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Choosing the Right Bait

So you are looking for the best baits for surf fishing.  Of course, like any other type of fishing, it depends on the kind of fish you want to catch.  The most abundant species in the area for surf fishing are Speckled Sea Trout, Redfish, Pompano, Flounder, White Trout and Shark.  Though sometimes you can catch all of these on the same bait, generally each fish has it's own preference.

Speckled Sea Trout - The best live bait I have found is live shrimp.  Use a popping cork with a 18-24 inch monofilment leader to lure the specs from the grass beds.  For the larger specs, small live pinfish will also work well.  

Redfish - When the reds are running, they will eat almost anything.  I use live shrimp fishing on the bottom with a slow retreive.  Bull minnows or finger mullet will also produce great results.

Pompano - Though I have caught a lot of these on live shrimp, the bait of choice is definately sand fleas.  I never buy them since they are available all year round in the shallow surf.  I use a 2oz. triangle sinker with a two hook rig to better my chances.  

Flounder - I have never specifically fished for flounder, but I catch them all the time.  They will seem to eat about any live bait, from live shrimp to bull minnows etc.  They also like any type of cut bait.  Fish the bottom around the tide side of small holes.  They like to ambush from this point.

White Trout - These small fish are usually caught from the bridges here locally.  Most are caught on dead shrimp or cut bait.  Though they are small, you can catch an ice chest full!

Shark - There are many species of shark that are local to this area. From tigers, reef sharks, duskys  to sand sharks, they are all plentiful.  Chumming from the beach at night using cut bait works best.