How to Catch a Saltwater Fish

How to Catch a Saltwater Fish
Saltwater fishing involves attracting and catching a wide range of fish species that live in waters with a high salt concentration. In comparison to freshwater species, saltwater fish tend to be larger in size and weight because food is more available. Catching a saltwater fish takes equipment designed to handle the size of the fish as well as the abuse from corrosive salt conditions.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Medium to medium heavy rod and matching reel High pound test line (typically 15 pound ranging up to 100 pound test) Lures designed to attract salt water fish species including plugs, large jigs Terminal tackle including 1/2 to 3 ounce weights for bottom-search fishing setups
  • Medium to medium heavy rod and matching reel
  • High pound test line (typically 15 pound ranging up to 100 pound test)
  • Lures designed to attract salt water fish species including plugs, large jigs
  • Terminal tackle including 1/2 to 3 ounce weights for bottom-search fishing setups
Step 1
Locate a site that is suitable for fishing. You can fish off a pier, surf cast from the beach or fish off a boat that gives you access to deeper waters. You may have to pay fees for a beach fishing permits, to use a pier or to charter a boat.
Step 2
Rig the rod and reel in preparation for fishing. Spool high-pound test monofilament or braided fishing line depending on the type and species of fish you are trying to catch. Typically, monofilament lines are a good all-purpose choice. Braided lines are preferred by some because of their strength in relationship to line diameter and knot strength.
Step 3
Select lures or a terminal tackle setup appropriate for the species of fish. For example, when fishing for flounder, which live primarily close to the bottom to the floor, a weighted jig lure is a good choice as this lure will get down to the fish and provide enough action to attract the fish. When surf fishing from the beach, a search rig with a leader with a weight attached to the bottom and a separate section of leader extending out at an angle is an excellent choice. A bait holder or circle hook is used at the end of the extended leader section. You can use halibut, squid, sand fleas or shrimp as bait.
Step 4
Use patience when fishing for saltwater species. Do not be overly anxious to retrieve the bait or lure. Allow it to work with the tide and flow of the water. The exception to this would be some lures such as plugs, which are designed to be quickly retrieved through and among breakers along the beach.
Step 5
Set the hook and retrieve the fish maintaining a tight line. Depending on the size , retrieving and landing a saltwater fish may take from a few minutes to several hours. Oftentimes it is necessary to allow a large fish to play out and tire itself before landing. Also depending on the species, it may be necessary to gaff or hook the fish with a large hook attached to a pole as many species possess large teeth or sharp fins.

Tips & Warnings

 
Consult with local fishermen, bait and tackle suppliers and charter boat captains for up-to-date information and tips on what is biting and methods of fishing which are providing results.
 
Use caution when working around tightly stretched lines and large lures. Be aware of rip currents when surf fishing. Wear appropriate life-saving equipment when fishing from a boat.
 
Use caution when working around tightly stretched lines and large lures.
 
Be aware of rip currents when surf fishing.
 
Wear appropriate life-saving equipment when fishing from a boat.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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