Bluefish are one of the most common surf fishing species. Bluefish travel in schools and feed voraciously usually on baitfish. When a school of bluefish is nearby, it's hard to catch anything else. They will strike nearly anything that looks like a piece of mullet. Finger mullet is an excellent bait and works great, live or dead. Bluefish have sharp teeth and are very skilled at swimming by and biting off pieces of bait, so I've found that cutting the mullet into smaller pieces results in hooking more fish. I recommend using a wire leader to prevent line cuts from their sharp teeth. Bluefish are regulated in the state of Florida, so please check here for current Florida saltwater fishing regulations.
One of the most common questions I get while I'm standing on the beach surf casting is "What kind of fish do you catch?". Here is a list of fish species I commonly catch in the surf, in order of most commonly caught to least commonly caught.
- Atlantic Croaker
- Redfish (Red Drum)
- Black Drum
- Spotted Sea Trout
As you can see by pictures in the in my surf fishing reports, Bluefish is by far the most common fish I catch. There are two main reasons I catch a lot Bluefish. One, There are a lot of Bluefish in the surf where I fish. Two, I like to fish with finger mullet, which is a favorite bait of the Bluefish.
The next most common fish I catch off the beach is Whiting also called Gulf Kingfish. These fish are out in the surf most of the year and can be caught with pieces of shrimp, clams, Fishbites, etc. There are also great to eat and unregulated in Florida. I'll post an article about each of these surf fishing species over the next few days.
I bought this Penn Pursuit II, about 3 months ago, mainly for surf fishing. It's a bit smaller than the Penn Pursuit, and Penn Fierce, which I also use. I wanted it to be a little lighter, so my 11 year old son could use it for surf fishing. I have it on a Tidewater 10ft pole. So far we have used it on about a dozen fishing trips. Overall I am very pleased with this reel. It has a very smooth and tight feel. It's very light and is actually very well balanced on this 10ft tidewater pole. My 11 year old has no trouble handling it, and has caught many bluefish with it. I've been using it a lot and really like it. Line retrieval is very fast and smooth. The crank is a very comfortable size for me and my son. I would definitely recommend this reel and I do plan to purchase another one. So far the reel still looks like new, I'll report back in about a year or so with an update on wear and rust. I expect it will be like my other Penn spinning reels, which have little to no rust after 3 plus years of weekly use in the surf. My overall assessment is that this is an excellent reel for surf fishing and I think it's an excellent value.