Saltwater Fishing for Beginners (6 Steps to Catch Big Fish)

Are you a beginner to saltwater fishing? Would you love to learn the foundation of how to catch a big fish? Todays guide will walk you through six steps to help you get started the right way.

What is Saltwater Fishing?

ocean, rising sun, with fishing rod in frame.

Saltwater fishing is a term used for fishing in the ocean. It can be done on a boat, on a pier, off of rocks, snorkel fishing, etc. Fishing in saltwater has grown quite popular due to the vast amount of game, and the thrill of a catch with a bit more of a challenge than freshwater fishing. It is a great hobby to get into.

Saltwater fishing generally offers a more exciting experience to fishing than freshwater fishing. Saltwater fish are bigger than freshwater fish. They put up a bigger fight to be caught, and because they are so big, they make for an impressive picture when you hold up your catch. And the bigger the fish, the more people it can feed if you are wanting to eat the fish you catch.

Saltwater has more variety, and has a larger amount of fish, and the catch is more exciting and intense because the fish take their bait with force. Saltwater fishing is the way to go if that appeals to you.

Saltwater Fishing for Beginners & Where to Begin

There are many different types of fish you can catch while saltwater fishing. Some of the most popular ones are Striped Bass, Bluefish, Red Drum,  King Salmon, Pacific Halibut, Tuna, Albacore, or Cod. A google search can tell you more about each fish and where the best places are to find them or check out here for a list.

You can pier fish, deep-sea fish off a boat, snorkel fish, or surf fish (which is fishing from the beach or wading in the water a little bit before casting your net.)

Deep-Sea Fishing for Beginners

White deep sea fishing boat

If you decide to go deep-sea fishing off of a boat there are some things to keep in mind. First, are you fishing, or trolling? Trolling is a type of fishing where you drag bait or hooked lure through the water from a moving boat to trick the fish into thinking their bait is on the move. You need to make sure you are prepared for the day in the boat.And you need the right boat.

Equipment Needed for Saltwater Fishing

  1. License
  2. A boat
  3. The right rod
  4. Saltwater fishing tools
  5. The right fishing clothing

Always remember your license. Every state has its own fishing regulations, so you want to make sure you are following them. There are short-term to long-termed licenses available. To get licensed click here.

If you are deep-sea fishing then you will need to buy or rent a boat to use. The boat will need to be bigger than boats you would fish with, in freshwater. It also needs to be able to handle the harsh conditions of salt water, and be able to have the strength, stability, and power to reel in the bigger catch.

The right rod depends on what bait you are going to use, where you are fishing, and what fish you are going to catch. Keep these in mind while purchasing a rod

-When it says “Power” on a rod that means the weight the rod is capable of carrying.

-Longer rods will cast farther, but shorter rods can fight the fish with more power.

-High-speed reels are really great for fast baits, but low-speed reels are more powerful for fighting the fish.

You need the right saltwater fishing tools, like Gaffs and Nets, Pliers and Scissors to cut wire, fishing knives, and a hook remover. Go check out the best Saltwater Fishing supplies, including rods, and motors.

Best Bait to use While Saltwater Fishing

The best bait for saltwater fishing is live bait.  While it does provide some difficulty in storing, live bait will attract the fish. If fishing with live bait, put the hook through the bait fish’s lips or eye sockets to allow it to swim naturally and normally in the water to attract more fish. Crabs, shrimp, or eels also work really well for live bait.

Cut bait is the next best thing for saltwater fishing bait, though it is also harder to maintain. It should be fresh and firm. Frozen bait should be free of freezer burn.

You can also try your hand at artificial lures, but live bait works a lot better.

Best Places to go as a Saltwater Fishing Newbie

man standing on rocky beach holding fishing rod looking at the ocean.

Fishing spots are personal preferences, but there are some things to keep in mind while picking the best one. Do you want somewhere busy, or somewhere more remote? How far do you want to travel? What fish species do you want to fish? Look online for tourist guides, and other information about the spot you want to head out to.

Also, click here for a list of the top 15 places to go Saltwater fishing in the U.S.

Other Tips and Tricks for Saltwater Fishing

1. Ask the locals. The locals know a lot about the best times to fish, bait to use, and fishing spots to check out. Wherever you decide to fish, ask the locals for tips, and check out bait and tackle stores nearby.

2. Join Facebook groups or online saltwater fishing communities. Members can help you get started, learn the best places to fish, and offer more tips and tricks with posts or videos. Here is a popular saltwater fishing Facebook group. Some groups are for saltwater fishing in specific states, which is nice if you will be fishing in that particular state.

3. Get a fish finder. It is an electronic tool that can help you locate fish. It is very effective and helpful.

4. Remember that salt can corrode metal, so make sure to rinse off your equipment after your trip.

5. Remember safety first. Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, and practice good safety habits while on the water.

If you would like more tips and tricks when it comes to saltwater fishing, check out this ebook, “A Quick Start Guide to Saltwater Fishing.” It’s free, has lots of helpful information, and is a short read.

Follow those tips and before you know it you’ll be a saltwater fishing pro.

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