Best Firepits for Surf Fishing
Everyone wants a fire at the beach for night surf fishing
Yes you can have a fire on a Delaware State Park drive on Beach, but it can’t be ON the sand. It has to be contained in a metal container. (obviously, hello, fire). You can NOT do this on the walk on guarded beaches.
We have been surf fishing at night with a nice cook fire for a long time. There are several options for fires at the beach. The first thing is weather, windy nights are no Bueno for this, you want it calm. Back in the day the fire was usually started with old drift wood pieces or shipwrecks. This was years before parks even existed.
First of all, it is a “cook fire”, that is important. Easiest and cheapest metal container is a grill. Well until you get into the name brands. The smaller Weber Smokey Joe Grill is perfect. Take charcoal and small pieces of wood. I split my own firewood. I have scrap pieces galore. I also live in the woods, sticks are in abundance out here. A good collection of small sticks or “tiny” logs is perfect. You want a small fire, not a bonfire blazer.
Those big fires get the rangers excited and rightfully so. You can’t blow out a bonfire. If a five gallon bucket can’t drown it right away it is too big. We keep two five gallon buckets full of sea water at the ready at all times.
We watched a guy one night spraying lighter fluid into a fire in his grill at 3R’s, it was wild. Ten foot flames shooting into the sky in high winds. While we are waiting for his EZ up to go, but instead we watched the tent they set up catch fire. Those things go up fast. Then we watched him get a whole bunch of tickets.
So yeah, keep the flames down to a minimum. Maybe skip the lighter fluid too.
We also carry out all ashes and coals after putting them out. Parks will tell you to bury the coals from your grill at the beach driving class. Please don’t do that. You brought it in, take it home.
My first beach fire pit was an old metal top to a propane tank, the big two hundred and fifty gallon ones. About as large as football helmet. I would build a pile of sand. Then bury top in the sand pile to about three inches and surround with bricks, then cover with a grill for cooking. That was surrounded by more bricks and a sand berm for a wind break. I don’t like sandy food. It was legal as a cook fire, but it always got checked because it looked like a fire in the sand.
We would take a five gallon bucket or two of wood chunks for the night. You really don’t need much. Remember you have to take all this stuff home with you. After you put the fire out. Metal gets hot, really hot. In fact this pit would turn the sand pink after twenty plus hours of use. We used to do two day trips and never leave. Adulting these days gets in the way of those trips.
Eventually this pit was retired due to the fact it was a lot to set up and take home. I had a metal trash can to store it all for the trip home. After drowning it in sea water, which would rust out the top eventually.
That propane tank top fire pit was replaced with a regular grill for a few years. Then I got a Solo stove, the Ranger. This is by far the best damn firepit for a beach. I have the smallest one, it is perfect for a few people. These Solo ranger stoves really put off some heat, which is why we wanted the fire in the first place. It can get chilly at night on the beach surf fishing. Eating a lot of food and hot drinks helps, not to mention morning coffee.
The larger Solo Stove is great too, but again you have to cart all of this home. The Solo stove is perfect, because it literally burns up everything into nearly no ash. Which makes it much easier to put out and take home. Pouring sea water onto hot metal will ruin it eventually. I can dump the solo stove contents into a bucket of water to put it out. It cools off quickly once the fire is all but burned out.
Another reason the propane top pit was retired, it rusted out. Solo Stoves are Stainless Steel. I highly recommend one of these for the beach.
Then again I like building my own stuff
Probably my favorite DIY fire “pit” is this woodstove kit my buddy built. This thing is epic and much like the Winnerwell woodstoves you see for tents. It creates a ton of heat and has a huge cooking surface on top for a large iron skillet. Fully contained and easy to haul out of there in the truck.
This one was much cheaper to build than the price tag on the Winnerwell. Definitely check their site out though, they have all kinds of firepits that will work on the beach. The regular round metal firepits for your porch work well too, but leave the terracotta chimney ones home. Broken clay is as bad as glass in some cases.
Be safe and smart if you have a fire at the beach.
If you build it they will come. I don’t know what it is about a fire on the beach, but this one time at surf fish camp.
We are surf fishing, heard a melody, turned around, and this dude is just sitting there playing guitar. With a few ladies in tow to listen. I was like, “well now, we always have to have the fire at night”. It had nothing to do with being near Dewey beach, I swear.
Surf fishing at night is a lot of fun and you actually catch fish. It is the easiest time to catch sharks without a huge audience.