A perfect place to learn to read the beach is near where you fish.
That whole stretch of Long Island shoreline changes regularly. Especially towards the east end of that chain of Park land at Jones Beach. Jones Beach has 6 miles of beach and Robert Moses has another 5 miles. These areas are well known surf fishing havens.
You also have Captree State Park with two piers (open 24 hours; night permit required) and the inlet at Fire Island - Gilgo- Tobay - Democrat Point
4 Wheel Drive Fishing Permit
What it gives you: Night fishing and parking privileges PLUS allows for 4x4 beach access in designated areas at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach (the Sore Thumb area), Robert Moses State Park (Democrat Point), Napeague, Hither Hills, and Mountauk Point State parks.
Obtain at: The park offices at either Robert Moses State Park, Belmont Lake State Park (park headquarters), or Montauk Downs (golf course building).
Permits can be purchased at: Robert Moses State Park, Belmont Lake State Park, & Montauk Downs (golf course).
Dates Of Sale: January 2, to April 30th,
Tues. After Labor Day to Dec. 31,
Annual Fee for the permit is $65.00 For more information contact Belmont Lake State Park Office (631) 667-5055
My advice is to do a reconnaissance / scouting mission. As far as bait or lures. Dig some sandworms around the rocks. Snag some bunker or buy a 1 and two ounce acme kastmaster lure.
Join the Long island beach buggy association or Mid Island Surfcasters
This will reduce your learning curve exponentially.
Start here. Good Luck