Using waves or white water to your advantage

As many of you know , I am a big proponent of fishing  the “white water”. Unfortunately too many have taken my preaching as a gospel and not as an application that should be used when conditions are right. Let’s be honest, if you fish Long Island Sound, Connecticut or you are a back bay dude, you will never see the white water the likes of which you will encounter on ocean facing beaches.

And in the fall, when prevailing winds are from the north which tend to flatten out the surf, should you just stay home because there is no white water present? Of course not, the migration is in a full swing, fish will feed white water of not. So the importance of fishing white water lays not in its availability at all times but instead of you recognizing when present and using it to your advantage.

Here are few things off the top of my head which might help you utilize this highly productive technique.

  • Best wave conditions are usually wind driven and not swell driven by hurricanes of offshore storms
  • Best winds are usually diagonal instead of straight in-your-face or cross (side) winds. This does not mean that waves will come at you diagonaly although they might. Usualy they will come at your straight even on a hard diagonal wind
  • Best wave period is when they are fairly tight, less than 10 seconds between waves
  • Best applied when cresting wave is reachable with a medium cast (because metal lips swimmers are deadly under these conditions and they cast like wet rage)
  • Always, always cast to have your plug land in the white water behind the wave when using this technique
  • Great for finicky fish in Montauk white bait blitzes
  • Best plugs, poppers, metal lip swimmer and bucktails
  • Works great on the sandbars on the west side of any inlet year round and not just in the fall because of ever-present white water.

But what do I know, you are better off listening to experts who combined know enough to fill an Encyclopedia of surf fishing.

And here they are


19 comments on “Using waves or white water to your advantage

  1. Joseph Badolato

    There is nothing like hearing it from the horses mouth! Especially when Musso is talking about throwing buck tails into the suds.

    Just goes to show how its about the sport for these guys and not just business


  2. george cerny

    It’s not the hat but the operation to remove it that keeps him from getting a new one. White water has always been good to me when it’s been as you described Z. Happy New Year to all!

  3. Jim M.

    This is why I love SJ, where else would you see stuff like that – thanks as always for posting and have a happy new year to you and the crew…

  4. Chris S.

    Hey Zeno, I have a question for you. How important is white water at night on an open sandy beach? I usually focus my attention on rip currents in the dark, should I be focusing more on the white water at night?

  5. Chris S.

    I’m talking about the rip currents the news tells swimmers to stay away from (the ones that pull people from shore). I find quite a few where I fish

  6. Zeno Post author

    those can be good but i find that structure/sandbars and white water can be more productive WHEN you have the right conditions..


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *