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In the late 50's and early 60's we used to load the boat useing handlines with tarred cord snells and we never went past the sea bouy. I suppose its possible that some of the fish made to within casting range of the beach. I know I've caught lots of cod and pollock in the 60's with a surf rod up in Nova Scotia.
 

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In surf fishing books I've ready about and seen pictures of casters taking some good size cod from the beach at the Cape many many years ago. Also, many years ago the LIF range a short article about surf fishing for cod off RM/FI. All night fishing in January and February. Never heard of anyone actually doing it however.

Jaiem
ArtsNFlies.com
 

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Even if it were possible forty or fifty years ago, the problem today is that the fishery has collapsed. Back in the 1980's, all of the inshore wrecks would be loaded with cod by this time of the year. The party boats at Captree & out of Jones Inlet would be packed with anglers searching fishing for cod (especially since there was no striper industry). That is simply not the case today. The only place on the island where cod is an almost sure bet is Montauk. And from there you have to cruise to places like cox's ledge. Inshore cod rarely exist in great numbers anymore. -Especially not enough to put together a winter surf catch.
 
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