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03. Artificials and Lures

Artificial Baits

These baits are just as they imply. Made to look like real baits, these can be anything from spoons to lavish replicas of bait fish. Many fresh water lures and artificial baits can be adapted to salt water use such as spoons, spooks, topdogs and jigs with shrimp tails, shad bodies poppers, deep diving and the variety of specialized baits found along coastal bait shops. The internet is also a good source of acquiring various salt water baits. Artificial baits are made to either look like a bait fish swimming through or act like they are in distress. These are what attract fish to them.

Fishing these baits are as simple as casting them out and reeling them back fast or slow to “walking the dog” with a spook to twitching the rod tip to make a popper zip a short distance across the water and stop for a second. Many of these techniques are used in fresh water fishing so adapting them to surf fishing is pretty straightforward.

Then there are the specialized rigs such as “speck rigs.” These rigs usually consist of two or three small plastics that simulate shad or minnows swimming together. Some glow in the dark. Some have tail or body movement but they are great baits.

There are others out there for Kingfish, Spanish Mackerel, Tarpon, and Snook etc. The thing to remember is when game fish are schooling; they will attack almost anything you throw at them. Watch the surf, watch the birds. Nine out of ten times, if you see flocking birds diving in the surf, or mullet jumping out of the water, you can be guaranteed there is some kind of game fish underneath them chasing schools of bait fish. Match your artificial to the bait and you are almost assured of a hook up. There are thousands to choose from but on the next few pages are just a few examples of artificial baits that can be used in the surf.

Zara Spook

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Poppers

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Spoons and Topwaters

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Artificial Shrimp

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Assorted Jig Heads

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Assorted Plastics

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More Top waters

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Spooks and Top Dogs

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Courtesy of TSF member Willy

Spoons and Spinner Bait

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Bucktails (Sometimes referred to as Flounder Pounders)

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Courtesy of TSF member Willy

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Speckled Trout Rig

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Bomber Minnow

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Gotcha Plugs

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Mirror Lure Catch 5’s

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Rat-L-Traps

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Chug Bugs