How important is to “work the plug until it hits your boots?”



    Personally, I always felt that this advice rings hollow with most surfcasters including yours truly, After all, take a moment and watch a surfcaster next to you when you are on the beach. I would bet that half way through the cast he will start to crank the lure back to make another cast.

    Few nights ago I am fishing the tip of inlet jetty with a  buddy. Other than one rigged eel chopped in half I don’t have anything to show for other than a pissed off wife at home.. Three guys walk onto the jetty and start casting 20 yards away from sand. “Newbies” I thought,. Fishing skinny water is ok, but a foot of water?

    After about ½ an hour I decide to hit another spot. I say goodbye to my buddy and walk towards the sand. Just as I am passing the fellows in Red Ball white boots and sneakers, one of them is hooked up to a fish with a short rod. I ask” you want me to go down and get the fish for you?”. Before he answers I am already down at the base of the jetty waiting for him to bring a fish closer. I am looking for a leader to grab but see none. I yell, you got no leader , just braid???”. He yells, yeah….!*&!% great.

    I grab the braid but ready to let go if the fish goes nuts. I would like to keep all my 9 fingers intact. First time I missed the fish with Boga which only enrages the fish. !*&%#..if I lose this fish now I will feel like crap. Fortunately I get my Boga around its lips, Gibbs Danny swimmer has all three trebles jammed in the mouth. I scurry up the rocks and after quick weigh-in (21lb) I release the fish in his custody. The last hook is way down in the gills and there is no way to get your hand in without impaling yourself on other trebles. No problem. I take my dehooker from my belt, one push downwards on the treble and presto, plug is free. They grabbed the bass by the gill and run towards the parking lot.

    Buenas Noches Senor & Senorita

    I continue on my way. First spot does not look good. Tide is around midnight and its 9 pm. The rip here forms two hours before high water an it’s not set yet. I have as much confidence of fishing here without a rip as I do casting into the puddle in my back yard. Time to move after 5 casts.

    Next spot is also good on last two hours of flood but the current here is slightly faster even though its only 20 yards from the other place.

    First cast with Super Strike darter. I have no desire to donate another rigged eel to bluefish, they already cost me 4 rigged eels this week. The plug is doing its thing and I am counting  the stars out of boredom. I finish my retrieve and hit the rock…..except the rock explodes and starts to trash in inches of water…holy molly, that is LOUD…. High teen fish is making a bid for freedom but I won’t let it in the current and instead I keep it close to rocks. After I land it I have mixed feelings about release. It’s a perfect size for some family meals, my kids love it but I am too far from my truck. Thoughts of carrying it over sand does not sound appealing

    Suddenly and without warning fish said” if you release me I promise I’ll eat you lure when I grow up”. How can you not make that deal! Back in the water it went…

    Two instances where lures were hit right at in the skinny water. In my opinion, this works much better in fall then it does in spring, rarely ever will I get a fish to be this aggressive early in the year.

    What brought up this post?

    It wasn’t the Pescadore’s 21 lb bass or one I had on a darter. It was actually a short video I recorded few days ago on south shore. Keep an eye on the Lordship A40 as its being retrieved, about a 20 feet  away from my rod…

    put the video on fullsceen and you’ll see what brough this on


25 comments on “How important is to “work the plug until it hits your boots?”

  1. bdubbs

    down here in south jersey we fish that skinny water n produce some decent fish out of it . Barely walking out the jettys in some cases and castingback into sometime 6 inches of water . Better yet on the sodbanks i fish well have the fish pick up our plug as we lift it out of the water. Never count out the fish following u all the way in

  2. mike

    cool video!!! i live by the dont stop workin that lure till it hits my boots….last fall had a 20+# fish SLAM my teaser 2 ft from me middle of a quiet night on the beach IT SCARED the crap out of me since that night i always reel till it hits the sand

  3. Old Hippie

    Back in the day, some 40 or so years ago when the bod didn’t hurt and I could surf (board). I would be walking my board out to where I was able to get on and paddle out, I would always see small bait fish. Well, we know that where there are small fish, bigger fish will be. Many is the time I would have an accident in my jams because something bigger than a bait fish would give me a bump. Shark or not, and being 18 and invincible, out I’d go. We’ve all seen videos of shark and whale attacking close and even chargeing up to the shore. Little fish = bigger fish = bigger fish no matter the depth. So, I retrieve at the same speed until I see the bait in my hand. It’s only time, and aren’t we there to relax and as da wife says, “waste time”? Catch and Release. Use your phone and send the pic home. Harvest WISELY.

  4. denw72

    last Dec i was fishing with a friend in our kayaks at night(i know not surf but…) we were trolling live eels and it got pretty windy and snotty out so we went into this shallow cove about a foot or 2 of H2O we were sitting there talking and i threw my eel about 20 ft. form my kayak when all of a sudden reel starts screaming i set the hook and a 42″ 24 lb. bass must have made about 10 jumps completely out of the water and it was under a very bight moon if not full. If only we had a video camera what a site that was. 4 days later in the am caught another one in the same area just a little bigger at 26 lbs. Also along the marsh banks in very shallow water i have caught tons of bass on poppers in broad daylight. Great site Zeno thanks for all the valuable info you share with us!!

  5. Bill H

    Z—-just got back from montauk an hour ago. Yesterday we had fish in the wash, a fellow to my left was waist deep and had fish hitting him in the legs, it was pretty funny cause to cast to the fish he had to back up to the sand.

  6. bdubbs

    Bill it was like that for me last week in montauk i was on an outside rock and had fish smashin my legs and guys hookin up with fish behind me

  7. Bill H

    bdubbs, great post and I just witnessed it with my own eyes.To stay on topic, yes Zeno I was always taught to fish it into your feet. I have done this for the last 35 years and I can say without question it works on the right stretch of beach. bdubbs-I hate you—–LOL, my body will not let me get to that rock anymore. Great season to everyone. I’m going to bed————tired.

  8. Mark

    Cool video. There is a spot I fish during the summer on the Cape and one of my favorite things to do is wade past the first trough to the bar and cast parallel to the beach. I have caught a ton of fish in the trough cruising the beach looking for a quick meal. If you can find a a beach rip and stand past it casting over the rip and retrieve towards the rip many nights that can be money.

  9. emgred

    Had them like that for three nights/first light running (Mon/Tues – Wed/Thurs). Backed up 5 yds from the water after casting. Could have fished without waders. Had one miss my RuRu danny and blast it on to DRY SAND. Low tide and no swell had them feeding right on the first ledge, a rod length off the beach. Seems to happen more when you get the combo of sand eels and very small waves.

  10. TJ

    I think it’s critical to do, even if the fish aren’t in skinny water. I’ve had them follow a plug and not hit it until it’s at my feet. The last 10ft or so, I either speed up my retrieve or give the rod a little “twitch twitch” and BAM!

  11. Rich B.

    Just a few days ago, I had a 30 inch striper literally charge my Krocodile tin about 3 feet from the shore-line in less than 12 inches of water. Conditions were dead-calm, not much before sunrise, on a north shore sand beach. Fish was feeding on small spearing like a trout. What a confirmation of this important lesson!

  12. GLENN H


  13. Fishngrega

    last year while working one of my favorite spots. I was throwing a bucktail when literally right at my feet a bass smashed on it! After that learning experience I’ve always finished my retrieves till the plug is completely out of the water.

  14. bob eisey

    Thursday afternoon and evening the weakfish were beaching themselves to run from gorilla blues and 20 plus pound stripers.
    This took place on the south shore, in the rain. You could have caught them with a drop line.

  15. richtrox

    Haven’t had any fish further than 10 past the lip for 2 weeks now LOL. I mean right in the curl and really picky about what the plug is doing when it’s there LOL.

  16. fishtrek

    When fishing by myself I wade & cast in the old fan pattern. This way I cover all of the water Nice flounder caught here too.


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