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Saltwater Fishing Tips, Tricks & Techniques

saltwater fishing tips and tricks

If you’re going to set out to sea, you need to learn a couple of things to do your fishing optimally.

In this guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know about hooks, lures, techniques, lines, and saltwater spinning reels.

Tips on How to Fish in Saltwater

Know Your Environment

The first thing you should be aware of is the difference between freshwater and saltwater fishing.

If you’re fishing in saltwater, your reel, line guides, and any metallic hardware attached to the rod are all prone to corrosion and rust that greatly reduces the efficiency of your equipment.

Don’t stress too much about this though. You can easily extend the longevity of your fishing equipment by washing it down with fresh water every time you’re back from a saltwater fishing trip.

Finishing up by spraying the reel with silicon-based lubricants like WD-40 also helps extend its durability.

Although saltwater spinning reels usually have a sturdier build than ones designated for freshwater fishing, you still should do your part in keeping it functional.

Keep Your Hook and Bait in Proportion

Always make sure your hook size is close to the size of the bait you plan to use.

If it’s too big, it’ll look out of place and deter the fish away.

If it’s too small, a fish could miss the hook during a strike and run away with the bait.

Generally, the best hooks you can use in saltwater are the J hook, the live bait hook, and the circle hook.

J hooks are best for fishing with strip bait or chunk bait and enable you to apply multiple hooks to the bait to secure it.

On the other hand, live bait hooks allow your bait to swim freely to give off a natural air that induces a lot of strikes from hungry fish.

And finally, circle hooks are best for hooking in the corner of your catch instead of going to deep into its gullet. This is very beneficial when it comes to releasing the fish without inflicting any damage on it.

A Weak Knot is Not a Reliable Knot

Learning to tie strong knots is crucial when it comes to keeping your main line connected to your hook or lure, and consequently crucial to catching big saltwater fish.

You can use the double Palomar for its ease of tying and reliability. The uni knot is another good choice as it’s firm, easy to tie, and versatile. The Bimini twist is great because it maintains all of its strength when ties.

Use The Tides To Your Favor

It’s always a wise choice to arrive at your fishing spot around an hour before the scheduled peak of the high tide and continue fishing for around half an hour from then on.

Test The Drag

After threading your line through the guides, pull it off gradually while holding the rod at about 45 degrees.

If the tip of the rod moves up and done as you pull the line against the drag, you should have it checked at the tackle shop.

Test The Guides for Cracks

Detecting cracked guides is a bit of a tough job as you can only tell if the rod is under load.

Pull a piece of cotton wool or stocking through the guides to check for any cracks and send your rod to the tackle shop if you do find any so that you avoid any damage to your lines.

Make Use of The locals’ Knowledge

The local tackle fish would probably have info regarding the area you plan to fish in. They’ll provide you with the best strategies and the best baits to use at the time of the year.

Explore Sunken Objects

You should get yourself informed on the places and structures your fish like to hang out around.

You can find a lot of information on the internet that guides you to both natural and artificial structures in the area you’re fishing in.

Find The Right Boat

A boat is a pretty important factor when it comes to saltwater fishing. Depending on the number of people that are going to be on the trip, you can be in a simple rowboat or in a yacht.

Make sure you’re on a sturdy boat that won’t be too affected by strong waves, some rocks, or bumps on the beach sand.

How To Pick The Right Spinning Reel For Your Needs

How to Pick the Right Spinning Reel

No matter how much talent and experience you have, good performance requires good equipment. That’s why a clever angler would look for the best spinning reel before setting out to fish.

An important question to ask before you pick your fishing reel is what kind of fishing will you be doing with it?

The main types of fishing reels are the spin cast, the baitcasting, and the spinning one.

In this article, we’ll be focusing on the latter, and will give you all the tips and tricks you need to pick the best one for you.

What Is a Spinning Reel?

Spinning reels are generally the most popular type of fishing reels. They come with an open-faced design, so they’re easier to use than a baitcasting reel and are more accurate than a spin cast reel.

They’re quite versatile. They also have a great line capacity so you can add a good amount of line on them.

You can also buy one with an extra spool in order to facilitate changing lines while you’re fishing.

The only drawback is that spinning reels can’t handle very heavy weights, so when you require heavier line (20 pounds or more), it may underperform compared to a baitcasting reel.

Spinning reels are also known as open-face reels. They’re mounted to the underside of the fishing rod which makes them excellent for beginners as their line is less likely to get tangled up.

A spinning reel consists of mainly 8 parts: the foot, the handle, the body, the anti-reverse switch, the bail, the line spool, the spool release, the drag adjustment, and line roller.

What to Look For in a Spinning Reel

The Size of The Reel

If you want to pick the optimum reel size, choose it based upon the size of the fishing line you’re going to use most often. The lighter the line, the smaller the reel should be.

A simple way to put it is that if your average line strength is 8-pound test fishing line, a medium-size reel that’s rated for 6, 8, and a 10-pound line would be the optimum choice.

Check the spool of the reel for the numbers to make sure you’re getting the right one (or the product chart if you’re looking online).

The number you’ll find would typically be the middle line capacity. So if it has a “6 LB/ 90 YDS” rating, it would be best suited for 4-pound and 8-pound lines.

Reels are usually classified into 3 categories: small, medium, and large-sized reels.

  1. Small-sized reels range from 1000 (or 10) to 3500 (or 35). They can handle 2 to 10 pounds of mono and 4 to 14 pounds of braid. They’re best suited to fish for smaller fish such as bream, bass, and flathead as well as light fishing in harbors, rivers, and lakes.

  2. Medium-sized reels range from 4000 (or 40) to 5500 (or 55). They can handle 8 to 14 pounds of mono and 8 to 25 pounds of braid. They’re best-suited for lakes, bays, and light off-shore boat fishing and for catching fish like Dummer, Snapper, Morwong, Cod, Bone Fish, Barramundi, and Mulloway.

  3. Large-sized reels range from 6000 (or 60) to 10,500. They can handle mono line from 12 pounds to over 44 pounds and braid from 12 pounds to over 50 pounds. They’re best-suited for beach or rock fishing and boat fishing. They’re great for catching Mulloway, Samson, Kingfish, tuna, Aust Salmon, and Trout.

Body and Weight

The body of the reel (also referred to as the housing) can be made of aluminum or graphite –sometimes a combination of both.

As you’d expect, aluminum housings are stronger than graphite ones and don’t flex as often as graphite ones do.

On the other hand, graphite bodies are lighter.

This makes it a matter of your choice or preference between a stronger reel or a lighter reel.

Freshwater reels of the highest quality typically have aluminum bodies. However, if you’re planning to fish in saltwater, a graphite reel would be better-suited for a saltwater reel and would serve you better because it would be corrosion-resistant.

Whether you’re getting an aluminum or a graphite housing, make sure the body is constructed well.

This means no loose parts and that all mechanical parts should move smoothly and have no back play.

The importance of weight when it comes to picking your spinning reel is because of the fatigue.

Obviously, the less weight you put on your arm when fishing with a lighter reel, the less strain you’ll face. This is a favorable option for people who spend a lot of time fishing.

Make sure that when you’re comparing reel weights, you’re comparing reels of the same size.

The Gear Ratio

The spool on the spinning reel is fixed –unlike the one on casting reels-, and the bail wraps the line onto the spool as you turn the handle.

The gear ratio means the number of times the bail rotates around the spool with each turn of the reel handle.

In essence, a reel with a 4:1 gear ratio will have the bail rotate 4 times around the spool for every single turn of the handle.

A 4:1 is typically a slow-speed reel as the line that is picked up during the crank is not that much. This provides the reel with more torque to handle larger fish.

On the other hand, a 6:1 ratio is a high-speed retrieve reel which is better suited for medium or small-sized fish.

If you’ve got the budget to buy multiple reels with different gear ratios, that would be a better way to cover all situations optimally.

However, if you’re on a tighter budget and can only buy one reel, go for a medium speed model (5:1 gear ratio).

Well-known brands like Shimano will usually offer you reels of different gear ratios to be as convenient as possible.

The Drag System

Drag System for Spinning Reels

The drag system of the spinning reel is a very important factor to pay attention to. The drag is responsible for applying pressure to a hooked fish and the releasing of line during the battle.

If your drag system isn’t of high-quality and smooth performance, the chance of getting broken lines increases.

When you’re buying a reel, make sure that it has a smooth drag. In essence, the line should be pulled out uniformly without hesitation regardless of the tension you set the drag at.

Generally, you get two types of drag system on a spinning reel: a front and a rear drag.

Simply put, these refer to the location of the drag controls. Although there are some differences between the two styles.

Front-drag systems usually have multiple, large drag washers that provide the reel with extended durability and performance that’s superior to rear-drag systems.

On the other hand, rear-drag controls are easier to access –especially during fights. However, they’re inferior when it comes to fighting larger and more stubborn fish.

​The Anti-Reverse Handles of The Reel

Anti-reverse handles are a very important feature on a spinning reel.

These handles work on preventing the handle from spinning backward so that your hook sets are accurate and solid.

Skip any reel with backward motion and look for a different model.

You should also look for reels with larger arms and knobs. This allows you to find the handle quicker and gives you a firmer grip on it.

​The Ball Bearings of The Reel

Ball Bearings of Spinning Reels

Spinning reels come with ball bearings (also called bushings) that are placed within the body to provide the reel with support, stability, and smoothness.

Generally the more the bearings found on a reel, the smoother its performance will be. Sealed stainless steel bearings are also favored over bushings for their extended durability and control.

You should get the reel with the most ball bearings you can afford. The bare minimum should be 4 ball bearings.

The budget shouldn’t be your main concern when it comes to this particular aspect as the smoothness the bearings provide is of utmost importance, so you should invest well in them.

The Spools on The Reel

Spinning Reel Spools

The spool of the reel has three important functions: holding the line, controlling the casting distance, and providing smoothness.

Usually, they’re made of aluminum or graphite, and as aforementioned, if you’re looking for an ultralight spinning reel, you should go for the graphite spool.

Whereas if you’re looking for strength and rigidity, opt for an aluminum spool.

The two spool styles you’ll find are internal or skitted.

Internal ones are a little out-dated but you’ll still find them on some models for the committed anglers. Their drawback is how often they can get entangled within the body of the reel.

Skirted spools, on the other hand, spare you this issue, and that’s why they’ve become more popular.

There’s also a variation of the skirted spool called the “long cast” spool which features a design with helpful benefits. It’s shallower and longer than the regular style, so it reduces the friction of the line.

Thereby, it enables you to cast for great distances which is a great advantage in clear-water or sight-fishing applications.

The newest innovation is the Mag Spool Technology which gives you the benefits of the long cast spool but with a different approach.

These Mag Spools are wider and flatter than regular ones. This design enables the angler to cast longer and retrieve faster. It also reduces line twists and increases the line pickup with each crank of the handle.

The Final Word

Even though choosing a spinning reel may seem a bit difficult at first learning the components and their functions will make the job a lot easier for you.

How to Catch a Trout – Trout Fishing for Beginners

Trout Fishing Tips

If you’re a trout enthusiast, you’re definitely going to enjoy this little guide. We’ll go over all the things you need including picking the right place, time, lure, equipment and spinning reel to catch a trout.

How to Catch a Trout - Full Guide

Choosing The Right Reels and Lures for Trout

Lures

Before you use any bait, you should check the regulations to make sure it’s allowed.

Good lures for trout include earthworms, salmon roe, and corn kernels.

Make sure to push the hook all the way to the end of the worm if you’re working with one of the worms. Make sure a small part hangs off from the end by pinching off an inch of the worm away from the hook.

On the other hand, if you’re using roe or corn, you can simply push a few pieces onto the hook just past the barb.

Reels

If you already have some fishing experience, you should go for an open-faced reel (spinning reel) as it’s easily manipulated to give you more control over the fishing line.

It also has a locking mechanism that stops the handle from reversing as the fish pulls on the line.

On the other hand, if you don’t have that much experience when it comes to fishing, you should opt for a closed-faced reel (spin cast reel) as they’re easy to use and great for bait fishing.

However, they’re a little prone to tangling and their untangling could be a bit of a hassle.

Picking The Best Time of Year to Fish for Trout

Trout are known to bite during warmer seasons when bugs and mosquitoes are active.

You can fish during colder seasons as well, especially that during a rainstorm and 24 hours afterward, many earthworms will be washed into the river.

Picking Best Time of Day to Fish for Bass

The best time to fish for trout is when the weather is fair. This means you should go for your trouts in the early mornings and late evenings.

Picking The Best Spots To Catch Bass?

Generally, if you’re fishing in a smaller river, go for a lighter lure. Unless this small river has fast-moving currents, in this case, use heavier ones.

The general location

You should look for a lake with cool and clean water. It doesn’t matter if the waters are still (such as ponds) or moving (such as rivers and streams.)

Your chances of finding plenty of trout are also enhanced if this water is rich in aquatic insects and provides good protection from predators.

The specific location

Scrutinize the area for slow-moving patches of deep water or areas in which the water changes depth (either from deep to shallow or the other way around).

Convergent currents are a great way to pinpoint trout as they’ll be drawn to the areas where multiple streams meet.

Knowing The Techniques for Trout Fishing

  • When you’re fishing for trout, you should attach split shot weights to the line.

    This helps you in two ways. Firstly, it enables you to cast your line with more efficiency. Secondly, it gives you better control over the speed with which your bait will drift in the water.

    These weights should be placed around 2 feet below the hook. Ensuring that you keep a balance between pinching them hard enough so that they don’t move on the line yet leaving them loose enough so that you can adjust their position.

    You can start off with 3 weights then remove or add some depending on whether you want to speed up or slow down your bait’s movement.
  • Always cast your fishing line slightly upstream or into the current.

    This gives your bait or lures a more lifelike movement. If you go downstream, you’ll be behind the trout and there’s a chance they won’t even see your lure.

    You’re likely to catch more trout if you make your way into the water than if you cast from the shore of the lake or river.

    However, your movement to the middle of the water might scare them away. So you should do this either a little earlier than you’re planning to actually fish so that there’s time for everything to go back into place.
  • Scents are a very helpful method to use for luring in trout as their sense of smell is incredibly strong. Using scented baits (where they’re allowed) is surely going to get you a lot more fish.
  • They’re also known for their good eyesight, so if you use flashy and bright-colored bait, your chances of catching more trout will definitely increase.
  • Finally, avoid one of the biggest mistakes an angler can make is to fish with a line that’s too heavy. You should use a lighter line that is around 2 to 4 pounds.
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