When it comes to fishing, surf fishing isn’t the most common way to reel in the fish. However, while it may not be the most universal form of the hobby, surf fishing is still a beloved pastime. As such, for those looking to learn more and/or improve their skills, you need to equip yourself with good, reliable resources.
Below is a list of seven books that are reviewed, by both their peers and novice fishers, as some of the best educational materials on the topic.
Top 7 Surf Fishing Books
The Complete Book of Surf Fishing, By Al Ristori
Published in 2015, this Al Ristori book is a thorough guide to the art of surf fishing. Covering the different types of terrain, such as rocky beaches and sandy shores, the book gives readers a detailed how-to for angling in such locations.
What is more, the book also discusses a wide array of subject matters, among which the best kind of tackles, how to find fish, and rigs/knots are included. To help ensure the information given is as helpful as possible, the book has accompanying photographs.
Generally speaking, this book is positively received by readers, with many referring to it as an entertaining and informative read. Nevertheless, if you’re quite experienced in surf fishing, this Ristori book might not be best for you.
The Complete Guide to Surfcasting, By Joe Cermele
We move onto an earlier published book, first released back in 2011. Despite being an older publication, this Joe Cermele has a string of five star reviews across the fisher community.
Detailed across its 200 plus pages, this book walks fishers through the different types of baiting techniques they can utilise, favourable hotspots (within the US), how to better understand the landscape of the beach, and various other useful pieces of advice.
Alongside the packed pages of information, which many a reader praises for its informative and easy to read style, the book also has 250 illustrations to help guide the more visual learner. Given how much is included in this publication, “complete guide” seems like a fair assessment.
Striper Pursuit: Surf Fishing Beyond the Basics, By John Skinner
Equally as well received, although it was published three years after Cermele’s book, this publication by John Skinner is a highly recommended read.
Having amassed a wealth of experience during his time as a fisher writer and videographer, Skinner is able to guide readers through the complexities of surf fishing, but while also making the information easy to digest.
Arguably what makes this book such a useful resource however, is that it comes with free online videos to watch alongside the reading. Therefore, it allows the reader to get a more practical insight into the techniques and advice that Skinner offers.
Surf Fishing: The Light-Line Revolution, By Bill Varney
We move backwards in time again with this Bill Varney book, first released in 2010. Although some of its information is outdated now, the book is a great read for surf fishers, particularly those in California.
The best way to describe this second edition of the book is as a no nonsense guide; instead of flowery language and romanticised stories, Varney gives a very matter of fact approach to his surf fishing information.
Among the details given, the author helps you navigate the perils of finding the right rod and reel, how to locate fish depending on the type of beach you’re on, as well as some so called secret tips that no other fisher has offered before. Even if the latter isn’t true, the book is a great, must-have read for surf fishers.
Sportsman’s Best: Surf Fishing Book & DVD Combo, By David A Brown
If you’re someone who wants to be able to have multiple ways to learn new subjects, then there’s no better than this book and DVD combo from David A Brown.
The best way to describe the setup of this guide, both its video and book is the ideal introduction to surf fishing, a surf fishing 101, if you will. However, for those of you who have been fishing for some years now, this type of guide may prove less useful.
Inside the 200 plus pages of the book, you will be guided through how to tell different species of fish apart, how to bait correctly, how to remain consistent in your skills no matter your location, and so much more.
Surf and Saltwater Fishing in the Carolinas, By Jeffery Weeks
Second to last on our top seven books is this installment from Jeffery Weeks, which covers both surf and saltwater fishing.
Despite this being specific to the Carolinas, there’s still a lot of information to be gleaned for this book, primarily the different tips and tricks suited to the different types of fish you’ll find in this area. This might not sound very helpful when it comes to tackle, bait, etc, but knowing how each species of fish behaves is a fantastic way to begin fishing for them properly.
Given the fact that this publication was released in 2011, so of the commentary won’t be as up to date as newer editions and/or other books. Nevertheless, this is a decent guide to the surf fishing opportunities in the Carolinas.
The Southern Surfcaster: Saltwater Strategies for the Carolina Beaches & Beyond, By S. Cameron Wright
Short and sweet at only 176 pages long, this book is perfect for beginners. Not only is it a short read, it also gives you a lot of easy to digest, introductory information to help get you started out.
Arguably, due to the sections it covers, such as fisher techniques, modern surf fishing practices, and so on, you won’t get a complete guide like with other books. Nonetheless, given that most newbies are only looking for the basics, this book should serve you nicely.
Much like Weeks’ book, this is geologically specific in terms of local hotspots, etc, however, the advice given is applicable to anywhere in the world, thus making this a solid read for newcomers to surf fishing.
Surf fishing can be a thoroughly enjoyable activity, whether you’re looking for a casual hobby or something more challenging. Nevertheless, while enjoyable, it takes a lot of practice and knowledge to improve your fishing skills. This is where the above books come in.
The seven publications mentioned, not to mention various others, are a wonderful means of improving your general surf fishing knowledge, as well as helping to learn new techniques.
Across this brief guide, we’ve introduced books for novice fishers, intermediate, and the ultimate guides for those who are well seasoned. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, there’s a book within the above seven that will help you further improve your fishing skills.