One of the common misconceptions out there about surf fishing and/or angling is that in order to catch plenty of fish, you have to venture out into deeper waters. However, this is certainly not the case. It is perfectly easy for you to hook yourself some flounder, striped bass and plenty of other types of fish when fishing off of sandbars. If you have the right rig then it can be even easier!
What is a Fish Finder Rig?
If you are not familiar with a rig, you may have heard of an alternative name like the 8nb8, b8n8 or bait and eight! Essentially it just refers to a hooking a swivel and an 8 ounce pyramid sinker. You don’t specifically have to use an 8oz weight, which can actually be challenging to throw into the surf – most fisherman opt for a 4 to 6 oz. weight instead and many will substitute the pyramid for a hurricane or sputnik style sinker.
Why Use One?
You may be wondering why you should be considering using a rig at all. The simple answer is that it will increase your catch rate. This is because when you use one, it will bounce which in turn kicks up a little sand. This is something that fish will notice and when you add some tasty bait into the mix they are likely to come along and investigate and once they do that they are as good as caught!
Another reason why you might want to try using it is that they will allow your live bait to move more freely and naturally since they are not attached to your lead line. If they behave more naturally, then you will draw more hits from fish. You may also find a rig useful if you are fishing off of a dock as it will help keep frightened fish under the dock where you want it!
Popular Types of Surf Fishing Rigs
It is important to have the right type of rig depending on the type of fish that you are targeting and where you are fishing. So with that in mind, here we have summarized a couple of different fish finder rigs and how to put them together.
The most basic one of the rigs is the simple ‘Fishfinder Rig’. This allows the bait line to slide up and down the main live, thus allowing the live lure to swim freely. This is very important if you happen to be targeting a type of fish that will travel some distance before ingesting such as Redfish and Striped Bass. You will need to use a circle hook as this will essentially make the fish hook themselves. If you are a catch and release fisherman, then this might be the rig for you since it is pretty rare for fish to ingest circle hooks which means releasing them without harm is much easier!
The Fireball Rig is best suited to catching the likes of Bluefish and Striped Bass. You will use brightly coloured floats on your dropper lines, thus lifting the bait up off of the bottom of the water. This stops them from being picked clean by marauding crabs and tiny fish scavenging for scraps!
Double Drop Bottom Rig
With the Double Drop Bottom Rig, you will extend two dropper lines form the main line, each sporting a hook. You then us a sinker to anchor your rig in the appropriate place. If you wish, you can also add some coloured beads to make the rig more visible in agitated waters! This type of rig will allow you to catch your fill of Flounder, Whiting, Spot, Atlantic Croaker, Speckled Trout and anything else that is swimming around! You can bait the rig using fresh shrimp or live mole crabs and use this as your go to rig on those days when you are not to fussed about what you are going to catch!
In Conclusion, using a fish finder rig can be a great way to improve your catch rate. It may take a little bit of trial and error and a lot of practice to figure out which type of rig is best for your target species of fish. However, once you have gotten that part figured out we are sure you will agree that it is worth the effort. Using it in conjunction with the right fish finder (check here how to use one) you will get the best results.