You would think something like surf fishing would be as easy as walking down to the beach sinking a couple of sand spikes and throwing out some bait and waiting for a bite. That is what most people do when they go out surf fishing but there are things that you can do to make your chances of catching fish a whole lot better.
One way to be a more successful surf fisherman is learning to read a beach and knowing where to fish when you find a spot with all the ingredients for a productive surf fishing location.
So what makes a spot a productive spot and what makes a spot not productive. The easiest thing to understand about the surf is an area called the slough, which is between the sand bar and the beach and is the predator fish's super highway. Fish will move up and down the slough looking for food, which makes this one of the easiest places to target fish. The best part of fishing the slough you don't need to cast a country mile to reach it the slough is right in front of you. Often some of the biggest fish are caught only a short distance from the shore.
The next thing to understand is how do the fish get into the slough. Fish enter the slough through breaks in the sandbar and these can be a little tricky to find but with patience and being observant they are easily found. One of the easiest ways to find a possible hole in the sandbar is to watch the waves rolling in. The waves will break on top of the sandbar and if you watch for several minutes you will see an area that the waves don't break. That's clue number one to a hole in the sandbar. Next look at the area on the beach for a while see if there is what they call an outsuck which is where there is current that is being pulled back into the surf from the whole in the sandbar. It will create current being pulled back into the waves and is always in the same spot on the beach. If you can find this location hold on to your rods because this is where the superhighway begins and fish will stage here due to the current in the area stirring up bait fish with out pulling back of the current from the break in the sandbar.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words so here is an image of where a sandbar is located a break in the sandbar the sloughs and where to cast for the best chances of catching predator fish.