Saltwater Fishing Basics for Beginners: 5 Things You Will Need

Written by Wendy Tucker

Fishing is one of the sports that not everyone can do. There is so much to it than it meets the eye and to be a seasoned fisherman with any kind of success you need to be a special breed of human.

Fishing is a sport that requires you to be a certain level of cool and composed. It most often means you need to spend a lot of time in one spot being quiet and concentrating while waiting for that one fish that you want. Fishing requires equipment, some basic knowledge and preparation among other things, and right off the bat most of us tend to be stricken from the list.

We either don’t have/can’t afford good equipment, can’t bother to learn about fishing places, tactics, lures and other things and we hate to sit at one spot and spend time quietly. Like any other sport, you need to be invested in it, learn about it, adapt all the time and if you want to be an exotic fish catcher you need to travel a bit out of your comfort zone.

Today we will not focus on exotic fishing and pro fisherman, we will leave that for later, today we will focus on saltwater fishing beginners and we will try to tell you what you need if you are just starting. If you belong to this category and if you are on the hunt for new and good gear then Saltwater Fishing gear is for you and you can check it out if you visit here.

1. The Licence


By law, you need to have a licence if you plan on fishing in really any state of the US. This is not just paying for a licence and giving money to the government, you are also helping the government fund conservation efforts. If you are a real fisherman and a sportsman at that getting a licence is not something you are paying to get out of paying for a ticket, it is also a help for fisheries management efforts meaning you are guaranteeing yourself and every other fisherman that the fish population will remain strong far in the future. The road to the licence is not that hard. You can go online and buy one of these licences but you make sure that the spots that sell you these are government-approved. You can several different types of these licences – resident, non-resident, few days licences, yearly licences or even a lifetime licence.

2. Rod and reel

The second important thing you will need is the main thing – a rod and a reel. A good line is also a thing here but for now, we will focus on these two things. When it comes to reels there are so many different ones from size to different numbers of drag on it but the one you will need depends on what you are looking to do. If you are a fisherman that wants to just get on the water and have some fun you can go for a 4000-size real which would be perfect, again depending on the fishing spot as well. It is just the right without being too big or powerful for smaller fish or two weak and not enough drag capacity for a bit bigger catch.

Beginners also have it easy when it is just for fun and getting out on the water. You don’t have to go with pro equipment and don’t have to spend more than a few hundred bucks. Reels can go for as low as 25-50$ and they are good and reliable reels for that price point. As far as rods go you also don’t have to break your bank, go with a 7-footers medium to light power rods that will go rather nicely with the 4000-size real. That type of rod will cost you around 40-80$ which is more than acceptable for beginners. With them, you will have fun, and gather skills and knowledge to go with a bit better and more quality equipment later on. Also, go with a decent quality line that can withstand the drag of the real and that has enough strength for the conditions you plan to use it.

3. Lures and bait


Tackle shops are the place to search for these but when you get in you will be hit with hundreds of different ones and you will lose yourself in trying to find what you need. Beginners do not need more than 3 lures and here they are:

  • Top water lure,
  • Mid-water twitch bait,
  • Soft body lures.

As far as bait goes live bait is always an option and you can get that as well in certain places but you can make some your own as well. Depending on where and what you are fishing you will adapt your live bait to that.

4. Equipment

When going fishing there is some equipment you need to have a successful fishing day or a weekend. One of those things is pliers that beginners usually forget. Pliers will help you with cutting the line, extracting the hook or any other issues that may happen. Bobbers are also a part of the equipment that you might need and want to use especially if you are going with live bait. They are really important for keeping your bait within the strike zone and not having it go up and down in the water. Weights are the third thing you want to make sure you have because they are easily lost. If you are going for bottom lure fishing you need those wights to keep the lure down and you also need to have extra just in case it snaps or gets swollen by the fish or whatnot.

5. Where to fish


This is the last thing you need to know and need to prepare for. This is a very overlooked part of fishing and it can easily be solved. To find out where you need to fish, spend some time at your local bait and tackle shops and talk to people that work there or come in the shop. They are more than a valuable source of info you need. Some of them like to keep good fishing places for themselves so don’t expect that you will be told exactly where to go but you may get a general idea of the place you need to consider and scout for yourself.


Wendy Tucker


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