As a native of the Houston-area, I grew up on salt-water fishing. In fact, I was 8 or 10 before I tried landing lunkers from fresh water.
Frankly, it seemed pretty tame in comparison to salt-water fishing. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate the slower tempo of freshwater fishing.
The Differences Between Salt and Freshwater Fishing
In many ways, salt and freshwater fishing are the same: you use a line,
bait, rod, hook and wait patiently. However, the tackle and tactics are different. Generally, the tackle is heavier-duty and rod/reel combinations seem heavier and capable of holding more line. With freshwater fishing, catching a “pounder” is considered great fishing – in most areas. When angling on the salty side of fishing, many species of under-sized fish must be tossed back (to grow up). You can keep the fish that meet minimum length/weight restrictions. Some anglers are surprised to hear there are two kinds of salt-water fishing: offshore (perhaps 15 to 30 miles out in the gulf) and shallow bay fishing. We usually went bay fishing (off a pier, dike or jetty), unless we got lucky and were invited to go offshore on someone’s boat.
Getting Started in Salt-Water
It’s best to try salt-water fishing with someone who already knows ‘the ropes;’ this can be a co-worker or an uncle. The idea is to save some time climbing the learning curve! Fishing tackle and equipment for salt-water tends to be more expensive than for freshwater. It’s a good idea to use someone else’s tackle before buying your own. Ask questions about why they use ‘this leader’ or ‘that reel.’ It can save you time and money when selecting your own. Another way to learn good habits from the onset is to go on fishing with an experienced salt-water guide. Ask for recommendations, then call and ask questions.
Boat Charters for Beginners
You will want a guide that can meet your needs as a client. I find that going on a boat charter, although expensive, is a great way to learn. In general, they limit the number in the boat, provide all equipment and even clean the fish!
‘Ocean Angler’ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics!
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com