Saltwater Fishing For Beginners Guide
After months of practice and refinement, it is time for the fisherman to leave the rivers and lakes, and go sailing in salt water. The ocean offers an immense variety of fish and marine creatures, that any passionate fisherman, lover of the outdoors, and of the sport, would like to have.
However, there are a number of basic things you need to know before setting sail, and I’ll explain them to you here.
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Saltwater fishing for beginners
Fishing is America’s most popular recreational pastime; There are more active enthusiasts than golf, tennis, and boating. Fishing in saltwater alone attracts about 25 million participants a year across the country. Trawling high seas for large tuna, insect fishing in a calm bay, or fishing for redfish and trout in the waters of the Intercontinental Plain, the location and number of species of fish available to them may seem virtually unlimited to saltwater fishermen.
Fishing equipment and saltwater
The first thing newborn saltwater anglers need to understand is that the main difference between freshwater and saltwater fishing is the water itself. Salt speeds up the erosion process, and as a result, rust can dramatically weaken your reels and attached tools, as well as anything metal that comes in contact with it, including the line guide of your fishing rod.
The good news is that erosion can be easily avoided by flushing rods and reels with fresh water from your garden hose when returning from saltwater fishing. Spraying your reel later with a silicone-based lubricant like WD-40 will go a long way in extending the life of your gear. Saltwater equipment is usually a bit stiffer than equipment designed for use in freshwater, but you still have to do your part to keep it working.
Why fish in saltwater?
I will start here since many fishermen are not entirely clear about it.
Sea fishing is one of the most popular activities in many countries. In North America, for example, it has more enthusiasts than various sports, such as golf, tennis, and boating.
Its popularity lies, first, in the range of freedom it offers. No longer will you be confined to a confined space, nor will you have to rave about how you will catch your next prey.
This time, it is you alone in the ocean, with a world of possibilities.
And on the possibilities, you will find all kinds of fish. From bluefish, cobia, flounder, and tuna, to halibut, redfish, and ocean trout.
Fishing a certain type of fish will require a particular hook. So the variety also represents an interesting challenge for the fisherman.
If you are not particularly adept at boats or the cold water of the sea, you can still fish from a coast or a port. That won’t limit your results much.
Differences between one water and another
Many fishermen do not see big differences between salt and fresh water. So they make the mistake of going fishing without proper preparation. And well, technically you don’t need different equipment to fish in the sea.
But if you should prevent some things. For example, saltwater contains components that cause quite accelerated corrosion.
Corrosion is such that it can rust the lines of the fishing rod, the reel, and any metal equipment attached to it.
Luckily, you can easily avoid it. Every time you return home from a day of fishing, use your garden or patio hose to wash the rod, reel and tackle with fresh water.
I also advise you to apply silicone lubricant to the spool. That will prevent rust.
Although high-quality conventional saltwater reels and rods provide the backbone needed for deep-sea angler fishing, those who start fishing in saltwater are able to start with a standard medium-weight rotation combination. Unless you are already proficient in a conventional reel casting industry, a spinning reel will help you cast more to avoid the frustrating reactions and bird nests that are so common with conventional gear. A quality spinning combo with a capacity of 10 to 25 test lines will cover you in a variety of situations, from waves and dock fishing to floating in an intercontinental bay or estuary.
Mild to moderate primary fishing tackles may be
skilled to cover you suitably in most situations when fishing in freshwater. However, depending on whether you are fishing in the deep sea, floating in a small boat half a mile from the beach, fishing onshore, or fishing from a bridge or wharf, you need to carefully adjust your gear and technique to the situation at hand.
Like I said before, saltwater fishing gear is not much different from freshwater. However, there are instruments more appropriate for ocean waters, and I will explain them to you:
For a novice in saltwater fishing, it is better to start with a rod that is not very heavy and a reel that allows you to wind the line or line quickly, but without taking away your mobility when launching it into the water.
For the ocean, there are two types of fishing: spinning reel fishing and casting fishing. In this situation, a spinning reel sounds ideal for these situations. You can fish in the middle of the sea, on a shore, or in a port, and the results will be the same.
The line is easy to handle, the hooks are light, and the rod is suitable for moving the line in such a way that you can ” imitate ” the movements of a fish with the hook.
For a newbie, that’s the easiest way to fish in vast new terrain like the ocean. Therefore, get an appropriate tackle for spinning fishing.
Regarding the line, I advise you not to be stingy and buy a good quality one, which comes from a reliable brand.
This will be the part that comes in contact with the water the most, and no matter how much you take care of it, it will eventually wear out. So you will have to change it regularly.
If you choose a good quality one, it will last you longer and will work at crucial moments. But if you buy a cheap one of questionable quality, it may break just when you caught something.
I also advise you to use a braided line for fishing. These are thinner and lighter, so they allow more space on the spool to fit more lines, and they reach greater distances than monofilament lines.
There will be days when the sea presents strong tides, or that a strong fish will bite the bait. At times like that, the least you want is for the hook to come loose and the fish to escape. That is why you must tie the hook with a strong knot.
Now, there are many knots that you can prepare. But I recommend two: the Bimini Twist knot and the Double Palomar. Both are easy and reliable to do.
However, I cannot explain them to you, or I would deviate too much from the subject. But you can look for tutorials on YouTube to prepare them.
Regarding the bait for fishing, it is best to ask for information at the bait shop.
You see, in the ocean, your best option is to use a bait that resembles the regular diet of the fish. But for that, you must first know what type of fish are in the sea where you will sail, and choose which fish you are going to catch.
Sure, generally the bait is usually shrimp, mussels, clams, sea worms, strips of meat, or pieces of meat.
But you should still ask. In the store you will find people who know the area, they will help you put together a good strategy, and they may even add you to their group of friends.
There are three types of hooks for sea fishing: circle hook, which has become very popular with fishermen who hunt and release fish, due to the fact that they hook only on the tip of the fish’s mouth. Therefore, they are easy to remove and ensure that the fish returns to the water without serious injury.
Then there is the J hook, which, as its name suggests, is shaped like a ‘J’ and is used to hook the fish tightly. Ideal if you do not want it to escape, and you do not plan to return it to the sea.
With this one, it is best to use strips of meat as bait. That bait will attract a lot of fish, and you will be able to hook it well to the hook, so the water will not carry it away.
Lastly, the live bait hooks. These are designed to hook the bait through your nose, under your neck, or into your anal cavity. In addition, the torso of the hook is thinner and lighter than the others.
These characteristics allow the bait to move in the water, with greater “freedom”, thus attracting any fish that creates its movements.
Anyway. You don’t need to break your head when choosing the hook. What you should always do is choose a hook whose size is appropriate for the bait.
If the hook is very large, it will look strange and will drive the fish away. But if it is very small, it will not prevent the fish from quickly taking the bait. So you already know.
Now if you’re not into live bait, then a lure can give you some support when fishing. But beware, not just any decoy. You are not in a river so fly fishing is no longer an option.
To fool a saltwater fish, you need something much more convincing. So the best companions for the hook are the hard lures, built with wood, resins, or polycarbonates.
Some examples of hard lures are prop baits, which come with propellers added to one or more areas of their body, which keep them in constant motion.
There are also poppers, ideal for the first casts when starting fishing, and when you are exploring the waters.
But the teaspoons are, without a doubt, the best. They have slim bodies and are made of lightweight metals, so you can launch them long distances. Their movements mimic those of a wounded fish, attracting much hungry fish. And because their bodies are lean, they effectively nail the fish.
It should be added that there will be times when the seawater is not very calm, and it will be difficult for the fish to see your hook. For those kinds of occasions, it’s best to use a loud lure, which comes with a small built-in rattle. The sound of the rattle will guide the fish to the hook and will help you in murky water.
Anyway. But keep in mind that, as much as their bodies maintain a certain movement, it is your duty to control them with the rod. So don’t let your guard down.
In addition to the rod, bait, and equipment that you always carry when fishing, I advise you to take some additional materials with you.
For example, the sun will be quite intense. So bring some polarized sunglasses and a hat.
In addition, the fishing session can last for several hours. Eventually, you will get tired, and it will make you hungry. However, you can prevent that by bringing enough food and water, and a folding chair for when you get tired.
Anyway. That was all you needed to know about the team.
Now I will give you some general tips for fishing.
Read the tide
If you are fishing off a coast or in port, the irregular intensity of the tide can affect your performance.
To prevent any problems, it is best to investigate the water before starting fishing. Pay attention to the tide, and take note of what times it rises and falls. If you know the waves, you will know how to deal with them when fishing.
The best tides are the high ones. Therefore, to take advantage of them correctly, it is best to arrive at the fishing port an hour before the tide rises. Once the tide rises, continue fishing for half an hour.
By that time, the tide will have gone down a lot, but you will have taken advantage of its best moments.
Understand the ocean current
To find fish in some areas, it is important to know that the movement of the water is not always dictated by high and low tides.
For example, in a shipping channel, fish move according to the movement and speed of the water, not according to the height of the tide.
On the contrary, the altitude of the tide is much more important in the open sea. So again, it is important to study the water before fishing.
Another way to wash the reel after a day of fishing is by submerging it for several hours in a bucket of water. That will successfully remove any remaining saltwater residue.
Lubricate the spool
Sometimes new spools have weak or poorly protected areas because they were not properly lubricated at the factory. Therefore, I advise you to apply silicone lubricant to each new spool you buy.
Wait a bit
Many fishermen tend to pull the line just as the fish touches the bait. But I think that’s too early, and you run the risk of getting ahead of yourself.
When you see the fish bite the hook, wait a couple of seconds and pull the line. You can also wait for the bait to fully enter the fish’s mouth, or until you feel a lot of pressure on the line.
There you will know that the fish bit the bait, and it will no longer escape you.
Buy large monofilaments
To catch big fat-lipped fish, with a shad, you will need about an 80-pound monofilament.
However, a thread this heavy would be difficult to move in the water. So buy one whose heavy zone is short (like 34cm), place the heaviest at the front of the line, and complete the second section of the line with a lighter 30-pound monofilament.
No uses cables
cables are too heavy, they twist under water easily, and they are more difficult to move. In short, you don’t need it. You will get better results with a monofilament.
Take care of the crabs
If you happen to catch a crab, shrimp, or crustacean, you don’t need to kill it. You can take care of it and take it home safe and sound.
For that, you just need to wrap them in wet newspaper, or in damp vegetation, and store them in a cooler.
Remove the hook
Last but not less important. If you plan to return a fish to the water, it is mandatory that you remove the hook. Otherwise, the wound will get worse and you will eventually die.
What you should do is use fishing pliers to more easily remove the hook, and keep the fish close to the water while you unhook it. That way you will not suffocate, and you will return relatively safe and sound.