My Journey to the Surf by Adam Coholan

Written by Adam Coholan, an active blogger out of New York who writes about the great outdoors, fishing, and Fire Island real estate and design.
On Twitter @Coho22

I’ve been fishing for bass since I was a boy, but until recently all of my experience had been freshwater, usually tracking down bass through the Finger Lakes region of Upstate NY where I grew up. I was transferred around a year ago to the New York City area and to get away from the crowded lakes around my new house, I decided to adapt and start surfcasting along the coast. I had no idea what I was getting in to! I had heard stories and seen pictures of monsters that people had caught, from striped bass to sharks! The potential for a trophy was enormous and I was anxious to hit the water. I grilled the local bait shops for as much info as they’d give me, beefed up my tackle, and headed out as soon as I had some free time. 

Once I was armed with my new equipment, I hit the beach closest to my home and waded in. Back when I was on the Finger Lakes, walking the dog with a plug over glassy water was one of my favorite tactics. The water was dead calm, so I figured it’d be best to go with what I knew, even if the plug was about ten times bigger! I was encouraged by a couple hits, even though I was so excited by them I yanked the lure out of the water before the fish even had a chance to take it. Then, about 45 minutes before I was planning on leaving, I saw the water explode and it took every ounce of my discipline not to set the hook right away. I counted two full seconds, set the hook, and in an instant my drag was screaming! In my mind I might as well have hooked a shark. After a couple thrilling minutes, I finally got the fish in, a striped bass about 20” long! Not a monster or trophy by any means, but my emotions were going crazy as I simultaneously laughed out of pure joy and cursed myself for forgetting my camera.

After that first catch, I was convinced I had found my new favorite sport. I know I was lucky to have such a great experience my first time out, and I give a lot of credit to the local shops for filling me in on what tactics worked best. I’m still in search of that trophy, but have caught a number of other fish since then, and sometimes don’t even know what species of fish I actually have at the end of the line! If you’re looking for a new challenge, I would tell you to give surfcasting a try, I promise you’ll have a blast!

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