Florida surf fishing provides plenty of fun in the sun and on the beach. Surf fishing is done from the shore of the ocean, which makes it accessible to everybody. You can enjoy the sport with your family or by yourself. Either way, it will get you out of the house and near the water.
If you enjoy a quiet beach free of distraction, surf fishing in Florida may be the perfect new hobby for you. The beach will be quiet at the best fishing times and you can just enjoy the solitude while fishing.
Of course, if you have kids, you may want to take them along. Surf fishing provides plenty of fun for kids, especially when they catch something.
What can you Expect with Surf Fishing in Florida?
All Florida public beaches will allow surf fishing. Some of the beaches only allow fishing in designated areas, but they all provide somewhere for you to fish. You will need a shoreline license, which can easily be obtained from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Those under 16 and over 65 years of age will not need a license to fish, but you will need to carry your ID to prove your age.
When you fish from the beaches of Florida, you can expect to catch a variety of different fish including:
Parking at most beaches won’t be difficult and they will even provide picnic areas and pavilions. Not every beach is the same, however. Make sure you check online so that you know what to expect before heading out to enjoy surf fishing in Florida.
What Type of Gear do You Need?
The gear you need for surf fishing in Florida is pretty basic. You can get away with a surf fishing rod and reel, a cooler, a rod holder, and a cart. However, some of the other things you may want include:
- Bait Bucket with Air Pump – Recommended Choice: Marine Metal Cool Bubbles
- Bait Knife and a Small Cutting Board – Recommended Choice: Rapala 4-Inch Bait Knife and Scotty Bait Board
- Cast Netting – Recommended Choice: Ahi USA 50 Outfitter Series Monofilament Cast Net
- Five-Gallon Bucket
- Sunscreen – Recommended Choice: NO-AD Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85
- Sunglasses – Recommended Choice: Oakley Men’s GasCan Sunglasses
- Garbage Bags
- Camera – Recommended Choice: GeekPro 12MP Waterproof Camera
- Umbrella – Recommended Choice: California 9-Feet Olefin Umbrella
- Chair – Recommended Choice: Bravo Sports Quik Shade Chair
If you decide to take up the hobby in a more serious way, you may want to get a few good surf fishing rods and reels, along with a nice fishing cart and a nice set up for holding your rods. Some of our recommendations for upgrading your equipment include:
- Rod Rack II
- Beach Cart w/Wheeleez and Receiver Arm
- Big Jon Sports Quad Multi-set Rod Holder Pedestal Mount
- Fish N Mate (No Front Wheels) Jr Cart
Bait for Florida Surf Fishing
The best way to catch fish when surf fishing in Florida is with live bait. A cast netting will allow you to catch the bait most commonly found near the beach you are fishing. You will be able to throw this type of net into the water and haul in some good bait for your fishing.
Another way to get great bait for Florida surf fishing is by digging for sand fleas or fiddler crabs. You can even use sea worms. All of these baits are found in the sand and they are free as you gather them. You can even gather more while you are waiting for a bite. Pompano love sand fleas.
You can buy live shrimp or even use frozen shrimp as bait, as well. Live shrimp work the best, but you will need a bucket and an aerator to keep them alive all day.
Squid is another good bait for surf fishing throughout Florida. It can be bought frozen and cut into thin strips for bait.
Mullet is a great choice during the fall and can help you catch plenty of fish. You want to hook it through the nose and let it run free when the water is mild. However, when the water is rough, use a sinker with mullet.
If you do decide to use artificial bait, certain types work better than others. Some of the top choices for Florida beach fishing include:
- Mirrolure Mirro Prop
- Bass Assassin Saltwater Sea Shad
- Bomber Saltwater Grade Nylure Pompano Jig
- Krazywolf Bucktail Jigs
- DOA Shrimp
- Lurh Jensen Krocodile Spoon
- Gotcha Metal Body Fishing Lure
- Rapala Saltwater Skitter Pop
Choosing the Right Surf Fishing Rod and Reel
You will need a good surf fishing rod and reel if you want to land the big fish. There are several good choices out there and a few of the best choices include:
- Okuma Avenger AV80 Spinning Reel W/Okuma 15′ Surf/Pier Rod Combo
- Ecooda® Hornet Series Premium Heavy Duty Spinning Reel
- Daiwa SABS35-405G Saltiga Ballistic Surf Rod
- Daiwa TD-S1102-4RS Team Daiwa TD-S Surf Rod
- Tica Surf Casting Fishing Rod
- Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
- Surf Rod and Saltwater Spinning Reel Combo
- Penn Senator Combo
When and How to Surf Fish in Florida
You want to start your surf fishing in Florida either very early in the morning near sunset or head out later in the day before dawn. These are the times fish are feeding the most. However, some anglers have stated that the fishing gets better throughout the day, but this isn’t always normal.