I’m about to get into my truck, drive for several hours, and leave my Glacier Bay sitting on its trailer, while I cast a line from shore. Yech. This is not – repeat not – something I would normally do, and I’m only doing it this weekend to attend a friend’s son's birthday party, which happens to be a surf-fishing party. And truth be told, I do enjoy surf fishing (one heck of a lot more than going to Chuck E. Cheese). It's certainly not, however, as cool as casting with a rocking deck underfoot.

surf fishing

It may not be ideal, but surf fishing is a lot better than going to Chuck E. Cheese.

It’s not just that you usually (almost always) catch more fish from a boat, nor that you can often (almost always) get away from the pack and enjoy your own piece of water. There’s a whole lot more to it—like these five reasons why being aboard is always better than being on land.

1. There are no ticks or chiggers at sea. Try fishing a shoreline at a lake or pond, and you’ll often have to deal with these horrendous little creatures which can make life an absolute misery. Even when surf fishing they can be problematic, if you have to walk to or from the beach.

2. You can hit 10 times the fishing locations from a boat. On a shoreline, you’re pretty much stuck—which sucks. Changing locations can mean a hike, maybe followed by a drive and then another hike. And I’m not complaining because of the work, but because with every leg of the journey, you’re wasting vital fishing-time.

3. Land is riddled with bait-thieves. If you’ve ever left bait sitting on a shoreline, you’ve probably had it stolen by a fox, otter, or similar creature. And while surf fishing, gulls incessantly attack your bait supply. On your boat, there’s no such nonsense. Added hazard: if you land a decent fish and put it on a stringer, one of those critters might even pilfer your catch.

4. On land, it’s too easy to quit. If the fish aren’t biting, you can merely pack up your stuff and head for home. On a boat, you have a lot more invested in getting to those hot-spots. And as a result, you’re more likely to stick it out and try harder. Net result? At least some of the time, you’ll catch fish that you would have otherwise given up on.

5. It’s just plain more fun to be on a boat. 'Nuff said.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.