Beginner's Guide to
Saltwater Fishing


Understanding the basics

Saltwater fishing takes place in seas, oceans, bays, and estuaries around the world. Fish commonly caught include everything from red snapper, mangrove, black grouper, tuna, billfish, tarpon, kingfish and even sharks can also be caught during saltwater fishing trips, presenting a host of options to aim for.

Another vital thing to understand for anybody looking to give saltwater fishing a try is the specific techniques used. Here is a quick breakdown:

  • Trolling – Baited lines that are dragged behind a boat while it is moving.
  • Bottom Fishing – Bait that is dropped to the seafloor from a boat.
  • Jigging – Heavy metal lures that are dropped and then jerked up and down. This mimics wounded baitfish, luring in larger fish.
  • Chumming – Pieces of fish or bait that are scattered close to the boat to lure bigger fish in.

The above techniques are all used when using a boat for saltwater fishing, but it is possible to try saltwater fishing without a boat. For example, surf fishing sees bait and lures cast from the shoreline into the surf zone where waves are breaking to land the fish that are swimming there. Pier fishing is another option, with a pier used to access to deep water without the need for a boat.

A final fundamental to consider is the regulations and permits that may be needed in the coastal location you are planning to try saltwater fishing in. Be sure to obtain any permits or licenses you may need. Local fishing websites or fishing tackle shops should be able to provide you with the required information.


Get your gear sorted

Saltwater fishing can pose different challenges to those faced when freshwater fishing. This means having suitable saltwater fishing gear is of vital importance.

The first thing to consider is the rod and reel that you use. Getting hold of a quality rod and reel combination that has been specially designed for saltwater fishing is a good idea, with a medium-heavy spinning reel combo typically proving to be a versatile and easy to use option for any beginner.

It is recommended to use, a strong, low-stretch monofilament or braided fishing line designed for saltwater conditions. This way, you can fish with the confidence with line that is up to the task.

A basic collection of saltwater lures, hooks and sinkers is a good starting point when it comes to tackle. Popular lures for saltwater fishing include spoons, jigs, and soft plastic baits.

And of course, any beginner to saltwater fishing needs to be protected and dressed appropriately. A life jacket, sun protection and a first aid kit are all important while out on a boat. Equally, having suitable fishing apparel for saltwater fishing is vital. Given the potentially changeable coastal conditions a saltwater fisherman will be facing, having quality apparel is all-important and can help you stay dry, warm, and protected. Check out our fill line of apparel for saltwater anglers including the Hydro Boots, Aspect Jacket and Trousers, XPEL Hoodie, XPEL Tec Gloves and XPEL Tec Gaiters.

By following these tips, you can get yourself a solid saltwater fishing setup for beginners.


Saltwater Fishing Techniques

Once you have everything you need, it is time to start practicing the important fundamentals of saltwater fishing.

Casting is a basic part of fishing generally, so be sure to practice casting your rod to improve distance and accuracy. Do this in a safe and suitable place like a big back yard or an empty coast line.

Learning some fishing knots can also be advantageous, while knowing how to properly bait your hooks with live or artificial bait is also very important.

An additional important part of improving your saltwater fishing abilities is finding the right fishing spots. Local knowledge can be really useful, so conducting research online or speaking to local experts can put you on the path to success. Also, factor in elements such as the tide and the weather, as these will often impact the behavior of certain fish species.


Take to the water!

Saltwater fishing presents a wonderful opportunity to learn a new skill, engage with nature and take your fishing abilities to a new level.

We hope this guide on saltwater fishing for beginners has provided you with the know-how and information to get out there and give saltwater fishing a try for yourself.

At Gill Fishing, we have an exceptional range of saltwater fishing apparel available to help you on your journey and protect you against the elements. Be sure to browse through what we have to offer.

You can also take a look at our dedicated saltwater fishing guides.