There is often more than meets the eye at an open beach. Structure-wise, you have gradual drop-offs, fast drop-offs, sand bars, deep troughs, and rocks and boulders.
1. The deep-water trough between the beach and sand bars has probably given the most 50lb bass to shore anglers throughout the northeast. A dropping tide is ideal. This is the perfect place to fish a lightly or unweighted soft bait. A light entry to the water is good. Also, close to shore light tackle is suitable.
2. Fish a gradual rise at low tide, incoming. You can wade out to get in deeper water where fish will be running along the edge. All water level columns. Fast and slow.
3. The other side of the surf rolling on a sand bar fishes best on a dropping tide. A weighted soft bait or bucktail bouncing on the bottom is ideal here.