You have probably heard about surf fishing for Bluefish and wanted to try it yourself.
If so, then you’re up for an amazing and worthwhile adventure!
After all, these ravenous eating machines take on anything that goes into the surf. So, if you find yourself at the right place and at the right time, this guarantees a catch for you.
Here’s a deep dive on how to be an expert surf angler for Bluefish. Learn everything you know about this fish species and how to catch them each time. Let’s get started!
Surf Fishing for Bluefish – Know Your Catch
To be successful in surf fishing for Bluefish, you first need to know more about your target.
First of all, this fish species is feisty and always eager to get on their frenzied feeding.
They get their fill by literally destroying any moving thing around their food. Thanks to their sharp, big teeth, anything that’s in the way of their food gets torn.
This is what a typical Bluefish feeding frenzy is all about. Once a school of this fish heads over into the surf, they make runs – and aggressively, at that – on the feeding spot.
Imagine massive 20-pounder Blues heading over to feed and ravenously devouring more than double their size. They do this to survive and to pack on some weight before the next feeding session comes.
So, if an angler happens to be at the exact same spot where the feeding happens, it is not impossible to bag home dozens of these creatures in an hour.
Now, when it comes to diminutive-sized Bluefish, there are two kinds. We have the Tailor and the Snapper Blues.
The smaller of the two is the Snapper. These smaller Blues are under a pound in weight while the Tailors are around 1 to 4lbs. The latter is also the ones you commonly find in the surf.
But don’t be deceived by their size. Despite their small stature, they are always ready to put on a tough fight each time.
Although light tackles should suffice, you need to use wire leaders on the rig because of their ultra-sharp chompers.
So, we’ve got the tiny Bluefish, and then there are the massive ones. Big Blues, also coined as Choppers, are usually from 8 lbs or so. They are quite gargantuan, and these big boys are the ones leading the frenzy when feeding. These don’t back down and are ready to fight for their food.
The best time to find these Big Blues is in the early spring, early summer, and when we transition from fall to winter. Considering their power and strength, you would want to make sure you’ve got a large tackle on your wire leaders.
Bluefish Spawning, Location, and More!
Avid anglers are always curious about the spawning seasons of their target. After all, this means that they can expect to find them more as they feed and satisfy their enormous appetite.
For Bluefish, spawning is usually in the early spring to the onset of summer. They are typically found in the Atlantic Coast and the fry head over in-shore in search for safer locations to grow.
Their preferred locations are estuaries with fertile waters and plenty of food available. This way, they can satisfy their grumbling bellies and grow to their optimal sizes.
By early fall, these little ones should grow to about 10 inches long. Give it another year, and they should weigh more than 2 lbs. Interestingly, it doesn’t take too long for Blues to grow. Moreover, they tend to live a longer life compared to other fish species.
In fact, we’ve heard of anglers catching Blues in their 10th to 15th year, and these big ones are over 20 lbs heavy. Yet, it is rare to find them to grow up to 20 or so years and weigh nearly 30 lbs. Then again, it is possible.
The ideal location to find Bluefish is in the saltwater. Don’t even think about heading over to areas with murky or freshwater. Furthermore, they do not frequent waters that are either too cold or too hot.
Bluefish prefer to head over to beaches or estuaries. For instance, they frequent the Gulf of Mexico nearly all year round. Yet, they migrate between Massachusetts’ coastline or on Florida’s east coast. In other cases, they can swim up to Nova Scotia’s coastline.
As long as the water temperature is around 66 to 72 degrees (Fahrenheit), they should be somewhere nearby during feeding season. This is why it is a great idea to be on top of the water temperature in the coastline, so you can determine whether it is likely for them to be in the surf or not.
Always keep in mind that when it comes to catching Bluefish, it is all about the water temperature and the preferable bait fish to use.
Now, as for the timing, Blues are on Florida’s coast during winter and then head up north by April. Massachusetts is where they are between April and June, then they go down south in the winter, beginning October.
Primarily, they are Northern Atlantic fish species, yet it is not impossible for them to be in the northern coast of North Carolina, New York, and New Jersey. They follow two types of migration, although it’s definite that they head to the north in the spring until early summer.
The Northern Blue prefer to stay offshore in North Carolina in the spring. Then, they head north to New York, New Jersey, and Nova Scotia where they remain during the spawning season. Winter for the Southern Blue, on the other hand, is in the gulf then moving up to the Florida coast by March.
Additional Tips on Surf Fishing for Bluefish
We’ve already covered that Bluefish are voracious feeders. And that they attack and destroy anything that comes in the way of their food.
This is why with the right bait, you can easily catch Bluefish even with minimal skill.
The best bait to use to catch Bluefish include anything they feed in the surf. This includes squid, shrimp, mullet, ladyfish, eels, and mackerel.
As for lures, consider using plugs, surface lures, spoons, and jigs. Do a fast retrieve when you cast your lures. But if you are out there fishing in the early dawn or at dusk, opt for a noisy lure. Bluefish can’t resist them.
There is no doubt that surf fishing for Bluefish is a rewarding experience.
So, be sure you head over at their usual location at the right season, and you can expect a great catch in return. Have all your supplies ready, be prepared for action, and enjoy every moment as you elevate your angling skills!