Saltwater Fishing for Beginners: Inshore, Fly Fishing, Tips for Ideal Setup

There’s something special about fishing in the salty ocean. You get to spend time outside enjoying the fresh air and stunning views. You never know what you will catch. You might land a snapper or a flounder-or you might even hook a shark! Fresh seafood is good for you and tastes great.

Saltwater fishing is easy and fun. You don’t need to be super rich or own a huge boat or a pro in fishing to understand saltwater fishing for beginners. Fishers, also called anglers, can catch all kinds of fish without ever leaving land. Fishing from a boat is fun too. You might know someone who has a boat. You can also go out on a boat for hire, called a charter boat.

Why Saltwater Fishing?


Commercial fishing crews make their livings on the ocean. Sport fishers fish for pleasure. These different kinds of fishing can exist together because commercial crews often target different species (kinds of fish) and fishing areas than sport anglers do.

No matter what kind of fishing you are doing, ocean fish are hungry and willing to bite. Plus, they put up an exciting fight! So, pick up your rod and reel for striper, bass, trout, panfish, catfish, and grab that bucket of bait, and let’s get going.

Saltwater is a place where anglers can pursue a wide number of fish than freshwater. They are more attractive and the fishing is more challenging here. The gamefish are more diverse than freshwater. This is also a great starting point for beginners as they will get many opportunities to test their skills.

How to Fish Saltwater for Inshore, Fly Fishing Using Proper Fishing Gears

How to Fish Saltwater for Inshore, Fly Fishing Using Proper Fishing Gears

Saltwater fishing means you can bring your friends or family with you which is a big advantage. I always felt like I am on a picnic with my close ones when bringing them with me for fishing. Today I am going to show you what tackle to take for saltwater fishing.

What You Need to Saltwater Fish

You cannot go saltwater fishing with an empty hand. There is a lot more preparation to take. Just gather the right fishing gear, tools, fishing outfit, and many more.

However, here are few quick tips you should consider before going saltwater fishing. First, you need to know when and where to go. While saltwater fishing is always fun, certain times and conditions are best. You also need to know how to set the hook, play (reel in) fish, and care for your catch.

Best Conditions for Deep Sea Fishing

Fishing can be good any time of day or night. Fish come into shallower water to feed when the light is low, so morning and evening are great times to fish. But deep-sea fishing is often good on days when the weather is changing and clouds are rolling in.

When to Go for Saltwater Fishing

The ocean is a mysterious place for the weather. You go fishing because it is a bright sunny day, but any time storms can happen. Tides also play a vital role here. Best times for saltwater fishing depend on some things such as,

Tide is an Important Factor for Sea Fishing

The moon’s gravitational pull causes low and high tides, which are up-and-down movements of the ocean’s water level. Fishing is best during the first hour or so when the tide changes and water levels begin to rise or drop.

The sea level can be very different at low and high tide. Pay attention to the high tide and low tide times so you don’t get stuck at your fishing spot.

Tides have a huge impact on saltwater fishing. If you see the water is not moving much, it means there are slack tides and this time is not good for fishing. Fishes love to stay mostly where waters move. Because water movements mean there must be food for them.

Baitfish are the love that places so the predatory game fish will also near around them. Another best time for fishing is when strong tides coming. It brings baitfish to the predator species of fish automatically so select the time when high tides occur. check the tide chart before go for fishing.

The full moon and the new moon are other best times for fishing. At that time, they are more active at night as tides and currents getting strong so baitfish will active and you can easily find the gamefish.

Weather is Important for Saltwater Fishing Basics

Weather is Important for Saltwater Fishing Basics

Water temperature has a great impact on fishing. It affects the depth and place so fishes will go to their comfortable area. Wind makes the water muddy and churned. Changing light level is another important part. The evening is the best time for saltwater fishing.

What Season to Fish in Saltwater

Different species will be found in different seasons in saltwater. Their matting and feeding habits, migration patterns depend on water temperature and various times.

Focus on all those different factors and decide when you want to go. Also, some areas do not provide fishing licenses for all seasons. Check your fishing license to see if you are allowed to fish in the season or not.

Setting the Hook

When you get a bite, you must set the hook. This means to firmly get the hook caught in the fish’s mouth. Don’t just start reeling, or you’ll pull the bait out of the fish’s mouth.

Fighting and Netting

Fighting fish is fun. They tug, circle, pull, thrash, and jump! Keep the tip of the rod fairly high and keep reeling. Don’t let your fishing line go slack, or the hook will fall out.

To net, a fish species with a landing net, always lead the fish into the net headfirst. It helps to have someone else do the netting.

You can also use a gaff to get your fish in the boat. You can grab a fish by the lips to land it. Before you touch a fish, look for sharp teeth or fins that could hurt you. Don’t touch a fish’s delicate gills.

Caring for Your Catch

If you want to save some fish to eat, keep them fresh. Like freshwater fishing, put it that you want to keep on ice in a cooler. Do not leave it dead and floating in a bucket or on a stringer (wire or string) that some anglers use to hold the fish they’ve caught.

Here is beginners guide to saltwater fishing on how to release a fish so it can live to fight again:

  • Play the fish quickly so it doesn’t get overtired.
  • Use the right saltwater fishing setup for beginners. It will provide you better deep sea fishing experience and boost your confidence.
  • Check out the area, if it does need a fishing license or not.
  • Wet your hands before handling a fish. Dry hands remove a fish’s protective slime coating.
  • Check for any teeth or fins on the fish that could hurt you.
  • Remove the hook quickly and check out the monofilament line carefully so that it does not tear.
  • If the hook is deep, just cut your leader. Whether you are fishing with a monofilament or braided baitcasting line, cutting down the line is needed. The fish’s digestive juices will dissolve the hook. Slide or slip the fish gently into the water. Do not toss it.
  • To help a tired fish, hold it in the water by its tail and gently move it forward and backward.
  • Watch it swim away!

Blue-Water Fishing

Blue-water fishing is also called offshore fishing. This type of fishing is done in very large boats. They travel far offshore, trolling (slowly dragging bait) for big game fish, such as swordfish, sailfish, big tuna, and marlin.

These fish are sometimes more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) offshore. Anglers use sturdy fishing rods and big reels to battle these fish. A better fishing rod guide is necessary for having the best out of saltwater fish.

Some fish might weigh more than 400 pounds (181 kilograms). Maybe someday you’ll get the chance to go on a blue-water adventure.

Saltwater Fishing Gear for Beginners

Saltwater Fishing Gear for Beginners

There are some basics of saltwater fishing gear and setup you need to know before going fishing. Knowing them may seem a little difficult to you for the first time, but when you are spending your day in your boat, everything in the fishing trip will be so exciting to you.

Saltwater Fishing Rod, Reel, and Combo

Choosing the saltwater rod and reel are depends on which technique you are going to use. Trolling, jigging, or baitcasting requires different types of rod and reel. Before purchasing them, you should consider some things such as, check their action power and length.

Do not choose too long or too short fishing gear and the action power should not be too fast or too slow. Also, check how much weight the rod can take and for fast bait. Choose high-speed reels, and slow-speed reels to get more power. Check the reel line capacity on its body.

A 7-inch spinning or baitcasting fishing rod with a 2500 size reel and 8-12 lb test line is a versatile fishing gear for saltwater fishing. Spinning reels are best for topwater poppers and high-speed plugs.

To cast further and hold more lines, use a baitcasting reel. Saltwater trolling reels and rods could be used for maximum drag. It is also best for stand-up and heavy-duty bottom fishing.

Saltwater Fishing Line

You can use different types of lines such as monofilament, braided, fluorocarbon, spooling for saltwater fishing. They all should be classified by pound test and has high visible color. If you want a thin and strong fishing line, choose monofilament. Braided lines are stronger and can carry more weight than mono. It is best for bottom fishing that lasts longer times. Fluorocarbon has very low light refraction and is more abrasion-resistant.

Saltwater Fishing Hooks

Saltwater fishing hooks mostly depend on the size and shape of bait and fish. Three types of hooks are best for saltwater fishing such as j hook to avoid any slack, circle hooks for easy catch and release, and treble hooks.

Saltwater Fishing Sinkers

Sinkers are also important to keep the bait in right place. There are many types of sinkers you can use like, bank sinkers to keep the bait close to the bottom, egg sinkers to prevent any unnecessary things that fish could detect, trolling sinkers for troll bait, split shot sinkers for small baits, and another type of special sinkers.

Saltwater Fishing Tools

Saltwater Fishing Tools

Taking proper gear with you for saltwater fishing is not the only thing to do. You have to take some saltwater fishing tools to help you catch more fish and land them safely. Also, there are more works to do for preparing. The tools you should takes are,

Gaffs and Fishing Nets

If you want to take your fish home, gaffs can help you to put it in the box. Short gaffs are good for handle big trouts and basses and bigger ones are for smaller fish. Thus, the hook size should be matched with the gaffs. Choosing the net size is depends on how big fish you want to catch. Choose a deep net that has wide loops and a metal handle. The fishing net will be needed even if you want to play catch and release.

Pliers and Scissors

Saltwater pliers and scissors are very important tools for fishing. You will need pliers for cutting wires, tightening knots, removing hooks, and other things. Scissors are also useful to cut wires and other things. It also cut the line and bait easily.


You may think why knives are needed if you take scissors. Well, you can not cut everything with scissors, knives are for cutting bait and fish and also for cleaning.

Hook Remover

Removing a hook from a fish mouth safely is a hard thing to do. You should not do anything that makes a fish suffer. Hook remover is the best tool to remove the hook fast and safely.

Saltwater Fishing Outfit

Wearing the right outfit are depends on the season and weather. Saltwater fishing means you may have to go fishing for the whole day. Maybe you will spend nights. Check the weather reports before you go. In summer, choose light clothes like full sleeve t-shirts and shorts for both boys and girls. In winter, wear a rain jacket or hoodies. In the rainy season, waterproof clothes are important. Take sandals and tactical boots and even do not forget to wake waders. Sunglass and sunscreen are just as UV rays can damage your skin. Hat or bandana, layers, gloves are also mandatory.

Saltwater Fishing Bait and Lures

Saltwater Fishing Bait and Lures

Fish has a very powerful sixth sense. They are very clever and can easily sense which is artificial bait or which is real. So a single error can make them hide in a second. They are active all the time even in darkness. So you should choose saltwater bait and lures very carefully.

Saltwater Bait

There are two types of bait you can use, live and artificial. Live bait works great but artificial baits are also effective if you can present it properly.

Live Bait

There is much saltwater live bait you can use such as hard shell, soft shell or peeler crabs, clams and mussels, squid, shrimp, and many more. You can use them in a whole piece or a single piece.

Artificial Bait

Artificial baits almost look like live bait and they are scented to attract fish. Some of the artificial baits are lead-headed jigs, poppers, metal jigs, plug and spoon fishing lures, soft plastic lures, spinnerbaits, etc.

Types of Saltwater Fishing

Types of Saltwater Fishing

You can use various techniques and types of saltwater fishing for beginners. They are,

Drift Fishing

Drift fishing is a lazy fishing method that you can use in coastal bays, tidal rivers, and the ocean. Canals are a great drifting spot, especially in the moonlight. Thus the bottom changes continuously, you should know about the condition. The conditions, movement, and feeding habits can change at any time so adjust yourself to this changing condition. The night is the best time for fishing in canals. Open ocean drifting is different from canals. You should know about the bottom conformation.

Surf Fishing

Surf fishing is an easy method to get started in fishing where you can cast far away from the water. Anglers who surf fish cast their lines from sandy or gravelly beaches. Sometimes they will even wade into the water. Baitfish like the shallow water near the surf. Look for gulls and other waterbirds diving in the water.

That tells you a school of baitfish is nearby, and this means the game fish are close behind. You can bottom fish in the surf or cast artificial lures. Be careful of ocean currents and tides when wading.

You just need a longer rod (12 to 16 feet), casting or spinning reel, the line for surf fishing. It is mainly called beach fishing. Just focus on the distance and you’re casting at the desired area.

Pier Fishing

Piers are easy to find along the oceanfront. Many piers are open to the public for fishing. Others are private and charge a small fee. Most piers are very long and stretch far from shore. They give you access to deeper water. Make sure fishing is allowed or you have permission to fish from a pier.

Jetty Fishing

A jetty provides feeding and hiding places for baitfish, which in turn attract bigger fish. Be careful on wet jetty rocks. Wear shoes that will grip the rocks. Cast your bait away from the jetty so you don’t snag your line on the rocks. When bringing in a fish, keep it above the rocks.

Bottom Fishing

Bottom fishing is the kind of fishing anglers often do from piers (long docks), jetties (structures that extend into the ocean), in the surf, and sometimes from a boat. A weight takes your bait underwater to the sea bottom. When the tip of the rod starts moving or you feel tugs, you’ve got a fish!

Hand Gathering

If you want to catch fish without any equipment, the hand-gathering technique is the only option for you. Sometimes your hand can be good equipment for you, just wear gloves and wait for the tides. Catch small fishes from the rocky area or sand for practice.

Cast Net Fishing

Saltwater Fishing for Cast Net Fishing

It is the most beneficial fishing method because you can catch a large number of fish with these techniques. The method is also very easy, just throw a cast net on the water and let it sink deeply. After that, slowly pull the net towards you.


If you have a boat, trolling is a great way to fish because you cover a lot of water. To troll, move very slowly in a boat, pulling bait behind you. Most anglers troll with artificial baits.

Trolling means you have to use multiple rods in a slow-moving boat. Here the lure is drift behind the boat to make it looks like natural prey. Just use the right speed and set the lures in the right depth for successful fishing.


Drifting is another kind of fishing you can do from a boat. Drift along with likely fish spots with your bait dragging behind you in the water. Anglers typically use natural bait when drifting.

Saltwater Fly Fishing for Beginners

Some saltwater fishing is done with fly-fishing gear. A rod, reel, and line work together to cast the line that floats with a leader and a fly (a lure made of feathers that floats or sinks).

These flies are tied to look like baitfish, insects, crabs, or other fish food. A lot of saltwater fly-fishing is done in shallow water. Anglers wade in the water, casting as they walk.

It is a very popular technique and you can use it in freshwater too. You just need a fly rod for streams, rivers, ponds, and fly reels to use this technique. Use lightweight lures for fly fishing to get a better result.

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