While freshwater fishing is thrilling and sometimes more accessible, many anglers prefer saltwater fishing whenever they get the chance. You encounter different kinds of fish in saltwater, several of which grow far larger or stronger than their freshwater cousins.
In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of saltwater fishing, pro-level tips and tricks, and all the answers to common questions about this popular sport.
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Saltwater Fishing Basics
As you may have guessed, Saltwater fishing refers to any kind of fishing done in saltwater versus freshwater. These can include:
What Do You Need To Fish In Saltwater? (Essential Equipment)
Saltwater Rods & Reels
Short rods can help land those catches that really put up a fight, while longer rods let you cast much farther. Their materials are stronger than freshwater rods and resist corrosion better.
For saltwater reels, you can choose between high- or low-speeds. The lower the speed, the more powerful your reel is. Fast speeds allow for very quick line retrieval, which is perfect when you’re targeting speedy varieties where a taut line is key.
Saltwater Fishing Tools
Saltwater Fishing Clothing
Saltwater Fishing Tips & Techniques From The Pros
How to Rig for Saltwater Pier Fishing
- 1Use a bottom rig with a leader. Pull your line through the leader rig loop and coil it around a few times (about 4-5).
- 2Drop the loop over the swivel.
- 3Remove the slack by pulling on the hook gently.
- 4Repeat for your second hook.
- 5Add a sinker of appropriate weight.
- 6Tie your fishing line to the other end of the rig.
How to Set Up a Fishing Line for Saltwater
- 1Choose an appropriate line material. Braided will withstand salt and sun best, but monofilament or fluorocarbon can also be used, or a combination.
- 2With a clinch knot, secure a swivel (3-way) to your line, then add approximately 3 feet of extra line (such as monofilament) to the bottom swivel. Secure a sinker of appropriate weight to this line.
- 3On the remaining swivel, attach a leader and hook.
How to Clean Saltwater Fishing Lures
- 1While fishing, spray or rinse lures with freshwater. You should also rinse your reels periodically, so the saltwater doesn’t corrode them.
- 2Remove any dried fish or bait remnants frequently, with a sponge or brush in some freshwater.
- 3Once you’re back on land, rinse your lures with a hose or tap water. Scrub with an old toothbrush and mild soap or baby shampoo. Rinse again.
- 4Dry thoroughly before putting them back in your tackle box.
Fishing with Soft Plastics in Saltwater
- 1Set up your rig for the waters you’re fishing, the kind of soft plastics you plan to use, and the fish you’re targeting.
- 2Choose a soft plastic bait with “eyes,” if possible. These beads increase the likelihood a fish will take your bait.
- 3Drop over the side or cast a small distance from your boat. Let the bait sink to the depth of your desired fish, then being a staggered retrieval: alternating slow and steady reeling with short, fast periods to increase attention.
- 4Rinse your soft plastic lures the same as you would any other lure, and frequently inspect for saltwater corrosion.
How Do You Fish in Saltwater at Night?
Most people prefer saltwater fishing during the daytime due to higher visibility, but it is possible and quite exciting to cast your lines in the dead of night. Take the same precautions you would with nighttime freshwater fishing: bring a headlamp and flashlight and know your surroundings well.
Keep in mind that fish rely more on scent and movement at night. A potent live bait or motion lure can catch their attention even in the darkest waters.
Some advantages of nighttime saltwater fishing include less competition from other anglers and better response from certain fish such as bass. You also won’t get a sunburn, and the experience can be much more tranquil.
Environmental Factors That Affect Saltwater Fishing
Saltwater Vs. Freshwater Fishing
When comparing saltwater versus freshwater fishing, the differences boil down to much more than the water. You’ll usually want a stronger pole and reel for saltwater fishing. Saltwater rods are also made with materials that resist corrosion better.
Generally speaking, freshwater fishing is better for beginners. It’s easier to learn the basics when the water is calmer, and you’ll usually have an easier time reeling in your catch.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What kind of fish can you catch in saltwater?
Seatrout, tuna, bluefish, flounder, yellowtail, blue marlin, roosterfish, American red snapper, and black sea bass are just some of the fish you might catch when saltwater fishing.
What is the easiest saltwater fish to catch?
Seatrout, also known as the speckled trout, are generally very easy to catch when saltwater fishing. They thrive in a wide range of conditions, so they’re easier to find.
Do saltwater fish bite at night?
Yes, saltwater fish still bite at night. In fact, some varieties are rarely seen during daylight hours but feed after dusk.
Can you catch big saltwater fish from shore?
Catching larger fish from the shore of a saltwater body is easiest if the water is deep. A rocky shoreline, therefore, might be better than wading into some shallows.
From a relaxing day of coastline casting to the more advanced challenges of deep-sea fishing, saltwater fishing can amplify all the fun and challenges of fishing inland waters. Experienced anglers will encounter new challenges and stronger catches, while anyone new to the sport can receive a thrilling introduction from a boat, pier, or even the shore.