Right now the surf is the local fishing hot spot.

Reds, bluefish, pompano, black drum and the ever present whiting can all be had.

If you hope to catch all or some of those, you will need to bring along a couple rods with multiple hooks and a couple of sand spikes. I like to tie on two hooks and bait one with shrimp and the other with cut mullet.

If your main target is pompano, you should bait with sand fleas, shrimp or fiddler crabs. Pompano may be the best-tasting grilled fish in the sea, but you will need a bit of talent to catch them in numbers.

Check out the beach at low tide to see where the run outs may be once the tide comes in. Fish the outgoing tide near the edge of the current caused by a run out. The pompano will lurk there to snatch any crustacean that is being washed out by the current.

If you are a beginner at fishing pomp, you may want to try and befriend a veteran. Pompano fishermen can be secretive, so bring along a couple granola bars to break the ice.

Some of the big reds that came by chasing the bait pods in late October may still be around. Bait them with mullet or shrimp, but you will need to make a long cast to reach them. Use at least an eight-foot rod and two ounces of lead if you hope to get out to where the big reds are.

Remember here in Volusia County we are allowed one red with a maximum length of 27 inches. At this time of year, reds caught in the surf may exceed the legal limit.

There is only one rule when fishing for blues – use a steel leader. The bluefish come by their nickname "choppers" honestly. Their formidable teeth can cut most lines.

When using lures with multiple hooks, it is not unusual to catch two at once. A hooked bluefish must try to elude the others in the school for they will try to swipe whatever they have in their mouths. Catching two at a time will give you a stiff battle. A great lure for blues is the Seahawk clothespin type that has plenty weight to keep it down in the water column.

Smoked bluefish makes a fish dip that is hard to beat, but there are those among us who believe that whiting are the tastiest fish that swims. I can't argue for I love 'em, too. They will bite shrimp or sand fleas and you won't have to cast too far out to catch them. Your best bet is to take a walk on the beach at low tide to spot a deeper slough near shore. When the tide is high the whiting will be there looking for a tasty morsel.

Black drum in the surf at this time of year won't be too large, but will be just about the right size for the table. Remember they only eat shell fish, so don't bait them with mullet or other fish. Drum may be caught on lures, but you won't make a living like that. Stick to shrimp for best results.

So, get out to the beach for a fine mixed bag from the surf. Catching a red, pompano, bluefish, whiting and black drum could be a heck of a grand slam!

Dan Smith has fished the waters of Volusia County for more than 40 years. Email questions and comments to fishwdan@att.net. His book, “I Swear the Snook Drowned,” is available for purchase for $10.95 at (386) 441-7793.

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