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.


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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Striped Bass 101

Striped bass, also known locally as rockfish, are one of the most sought after saltwater game fish on the east coast. Not only can thy reach weights of more than 50lbs and exhibit fighting ability that will challenge even the most seasoned angler they are also excellent table fare. Many striper fanatics spend vast amounts of time and money chasing their dream of a wall hanging trophy, but how can the average angler get started with a reasonable expectation of success?

The striped bass is an anadromous species meaning they spend the majority of their life in salt water but migrate to coastal fresh water tributaries to spawn. They can be identified by their round profile, silver sides, white belly and distinctive dark lateral lines or stripes. Although they females, or cows, can tip the scales in excess of 50 lbs. the average weight caught is closer to the 20-25 lbs. range, with non-breeding schooling being 10-15lbs during the migration.

Stripers can be caught year round as they move along the coastal areas between New England and the Carolinas, but the easiest and most productive time to target them is during the spring pre-spawn period. If you are a new angler looking to try your hand I recommend doing so during this portion of the season. The fish will be traveling in larger schools, readily feeding and moving into more accessible tributaries – all of which will increase you chances of success.

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