Saltwater Fishing Tips Articles
It was just before noon on a hot August day, as we departed New Jersey’s Manasquan Inlet. The sleek thirty-two-foot Blackfin, “Notorious,” plied through the waves effortlessly. Her twin Caterpillar 3208’s rumbled through the ship’s black hull as they propelled us toward the numbers Captain Dave Rieman had entered into his GPS unit. Our destination, The Hudson Canyon.
Crankbaits have long been regarded as a lure that no angler can do without, when it comes to freshwater bass fishing. But, little is ever mentioned of the use of crankbaits in the saltwater arena. There are a number of lipless crankbait designs used for trolling and casting in saltwater but it seems there are few of the lipped variety being used except by a few that are wise to the cranking technique. In recent years, many lure manufacturers have been addressing this with the creation of a whole new generation of saltwater crankbaits.
When it comes to fishing, every day on the water is a learning experience. And, as an angler continues to fish, they become more educated on their techniques and approaches as well as the fish they are after. The same is true for proper catch and release practices and we have learned over many years that some of our fish handling skills need some updating.
Once Memorial Day arrives in the Northeast, the boating season unofficially begins. Boats have been taken out of storage and readied for the summer and brought to the boat launch for the first foray of the season. The line of trucks and trailers leading to the ramp seems endless and tensions are running high. Everyone starts to lose patience while waiting for the guy at the front of the line who is still unbuckling straps, hanging fenders and rummaging through his boat looking for his dock lines. Let’s talk about how not to be that guy that everyone is cursing at the boat ramp.
If you live in the wintery, snow stricken corners of the United States, you probably spend your winters like many house bound anglers do; thumbing through fishing magazines, watching fishing shows and waiting for the first robins to appear in the back yard. If you still have a few bucks in your bank account after the holidays maybe you’re planning a week long getaway to catch a few bonefish in the Bahamas, just to relieve the itch. If not, a good way to spend those winter evenings is getting your tackle ready for springtime on your home waters.
There are periods of time throughout the northeastern summers where in-shore fishing isn’t as productive as it was earlier in the season. As the shallower waters warm the oxygen levels often become depleted forcing game fish and bait fish in search of deeper, cooler waters. Instead of flogging the same old waters to find few fish, head to where the fish have gone, the deeper reefs.
In the spring of 2007, I was fishing the mouth of a tidal river in the northeast for striped bass. It had been a great season, catching stripers up to 25 pounds in shallow water on artificial lures. On this particular day though, it was like someone had flipped a switch and the fish seemed scarce, if not non-existent.
In the world of saltwater fishing, there is a time and a place for artificial lures. At times, there is no better choice than a top water plug splashing across the surface or a 16 oz. diamond jig being dropped quickly to the bottom to intercept a school of bluefish. And, at other times, there is no better choice than fresh live bait plucked right from the ocean.
The slider rig (A.K.A. “fish finder”) is an effective way to fish inshore saltwater from shore with a variety of ocean baits that puts you closer in touch with the strike. Old-style 3 way rig fishing from shore has been replaced by those in the know with the slider rig. The original 3 way at best uses a 3 way swivel at the terminal end of the line. The 3 way swivel has three rings to tie into. To one ring of the three way the line is tied.
The waves are crashing into the beach. The smell of salt is in the air. You can walk for miles along the sandy shores. What an environment to surround yourself in. And, you could be pulling some fish from those frothy waves. But, where do you start? What makes a good fishing beach? What kind of tackle do you need? Is this going to cost me an arm and a leg to get started? These are all valid questions so let’s get to answering them!