Saltwater Fishing Can Be a Fun, Enjoyable Experience That Provides Variety for Anglers of All Skill Levels.
Whether surf casting from the beach, pier fishing, chasing inshore species on the flats, such as flounder, redfish, and speckled trout or deep-sea fishing offshore for more exotic species like dorado, wahoo and various billfish there is always something to learn about what kind of saltwater fishing gear you need.
So let’s start with the basics, saltwater fishing gear is designed to withstand corrosion and wear and tear in ways that freshwater fishing gear and tackle are not. However, regular rinsing with fresh clean water and lubricating all moving parts of your salt water reels after long days of chasing the bite will improve the lifespan of your salt water fishing gear and rigging and ensure reliability from your equipment when you need it the most.
When choosing the correct saltwater rods, and reels you should first consider where and how you will be using them. The depth of the water that you will be fishing in and the types of species that you will be targeting should dictate the size of the reels that you’re using, as well as the strength of your main lines and leaders. Obviously deeper water requires larger reels that can spool more mainline. Shallow water set ups are typically smaller and lighter making them easier to cast into tighter strike zones.
Line and Tackle
Choosing between braided mainline versus mono main line can ultimately come down to the anglers preference and either application can be used successfully in a variety of scenarios for your salt water fishing gear. Some anglers will even use a mono top shot spliced line to line with their braid because they believe that it takes some of the shock out of the initial strike, allowing for them to land, bigger fish, more efficiently. I recommend that you try what you think works best for you in a variety of applications, and make adjustments as you learn more about fishing in salt water through personal experience, over time. Leaders, however, should always be fluorocarbon. I recommend using as long of a leader as you can manage and as light of a leader as possible for the species that you are targeting. I also recommend re-tying after every fish you catch or at least checking your leader to make sure there are no kinks or damage to it as you do not want to lose your personal best because you didn’t re-tie in between catches. I recommend having both options in your saltwater fishing gear.
Choosing the correct weight and rigging all depends on what type of species you’re targeting as well the weather and water conditions. When there is little water movement, I recommend using the lightest possible weight. When there is heavy current and a lot of water movement, you will want to use a heavier weight so that you can properly place your baits in the strike zone.
Types of Baits for Beginners
There are all types of varieties of baitfish that are local to the areas you will be fishing. While there are some inshore baits that work really well offshore and there are a few offshore baits that will work fairly well inshore, don’t overthink it. Simply catch your baits close to where you’re going to be targeting your main species. If that bait is abundant in the general area of where you’re going to be fishing for your target species, then it’s likely that that bait is what your target species is living off of, and therefore should be the best bait for you to use.
You should always size your hooks similarly to sizing your leaders, reels, rods and main line to the species that you’re targeting, as well as the depth and conditions that you’ll be fishing in. Also take in consideration the time of year in your area when choosing your salt water fishing gear. Later in the fishing season most target species become very leader shy and hook shy and may require much lighter rigging than what they did in the beginning of the season. I recommend using a hook just big enough to catch your target species, but not too big to scare or deter the larger, more mature fish that have most likely been hooked before.
Last but not least when choosing your saltwater fishing gear always be prepared with a variety of bait leaders, hooks, rods and reels, but always be prepared for the elements. The best saltwater fishing gear in the world is useless without a well prepared angler to use them. Always have good rain gear packed. Be prepared for weather changes, wind changes, and always have sunscreen, chapstick, a hat, sunglasses, a face mask, some sort of UV protective shirt, and minimal first aid in the event of any accidents when rigging or releasing fish. It is always better to have a not need the need and not have. The last thing you want is to be on top of a hot bite and not be prepared for the elements, rendering yourself and your equipment incapable of catching the fish of your life.
Most Importantly Have Fun
Ultimately, the main purpose of fishing is to have fun and make memories. So now that you’re a little more prepared and have a better understanding of the basics, click on the booking link above or give us a call at 850-739-3175 to book a trip with Southern Country Charters. Let’s go fishing and have some fun!