Author: Patrick Meek
The surf fishing bite has been hit or miss off the beach this summer, but with the full moon in effect we were able to put a few nice fish on the hill.
My wife and I hit the beach late one afternoon as the full moon approached and we were able to land a few Pompano from the surf. My wife Heather landed the first Pompano and I followed her lead the rest of the afternoon. Normally I don't wade out to cast because I'm usually able to cast over the first sandbar with my 12' surf rod. However, I wasn't quite getting my cast out far enough beyond the bar, so I waded out to about waist deep water with my 9' surf rod that has my Van Staal VR50 loaded with 20 lb Bullbuster braid and cast way beyond the first bar into the deep dark trough. In just a matter of minutes after I had walked back to the beach and set my rod in the sand stake, I noticed the 9' rod tip jerking erratically. As I was reeling in, I noticed the fish taking strong left and right cuts and when it got close enough I saw that it was another nice Pompano. Evidently, we had rare Pompano run happening in the middle of July. We ended up catching 5 Pompano and releasing 2 that were under 11" at the fork.
I've heard stories of people catching Blacktip sharks using hardhead catfish, but personally I had never tried before. As the sun was setting and the catfish started biting, I decided to test this new bait. I casted out a fresh hardhead catfish head using my 12' custom surf rod and let the bait soak. I let it soak for at least an hour without any pickups and made the wise decision to reel in and go with what I knew would work. I added a fresh chunk of bloody Ladyfish to my 11/0 circle hook and tossed it just beyond the first bar. The full moon was in full effect and gave us plenty of light for some nighttime shark fishing. Within 5 minutes of the new fresh bait soaking, I saw my 12' surf rod get slammed! After a good 10-15 minute fight, I handed my surf rod over to my wife and grabbed the 500 lb Bullbuster Grander Leader and landed a nice size Blacktip shark.
The next morning, I filleted the three Pompano we left the beach with and fired up the Big Green Egg grill and made breakfast for my wife and I. I could never get tired of fresh seafood in the morning or any other time of the day.
Later that afternoon, we decided to fish again at the same spot and same time we had a day earlier. My wife and I set up shop on the sand and got lines out and pretty much had the same results as the afternoon before.
I hooked up on another Blacktip shark with my custom 12' surf rod and got to enjoy another good fight off the beach, but as soon as I grabbed the 500 lb leader and took two steps, the 11/0 circle hook popped out of the sharks mouth which made for one of the easiest releases I've ever had.
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