Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Recognisable features of a beach

by Gary Brown on 8 Oct 2013
As you can see from this shot it’s low tide. There are not many features except for the rocks on the right hand side Gary Brown
Many anglers that I talk to tend to shy away from fishing a beach. This is mainly due to the fact that they don’t know how to read the features of a beach or they haven’t taken the time to identify how easy it is to recognise these features. Once you have worked out the different features you will then need to learn how to get the best out of these features.


The generic names that I will refer to are holes, gutters, sand spits, bars, rips and white water

Gutters/Channels.
Now whether you refer to them as gutters or channels, these features are usually elongated stretches of either deep or shallow water that will run parrell to the shoreline and will be found within the surf zone. They are easily distinguishable by the white water that has formed from a wave that has broken on a sand bar that is located on the seaward side of the gutter or channel. This wave will then reform and break closer to the beach, eventually running up to your feet.


When you have been down to the beach you may have noticed some of these gutters or channels that have either an ‘ U ‘ OR ‘ L ‘ shape the opens and empties back into the sea. This arm of the gutter or channel is sometimes referred to as a rip.

Holes.
Those anglers new to beach fishing can sometimes confuse a gutter or a channel to a hole. These holes can be rather larger or very small and situated on the edge or end of a gutter or channel. You can identify then by either the wave motion or a change in the colour of the water. These holes can either be a high water or low water hole, meaning that a particular hole that you can see from the beach, but cannot reach with a decent cast a high tide, would be easily reached at low tide.


Sand spits.
Sand spits are usually a narrow section of sand that runs from the shore out into the surf zone. They can be found on the edge of gutters, channels and holes, and can be an access point to more productive areas at low tide. At low tide these sand spits can also be a very productive place to look for beach worms. Care does need to be taken when fishing off these spit as the wave motion and tide can collapse them.

Bars.
Large, medium and small sand bars are usually found at all beaches. They are easily distinguished by the waves that break on them and they can be found at the edge of gutters, channels and holes.

Rips.
Rips are caused by wind, current and tide, and may run north or south along a gutter, out to sea or along the end of a beach where the sand meets the rocks. Rips when used properly can be a big asset to the beach angler, as it can be used to carry the bait out much further than you may be able to cast. For example, if you were fishing into a ‘U’ shaped gutter with a rip on either side you could cast out into the rip and then allow the bait and rig to be carried out further to sea. If there has being no bites on the way out you can then slowly retrieve the rig and bait right back to your feet. Great way to fish for whiting, bream and flathead.


White water.
As stated before the white water is formed with the break of a wave either on a beach or a sand bar or spit. It is this white water that the fish will either use as cover for protection from larger predators or as cover to chase prey.


Reading of Beach formations.
As stated earlier there are many factors that sculpt the characteristics of a beach and these characteristics can change within the blinking of an eye. There was this particular day when I was targeting mulloway in a deep gutter that was running parrell to the beach in the early hours of the morning, and even though the waves have been gently lapping the shoreline creating a small amount of white water cover, there had not been a bite from a mulloway, let alone any other fish species. Yet, within forty-five minutes of a southerly changes hitting the beach, that same gutter produced three mulloway to 7.5 kilos. This was mainly due to stirring up of the waves creating more cover from the white water and the possibility of the dislodging of small crabs, pipis and worms. This in turn brought sand whiting, bream and other fish species into the gutter, which was then followed by the mulloway.


To try and give you a better understanding of the types of beach formations that you will usually come across I listed five different formations that I have come across and fished over the years.


An outer and inner bank with no exit or entry point.
A gutter with an entry and exit point.
A sand spit.
A gutter running parrell to the rocks at the end of a beach.
An outer bank.

If you refer to each of the diagrams and keep in mind the recognisable features that I have listed earlier, hopefully this will give you a better understanding of what to look for when you are trying to read a beach.

Beneteau PWR Deals 660x82 1Barz Optics - Melanin LensesKiwi Yachting - Lewmar 660 - 1

Related Articles

Aquasports Marine marks 10 Years with Mercury
Boat range is extensive, running from runabouts, offshore fishing, and bowriders to cuddy cabins and family all-rounders Situated in the Perth suburb of Midland, the team at Aquasports Marine not only supply and service the full range of Mercury and MerCruiser engines, they provide boat lovers with everything they could need – including new and used boats, full boat and motor servicing and repairs, finance, insurance, fishing gear, watersport equipment, boat chandlery, oils and motor spare parts.
Posted on 23 Mar
Lowrance® celebrates 60 years of domination
Lowrance®, a world-leader in fishing electronics since 1957 — announced plans for celebration of its 60th Anniversary. Lowrance®, a world-leader in fishing electronics since 1957 — announced today plans for the celebration of its 60th Anniversary. For six decades, the iconic brand has led the industry in product innovation and customer service, supported professional anglers around the globe and dominated the tournament trail.
Posted on 23 Mar
New Garmin GPSMAP models now available
Garmin’s popular GPSMAP multifunction display series, new 752xs/952xs touchscreen are now available in Australia. Further expanding Garmin’s popular GPSMAP multifunction display series, the new 752xs/952xs touchscreen and 1022xsv/1222xsv rotary control/keyed units are now available in Australia.
Posted on 23 Mar
Coral Bleaching Again - Call to Action
Last week I attended latest Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan meeting of the Reef Advisory Committee in Brisbane It has become abundantly obvious to CAREFISH that climate change has eventuated and massive scale disruption and or destruction of our environment, particularly the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), is currently being experienced and is escalating. Whilst it is acknowledged that Governments are attending to some aspects and attempting to mitigate effect...
Posted on 22 Mar
New Listing – 2013MY Pursuit C 260
With a huge bathroom, great seating and the huge deck, this boat has it all.The price includes a virtually new Sea Pen. This late model US built boat makes for the perfect fishing and offshore vessel or is just as at home cruising enclosed waters with the family. With a huge bathroom, great seating and the huge aft deck this boat really has it all.The price includes a virtually new Sea Pen.
Posted on 22 Mar
Giving women a voice in fisheries
Victorian Rural Women’s Award finalist Kirsten Abernethy couldn’t be prouder of her state’s seafood industry. Victorian Rural Women’s Award finalist Kirsten Abernethy couldn’t be prouder of her state’s seafood industry. ‘Victoria has a great industry,’ she says. ‘It’s sustainable, proud and passionate. We should be celebrating our small family businesses and celebrating our remarkable seafood – from Williamstown sardines to Gippsland prawns.’
Posted on 21 Mar
Stylish new look for smaller Bar Crushers
Australian plate aluminium boat manufacturer Bar Crusher has introduced a new folding targa rocket launcher Australian plate aluminium boat manufacturer Bar Crusher has introduced a new folding targa rocket launcher for its Wavecrusher series (490C and 535C).
Posted on 20 Mar
Fantastic signs for Victorian King George whiting
High numbers of juvenile King George whiting have been recorded in recent fisheries surveys of Port Phillip Bay High numbers of juvenile King George whiting have been recorded in recent fisheries surveys of Port Phillip Bay, which is great news for whiting stocks and recreational anglers.
Posted on 17 Mar
Cornish fishing company fined £8,170 for moving vessel
Mark Rowse, who pleaded guilty on behalf of the company, was fined £3,000 by Truro Magistrates Court. Yesterday, Wednesday 15 March, Rowse Fishing Ltd of Newlyn Cornwall was fined a total of £8,170 after being prosecuted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for moving a new build fishing vessel without the appropriate load-line certificate. Mark Rowse, Director of Rowse Fishing Ltd, who pleaded guilty on behalf of the company, was fined £3,000 by Truro Magistrates Court...
Posted on 16 Mar
Track improvements complete at Lake Tyers
Recreational anglers can now enjoy better access to fishing spots in Lake Tyers State Park with seven vehicle tracks. Recreational anglers can now enjoy better access to fishing spots in Lake Tyers State Park with the completion of 17.7km of improvement works on seven vehicle tracks.
Posted on 14 Mar