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5 Summer Saltwater Fishing Basics for Beginners

If you're planning to visit some inshore saltwater spots this summer, there are a few warm-weather fishing basics for beginners you should consider. If you're new to saltwater fishing, you may not realize that when the water temperatures heat up, fish often become less active to conserve energy. This means that you'll need to adjust your game plan by keeping these basic fishing tips in mind.

You'll find that these inshore fishing basics for beginners can help you successfully catch and release more fish on the warmest days of the year. Before heading out, be sure to check the regulations and buy your saltwater fishing license online.
 

  1. Plan to fish when you have an incoming or outgoing tide either first thing in the morning or just prior to sunset. One of the best basic fishing tips for summer is to start early or go late and avoid the mid-day heat.
  2. Search out the shade. As you learn how to fish during the heat of summer, keep in mind that shady mangrove shorelines and docks are great places to try as the sun starts rising higher in the sky.
  3. Slow down your presentations. When the water temperature is above the preferred temperature range, fish won't expend the extra energy to pursue fast-moving prey. Reduce the pace of your retrieve to boost your chances at getting bites. For example, you can work a soft plastic swimbait using a slow, but steady retrieve or twitch a weightless soft plastic jerkbait through the water column to create just enough erratic movement to entice a redfish or spotted seatrout. Use one of the best basic fishing knots for beginners when tying your lure onto your leader, such as a non-slip loop knot.
  4. If you plan on using live bait, be sure to leave extra room in your room in your livewell. As a general saltwater rule of thumb, the warmer the water, the less bait you should pack into your livewell to ensure proper circulation and aeration. This is particularly important during the heat of summer if you want to keep your baits alive and active.
  5. Land your fish quickly as possible. When fishing purely for sport (catch and release) during the summer months, use heavier tackle if needed to land fish quickly so that they don't become exhausted. High temperatures mean less dissolved oxygen in the water and fish won't have enough energy to successfully survive a long fight. You'll also want to take extra care to revive your catch before releasing it.
You'll find that these inshore fishing basics for beginners can help you successfully catch and release more fish on the warmest days of the year. Before heading out, be sure to check the regulations and buy your saltwater fishing license online. 
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 shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.