Friday, October 12, 2007

Beach Fishing - Finding the gutters and the fish

Finding the deeper water or gutters, the pockets that hold fish, is the key to finding fish along a beach. Some beaches are flat with only slight depressions; while others have distinct holes with severe drop-off's. In clear water and bright sun, look for the blue-green holes contrasting with the sandbars. In low light or when the water is discoloured, you need to look at the shoreline and watch wave action for clues. Buy some really good polarised sunglasses these are great for spotting gutters and fish. If you don't have sunglasses or arrive in low light look for sand walls that often form in front of the bigger holes. They can be three to four feet high.

Watching wave action and how the white water moves over the beach's contour is the best way to find good water. Along flat sections of beach, which are devoid of holding water, waves break then roll all the way to the shore. In sections with sandbars and holes, the wave breaks over the bar, rolls for a distance, then disappears. Where this wall of white water disappears is the inside edge of the hole. Watch surface bubbles to determine the flow's direction. This flow moves from the corner back to the deeper water in the hole's middle, or in the case of a very large hole creates a long section of moving, fishable water. Without wave action look for a current line indicating a sandbar with a drop-off on the backside.

Remember that you don't always have to cast a long way on the beach to catch fish. In a recent fishing trip I was catching decent bream around my feet! Try different length casts until you find the fish.

(Thanks to LBF Member: big smoove who wrote the original tip, which I have modified)