I grew up in a multigenerational surf-fishing family who spent vast amounts of time on the beaches of St. Johns county, Florida.
My earliest fishing memories are all surf fishing ... we didn't have a boat until I was 13 or 14, and even then, most fishing trips were surf ones.
This is not a long nostalgic post about those times, but let me tell you, we lived on the beach for days at a time with my surfishing fanatic parents and grand parents and it was outstanding!
We weren't staying at any beach house or yet to be built (ugh) condo's ... we camped.
Nana and Papa had a camper trailer that they hooked to their JEEP. They would drive north along the Anastasia Island beach until they found a good slough, far away from the tourists who clumped near the beach entrance ramp.
There they would stay for weeks at a time while we grandkids rotated in and out in shifts. We lived like wild things and ... whoa ... this IS turning in to a long nostalgia post.
Not gonna do it. Nope.
So, anyway ... the video illustrates what we surf fishing fans call a slough. It's nothing more than a trough that forms between longshore bars. These bars build up parallel to the shore as the currents constantly shift sand from here to there.
Probably THE most delicious fish to come out of a slough is the hard biting, hard fighting peepsqueak called the "WHITING".
Having said that, please realize that the term "Whiting" applies to a host of other fish species and your whiting is not necessarily MY whiting.
The whiting down here is really a kingfish ... but not the kingfish in the mackerel family. That "Kingfish" is really a "King Mackerel", but everybody 'round here calls them either "Kingfish" or just "Kings".
This is why we need those Latinerdy scientific names.
We would go bonkers without them ... or should I say, "DELIRUS ire placet sine."Here in Pure Florida, our "Whiting" are two cousins ... either the Gulf Kingfish (Menticirrhus littoralis) or Southern Kingfish (Menticirrhus americanus).
Whiting love those sloughs and the chow that gets washed in to them... shrimp, sand fleas, tiny crabs. Whiting are not big fish, a two pounder is HUGE for whiting. If you are familiar with the more glamorous redfish, whiting look a little like mini-redfish without the coppery color or the tailspot.
The similarity is not coincidence, both reds and whiting are in the croaker/drum family, and both can be caught in a beach slough ... as can sharks, flounder, black drum, and pompano.
Of those other fish, only the flounder can compare with whiting for sweet fish goodness.
If I were going to get all nostalgic here, I would go on about the smell and taste of whiting only ten minutes out of the sea,dredged in cornmeal and fried by your Nana on a camp stove, on a beach long ago, in a Florida far way from this one.
But I am not going to get nostalgic over a fish and a depression between sandbars on a beach.
Not gonna do it.