Saltwater fishing always touts as a relaxing activity. For many anglers, it refers to a much more thrilling and unique experience compared to freshwater fishing. As far as the sea is concerned, one can look for new species. It is a fun and challenging activity in its own way. However, with the open water, there is a whole different level that comes into play. It tests one’s perseverance, strength, and skills. Anyone who attempts saltwater fishing gets hooked after the very first time.
What are the Different Types of Saltwater Fishing?
Saltwater fishing allows anglers several destinations to choose from. You can choose to go to the local beach. You can even venture out into the ocean on a boat, canoe, or kayak. One of the main things to remember while going saltwater fishing is to use the right gear. It helps you choose where to fish is purely a question of personal preference. Here are the different types of saltwater fishing that both newbies and veterans should know about:
Surf fishing entails either wading into the surf or standing on the shoreline. You can catch most of the saltwater fish. With that, you do not have to ever go out into the ocean. And, any first-time angler will be surprised to see the wide variety of fish that can be caught off the shoreline. This is what makes it a wonderful starting point for anyone going for saltwater fishing for the first time.
Flats fishing and inshore backwater can be done on a kayak, skiff, or flats boat. It aims for game fish such as Tarpon. A freshwater fisherman trying saltwater fishing for the first time or an intermediate-level angler hoping to give it a shot, these locations will feel more comfortable. You can find a wide variety of fish species along the inshore waters, such as Flounder and Spotted Sea Trout.
You should have a surf fishing rod for saltwater surf fishing gear. It can be with extensive line guides and about 12 to 15 feet long. You can attach your rod with a 20 to 25-pound test line and a large saltwater spinning reel to derive the best outcome. The fishing baits such as mullet, shrimp, and squid serve as reliable and simple for surf fishing. Shrimp is a useful bait for most fish species. But you have to be careful because they can also be easily pulled off the hook. If you wish to go for bait that will attract less fish yet last longer, mullet or squid can be tried.
Backwater and Flats Fishing
Go for saltwater with a medium-action fishing rod. It can be about 6 to 7 ft long, along with a baitcasting or spinning reel. Also, throw in a test weighted line that weighs about 15 pounds to get the desired results. Gold metal spoons make for effective lure tools in saltwater fishing, and the same goes for backwater and flats fishing. Keep these lures handy for cases of a line break, and don’t forget to add in some soft plastic jigs.
Saltwater bay fishing will expose saltwater fishers to some of the best hills, shallows, and reefs. Bays can be defined as coastal bodies of water that are joined to a main body of water. They are big and quite enclosed. Thus, it makes them an efficient fishing location. You can spot a wide variety of saltwater sport fish, baitfish, and crustaceans.
Bay fishing with a heavy-action rod that is 7 ft long and a spinning or bait caster reel will make for a successful and adventurous fishing trip. Take along a 20-pound monofilament line to make it a complete fishing experience. You can include a mix of live and artificial bait when you go out for bay fishing. Additionally, bring along some gold metal spoons, white bucktail jig lures, and live bait like shrimp to see how the fish react to them.
If you are an angler looking to pose some challenges on yourself and the adrenaline rush that accompanies long and hard fights with the big species of fish, go for deep-sea fishing. Beginners should try to steer clear of this type of saltwater fishing (unless you bring a guide along), and it is mainly recommended for seasoned anglers who wish to go out far from the shore and into the open ocean.
When going for deep sea fishing, it is best to bring along different types of rods depending on the fish you want to catch. Think of a fishing rod that is of medium-action with 6 to 7 ft with a heavy baitcaster reel. You can use it with a monofilament line along with a 20-pound test. If deep-sea bottom fishing is what you aim for, then a 50-pound line will serve you better.
Catching a deep-sea fishing game is all about experience and technique. Therefore, it is wise to experience both artificial and live baits for jigging and bottom fishing. A few include deep-sea bottom jigs, deep-diving plugs, threadfin herring, or cut squid. Being aware of the weather conditions before and after your trip is integral for deep-sea fishing. Carry a GPS along with a VHF radio to call for help if required, and evaluate the navigation charts before you head into the water.
Pier fishing is a wonderful way to introduce new anglers to the world of saltwater fishing and also for seasoned fishers to go for a more relaxing option. This type of saltwater fishing does not heavily depend on weather conditions as such and does not call for extra gear either, as opposed to what it would on a boat or a kayak. Timing, however, is just as crucial for pier fishing as well. Look up the information about the tides so that you know what time to go for pier fishing to have the most fish swimming by your line to amplify your chances of catching them.
A medium or heavy-action, around 6- to 9-foot-long spinning fishing rod is definitely needed for an enriching pier fishing session. For general purposes, you can use a 20-pound test line. In order to make it easier to pull up your catch, it is best to bring a pier graff or a hoop net. If this is not followed, it could get difficult to reel it up, and you will also face the risk of breaking your line and losing the fish. Live bait works really well in cases of pier fishing. Make sure to carry a bunch of bloodworms, shrimp, and squid. You can also ask the local anglers for recommendations if there is a specific species of fish you are looking for.
When to Saltwater Fish?
The best time to try saltwater fishing fluctuates.
- Avoid fishing when you have a slack tide. Instead of choosing the time when the tides are stable, pick when there are tidal movements. The crustaceans and baitfish stay active and constantly move during plenty of water movement. At the same time, even the predatory game fish move.
- Strong incoming tides bring the crustaceans and baitfish to the shore. That’s the best time to try saltwater fishing.
- During the full moon or new moon, there is more light at night. This changes the feeding pattern. In addition, as there is more pull of gravity, it is an optimal time when the baitfish are more active.
- The temperature of the water also plays a significant role in saltwater fishing. The feeding and the mating habits change.
It is advised to check the local newspaper or the fishing reports to plan your day for saltwater fishing. Just a little research can let you know more about the saltwater tides.
What You Need for Saltwater Fishing
Beautiful fish and large trophies, you can only get them when you have the best and the most suitable saltwater fishing gears. Let’s have a look at some of them here.
If you are planning to catch large species, pick a heavy-duty trolling rod. For smaller fish, light spinning rods can help.
The choice of reels is completely based on the type of rod you will use for saltwater fishing. For a wide range of lures and baits, you can settle on fixed-spool rods. However, you can also try reels customized for casting baits, lures, and jigging and trolling.
The line size depends upon the pursuing species. For offshore fishing, you can try both monofilament and braided lines. The latter has become more popular lately because of its durability. It helps in setting the hook quickly with less stretch compared to the width.
The list for choosing the correct tackle is endless. But, depending upon the catch, you can use live bait or artificial lures.
Anglers will need saltwater gaffs and nets to land the fish. These make it more convenient for catch-and-release fishing. For cutting the wire, removing the hooks, and tightening the knots, saltwater pliers and scissors are needed. You also need to learn how to tie saltwater fishing knots. In order to clean the fish or cut the bait, make use of saltwater fishing knives. Removing the hook more quickly and safely can be done with a saltwater hook remover.
Clothing and gear are equally important to remember with regard to saltwater fishing. Keep foul water gear nearby, such as boots and a rain jacket, so that you always stay dry and clean. You should keep the cold weather gear around as well. This includes a waterproof/windproof hat, neoprene gloves, and top layers of clothing.
Protecting yourself from the sun is super-important, which is why always carry sunscreen in your bag while going fishing, and wear a comfortable long-sleeved shirt and long pants. You should buy a pair of polarized sunglasses. It can protect you from the strong sunlight. Also, you would need it to look into the water. When the water is 65 degrees or warmer, breathable saltwater waders will be required, or neoprene waders for colder waters.