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At one time or another, I am sure you’ve heard someone say “sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good”. Maybe you’ve said it yourself. You may hear it when someone does something great in an unorthodox manner. However, if you have spent anytime at all in a casino, or you know your statistics, you know that if you rely on luck, particularly when it comes to your surf fishing, there is a 100% chance of you having many outings where you come up empty. If you want the kind of consistent success that is more than just the occasional lucky fish, it really comes down to time, timing, and utilizing both to your advantage to put yourself in the best position to catch fish every time you go out on the water. For this, you need a strategy.

When it comes to time, there are two aspects of time requiring your focus. The first is the time you put in to researching the areas you fish. The more research you do on your areas, and the more scouting you do, including new areas to fish, the better your percentages are going to be of finding consistent success. What is nice about doing this research or scouting, is that today’s technology can send you to the beach much better informed. Internet applications such as google maps allow you to see the make-up of an area’s structure. This can give you a good indication if it is worth checking out before trekking out. This makes for better utilization of your time.

The second aspect of time relates to the actual time you spend fishing. Logic dictates that the more time you spend on the water fishing, the better your chances of catching fish. However, the tough part is to find enough time to spend on the water. Our lives are filled with obligations- work, chores, family, etc. However, there is no denying that to be successful you must find and spend as much time as you can on the water to understand what tides, moons, winds, and other conditions will optimize your fish catching. These factors are often location specific, so it is imperative to observe these factors by fishing your locations at different times

during the tidal cycle, moon phases etc. Once you have established which tides, wind, moon phases, and other conditions work best, it then comes down to utilizing what you have learned to your advantage.

That brings us to timing. How many times have you heard someone say, “timing is everything”? This concept is true when it comes to surf fishing as well. Here again, the way we can make “perfect timing” is through you putting in time not only in the research of the tides, winds, moon phases etc. but by putting your time in on the water. Fishing is no different than anything else. The more time you put in, the more reward you get out. Spending the time will give you a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work. As the old saying goes, on every fishing trip you either catch or you learn. It is important to keep logs recording what worked and what didn’t, as well as the conditions you faced when you caught fish and when you didn’t. Be sure to note all the conditions experienced. because this will help you plan future outings.

Time and fish wait for no one. The bottom line is you must get out to figure it out. Nevertheless, no one will think badly of you if you still take that horseshoe with you- just don’t try to cast it. Live the Passion! Tight lines! features a monthly surfcasting blog from Bernie Hoyt , a NYS Certified Fishing Guide with over 30 years of experience fishing the legendary waters of Long Island. He is well known for his informative seminars at saltwater shows in the Northeast. Bernie offers trips along the outer beaches and inlets of Long Island, as well as Cape Cod Canal, Cuttyhunk, and other Northeast Striper locations. He is a pro-team member for S&S Bucktails, ODM RODS, and KastKing, as well as a member of the Long Island Beach Buggy Association and the Montauk Surfcasters Association. You can contact Bernie on Facebook through Bernie Bass Surfcasting Services, on Instagram @Bernie_bass, and through his website at

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