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Saltwater Fishing for Beginners – A Comprehensive Guide

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Fishing for saltwater fish is a popular hobby. From the thrill of catching one to the satisfaction of cleaning and cooking it, there are many reasons why fishing appeals to people.

However, you should never take this hobby lightly! Not only do you need to be well-equipped for your fishery, but you also need to know the basics of fishing for saltwater fish.

Luckily, our anglers have got you covered. We’ve compiled some pro tips that will make your first time out on the water much easier! It’s also relatively easy to get started because it’s not necessary to find freshwater fish in order to experience the thrill. Luckily for you, we have some expert advice and all you need to know on how to get started saltwater fishing!

Before that, do you know…

What is Saltwater Fish?

This kind of fish lives in the ocean. Most of them spend at least part of their lives in freshwater before returning to the sea, but no matter where they live they’re all classified as saltwater fish.

As such, saltwater fishing can be done in any part of the sea, but it is more popular to go offshore. Due to the vastness of oceans, most fish are found far away from the land where they can find safety and food.

Where Can You Find Saltwater Fish?

It is typically found all over the world. They prefer warm climates because of their cold-blooded nature. The ideal water temperature for them is between 15°C (60°F) and 25°C (75°F).

Warm weather will usually mean lots of people out on the water! If you’re looking for a less crowded fishery, try going during winter or early spring when many anglers have packed up for the season.

If you’re looking for saltwater fish near where you live, then Google Maps has your answer! If there are rivers or streams nearby that lead into the ocean, then there will be saltwater fish close by. That said, there may also be freshwater fish near you so make sure to double-check if possible!

Now that we know all about these fish and where they might be found… it’s time to talk about some basic equipment and tips on how to get started!

What Do You Need to Fish for Saltwater Fish?

Unlike freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing requires you to have good equipment, a fishing license, and a boat. Without one of these, it’s extremely difficult to catch fish because most live far from shore. There are also many more predators that lurk in the water which makes a boat a necessity!

As mentioned before, boats allow you to get out further from the land where there is less chance of getting caught by predators. It will make your day both safer and more successful as well as make it easier to find fish! In addition, having a boat equipped with all the necessary equipment allows you to spend much more time fishing without worrying about going back onshore every now and then to get more bait.

Saltwater Fishing Basics

Before you hit the water, you need to know how to rig your line! There are two common methods of rigging a rod with a reel:

1. Split Ring Method

This method uses a split ring and hooks instead of a swivel and an additional hook. To attach it, slide the split ring onto the line and push until it is flush against the eyelet on the hook.

Then wrap your leader around five or six times before threading it through one side of the split ring without poking through. Now all that’s left to do is pull both sides of the leader tight and clip off any excess tag ends!

2. Swivel Method

For those that prefer not using split rings, this is an alternative method of rigging. First, put on a ball-bearing swivel, then attach your leader to the other side.

Then attach your hook with another swivel so that it dangles freely from the line without having too much movement.

3. Clamps or J-Hooks

If you prefer to use clamps or j-hooks instead of split rings, make sure to put the leader through the eyelet before putting on your clamp.

For j-hooks, pierce your leader before sliding it between the barb and the hook’s bend.

Saltwater Fishing Gear

Saltwater fishing is different from freshwater fishing, so if you want to catch fish, you’ll need some additional equipment.

Keep reading for a list of the things that every saltwater angler should have!

Saltwater Fishing Rod

There are three types of saltwater fishing rods: long rods, medium rods, and short rods. These three types of rods are used to accommodate most species of fish out there because they all require different techniques to reel them in.

You can buy each saltwater fishing rod at specialty shops or any store online selling fishing gear. If you’re only looking for one good option here, we recommend starting with a medium-sized rod!

  • Medium Rods: It comes in various lengths, but most medium-sized rods are between 2.1m (7 ft) and 3.2m (10 ft).
  • Long Rods: It’s longer than a medium rod. It may be anywhere from 2.4m ( 8ft) to 4.5 meters long depending on the species of fish being fished for.
  • Short Rods: A short rod is thinner, shorter, and more flexible than both the long and medium rods. This type of rod is used to hook small fish that swim very close to or on the surface of the water – it requires an almost entirely different technique! But if you’re only interested in fishing for one specific type of fish out there, you could probably get away with only having a short rod on hand.

Fishing Reel

The fishing reel is used to hold the fishing line. It can be attached at the end or near the middle of a rod. You should choose the type of reel depending on how big your catch will be!

For most species, you’ll want a medium-sized baitcasting reel that is suited for catching both large and small fish!

Baitcasting Reels

It can be attached close to the end of a rod, or in the middle of a long rod. A baitcasting reel is used for casting or throwing lures.

They are more precise than spinning rods because they don’t require line coiling after each cast! Baitcasting reels are an excellent choice when fishing for larger bass that swims deep underwater.

Saltwater Spinning Reels

A spinning rod is one whose handle comes directly off the long pole of the rod – no joints required! It’s designed to be lightweight and easy to handle, which makes it perfect for beginners!

Even so, once you get more experienced at catching fish, you might want to upgrade to a medium rod!

Fishing Line

This is what attaches your hook to the reel. Fishing lines are made from many different materials depending on the kind of fish you’re looking for, but they can be made from any natural or synthetic material!

For beginners, we recommend getting a fishing line that is strong enough to pull in larger bass because it will make it easier to get started without worrying about breaking your equipment all the time.

Fishing Hooks

The most important equipment for fishing! You’ll need a hook to tie your fishing line to. Every time you cast your line, there should be a hook on the end of it somewhere out in the water! Fishing hooks can come in all shapes and sizes depending on what kind of fish you want to catch – each kind has its own pros and cons!

For beginners, we recommend using circle hooks because they are easy to cast with and widely used by professionals.

Casting Lures

Casting lures are an essential part of saltwater fishing that can make or break your day out on the ocean! This type of lure is designed to mimic either live bait or frozen bait.

It gets cast further away and is meant to attract and reeled in fish that swim at the surface of the water!

Live Bait Lures

Any small fleshy bait that can be used as live food for saltwater fish. It’s one of the most popular lures because it’s easy to catch and real, so it gets results fast even if you’re a beginner at fishing!

The only downside is that these lures aren’t very durable – they’ll break after getting bitten on too many times.

Frozen Bait Lures

A type of lure designed to resemble already dead prey such as squid or shrimp. These lures are great because they’re a lot more durable than a worm or a minnow, but they can be difficult to cast for beginners!

Casting Technique

Learning how to cast is the trickiest part of saltwater fishing, but it’s also one of the most important! Watch another fisherman demonstrate good casting techniques and try your best to emulate them.

If you don’t get it right your first time, try again and again until you get it just right!

Saltwater Fishing Tips for Beginners

Here are a few saltwater fishing tips from some seasoned anglers for beginners to keep in mind!

1. Keep your line tight and close to the water so you don’t get tangled up

2. Let out enough line so that your lure can swim freely while staying at least eight feet away from where you cast it

3. When reeling in the catch, consider using a no-slip grip – having wet and slimy hands can make it harder to reel in!

4. Only pull on the end of the rod if you know how much weight is on your line or else you risk losing what could be a big catch! Boats often come with built-in scales to measure your weight, but you can also use your scales or a tape measure to weigh the fish – just remember how heavy it is so next time you can catch one even bigger!

5. Learn how to fillet your catch so you don’t waste any meat when cooking it! This will also help ensure that no harmful parasites are left in the fleshy part of your catch that makes it unsafe for eating.

6. If you’re on a rocky shore, make sure to attach some sturdy shoes before getting in the water.

7. Always remember to wear sunscreen to avoid painful injuries like sunburns!

8. Don’t forget your fishing bag or cooler (depending on what kind of fishing you do) to store all of your catches for later! If you catch something too big and heavy for you to carry, ask someone else around who looks strong enough to help you back up with it.

Different Types of Saltwater Fishing

There is a wide range of options for saltwater anglers when it comes to locations. A kayak, canoe, or boat may take you out to sea, or you can use the sands or planks of a local pier. You’re on the correct road if you’re fishing in the ocean using saltwater gear. Ultimately, where you go fishing is a mix of personal choice and the kind of fish you want to catch. Such as deep sea fishing, bay fishing, surf fishing, and pier fishing.

You’ll need deep sea bottom jigs, deep-diving plugs when you want to enter a deep sea game fish.

Deep Sea Fishing

It is a very popular way of catching fish. It’s different from traditional fishing because you have to travel far from shore and cast your line into the sea.

Every time you catch a fish it will be a big one because of the distance traveled and lack of experience of other anglers!

Bay Fishing

Saltwater fishing in bays is one of the most popular methods due to its close proximity to land and calm waters. There’s likely a body of water right near you (unless you live in the desert) that can be used for bay fishing!

You may need a boat or kayak depending on where you want to go. Surf fishing can be done in moderation (although it isn’t advised, especially for beginners), but be careful when heading out onto the ocean.

Pier Fishing

Pier fishing is basically fishing off of structures that are built into the water, like piers or jetties. This is where shore-bound anglers can enjoy a bit of serenity and catch their favorite kind of fish without having to venture too far out onto the open ocean.

There are specific pier fishing rods that are designed for this type of fishing. They are very long, about 10 to 12 feet in length, and extremely sturdy.

Surf Fishing

When saltwater fishing in strong waves, there’s no need for a boat – all you need is wet suit pants and shoes. You’ll also need a good surf fishing rod as well.

The biggest inconvenience with this kind of fishing is getting wet so bring towels or some dry clothes with you. It’s also advised that if you’re not strong enough to pull up larger fish, don’t go out there at all!

Saltwater Fishing Trip Basics

What you will need for saltwater fishing: Your rods, reels, and other gear (tackle box, lures, bait), a cooler, sunscreen, bug spray (if applicable), towels/dry clothes/change of clothes. Extra food and water is a good idea if you’re going out for more than an hour.

When you’re making your way to the fishing spot, be sure that you have a hard surface to walk on so it’s easier to get into the sea from there. Don’t wear anything slippery like a raincoat or dress shoes.

Be sure to keep an eye on your surroundings so boats don’t run over you! Scan the waters for jellyfish warnings or alerts against swimming in particular areas. You’ll also want to avoid bumping into rocks too much as they can hurt and cut your feet as well as cause damage to fishing equipment by poking holes through nets/lines/covers etc.

The basics of saltwater angling are the same as freshwater fishing with some differences. The basic difference is that saltwater fish are larger and live in areas where many types of fish swim together. This makes it more difficult to catch the specific type of fish you want without knowing what techniques work best for each species.

Saltwater Fishing Lures and Baits

There are different lures and baits for saltwater fishing. The type of fish you want to catch will determine what you use.

Squid is a very good bait because it’s soft, durable, and stays on your hook well.

Soft Plastic Baits

Soft plastic baits are molded into different shapes and are designed to look exactly like the kind of food fish eat. This makes them great for catching larger saltwater species too.

Jerk Baits

This is a type of soft plastic bait that is shaped like a worm but has tentacles instead of segments on its body.

They move back and forth when you jerk your rod up and down very quickly. Jerk baits catch many kinds of fish because they’re easy to use, have good speed/action, can be cast far out into deep water, and last for days or even months if reconditioned after each use.

Artificial Bait

Artificial live baits are made of plastic, rubber, or vinyl and have a moving tail that makes them look alive. This is great for catching species that you can’t buy bait for.

These are better used along the water’s edge.

Spinning Reels

The spinning reel is another name for a fishing rod with a spinning color on it. The most popular type of spinning reel has six bearings in the body of it so there is less friction when you reel your catch up to you.

Spinning reels provide more control over what kind of fish pull up on your line while allowing many different kinds of lures/plastics to be used such as jigs and spoons.

Bait Casting Reel

This reel has a spool and a level wind with adjustable tension. It can be used with heavier lures and baits for fishing larger fish.

The most popular way to use this type of spinning reel is to cast it out into an area where you think there might be bigger fish swimming then let the line run out freely until the lure hits the water then cast it again any time you see your bobber go under which indicates that your bait is in the strike zone.

Saltwater Fishing Rods

You can get away with using any kind of rod for salt water fishing but it should be saltwater rated.

The spinning reel or spin-cast reel will work well for saltwater fishing because they are simple to use and don’t take much effort since they have fewer parts than other reels. The type of line you use will depend on the type of fish you’re catching.

Mono has a long casting distance and is strong which makes it good for saltwater fishing since many larger fish are caught here. Fluorocarbon line is also a good choice because it’s limp but doesn’t stretch as much, which means you know when a fish has been hooked!

Saltwater Fishing Tournaments

Numerous saltwater fishing tournaments take place all over the world. Keep an eye out for one near you to see how you can enter! Many saltwater anglers use lures in their competitions because they can be used to show off more than live bait. There is also more competition when it comes to throwing in your reel – this further proves that lure fishing is the best way to compete.

Fish vary by species so you should know what kind of fish each lure is meant for to get the best results! However, don’t go overboard with your lures because this will put unnecessary pressure on them and might even cause them to break. The same goes for lines – too much tension can also put pressure on the line and snap it in two before you’ve even had a chance to hook your prey.

Where to Find Saltwater Fishing Tournaments?

Salty anglers have no problem finding saltwater fishing tournaments because there are so many all over the world. You can find them near you by using Google, Yelp, or even better – asking local saltwater fishers! There are also numerous articles online that will tell you exactly where to find these events.

You can also enter competitions that take place all over the world. There are tons of options for venues – you can compete on lakes, rivers, onshore/offshore locations, or even on the high seas!

Once you catch your fish, take some time to clean it before you cook it. This will ensure that there is no sand or tiny bones left behind that can cause an upset stomach if someone ingests them without noticing. Fillet your fish with saltwater fishing knives then rinse with hot water and pat dry to get rid of any excess blood.

Saltwater fishing is one of the most exciting ways to fish because it requires a lot more work than fresh water angling, but the payoff is much bigger! All you need is patience and desire to make your next saltwater fishing excursion productive. You can find all the necessary equipment at sporting goods stores near you.

Final Thoughts on Saltwater Fishing for Beginners

Saltwater fishing is becoming more popular with each passing year because it’s so much different than fresh water fishing. The equipment required to fish in the ocean is slightly different, but not difficult to find.

You can use lures or live bait – whatever you prefer! Remember these tips before you head out because they will help you have a great time saltwater fishing. Saltwater fishing is a great and exciting experience that you can share with your friends and family!