This article offers several saltwater fishing tips including how to get started, how to clean fish and more.
It takes more than just a good saltwater fishing tackle to catch fish, as you need to take several factors into consideration. Once you have the appropriate gear, you need to find out where to catch the fish. The easiest way to do this is to go to your local tackle store, let them know what fish you want and they’ll provide the appropriate gear and locations.
Regulations and Conservation Rules
No matter what kind of saltwater fishing gear you carry, it’s imperative that you follow the local fishing regulations. The rules vary per state so you need to check state websites and publications regarding the bag limits and minimum size allowed. Aside from the Internet, check out local fishing clubs as well because they are good sources of information regarding local environmental management.
Tips on Anchoring
Anchoring a fishing boat can be difficult, which is one of the reasons why it’s often included in surf fishing tips. However, it won’t be a problem if you have the proper equipment.
To start with you should get an anchor rope at least five times as long as the water’s depth. The chain section must also be equal to your boat’s length and you have an anchor that can dig at the bottom. Before you can catch any fish though, you need to anchor the boat. Here’s how:
- Pull your boat over the structure you want to anchor.
- Take the gear out and drift.
- Go back past the structure using your compass and GPS. Use the same course you did after drifting.
- Go ahead of the structure so the anchor strikes the bottom and get in the substrate.
- As soon as your boat has rested pull the anchor line in and position the vessel. Make sure that there’s sufficient scope so the boat can fall or rise as the waves change.
- Pulling the anchor requires taking up the slack until you have straightened the rope. Now cleat the line off and start the motor, and move slowly so the hook is freed.
Freeing up Rigs and Lures
No saltwater or deep sea fishing guide will be complete without some advice about rigs and lures. If you sense that your rig or lure has been snagged, adjust the rig so it is freespool, which keeps the hook from getting snagged even more. Next, motor your vessel past the structure in the direction opposite where your hook got stuck.
After tightening the line, pull the rod tip until the hook is free. If you’re going bottom fishing you should use a light leader on your sinker so it’s easier to break off.
How to Find Good Fishing Spots
If you’re going ocean fishing, check out reefs and ship wrecks, as that’s where schools of fish usually gather. But if you want more specific information you should get a nautical chart, and there are many services that offer charts detailing locations of reefs, ship wrecks and other fishing spots. Aside from your local fishing store, dive shops and websites are good sources of information.
A quick note about lures: fish usually bite if the lure is bright and new, so grab some colorful bait to catch their attention. It’s all right to have several lures, but don’t buy more than you need to especially if you’re just starting out. If the water is turbid, use a noisy lure, something that pops or rattles to help the fish find them. As a rule, the calmer the water, the smaller the lure should be, and the choppier the water, the bigger the lure.
Catch and Release Fishing
Some anglers like to keep the fish they catch, while others release them. Either way it’s possible the fish could get injured in the process. To prevent this from occurring, use a heavy tackle as that will shorten the fight. You should also crush the barb on a 3 hook or opt for a circle hook to prevent injury to the fish.
In addition you should remember the following:
- You can keep the fish out of the water for as long as you can hold your breath
- Don’t remove the slime on the fish since it provides protection against infection. When handling, make sure your hands are wet or you’re wearing gloves. If you don’t want to touch the fish when removing the hook, use a dehooker.
- Do not dangle a fish by its jaw
- Use your hands to support its body
- If it’s a deep sea fish, keep a venting tool handy because you’ll need it to remove the air in its air bladder
Keep a Fish Journal
It’s a good idea to start a fishing journal. Include details such as the fish you catch, the weather conditions, where you caught the fish, etc. This is going to help you establish fishing patterns, essential for successful angling in the future. If you fish in different locations, you may want to include other information such as precipitation, water temperature and air temperature.
Keep track also of barometric pressure, tide phase, cloud cover etc. The more information you note about the fishing spots you’ve been to, the easier it will be to look for additional fishing spots.
Notes on Cleaning Fish
If you’re fishing for food, place it on ice as soon as you capture it, and make sure that the ice is drained when it melts. Next, cut off one of the fish’s major arteries across to remove the blood. Salmon in particular needs to be gutted immediately upon capture and placed on ice.
Always keep a sharp, finely honed knife on hand, and wear rubber gloves to keep the fish from sliding off while protecting your hands at the same time. Once you’re done rinsing the meat, put it back on ice. If you’re going to pack the frozen fish, get a vacuum sealer, but if you can’t get one just put the meat inside a bag, pour water inside until the meat is completely covered. Seal the bag tight and make sure there’s no air inside before you seal.