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Author Topic: Reading The Sand  (Read 38161 times)
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ped579
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« on: December 18, 2007, 06:52:14 PM »

Reading the Sand

When I first started to surf fish I had no one there to really teach me.  It was like a secret society that was hard to break into.  I was after all just a kid to most of these guys and this was serious business to them.  I am talking about the Seaside Park area around the years from 1955 to the middle 60ís.   I was given hints but nothing solid to go on.  They kept telling me to learn to read the water; well as a kid I thought there was some mystical insight to the reading of the ocean.

I had a good idea but really was not sure.  It was not till I went to college till I finally realized what these guys were talking about.  I had to take science classes so I decided to take a couple of classes in Oceanography, at Richard Stockton College, in Pomona, NJ.  It was Dr. Stuart C. Farrell PhD. and his description of beach morphology and physical processes affecting shoreline dynamics, that allowed me to finally understand what was going on.

You want to talk about a light going off well it was like the whole room lit up.  After class I talked to the professor and had him go into detail as to what goes on.  WOW, that was easier than I thought.

I hope I can relate what I learned here in as simple terms as possible.  The ocean because of its never ending movement causes the sand to shift constantly there by morphing the shoreline constantly.  This can be seen especially after a storm.  The beach sand is scarped away by the waves and their constant pounding and loosening if the sand.  Where does it go?  In simple terms it sits just off shore waiting for redepositing back up onto the beach once more.

In doing so bars are formed a slight distance off shore.  Now you have what is called a slough which is a depression that runs parallel to the shoreline.  Again lets go back to the constant wave action remember that?  Well as it goes over the bars a wave or up swelling is formed sometimes curling and breaking over the bar is it becomes shallow enough.  Then the wave flattens out till it comes crashing onto the shore. 

What just happened?  Well the ocean just delivered a huge amount of water over that bar and now it wants to escape. How?  By the force of the water it finds the weakest point in the bar and breaks its way through causing a cut or depression in the bar.   It might not be much in fact most of the time it may be only a couple of feet or so.

Knowing this you can use this to your advantage, the fish do.  What do I mean by that?  Well. As the predator fish attack the bait the bait look for a place to hide, our bottom here is pretty much just sand so any depression the bait can find they make use of.  More of this later. 

Another distinguishing effect is the rip current.  This is caused by the current running through the cut in the bar perpendicular to the beach.  In the summer you hear once in a while a person swimming and suddenly is taken a long distance off shore.  What happened now?  The current is strong enough to carry anything off shore and that is including people.  For us, it can be a problem, for the bait and fish feeding it is a super highway to either a good meal or safety.

When the water is high or it is too rough to see the cuts or the rips caused by the cuts simply read the beach.  Now were are getting to the point of this article.

As the water caused by the tides rise and fall carve out sand from the beach and carry this off the beach and through the cut in the bar.  This is a good place to try your luck as the fish you are trying to target are looking for bait that are washed out by this rip current.

Try the sides of the rip and also in the back parts of the slough between the bar and the shore line.

As you look at the pictures also look at the beach and you will see that there is a low area forming caused by the waves and the current of the fast moving current off the beach.

I hope this makes scenes and opens up a lot more spots to try and land that big one.  I want you to also notice the amount of sand that has eroded off the beach since Thursday and Friday.

FYI, I noticed that there were 7 new rips on that short section of Ortley Beach alone.

Good Luck, Happy Catching

Paul


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« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 11:14:57 PM by ped579 » Logged



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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 08:04:38 PM »

Nice lesson Paul.   thumbs up
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2007, 08:18:36 PM »

Nice Job Paul thumbs up
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007, 09:00:21 PM »

very nice post
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2007, 09:51:30 PM »

Paul, that was the best description/explanation on the subject I've ever heard. Plus photos, great job! <'((((><
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ped579
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2007, 11:34:47 PM »

Thanks guys I hope this helps. 

I see people going to the beach to surf fish and moan, groan and complain that you can't catch anything off the surf.  I explain that you can if you know how to read the beach and match the hatch.  They look at you kind of funny and say Yeah sure and walk away.

Then I tell them it is just the basics man, just the basics.  Learn that and you will never go hungry. greeting

Happy Catching

Paul
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2008, 12:32:01 PM »

I know I mentioned about rip current and how it works but there is another reason to fish the sides of a rip especially during slack tide time.

Because there is an over abundance of water that builds up in the slough it will have a chance to escape during this time.  By doing so the current makes for a good place to drop a chunk of bait.  Try using less weight and allow the bait to travel out the rip or at least drift with its current.

Happy Catching

Paul
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 12:57:55 AM by ped579 » Logged



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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2008, 03:29:31 PM »

 thumbs up
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ped579
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 01:02:44 AM »

Here is another piece of information about the beach.  You have probably heard of fishing the points.  Well how do I find these points?  Simple, look to the water and you will see the waves breaking out over a bar if the white suds form all the way into the beach sort of a triangle, this is a good indication that there is a point there.  Try fishing either side of it and be ready to hook up.

If I had to pick which side to start with I would choose the south side of the point.  Cast out to its apex and reel in on an angle parallel to it. 

This would be a good starting place.

I finally had a good day for pictures to explain the process.  Enjoy.

Click on Picture to enlarge. thumbsup2

Happy Catching

Paul


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« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 12:19:07 AM by ped579 » Logged



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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2008, 02:42:34 PM »

Great pics, Paul.  And nice explainations with them.   thumbs up
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2008, 08:12:56 PM »

Great Job Paul!!!  thumbsup2
This would make for a great article.
1 Down!
 
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2008, 10:36:23 PM »

Nice Job Paul!!

AS Mike Said thumbs up
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2008, 10:56:00 PM »

thnks for the insight,
,, i'm going surf fishing with you this season
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ped579
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2008, 11:50:09 PM »

Any time guys.  I am just trying to make it a lot easier for people to learn that there is structure even on what seems to be a flat beach.

If you learn to read the beach you will up your percentages for catching fish.  Granted I don't catch fish every time out but I will catch fish if the conditions are right and I know I'm in the right place.

A big percentage of the process is looking for the right signs.  Incoming tide is easier to catch fish, knowing where to place your lure, matching the hatch, and watching for birds over some bait.

I am looking forward to fishing with many of you this summer.  Can't wait to hit the beach.

Happy Catching

Paul

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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 02:56:03 PM »

Very nicely done Paul  thumbs up Great job 
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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2008, 12:58:29 AM »

Gonna Hit the beach tomorrow with all of this new found knowledge....Thanks Paul! I will let you know how it goes tomorrow evening! thumbs up thumbsup2
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ped579
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2008, 04:28:58 PM »

Sounds good Sean,

Ii hope you do better than we did yesterday.  The waves were out of control and the currents were insane.  I did hear of one skate caught by one of our new lady members.  If I remember it was FishinGirl or something very close to that.  thumbsup2

Then my neighbor said his friend was out also and caught a black fish. 

Oh well next time, tis still early but we tried.

Paul
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2008, 09:12:12 PM »

Hey Paul, Saturday was my day to get out on the beach. I gave it a shot on the beach at Ventnor, but I was have troubles with the gear I had (or more to the point, didn't have!! Cry) -vs- the waves and currents. I tried to keep in mind the lessons on reading the beach and waves, but I found it very difficult since it waas so rough. After a number of tries and a couple of hours I decided to pack it all up and give the Longport Jetty another shot.
When I got there there were a dozen or so other fisherman out there with high hpoes of some action, but aqfter a little investigative reporting I realized that no-one had brought up anything today other than a couple of small skates.  bngh
I found a spot that looked promising and started casting my bait into the suds behind the first row of breakers, using a 4 oz dipsy on a slide and baiting w/ live clams. I fished the jetty for about 3 1/2 hours before I decided to call it a day.
FISH.....4
Sean.....0
 
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ped579
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2008, 11:26:56 PM »

Thats OK Sean, I was out with Ash from the board on Friday and the wave action was really bad.  There were times you could not see the horizon.  I even had a rough time reading the beach.  You had to look for the rip currents running horizontal to the beach and where the north current met with the southern current I figured there was where the cut was.

It did not really help, it was just to rough.  We were using clams and went through 2 dozen.  I know I lost a number to crabs I bet. 

I will be going out Wednesday with my daughter I hope thing quiet down by them.  I figure to start down by the North Jetty on IBSP and work our way up north.  Unless I see the back section or the flats are working for blues.

I was talking to Ray from Grumpys (we met in Shop Rite of all places) and he said things are about to pop.  The stripers are all around now and all we are waiting for is the water to warm just a tad and the spawn to be over for the cows to start feeding.

All I can say is bring it on...

Happy Catching

Paul

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IN GOD WE TRUST

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IBSP: 2064,  NJBBA: 4567

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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2008, 11:17:02 PM »

Great post , great info, Thanks!
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