Feature finding is something that I don't see much information on, other than looking for gullies, groins, sand bars. For me I go by what species im likely to catch at the time of year, and conditions im fishing in. Its a good question, and think there is much to learn from finding features on what would seem to most be a featureless beach. If im not sure whats about taking into account the time of year and conditions, the 3 hook flapper comes out, I cast it very close in to start with, 40 yards maybe. The second rod id put a clip down rig, bigger hooks and bait right out as far as I can. After each cast the rod further out I cast closer in, and the rod that was close in I out further out until im onto something.
In early Feb, I went fishing locally, and saw there was a nice surf, steady onshore wind, and only had one rod with me. While tempting to put it out, I put it about 40 yards into the surf, caught a 6lb Bass. Second cast I put out was the same distance and got another but small Bass. after that nothing, so I started putting it out further and from memory had a few whiting. If I had hit it out first cast I would have missed the catch of the day. When I see nobody else catching, and im not getting anything close in either, I dont mess about, I hit it as far as I can if I only have one rod. In such times distance saves me a blank, and it has often got me the same as others are catching around me, but bigger fish, specially whiting, had some huge ones last year at distance.
I think for a Angler who has learnt to cast well, its all too easy to want to cast into the horizon, but think some of the best fish are missed if your only fishing one rod, and haven't any idea what your targeting. Talking to fishing shops, iv been told more than a few times that the holiday makers get some of the best catches because they haven't a clue how to cast, and end up dropping the bait in very close.