The July surf anglers reported reasonable catches for bull whiting,drum,sharks and lots of bait fish in the surf troughs. Those who fished early mornings with fresh clams and shrimp had better results.
Augusts’ outlook is for more of the same. So when I fish I get to the beach as early as I can and leave by 10 am at the latest. With calm seas,humidity in double digits and little to no wind anglers have to figure out their best time,date,location,bait and tides to fish. Easy answer, look for a beach with clean water on a falling/raising tide with shrimp or clams for bait and you can’t go wrong.
Suggestion: Right about now I change my tactics to lighter surf casting gear for walking and casting along the beach. I use a 7/8 foot med/heavy spinning rod and lighter reel. The reel is spooled with braided line in the 20-30 pound test class. I carry very little while fishing and just what is need to catch,land and release fish I don’t eat. I use a small back pack to hold tackle. In the pack I have the basics: rag, 3-0/4-0 circle hooks, leader material; 30/40 pound test fluorocarbon, a few barrel sinkers, swivels, split shot, sunglasses, 3 lures (one each: popping- sinking and a gator spoon) knife and camera. The idea is to keep it light while you walk and casting on the beach..
Rigging for a popping plug, I take the running line to a swivel, add 12/15 inches of leader material and tie the plug to the leader with an improved clinch knot.
For a sinking bait or gator spoon I do as above except, I tie the lure/spoon to the leader using a loop knot. I believe this allows the bait to move freely and imparts more action to the bait during retrieval.
Last for the angler who is going to stay put and use live bait only. I suggest taking the running line to a swivel, add 12/15 inches of leader material and tie on a 3-0/4-0 circle hook with an improved clinch knot. Free line the live finger mullet,spot or other bait fish and add split shot to carry the bait down depending on conditions.