Surf fishing advice

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Steve2023Nomad
Visiting Cannon Beach in December and looking for advice on surf fishing - specific beaches, gear, targets, bait, want to talk me out of it, etc.? Particularly interested in advice about catching one's own live bait to use in surf fishing - where, what and how.
 
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slabjig
Steve2023Nomad said:
Visiting Cannon Beach in December and looking for advice on surf fishing - specific beaches, gear, targets, bait, want to talk me out of it, etc.? Particularly interested in advice about catching one's own live bait to use in surf fishing - where, what and how.
For just about any live bait other than fish or polychaete worms, you're going to need a shellfish license which is an additional expense unless you have one for other reasons. I would recommend just using bits of frozen prawn (works well and stays on the hook better than sand shrimp), bits of squid when available or gulp products like the gulp 2 inch sandworm. I don't believe you are required to have a shellfish license for digging your own sandworm/clam worm/tube worm, and I've heard that some guys just use earth worms with some success, but if you use things like mussels that you pick off the rocks, or sand flea/mole crabs you will. If you buy sand shrimp or clam necks from a bait vendor, be sure to keep the receipt so you can prove you didn't harvest them yourself. You can catch surf perch off sandy beaches, or greenling, surf perch and occassional rockfish or ling cod off rocky shorelines and jetties. For the latter two, I'd opt for lures like curl tail grubs on a light jighead rather than bait. I fish further south than Cannon Beach so can't give recommendations as to locations. Ocean conditions in December are going to be problematic, check for wave and swell information before you find yourself in big surf.
 
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Steve2023Nomad
thank you
 
Fummus
Fummus
Agree with everything Slabjig said. Would also add the tired old (but don't you dare ignore it cause it can save your life) advice to NEVER EVER TURN YOUR BACK ON THE OCEAN, AND DON'T TRY STANDING ON OR CLOSE TO LOGS AND THINGS IN THE SAND!!! Sneaker waves and the sand getting sucked out from under your feet can lead to impromptu baptisms or worse.

OK, now that that is out of the way...sand shrimp, mole shrimp and berkly sand worms in camo are my personal favorite baits for surf fishing. Like Slab said, prawns and squid works also. If you go with sand shrimp/ghost shrimp (two names for same thing as far as I know), get some thread to wrap around them and hold em to the hook. Lost of vids on line. For bait fishing either surf or rocks, I tend to keep it simple and use high low rig (Sinker on bottom with hooks 18 inches or so above the sinker, seperated by another 18inches or so), with two hooks. Weights depend on conditions. I like to use 2 or 3 oz coin or disc sinkers for rocks (and yes you will lose gear to the rock gods. Its a fact of life so just accept it), and pyramid, claw, or sputnik sinkers for surf fishing. Jig heads with curly tail grubs, white is solid choice, seem to work better for me when targeting Ling cod and black rock fish.
Hope it helps
 
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Casting Call
Casting Call
Steve2023Nomad said:
Particularly interested in advice about catching one's own live bait to use in surf fishing - where, what and how.
Just did #2 of "my way of fishing" Under forum "Fishing techniques" Headed "MORE TO COME" Nov.7th natural/live baits. Good read. GL and let us know how you did as a thank you to all comments. Tony
 
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DOKF
DOKF
Fummus said:
Agree with everything Slabjig said. Would also add the tired old (but don't you dare ignore it cause it can save your life) advice to NEVER EVER TURN YOUR BACK ON THE OCEAN, AND DON'T TRY STANDING ON OR CLOSE TO LOGS AND THINGS IN THE SAND!!! Sneaker waves and the sand getting sucked out from under your feet can lead to impromptu baptisms or worse.

OK, now that that is out of the way...sand shrimp, mole shrimp and berkly sand worms in camo are my personal favorite baits for surf fishing. Like Slab said, prawns and squid works also. If you go with sand shrimp/ghost shrimp (two names for same thing as far as I know), get some thread to wrap around them and hold em to the hook. Lost of vids on line. For bait fishing either surf or rocks, I tend to keep it simple and use high low rig (Sinker on bottom with hooks 18 inches or so above the sinker, seperated by another 18inches or so), with two hooks. Weights depend on conditions. I like to use 2 or 3 oz coin or disc sinkers for rocks (and yes you will lose gear to the rock gods. Its a fact of life so just accept it), and pyramid, claw, or sputnik sinkers for surf fishing. Jig heads with curly tail grubs, white is solid choice, seem to work better for me when targeting Ling cod and black rock fish.
Hope it helps
I have found that rocks and old spark plugs tied to the end of your line seem to appease the aforementioned "rock gods". No need for fancy weights at the bottom when the fish won't see them, and lead just pollutes the environment.
 
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Steve2023Nomad
DOKF said:
I have found that rocks and old spark plugs tied to the end of your line seem to appease the aforementioned "rock gods". No need for fancy weights at the bottom when the fish won't see them, and lead just pollutes the environment.
Yeah. Here is the routine when fishing bottom around rocks: 1. find small rock of appropriate sinker weight, with a hole through it. 2. tie main line, below all dropper loops / hooks / stuff you care about, to a lower test line, using "spider hitch" knot; for example, if fishing 15 lb test, tie on a piece of 6 or 8 pound at the end. 3. tie on your small sinker rock with the weak line, using the rock as sinker in effect. If fish bites higher up line, on a hook attached to the stronger test line, or if you decide to reel in for whatever reason, and your "sinker" rock is jammed into a rock or crevice at the bottom, your line will break either in the weaker test line part or at the spider hitch, in either case meaning hooks, main line, fish and anything else of value still comes back to you. That's one I owe to Pete a Just Fishin' by Pete, Hermosa Beach; not the only one.
 
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Casting Call
Casting Call
Steve I though everyone knew how to use holy rocks, blessed are the rocks that let have our gear back. LOL :LOL: Tony
 
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Steve2023Nomad
Casting Call said:
Steve I though everyone knew how to use holy rocks, blessed are the rocks that let have our gear back. LOL :LOL: Tony
:)
 
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DG1959
Cut their gills as soon as you catch.
 
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sixteenvolt
Hug Point has spots to cast near rocks.

Of critical importance is to check the wave forecast a day or two before you go out. Here is Cannon Beach's forecast: https://magicseaweed.com/Cannon-Beach-Surf-Report/313/

Look at the column "Primary Swell". For safe conditions, you're wanting the height to be 5.5 ft or less and the period to be 10 seconds or less.

Anything over 12 seconds for a swell is insanely risky & likely has enough power to wash you back out with it.
 
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troutdude
troutdude
sixteenvolt said:
Hug Point has spots to cast near rocks.

Of critical importance is to check the wave forecast a day or two before you go out. Here is Cannon Beach's forecast: https://magicseaweed.com/Cannon-Beach-Surf-Report/313/

Look at the column "Primary Swell". For safe conditions, you're wanting the height to be 5.5 ft or less and the period to be 10 seconds or less.

Anything over 12 seconds for a swell is insanely risky & likely has enough power to wash you back out with it.
Good lookin' out right there!!!
 
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Steve2023Nomad
sixteenvolt said:
Hug Point has spots to cast near rocks.

Of critical importance is to check the wave forecast a day or two before you go out. Here is Cannon Beach's forecast: https://magicseaweed.com/Cannon-Beach-Surf-Report/313/

Look at the column "Primary Swell". For safe conditions, you're wanting the height to be 5.5 ft or less and the period to be 10 seconds or less.

Anything over 12 seconds for a swell is insanely risky & likely has enough power to wash you back out with it.
thank you
 
LazyBrewer
LazyBrewer
And beware, we have king tides coming. The next round is November 24-26 and December 22-24, 2022.
 
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sixteenvolt
LazyBrewer said:
And beware, we have king tides coming. The next round is November 24-26 and December 22-24, 2022.
Steve2023Nomad said:
thank you

You're welcome! Seriously look at the forecasts and don't think you're tougher than the water. I spent so much time researching safe surf fishing conditions (shout out Oregon Life, aka Casting Call on here) after having a harrowing experience during what I now know was king tides. Damn near killed myself for not slowing down to consider swells & periods.
 
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Casting Call
Casting Call
As a fireman for 12 years with DBFD all the DBs pulled from the ocean had their zippers down. One can surmise they had their back to the ocean when hit by a sneaker wave. Conditions show that on those days of rescues the tides exceeded calm wave status (wave warnings were issued) Tony
 

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