5 Of The Best Lesser-Known Surf Fishing Spots In The United States

Last updated on March 8th, 2024 at 11:27 pm

In past articles, we’ve looked at many of the well-known and popular surf fishing destinations around the US and the world. Now let’s take a look at some lesser-known surf fishing spots that you may have overlooked those hidden gems scattered across the United States. As someone passionate about surf fishing, I’m always on the lookout for new and less crowded destinations.

QUICK LOOK: 5 Lesser-Known Surf Fishing Spots in the US

  1. Maine – Located in the Northeastern US Maine offers awesome scenery, uncrowded beaches, and a wide variety of gamefish to target.
  2. Texas – With over 370 miles of Gulf of Mexico shoreline, Texas has surf fishing destinations for any anglers from beginner to expert and where you will have plenty of room to fish.
  3. Northern California – Far less densely populated than other areas of California, the northern California Coast offers scenic beauty, great surf fishing, and beaches without the crowds.
  4. Florida Panhandle – Overlooked by the crowds of tourists the beaches of the Florida Panhandle offer excellent surf fishing, a wide range of game fish, and a year-round mild climate.
  5. Oregon – This gem of the northwest with its smaller population and rugged coastline offers miles of secluded beaches with great surf fishing opportunities for a variety of Pacific Coast species.

Seasoned surf anglers know it’s increasingly hard to find spots where you can enjoy the surf fishing without the crowds. And good news! There are still less popular beaches where the only footsteps in the sand are likely to be your own.

To find these spots, we need to consider several important factors. Accessibility for one because for some areas you may need a 4-wheel drive vehicle to reach your fishing area. And there is much to be said for the remoteness of the off-road destinations.

Fish variety is another – who doesn’t love the challenge and excitement of not knowing what’s on the other end of the line? And of course, local regulations are crucial. We want to stay on the good side of the local fish and game officers.

In this journey to uncover new surf fishing destinations, our first stop is no further than the Northeast US. Imagine the rugged coast of Maine, with its crisp, salty air and the prospect of solitude. That’s right – Maine. It’s not just about the famous lobster pots; the surf holds treasures waiting for those willing to seek them out.

When you think of surf fishing, Maine might not be the first place that pops into your mind, but that’s exactly what makes it one of the best-kept secrets for surf anglers. The Pine Tree State harbors some stunning, tranquil stretches of coastline that lure in those looking for a peaceful fishing escape.

Picture it: waves gently lapping against rocky coasts, mist hovering over quiet beaches at dawn, and lines cast wide into the Atlantic’s breaking waves. These are the scenes greeting surf fishermen who venture north to the coast of Maine.

Surf Fishing Maine - Popham Beach State Park
Popham Beach Maine

In Maine, you’re going to find a wide variety of gamefish. Stripers, or striped bass, might be among the most sought-after, yet beaches like Old Orchard Beach and Ogunquit offer the chance to reel in mackerel, bluefish, and even the occasional flounder.

Come fall, the action heats up further with the promising runs of these species. While summer might draw more crowds, it’s during the spring and fall seasons that many fishermen find their best success with the cooler waters.

Now, as you’re soaking in the scenery and serenity of Maine’s coast, remember that this is just the beginning. As we cast our gaze further down the East Coast and beyond, you’ll see that other regions boast their own hidden surf fishing spots – places where crowds are sparse, and the fish are plentiful.

So, whether you’re taking notes about your next angling destination or simply dreaming of the next catch, let’s turn our attention to a warmer locale with its own coastal secrets: the underrated surf fishing locales along Texas’ Gulf Coast.

If You haven’t tried surf fishing in Texas you’re in for a surprise. My home waters of Texas have about 367 miles of open Gulf shoreline, most of it typified by rather broad, sandy beaches and mild climate that permits almost year-round surf fishing and are perfect for casting a line without the crowds.

Unique to this region is the convergence of the Gulf Stream that brings in a diverse array of fish species. Whether you’re looking to hook some speckled trout, flounder, pompano, whiting, red drum, or sharks, Texas has a spot for you. Let’s introduce you to some of Texas’ best-kept surf fishing secrets.

Texas has a wide variety of surf fishing areas from the Bolivar Peninsula and Crystal Beach of the upper coast, Follet’s Island, Surfside Beach, and Matagorda Beach of the middle coast to Mustang Island and Padre Island of the south Texas Gulf Coast.

Among the more remote and quiet fishing locales is Padre Island National Seashore. With 60 miles of beach and 55 miles of 4-wheel drive only, there is plenty of room to spread out and fish. The area is also a significant natural habitat for nesting sea turtles and migratory birds.

So, when you fish here, remember you’re sharing space with nature, and it’s important to respect the local wildlife and habitat. Summertime brings sea turtle nesting season and you need to be on the lookout for turtles and the National Park Service’s Turtle Patrol.

The advice of experienced local fishermen is invaluable for a successful fishing trip. Local bait shops and fishing forums are great places to gather real-time information on what’s biting – and to ensure you’re up to date with current fishing intel.

As we move on from the peaceful shores of Texas, we’re going to move westward and discover the lesser-known surf fishing spots of Northern California, where the Pacific Ocean offers a whole different set of challenges and rewards.

Along the rugged coastline of Northern California lie some awesome, uncharted surf fishing spots that few folks know about. The variety of fish here is awesome, with the chance to hook striped bass, surfperch, and even the occasional steelhead.

Let’s take a look at some of these hidden stretches of sand that are great for anglers looking for peace, tranquility, and uncrowded surf fishing. One such spot is Shelter Cove located in Northern California and offers some of the best surf fishing opportunities in the area.

Lesser-Known surf fishing spots in the US - Aerial view of Kellogg Beach Crescent City California
Uncrowded Northern California Beach

The beaches and surf are more rocky and you can catch a variety of fish, including salmon, halibut, and rockfish. It’s also a great spot for hiking and exploring the rugged coastline and forests.

8 miles north of Crescent City California you will find Kellogg Road Beach. This part of California is far less densely populated and you will have plenty of room to fish and may have the beach all to yourself. In addition, driving on the beach is allowed north of Kellogg Rd no need to carry all your gear.

A 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended because soft sand can be very unforgiving. Walk-in-only access is to the south of Kellogg Road and, if you’re willing to walk a bit, you can find isolated pockets where large schools of surfperch hang out.

Now, if you want to tap into the local knowledge, it’s best to engage with the community. They’ll point you towards beaches that are often just a short hike away from the nearest road, offering solitude and unspoiled fishing.

But remember, these spots do require a bit of research and preparation. Safety is paramount when fishing these Northern California beaches, as the surf can be unpredictable. Always check tide charts and weather conditions before heading out, wear your PFD, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a chat with the locals at bait shops for real-time information and intel.

Florida’s Panhandle is an absolute treasure for surf fishermen looking for solitude and a variety of game fish. This part of Florida boasts stretches of sandy beaches and grassy flats often overlooked by visitors flocking to the more popular, and crowded, destinations.

The Florida Panhandle’s emerald waters are brimming with speckled trout, pompano, flounder, Spanish mackerel, red drum, tarpon, and a variety of shark species. Plus, you can plan your trip almost any time of the year thanks to Florida’s mild climate.

Whether it’s the quiet surf of St. George Island or the history-infused coasts near Fort Walton Beach. The unbeaten paths here lead to great surf fishing without the pressure of crowds. The Panhandle’s fishing community takes pride in maintaining the pristine conditions of their waters.

By following local regulations, you contribute to the preservation of these wonderful fishing havens for years to come. A lot is happening very quickly in the Panhandle, from conservation efforts to habitat enhancements, which ensures that the fish populations remain healthy and fishing prospects high.

Now, let’s transition from the tranquil Florida shores to another serene fishing locale in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon’s rugged, misty coastline offers a different kind of escape for surf fishermen. With its unique blend of game fish species and quintessential Pacific Northwest scenery, it’s a chapter on surf fishing that’s definitely worth exploring.

Oregon, in the majestic Pacific Northwest, has miles of beaches that are both pristine and incredibly rich with marine life, yet they stay under the radar of most travel brochures. Oregon’s coastline stretches over 360 miles, and amid this expanse lie surf fishing spots that are teeming with a diverse variety of gamefish.

an aerial view of cannon beach Oregon
Cannon Beach Oregon

From redtail surfperch to the sought-after Chinook salmon, these waters offer an incredible opportunity for those willing to cast their lines into the lesser-known and less crowded surf fishing destinations Oregon has to offer.

Destinations like Horsfall Beach, are located in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, where if you’re willing to walk a bit, you’ll find plenty of room to fish. Or, Gold Beach a small town on the southern coast of Oregon, known for its surf fishing and uncrowded beaches.

You’ll find local Oregon surf fisherman are usually more than happy to share their knowledge and experiences as well as their passion for preserving the natural beauty of their beaches.

Be sure to follow all local rules and regulations and if you pack it in be sure and pack it back out. Preserving the tranquility and ecological balance of these spots is paramount if we are to preserve them for future generations of surf anglers.

You’ve just journeyed through some off-the-radar surf fishing locations that promise adventure without the crowds. It’s about uncovering hidden spots, enjoying the pristine coastal environments, and experiencing the thrill of the catch in areas not many can say they’ve fished.

TAKEAWAYS:

There are hidden surf fishing gems all over the US. So, no matter where you want to fish, do some digging and visit with the locals. Check with the bait shops and the online fishing forums and you can find those Lesser-known surf fishing spots. Choosing these underrated gems over the bustling, popular sites offers the opportunity to enjoy the sport of surf fishing without the crowds and distractions of the tourist destinations. It also helps distribute fishing pressure and contributes to the well-being of the marine ecosystem and gamefish populations.

If you’re going to take anything away from this exploration, it’s a sense of curiosity and a desire to seek out your quiet corner of the coast. Remember, it’s not just about landing the biggest catch but also about enjoying where you are and who you’re with. And who knows? You might just find your own secret surf fishing spot to return to, season after season.

Always fish with respect for local regulations and nature. Keep these spots as beautiful as you’ve found them, ensuring generations to come can also enjoy the thrill of finding their own hidden surf fishing treasures.

Take a moment to share your stories and encourage others to appreciate these lesser-known locales. Remember, every outing is a story waiting to be told – tight lines and tall tales await at these unsung surf fishing destinations.

As always, stay safe, enjoy the journey and please try to leave it cleaner than you found it. If you have any comments, questions, ideas, or suggestions please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you ASAP. You can follow us on Facebook: Rex The Beach Angler, Instagram: thebeachangler7, Twitter: @AnglerBeach, and YouTube: Man Art Creations.

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2 thoughts on “5 Of The Best Lesser-Known Surf Fishing Spots In The United States”

  1. This is a good article. The California photo doesn’t show Kellogg Beach. You took the photo from Enderts Lookout, a few miles south of Crescent City. The best fishing spot is at the south end of the beach- just under the lookout. That spot is steeper and rockier than the rest of the beach. Park at the turnout 1/2 mile north of the lookout.

    In early summer, you can collect delicious sea vegetables from the rocks under the lookout. The veggies will grow back if you cut them without damaging the base were they attach to the rock. The north coast has a much greater variety than most places in the world. There are no poisonous seaweeds in this area.

    While you are there, I highly recommend the one mile hike to Enderts Beach. This is so pretty. Occasionally, you might have a hawk or an eagle sore next to you as you hike along the bluff. The trailhead is at Enderts lookout.

    Reply
    • Great info Dwight,

      I’ll have to check Enderts Beach next trip. I have a son that’s in the Coast Guard at Kodiak AK, but he has his new orders to report to Petaluma, CA. So, I will have an excuse to spend more time fishing in California. 😉

      Rex

      Reply

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