I am from the Monterey Bay area. We have some pretty good fishing here, and stripers are in the area at the local beaches. I usually fish for Rock Cod here, but this year I'm going to give Striper surf fishing a try. I figure that I want to start with Bait/Chunkin. Here we have a few options for fresh caught local "food quality" bait from local seafood stores on the warf;
or beach caught "Sand Crab/Flea"
These 5 baits can be found in the bay so these would comprise the main food source of any Stripers passing through. My question is what do you think would be the best choice to try for a first timer? All the above can be bought for $1 a pound locally with the Sand Crabs being caught on the beach for free, so cost really isn't a concern. I figure the best bait is one that the fish have access to naturally in the wild.
Can one fish with bait in the surf? I know people use SandCrabs in the surf, so I figure throwing out other types of bait might be effective. I rather try bait fishing before I go with lures.
So what are your thoughts?