Long rods, wet feet and big fish – that’s the surf casting blast available all along the Eastern Seaboard each fall. The action stretches from New England to Florida, but let’s focus this brief look on the Sunshine State. Throughout much of central to southern Florida, east coast beaches and inlets experience an autumn phenomenon known as the mullet run.

As millions of these hefty fish make their way down the coast, snook, redfish, tarpon, cobia and others have a field day of feasting. Plug casting is a top tactic and one of your best options is a Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper.

Available in 6- or 7-inch sizes, this bait brings several enviable traits to the party. First, its tail weighting system and aerodynamic form allow for super long casts. This benefits surf anglers who may need to punch out past breaking waves, or simply reach fish working near the outer bars on low tide.

As for appearance, that shimmering, slender finish closely resembles a number of common surf zone forage species – primarily those migrating mullet.

Lastly, that enticing rattle helps big fish home in on the plug, even in the low light of early morning or evening.

You’ll want to beef up your tackle to handle the serious fish that’ll often ravage a Pencil Popper. Stout spinning outfits with 50-pound braid and 30- to 40-pound mono leaders will allow you to properly work these chugging, popping, spitting baits and then put the brakes on the whoppers you attract.