i use Storm swim shads when i don't have the money for bait....is using lures for surfcasting a good idea or am i just wasting energy?
Actually i would encourage the useage of lures. I wish I had used them years ago. Practice casting and retrieving. Storm shads mimic all kinds of baitfish that hang around the rocks. You can cover much more water than plopping out dead bait.
Get a book on how to bucktail and practice.
Read the stickies in the stripers101 forum - what to buy with 50 bucks.
Clams are a cheaper alternative and are just as deadly during the spring as cut bait and worms are.
Dig your own sand worms with a pitch fork.
If you have a minnow trap drop it somewhere where you can trap your own eels. Somewhere where it wont get stolen. Read up on slinging eels. Usually no weight is necessary. Just toss it out let it swim to the bottom and reel in ever so slowly.
Under the right conditions eels are deadly at all times of the year.
Sometimes not so easy to find them. So try trapping your own or learning how and where.
It takes time and practice. Dont get discouraged. Watch what the other guys are doing and dont crowd them.