Beating the Winter Blues: Saltwater Style
Here at the Take Me Fishing™ headquarters in the Washington, DC metro area, we’re lucky enough to be blessed with four distinctly different seasons to keep us constantly on our toes. However, we do also jump at any opportunity we can find to venture out and test the waters in other climates. We’ve shared with you a few tips about joys of ice fishing and next week, we’ll be taking a much needed trip down south to the Miami International Boat Show in beautiful Florida!
While we’re down there, we’re excited to get some face time with some of the lucky individuals who have the pleasure of saltwater fishing all year long. Saltwater fishing is an excellent way for freshwater anglers to experience new boats and equipment, new fish species and a change in atmosphere. The bigger game provides an excellent source of exercise to boot!
For those of you hoping to try your hand at saltwater fishing (whether you’re a coastal dweller interested in taking up a new hobby or a northern native looking to take a welcomed trip south or west to escape the blustery winter blues) we will leave you with a few tips to becoming a saltwater star:
1.) Use nautical charts to find wrecks, reefs and other structures. That’s where the fish are! The charts will also help you know the waters (depths and tide times) of the waters you’re fishing. Anglers clubs, tackle shops, and dive shops are a great resource for such information.
2.) Know what you’re fishing for before you set out. Tackle should be chosen carefully and should match the size of the bait, which should in turn be appropriate for the size of the fish you want to catch.
3.) Chum is a great tool for attracting prize gamefish, but it doesn’t have to be expensive, live bait. A can or two of wet cat food will do the trick!
4.) Winter is the perfect time to snag a sailfish, especially off the coast of Florida. Set your sights just outside of an outer reef as a drift point and offer up a sailfish favorite, ballyhoo, as your bait of choice.
5.) Keep an eye out for flocks of low flying herring gulls. They’re the best natural fish finders money can’t buy!
For more tips, tricks and frequently asked questions check out our saltwater fishing page. Happy reeling!
Stephanie Vatalaro is vice president of communications for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns where she works to recruit newcomers to recreational fishing and boating and increase awareness of aquatic conservation. Stephanie grew up in the Florida Keys as the daughter of a flats fishing guide. Outside of work, you can find her fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in the Northern Neck of Virginia.