Home Fishing Tips & Advice Can You Catch Fish from the Beach?

Can You Catch Fish from the Beach?

Fishing from the beach provides a unique opportunity for an angler. The beach could be linked to a large body of water such as a bay or an ocean. With exposure to various fish from these bodies of water, the beach provides a terrific opportunity to catch many types of fish, including large ones. Fishing from the beach can be extremely rewarding.

So yes, you can have a lot of success fishing from the beach. Understanding the best bait and time of day for fishing can be an integral part in catching a lot of fish during the next time that you fish from the beach.

How to Have Success Fishing from the Beach

We commonly see anglers attempt to cast their lines as far as possible when fishing from the beach. However, a longer distance cast from the shore doesn’t exactly equate to more fish or even a larger fish. Fishing from the beach exposes us to a unique natural occurrence, known as beach waves. Many anglers fear any sort of waves when fishing from the beach, as they think it just provides them an obstacle from catching fish. However, the waves actually provide so much opportunity when fishing.

Small bait fish actually swim with the waves and use the shallow water conditions as a safe haven to protect themselves from larger fish. Predatory fish strategically use this situation to their advantage and chase these fish across the shoreline. While this occurrence happens across the different levels of waves, it can happen as close as 5-10 feet from the beach. Rather than casting past the waves, utilize the waves as an opportunity to have the predatory fish chase your bait.

No need to cast past the waves! Some waves may even be too far to reach with a cast. Plenty of fish are closer to the shore than you think. Next time you are fishing on the beach, look closer at the first wave breaking and you will be able to see the bait fish swimming. The predatory fish are not far beyond.

Best Bait to Use When Fishing from the Beach

Finding the best bait for fishing from a particular beach will obviously depend on the type of fish that you would like to catch. However, our favorite bait to use on the beach would be something that is alive, not messy and free! Sand fleas or sand crabs may be considered by most as the best bait to use when fishing from the beach.

Most importantly, these sand fleas happen to be a popular food choice for the fish that swim close to the beach. It would make sense to use a bait that the fish are familiar with eating and the sand flea bait will blend in with the natural habitat to the fish when deployed in the water.

Next, sand fleas can be caught at the beach, right before you go fishing! Simply dig your hand into the sand of shallow water and you will see how easy and plentiful this bait is to catch. No need to spend money on bait while also reaping the benefits of using a live bait.

Lastly, sand fleas are easy to keep alive and don’t cause a mess of slimy fish guts or hold a fishy smell. It is great to have free bait, especially when it is extremely effective, like these sand fleas!

Fishing Rigs to Use at the Beach

Given that we would like to use the waves to our advantage while fishing at the beach, it would make sense to use some sort of weighted rig. The weight is dependent on how strong the current is as well as how powerful the waves are breaking.

Most bottom fishing rigs have some sort of weight already on the lure such as a bucktail jig. These lures don’t need extra weight to reach the bottom and a sufficiently sized lure should already get the job done.

In situations where you are just fishing with a hook (and with a sand flea), we would recommend using a 3-4 ounce weight to help get your bait to the bottom. Adding a weight to your line provides you with the opportunity to slowly reel in your line while still having the bait drag along the bottom. We recommend the use of a pyramid sinker which is best for fishing from the beach. A pyramid sinker is strong enough to keep your bait where you want it and durable enough to drag along the bottom of the beach.

Popular Beach Fishing Rigs:

  • Fish Finder Rig
  • Flapper Rig
  • Clipped Rig
  • Loop Rig
  • Pulley Rig

Best Time to Go Fishing from the Beach

We usually see the best success fishing from the beach early in the morning (6-10 am) and right before the sunset (5-8 pm). It is also ideal to fish during an incoming tide as the bait fish tend swim closer towards the shore.

Luckily, fishing from the beach isn’t just dependent on the time of the day as well as high tide vs. low tide. You can have success fishing from the beach at all times throughout the day. It is common to see most anglers arrive at the beach early in the morning, during or after the sun rises.


Personally, I was always a little skeptical with fishing from a beach. However, it has actually been one of my preferred methods for fishing, especially when the beach is ocean facing. Having exposure to a large body of water from a beach provides an extraordinary opportunity to catch large fish without having to get on a boat. Also, having access to the an unlimited amount of bait, in sand fleas, is just the icing on the cake for a perfect environment for fishing.

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Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing. His favorite fish to catch is a striped bass and his favorite bait to use is bunker. Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years.