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Salt Water Bait Tips

Lures are a multi-million dollar industry but bait continues to be the “go to” for many salt water anglers. While lures can be an excellent means of fooling even a wary fish natural bait allows to you to skip the trickery and offer what is already a natural food source. It’s like feeding your child what they already like rather than talking them into trying something new. However, bait does require more care and a slight change in tactics if you are going to be success.

Picking your bait

You want to use bait which is naturally found, and that your target species naturally eats, in the area you will be fishing. The best way to do this is to catch you bait yourself in the same water before heading out for bigger game fish. If you cannot collect your own bait pick some up from a local bait shop instead of bringing it with your from somewhere else. Even if your favorite bait works well at home it may not be the food of choice where you are going. Plus, many areas have strict regulations concerning the transferring of baits from one water to another due to concerns over disease or invasive species.

Next, you should always try to use fresh live bait. Again, this is what game fish are feeding on and this is what will result in the most hook ups. If live bait is not available look for fresh cut bait and as a last resort frozen cut bait.

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Preparing you boat for offshore fishing

Have you ever wandered the local docks envious of the luxury fishing yachts and the lucky owners who get to chase their prey far off shore? Do you wish you could join them? Almost every angler has. The good news is that dream is far closer than you might imagine. You do not need the best boat available, you need the right boat with a small safe to secure your documents. Even with a much smaller (and less expensive) craft you can greatly expand you range and with it your fishing adventures.

The right boat

As I said before you do not need a 6-figure luxury fishing yacht with a two-handle kitchen faucet on the desk to enjoy offshore fishing, but you do need the right boat for the job. Many new owners think only of size but that is only part of the equation, you also need to take into account your experience and what the average conditions are in the area you will be fishing. A skilled boat handler can take a small boat out in conditions that would send a novice with the Queen Mary under them back to the dock.

Far more important than size is fuel capacity. Obviously, if you run out of fuel your trip will come to an abrupt stop. The general rule of thumb is 1/3rd tank to get where you are going, 1/3rd for return and the remaining 1/3rd in reserve.

Electronics

There was a time when sailors circled the globe with a compass and hand drawn charts, that is not how things are done today. The modern boater has a wide range of navigation and safety equipment available to him and it is foolish to head out without every advantage you can. At a minimum you should have a marine vhf radio, compass with backup, electronic navigation, PLB, fish finder and weather radio. Back up radios and GPS are a good idea if you afford them. Do not rely on your cellphone for communications or GPS as the signal can be lost or interrupted as you travel even a short distance off the coast.

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Pros & Cons of Braided Line

Braided line has revolutionized recreational fishing. The combination of increased strength and decreased size has allowed angler to increase casting distance, fish greater depths and land some enormous fish on lighter tackle. But not every angler is in love with braid and with good reason – many have found it difficult to master and too expensive to experiment with. However, if use properly braided line can be a game changer in the right situation.

When braided beats monofilament

Despite its negative perception among detractors braided line holds many advantages over traditional monofilament line. Chief among these advantages is its superior strength to size ratio. A piece of 15lb. test braided can be as small in diameter as 6lb. test monofilament. Not only does this increase the line capacity of your reel it also greatly reduces the overall weight of your outfit, factors you will appreciate when a trophy runs for freedom or you are throwing a 6 inch plug all day.

Aside from strength and size braided is also known for its limited stretching. Monofilament can stretch to almost 1/3 its original length when under pressure while braided line experiences almost no stretching under the same conditions. This makes braided a much better choice when fishing deep water where the bite is hard to detect or heavy cover when snags are expected. This same characteristic also means it will rarely develop a memory & remains flexible after having been placed under a heavy load.

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How to select you next saltwater reel

Selecting a saltwater reel can be confusing, time consuming and even expensive if you make the wrong selection and need to replace it sooner than expected. Comparing reels in the store or online still requires you to have a basic understanding of what to look for. So, let us help you by explaining what features should be on the top of your list and how to tell if your selection is up to the task.

Your reel is more that simple a place to store extra line when it is not being used. It is also an important element in determining how well your rod will cast & retrieve that line and provides the leverage needed to battle the fish you hook. When fishing in saltwater you need a reel built to withstand the dual abuse of not only a wide range of species but also the environment. Anything less will leave your creel empty and experience lacking.

Key Features

Line Capacity is one of the features that set saltwater reels apart from their smaller freshwater versions. Even smaller saltwater species have the ability to make long runs or deep dives are break neck speeds. If your reel is not spooled with enough line you will easily find yourself staring at an empty spool and creel at the same time. It is recommended that you look for a minimum capacity of 300 yards, although slightly less can be used for inshore adventures.

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About

Okuma Fishing is more than a fishing tackle company, they are committed to providing the equipment needed to excel at fishing. Whether you need a rod to battle tuna, a reel to finesse mountain trout or a shirt for your next tournament outing Okuma is your single source for quality. Each product is designed with two things in mind – providing the gear you need and gear you know you can depend on. Regardless of what species you pursue or where your adventures take you Okuma has you covered.

Freshwater

This term refers to fishing which occurs in inland rivers, lakes, stream, impoundments etc. – anywhere outside the saltwater influence. Common methods include casting from shore, boat or dock, trolling, fly fishing and even ice fishing. Almost any freshwater species can be targeted but the most common gamefish are bass, panfish, catfish, trout and walleye.

Bluegill


The bluegill, identified by the bluefish color on the lower jaw and gill cover, is what most people refer to as “sunnies”. This species can be found throughout the ponds, lakes and slower moving waters throughout the United States preferring to hide among the weeds, logs and similar structure. They can be caught on almost any small bait or lure which makes them a favorite target for children and other beginners. They are also very popular with ice fishermen.

Crappie


This term is used interchangeably to refer to both the white and black crappies, two different subspecies of the same family. Both are were once native to the Mississippi drainage but due to artificial introduction have expanded their range to much of the United States. Both can be found in ponds, small lakes or smaller bays of larger lakes and slow-moving sections of larger rivers and although they are sometimes found in close proximity prefer slightly different habitat. White crappies tend to prefer the logs, downed trees and stumps found in more turbulent water and the black crappie prefers a clearer, more vegetative area. Both are popular game species and can be caught on a wide variety of small baits or lures.

Perch


The yellow perch, of simply perch, is native to the northern United States from the Carolinas to the Rocky Mountains, although their range has been expanded by artificial introduction. They will adapt to a variety of water conditions but prefer shallow (less than 30′) areas of slower moving water. This is another species which is widely popular with anglers, including ice fishermen, and is even sometimes targets by commercial anglers due to it sweet, white flesh.

Pike


This a family of long, slender, “duck-billed” predators which are each popular with anglers due to their size and aggressive nature. The United States is home to fours species of of the pike family – the grass & redfin pickerel, chain pickerel, muskellunge (musky) and northern pike. All four species can be found in cool water lakes, streams and large rivers and are most commonly found in or near submerged vegetation or rocky shoals which they use to ambush prey. Pike are predators and their main diet is other fish, even each other, so live baits or realistic plugs are they most popular choice for anglers.

Walleye


Although they are the largest member of the perch family this toothy, torpedo shaped predator is often confused with pike. It most easily identified by the forked tail, rounded snout and large glassy eyes that reflect light at night. Although native to central North America and Canada they have been widely stocked across the northern United States. They prefer cold or cool water, which does not exceed 85 degrees in summer, with gravel or rock bottom conditions. They will tolerate a variety of water conditions, including fast moving rivers, but require a lot of room and will rarely be found in impoundments less than 100 acres.

Saltwater

This is a broad term used to describe fishing in ocean or tidal waters which contain salt water. It includes a variety of fishing methods including surf or shore fishing, trolling or jigging from a boat and pier fishing. Subcategories include inshore and deep-sea fishing, each of which is based upon the location and species targeted.

Amberjack


The general term refers to several subspecies, many of which are popular gamefish, found throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Depending on the specific subspecies they can be found near wrecks, reefs or similar underwater structure in water depths between 25 – 100 ft. They usually travel in large schools and best targeted when feeding.

Bonefish


The bonefish inhabit the tropical waters of the Bahamas and Southern Florida, where they concentrate in shallow mudflat to feed on crabs and shrimp. While large numbers may inhabit a single area, it is common to find fish swimming in pairs or even alone as they search for food. The species has become very popular with fly fishermen, many of whom utilize sight fishing as a primary means of locating individual fish. While they are edible the majority of anglers practice catch & release.

Dorado


Best known by its other names Maui-Maui or dolphin fish the Dorado is an off shore gamefish species found in temperate, tropical & subtropical waters around the globe. Unlike many other off shore species, the Dorado spends a great deal of its time on the surface feeding near floating debris, which make it easier for anglers to target. They are known for their excellent taste, potential size and ornate color patterns including blue, yellow and green. Most anglers target weed lines or debris field trolling ballyhoo or sardines, although artificial lures and even flies have grown in popularity as well.

Redfish


While the name redfish has been used to describe a wide variety of saltwater species worldwide U.S. anglers most commonly associate it with the red drum of the southern Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. This species is distinguished by its characteristic eyespot near the tail and the croaking or drumming noise made when distressed. Although once threatened by commercial fishing the species has rebounded and is now popular with recreational anglers throughout its range.

Rockfish


This is a local nickname for the popular striped bass, a widely popular gamefish found throughout the Atlantic Ocean and its East Coast tributaries. Although they spend the majority of their time cruising the coast region of the Mid-Atlantic states the annual spring migration finds them entering rivers and bays from Virginia to Maine. While many anglers will pursue them year-round it is during this migration when they are most successfully targeted. Considered by many to be the most popular saltwater gamefish they are known for not only their potential size and hard fighting ability but also their delicate, flakey texture when cooked.

Combos

Select the correct rod or reel can be a dauntless task, especially for the beginner. When matched correctly a good rod/reel combination is not only capable of handling the task at hand but will do so comfortably all-day long. The easiest way to take the guess work out of making this selection is to choose a pre-selected combination. Not only does this ensure you will have a properly matched pair it is often possible to save some money in the process.

Okumas offers several match combinations including the Avenger,
X-pressions, Fin-Chaser, Tundra HD, Great Lakes Trolling, Voyager Travel, Tempest and others.

Spinning

Chameleon
Avenger
Xpressions
Nitryx Combo
Safina
Aveon
Safina Pro
Fin Chaser “X” Series Combos
Fin-Chaser
Boundary
Steeler
Steeler XP Combos
Tundra HD
Tundra Pro Combos
Cascade Combo
ROX

Ceymar Spinning and Casting Combos

Ceymar Combos

Great Lakes

Great Lakes Trolling Combo

Travel Kits

Voyager Travel
Fly
Cascade Fly Combo

Rods

A fishing rod is more than a stick that holds your reel, it is and extension of you. Although a good rod will not make you a great angler and poor rod will definitely diminish your abilities. The right rod will assist in casting accurately & with increased distance, allow you to detect bites and lure action and let you set the hook with the required force when a bite is detected. Of course, it will also make it possible to successfully fight and land the next trophy you encounter.

Regardless of your needs Okuma has a line of rods available including the Helios, Citrix, EVx, Guide Select Sprey, Celilo, Nomad Travel and Solaris.

Tournament Bass

Helios
Scott Martin Tournament Concept TCS Rods
Citrix Travel
EVX B-Series Bass Rods
Guide Select A-Series Swimbait Rods
SBX Swimbait
Reflexions A-Series
Calynn

Freshwater

Battle Cat
Celilo Specialty Rods
Tarvos

Salmon/Steelhead

White Diamond
Guide Select Classic
Guide Select Pro
Cold Water
Coldwater Pro Trolling Rod
Cedros “a” Salmon Halibut and Sturgeon
SST
SST Ladies Edition
SST Carbon Grip Rods
Blue Diamond A
Celilo
Connoisseur
Connoisseur “a”
Classic Pro GLT
Aventa Float Rods
Celilo Ultralight

Mooching Rods

SST Travel and Mooching Rods
Celilo Canadian Mooching Rods
Salish Canadian Mooching and Halibut Rods
SCT Canadian Mooching

Walleye

Dead Eye
Saltwater
PCH Custom Rods
Cortez A-Series
SCT Boat Rods
SCT Albacore Rods
Makaira Abalone
Cruz Popping Rods
Nomad Travel
Tundra
Tundra Pro
Sarasota

Inshore

SCT Inshore Rods
Shadow Stalker
Shadow Stalker
Gulf Coast Series
Nomad Inshore Travel
Nomad Xpress Travel Rods

Musky

SCT Musky
EVx B-Series Musky Rods

Surf & Jetty

Nomad Surf Travel Rods
Cedros Surf CSX Rod
Cedros Surf A Rods
Rockaway Surf Rods
Solaris Surf
Longitude

Saltwater Jigging

AZORES Jigging
Cedros Jigging
Cedros “a” Jigging

Fly

SLV Fly Rods