How to

Autumn on the beach

Autumn can be a terrific time to fish the beach. The weather is usually mild and stable, many different species are really on the move and the crowds often associated with the summer months have departed.

How can you set yourself up for the best chance of getting into some fish from the beach this Autumn? First and foremost, give yourself some options. Get some maps of the areas that you visit the most and study them for access to a variety of different beaches. This will give you options under a range of conditions. Get into the habit of checking out a variety of beaches when you get to your destination to work out which one looks the best for the time you will be fishing. You’ll soon learn how much beaches change and the value of having options. While I often choose beaches that are a little more difficult to access, the truth is most beach species are highly transient, meaning that even beaches in more populated areas will still produce good fishing, provided the beach has all the necessary attributes.

Next, learn to “read” a beach to identify those attributes so you can pick the right spot. This is often a misinterpreted aspect of successful beach fishing because “the right spot” is always changing, often rapidly. Reading a beach means being able to identify whereabouts you should be fishing, which involves understanding the different features of a beach. You will have to do this every time you fish a beach.

Check out the Fishing World website for our video on how to “read” a beach for some easy tips on getting started. For the most part, you want to be fishing the deeper sections of a beach, often referred to as “gutters”, although not all fishable features will be in the form of a truly defined gutter. Deeper water will usually reveal itself in the form of darker colour, either blue or green. It may look like a strip of darker colour running parallel to the beach, beyond the breakers, fingers running diagonally into the beach or as a dark bite shape. This deep water is usually caused by water that is flowing faster than its surroundings. The faster water combined with breaking water of the waves dislodges and distributes food along a beach. This triggers forage species like bream, whiting or dart to search it out.  The presence of forage species attracts predatory fish like jewfish, salmon, tailor and sharks, and the food chain is complete.

Finding a good gutter is not necessarily all you need to do. Gutters can be large or long, so working out where to cast your tiny bait within a gutter can be just as important. There are a few things here to consider. If you’re fishing for predatory fish then understand that they use these gutters as thoroughfares. Therefore, provided you have your bait in that thoroughfare there are chances of fish finding it. However, if you present your bait either just behind the shore break (the waves that crash onto the beach) or just in front of a sand bar (shallow bank of sand outside the deeper water you are fishing) these areas are often primary paths. This is because forage fish will hang around areas of broken water because food is likely to be dislodged here, it is out of the main flow of the rip and the bubbles and white water caused by the waves offer a degree of shelter. Predators know this.

The last paragraph suggests one location to find forage fish. Another is at the outflow of a gutter. This is where all of the energy of the moving water dies out as the narrow gutter widens and the water flow slows.  These spots are good because any dislodged food that gets caught in the rip will accumulate where the current weakens. Forage fish know this and will wait for the food to come to them rather than expending energy in the current in search of food.

Next month we’ll get into the tackle and techniques required for successful beach fishing.

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.