Birdsnester

Reading the Surf (I stink at it) Need Help with Pics

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So, I have been at this for quite a while, I do catch on a regular basis but my methods are nothing more than trial and error, watching where others are catching and just repeating what has worked for me in the past.  Nothing wrong with that but it limits me.  I can't for the life of me figure out how to read the beach.  Everyone says that Jones Beach NY is EASY to read. 

 

I am lost in the sauce folks and I could use some help.  So, I took pics of the beach where I fished this afternoon.  I did catch a really nice Striper BTW...  Well over 30" but it was only because I went to a spot that has worked in the past.

 

Ok, so POINTS, HOLES, CUTS, etc.... I don't see them.  HELP!!!!!  What am I missing?  

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You can't tell a hole or a cut from a single picture. Waves are chaotic. You see that white water off in the distance in some of your photos? If there is a spot where after several sets is not behaving like the area of the water adjacent to it you know there is a discontinuity in whatever is causing the waves to break in the first place (eg. sand bar). Waves are going to break when the water depth beneath them can no longer support them (in the case of an open beach). Bigger waves will break in deeper water, tiny waves will break in extremely shallow water.

Edited by JerseyJeb

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I'm still a newbie, but I'm not a huge believer. I think these guys built their fame when bass was everywhere. We now have long stretches of water with no stripers to be found. It doesn't matter if you can detect a hole there by looking at wave action. If you insist, I'd say the best way is to explore the area at low tide and take notes. Skinner commented in one of his recent videos that shore fishing has sucked this year, almost all his content was offshore. It didn't help much that he knows everything about the area.

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2 mins ago, ifishthebadspots said:

I'm still a newbie, but I'm not a huge believer. I think these guys built their fame when bass was everywhere. We now have long stretches of water with no stripers to be found. It doesn't matter if you can detect a hole there by looking at wave action. If you insist, I'd say the best way is to explore the area at low tide and take notes. Skinner commented in one of his recent videos that shore fishing has sucked this year, almost all his content was offshore. It didn't help much that he knows everything about the area.

If you are just hunting stripped bass that's one thing. But bottom structure in the surf applies to all fish species, they are not randomly hanging out along the beach. 

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2 mins ago, JerseyJeb said:

If you are just hunting stripped bass that's one thing. But bottom structure in the surf applies to all fish species, they are not randomly hanging out along the beach. 

True, I didn't think of that. All I can get around where I am is bass and blues, and maybe porgies.

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12 mins ago, ifishthebadspots said:

I'm still a newbie, but I'm not a huge believer. I think these guys built their fame when bass was everywhere. We now have long stretches of water with no stripers to be found. It doesn't matter if you can detect a hole there by looking at wave action. If you insist, I'd say the best way is to explore the area at low tide and take notes. Skinner commented in one of his recent videos that shore fishing has sucked this year, almost all his content was offshore. It didn't help much that he knows everything about the area.

I went this afternoon at VERY low tide and saw nothing.  No holes, cuts, points NUTTIN....  LOL  Frustrating...

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Just now, Birdsnester said:

I went this afternoon at VERY low tide and saw nothing.  No holes, cuts, points NUTTIN....  LOL  Frustrating...

I was just watching some random Fishaholic video from last year and he literally fanned the water walking down the beach until he found something. He was throwing his favorite paddletail - I guess you pick your highest confidence plug and search with it. I didn't see him looking around, he just went to work. It's probably not as fun as "figuring it out", but it's effective if the fish is there.

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28 mins ago, ifishthebadspots said:

True, I didn't think of that. All I can get around where I am is bass and blues, and maybe porgies.

I've caught nothing but dogfish, skate and searobins so far where I'm at chunking bait. Total of two schoolies and one snapper throwing plugs and metal. I swear the strippers are are either offshore or not around at all.

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Reading the water can be a challenge. The only way to get good at it is spending time watching. I learned from many years of surfing and actually being in the water, which is helpful... like in the summer go for a swim/walk and be observant as to what the water looks like... oh there’s a big hole here.. wow it’s shallow here... 

 

also walking around at low tide is helpful then come back at high. It takes time...

 

something that really helped me is remembering that a wave needs the depth of water= 1.6 x (wave height) for the wave to start to break. So you can judge the bottom depth by the wave height - also when a wave backs off and stops breaking you know there is a hole there or a rip current right there. 

 

Have you tried watching some videos on YouTube or something ? 

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41 mins ago, Andrew46 said:

I've caught nothing but dogfish, skate and searobins so far where I'm at chunking bait. Total of two schoolies and one snapper throwing plugs and metal. I swear the strippers are are either offshore or not around at all.

I feel it getting worse every year. I forgot about dogfish, their numbers seem to have increased. I got a really nice one earlier this year at about 4' - it put up a really good fight. I hear some people love to keep them.

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Pics not very helpful. Go back at low tide and take pics of where the water meets the shore. Look for bowls, bars, sand that looks like a small cliff, points. Just memorize them. Not hard at all.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You should be able to easily spot rip currents with surface texture changes. There's you're hole

 

Secondly where's all the surfers that break looks so fun.

Edited by TheSuperApe

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Using the 2nd photo as an example.  Waves will break on a bar like in the photo.  After which they will roll over (not breaking) the deeper water in what appears to be a trough in the photo.  Troughs will hold bait, crabs etc.  Say you had 100yds of waves in a continuous stretch breaking in the bar like in the photo, but 50 ft where that wave is not connected and does not break.  That 50ft section is a cut or break in the bar that is a channel or inlet where water flows in and out of the trough....super hi-way for bait and fish. Start here.

 

Break down what I wrote.  Look up "cut", "trough", "breaks in bar" etc.  Also low tide recon is invaluable.  This is never not 100% because bass will also come over the bar in that shallow water.  Be observant.....lot of things going on when it comes to feeding.  What laying around on the beach?  Pack light and walk along for a few miles.....that is the fun part....its a chess game only much better.        

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