much larger fish – fishing with a Krocodile Spoon. That’s right, try tying a 3.5″ Krocodile Spoon on a 24″ monofilament leader (no weight) and chucking it as far out as possible, varying your return speeds with each cast to see what works the best.
When this was first suggested to me by a co-worker I was intrigued, skeptical but intrigued. On my first attempt at this new approach, it took me about 12-15 casts before I got a hit … and it felt like a freight train. It was a 22″ Bluefish and it was a blast. I only caught 2 more fish that morning. They were Bluefish. They were large. And they were a whole lot more fun to catch than a 10″ Whiting. Don’t get me wrong, I like to catch and eat Whiting, but being able to hook up on larger fish that put up a fight is far more fun.
Now one thing that would probably improve my cast to catch ratio is if I waded out farther … it was also suggested (by my co-worker) that I wade out up to my mid section. However, I don’t like being in deep water where I cannot see my feet and reeling a shiny silver spoon toward me over and over … especially knowing how many Sharks like to feed at Jacksonville Beach (but that’s just me).
Now if you like catching Whiting in the surf, here’s a tip that I learned a few years back that will improve the number of fish you hook and land. It’s simple … use a small hook and a small piece of pealed shrimp. By pealing the shrimp and then breaking it into small pieces, you reduce the fish’s ability to strip the hook without getting hooked. Sounds pretty simple, but this little modification made me go from catching a few Whiting to catching Whiting almost every cast. Oh, and lose the big, chunky, heavy weight. Try a 1/2 oz. or 3/4 oz. egg weight above your leader, depending on how strong the surf and current are at the time.