Disclosure: We may earn commissions if you purchase products after clicking on a link from our site.

Surfperch are popular fish for anglers as they are exciting to fish, easily located, plentiful, and taste good. Do you want to learn how to catch surfperch? Surfperch is found along the Pacific coast and can be caught all year and which makes it an attractive game fish for anglers. In this article, we will discuss how to catch surfperch as well as the basic gear needed.

How To Catch Surfperch
How To Catch Surfperch

How To Catch Surfperch

When you are fishing for surfperch along the beach, look for troughs, deep holes, gullies, rocks, and pockets. You will often find surfperch in those structures looking for food that the currents will wash up in their direction.

Cast your line and let it settle on the bottom. Then reel up your slack line and keep it taught. Retrieve your bait slowly and let it rest. Continue working your bait until you find structures where surfperch are holed up hunting down prey fish.

When currents move parallel to the shore, cast up the current and let the bait drift with the current. Where the current meets a deeper patch of water is a good place to fish as most likely, that’s where surfperch will be hanging out in search of baitfish.

Surfperch Tackle

A 9 to 11-foot rod for 2 to 6-ounce weight that holds 200 to 300 yards of 15 to 30-pound monofilament line will work. For hooks, you can use #4 or #2 hooks. A pyramid sinker and swivels will also be needed for your setup. The size of the weight will depend on the surf conditions on the day.

Surfperch Fishing
Surfperch Fishing

Best Surfperch Baits

1. Mole Crabs

Sand crabs, also called mole crabs, and sand fleas are some of the best baits for surfperch.

2. Marine Worms

Marine worms are some of the popular baits for surfperch.

3. Sand Shrimp

Sand shrimp is also a good bait for surfperch.

4. Mussels

Mussels, clams, and marine worms are some of the popular baits for surfperch.

5. Clam necks

Clams and clam necks are great for catching surfperch.

6. Squid

Squid is also a great bait for surfperch.

7. Nightcrawlers

Nightcrawlers work well for surfperch as they like nightcrawlers.

Surfperch Fishing Tips
Surfperch Fishing Tips

Best Surfperch Lures

1. Berkley Gulp Sandworms

Berkley Gulp sandworms work well for attracting surfperch.

2. Lucky Craft

Lucky raft is one of the popular and effective lures used by anglers for surfperch.

3. Rigs

Rigs, like the high-low rig, are good rigs for surfperch.

4. Swimbaits

Swimbaits work well for surfperch.

5. Jerkbaits

Jerkbaits work well as lures for surfperch and any other fish.

Fishing Surfperch
Fishing Surfperch

How To Catch Surfperch In California

When fishing for surfperch in California, look for structures such as troughs, rocks, gullies, holes, channels, and the shore break lip. Study the water, and observe where the waves are breaking and where the water appears darker and deeper than other areas.

Target those areas and their edges where the sandy, foamy water meets the deeper water. There will be fish sitting in there and waiting for the tide to bring baitfish its way.

You will find surfperch in these areas feeding on sand crabs. Other bait you can use when fishing for surfperch are sandworm grubs, bloodworms, mussels, shrimp, clams, and lugworms. Lures can also be used when fishing for surfperch and Fishbites bloodworm scented strips as well as soft artificial grubs work well. Presented with the Carolina rig, the soft artificial grubs are very effective.

Casting is the preferred fishing method used when fishing for surfperch in California and slowly retrieving while staying in direct contact with the sinker. This allows you to feel it bouncing on the bottom. Additionally, don’t stay in one spot very long as surfperch are mobile and will always be moving.

How To Catch Surfperch In Washington

Look for structures like troughs, holes, jetties, rocky areas, and channels. Surfperch will be near those structures looking for prey. Clams, shrimp, squid, small fish, sandworms, and nightcrawlers are baits that you can use when fishing for surfperch in Washington. Surfperch lives in the surf and casting is the best fishing method to use.

You don’t need to cast very far as surfperch are usually found under the breaking waves. A steeply sloping ocean beach with waves breaking close to the shore will have surfperch in there feeding on baitfish brought along by the tide. Surfperch will be found there very close to the shores.

How To Catch Surfperch In The Surf

Surfperch is always in the surfs feeding on marine life that is brought to the shores by the waves. When fishing for surfperch, look for areas where the waves are breaking. Surfperch will always be in there, very close to the shore. Areas where the water appears darker than other surrounding areas indicating that it is deeper and surfperch will be in those deeper pockets

Additionally, you can find surfperch in troughs, jetties, holes, rocks, gullies, and channels. Fish near those areas with baits and lures. Squid, nightcrawlers, shrimp, clams, sandworms, mussels, and bloodworms are some of the baits that work well for surfperch.

Artificial grubs are also very effective when fishing for surfperch. Casting is the fishing method used when fishing for surfperch and you don’t need to cast very far as they are very close to the shore.

How To Catch Surfperch In Oregon

When fishing for surfperch in Oregon, look for deep holes, troughs, jetties, and rocky areas. Surfperch can be found in those areas as they feed on bait. Steeply sloped beaches where the waves break hard will also be areas to target for surfperch. Additionally, sandy areas and areas where the shore cuts inward will also hold surfperch.

Sand shrimp, marine worms, clam necks, mussels, and mole crabs are some of the bait that can be used when fishing for surfperch. Moreover, lures, such as artificial grubs can be used when fishing for surfperch as they stay on the hook and catch fish.

Casting is the fishing method used for surfperch as it is found in the surf very close to the shore. There is no need to cast far into the water as they are literally very close to where you are standing

Surfperch Fishing Tips

1. The best time to fish for surfperch is spring and early summer.

2. You will get the best fishing done on an incoming tide usually an hour or two before high tide.

3. When fishing for surfperch along the shoreline, look for deep holes, reefs, jetties, troughs, gullies, rocks, and pockets where surfperch could be.

4. You will need heavy tackle for surfperch fishing.

5. Surfperch baits are crabs, shrimps, mussels, worms, and clams.

Surfperch Fishing Hacks
Surfperch Fishing Hacks

6. You can often find surfperch 30 feet from the shoreline.

7. Surfperch are aggressive feeders. Once you locate them, you will catch some.

8. Surfperch is a schooling fish. When you find one, there are many in that same area.

9. Steep sandy beaches with small pebbles are good for surfperch fishing.

10. Be at the shore 2 hours before high tide.

11. You can decide to fish the outgoing tide until the biting stops.

12. Always study the water and identify structures like troughs, holes, jetties, and deep pockets.

Fishing Surfperch Tips
Fishing Surfperch Tips

13. Braided lines are a popular choice among surf anglers for surf fishing.

14. Be on the lookout for sand crab beds and cast your line on the edges of the sand bars.

15. Let your bait appear natural to the fish by letting it hit the bottom.

16. When your rig reaches the fish, wait for a few seconds and maintain line tension to get the bait in front of the fish.

17. If you are not getting any action in one area, move to other areas. The fish is always moving and you must move also to find them.

18. The activity of baitfish decreases between the height of the high tide and the lowest depths of the low tide. This lull in baitfish activity also impacts the feeding of the surfperch and other predators.

19. Baitfish are moved around by the shifting currents when the tide comes in or goes out. This movement of the baitfish by the tide excites and attracts surfperch and other fishes.

Fishing Surf Perch
Fishing Surf Perch

20. Learn how to fish with the rhythm of the tide and you will be successful with surf fishing.

21. Surfperch likes gently sloping lines off the coast and can often be found feeding in the break of the waves.

22. Scout the beach when the tide is low to identify troughs, holes, jetties, and pockets.

23. Surfperch can be caught year-round.

24. Surfperch will shoal close to the shorelines for spawning during late spring and summer. They will be engaged in feeding at this time and can easily be located.

Tips For Surfperch Fishing
Tips For Surfperch Fishing
What should I use to catch surfperch?
Crabs, worms, clam necks, shrimps, and mussels are baits that can be used to catch surfperch. Additionally, a 9 to 11-foot spinning rod, medium-fast to fast action, with at least 200 yards of 12 lb monofilament will work.
Where can I fish for surfperch?
Surfperch is found along the Pacific coast. Look for a steep sloping ocean beach with waves breaking close to the shoreline. Study the waters and find structures like troughs, holes, jetties, and deep pockets that the fish may be hanging around to ambush baitfish.
What time of year is best for surf perch?
The best time of the year to fish for surfperch is spring to summer although you can find them all year
How far do you cast for surf perch?
Cast out about 60 to 100 yards when fishing from the shoreline. You want to target the hungry fish that congregate to feed so going beyond the breaking waves is the sweet spot.
Is surfperch good eating?
Surfperch is a good and tasty fish with a mild flavor.
Is surf fishing better on a rising or falling tide?
Fishing on a rising tide is one of the best fishing tide times for surfperch. It will have more oxygen, a lower temperature, and be clearer.
What size rod is best for surf fishing?
Fishing rods in the range of 10 to 12 feet are good rods for surf fishing.
Does a heavier sinker cast further?
A heavier sinker will not cast further than a lighter one.
What size hook is best for surf fishing?
2/0 hooks are the sweet spot for hooks.

The Bottom Line

Surfperch is a popular gamefish for anglers that can be caught all year. It is found on the Pacific coast and is fun to catch. To be successful in fishing for surfperch, you have to study the water, find structures where the fish may be hanging out to ambush baitfish, and have the right equipment.

If you also like to catch halibut, tarpon, and cobia, then read how to catch halibut, how to catch yellow perch, how to catch tarpon, and how to catch cobia. We hope you will learn a few tips to enhance your fishing skills to catch more of these fish.