Surf fishing is a great way to enjoy the excitement of saltwater fishing without ever having to leave the beach. Whether you prop your rod with a sand spike or make casts yourself, surf fishing allows you to target a variety of fish in a fun environment.

Many will swear by live bait here, but depending on what you’re after, artificial bait can be just as good, if not better, than the real thing. The multitude of different styles available can make choosing the right artificial lure a little intimidating, though.

To help narrow the options, here are three surf fishing lures that every surf angler should have in their tackle box when they hit the beach.

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Metal Spoons

Flashy and made to cast a mile, metal spoons are designed to mimic baitfish, such as mullet. Most are chrome or bright silver in color, but there are several color patterns on the market, each equally efficient at enticing specific species. Many surf anglers who use spoons are after bluefish, but almost any fish will take them. Jigging the spoon on a medium fast retrieval tends to bring good results. Bonus Tip: If you’re after bluefish, remember to attach a 12-inch wire trace before the lure to keep their teeth from snapping your line.

Soft Plastic Jigs

The great thing about plastic jigs is the variety of combinations available to you. You can choose from a wide variety of plastic body styles to pair with an equally wide variety of jighead weights and colors. The action of the lure on retrieval will vary with your choice of tail, so it’s wise to always carry a few different colors and sizes in your bag for a quick change. With jigs, a slow and steady retrieve will reward you with plenty of action. Bonus Tip: Heavy monofilament line will impede the jig’s performance, so it’s best to use a short length of lightweight leader material.

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Poppers work well from the shore when fish are actively feeding. Their slow and rhythmic motion not only imitates a wounded fish, but the noise they create also does a great job of enticing fish from a distance and triggering strikes. Poppers come in sizes from a fraction of an ounce to four ounces, but the smaller models are mainly useful in backwaters; stick with one to three-ounce poppers when surf fishing.

© Fabien Monteil | – Surf fishing, fish