BlogJanuary 2023

How to Find the Best Fishing Spots in Saltwater

How to Find the Best Fishing Spots in Saltwater

By Debbie Hanson

Jan 26, 2023

Summary of how to find the best fishing spots in saltwater, resources you can use, ways to repeat successful fishing trips in the future, things to look for

If you’re wondering how to find the best fishing spots in saltwater, there are things you can look for and resources you can use. Although, one important thing to keep in mind before you tap into any of these resources is that fish can be found in certain types of spots for specific reasons. For example, a spot might provide a good ambush point for predatory gamefish or the fact that schools of baitfish may be pushed through a narrow inlet as the tide comes in or out.


Think About the Why First

Thinking about the “why” (why are fish found in a certain type of area) will always be more helpful if you want to learn how to find the best fishing spots regardless of where you fish in the future. This thought process is much more productive than just focusing on the “where” of one or two spots. In other words, you can use resources like online maps, fishing apps, and your electronics, but if you think about the reasons why fish are found in a certain area (such as bait, current, structure), you’ll be able to find fish more successfully over the long-term.


Use the Places to Fish and Boat Map

Find the best fishing spots in saltwater by using the places to fish and boat map powered by the Fishbrain app. If you’re looking for the best app to find fishing spots, Fishbrain is a good one because it not only contains charts and catch data, but also provides local fishing forecasts. Use the interactive map to search for places to fish near you and find boat ramp access. You can also learn more about the different fish species that can be caught in specific bodies of water nearby.


Find Drop-Offs, Seagrass, and Potholes

The best way to find fishing spots while looking out on the saltwater flats or in an estuary is to focus on drop-offs (changes in depth), patches of seagrass that might hold food sources, and potholes that predatory fish can use as ambush points. Seagrass often provides a hiding place for baitfish, shrimp, and crabs, while the grass and potholes give predatory fish places to hide.


Focus on Docks, Bridges, and Piers

Saltwater structures like docks, bridges, and piers often hold fish due to the oysters and barnacles that form on these structures. Oysters, barnacles, and crustaceans serve as food sources for baitfish, and the baitfish serve as food sources for larger fish like Spanish mackerel, snappers, and flounder.


Look for Underwater Structure and Ocean Currents

When looking for the best fishing spots in saltwater while offshore, use your electronics to find changes in bottom topography, reefs, wrecks, and strong currents (currents can be identified by noticeable differences in water color or by water temperature differences). Once you’re on the water, check under floating objects (such as lines of seaweed or sargassum) and keep an eye out for diving birds because birds are often a sign that fish are in an area.


Now that you know how to find the best fishing spots in saltwater and, most importantly, how to replicate the process of finding good fishing spots, buy your saltwater fishing license and put your skills to the test.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.