YES! I live lined whenever possible in the surf. If you can find a school of bunker and snag one, set the hook into it and leave it out there.
I fished Sandy Hook regularly and the number one mistake I saw with the surf fishing was the "Let's put out ten rods and sit in a chair" attitude. I outfished my friends most of the time by holding my one rod. I also kept my bait in the wash or just past it. Most of my nighttime bass were right in the wash.
The guys fishing the docks in Wehawken and Jersey City were heuge fans of the live bunker. They would sit on benches all day waiting for schools of fish to come by. Otherwise, some of the guys would never wet a line.