The freshwater vs saltwater fishing debate continues to this day, and you’ll get mixed answers from forums and blogs.
Fishing in freshwater is very different from saltwater, and for this reason the equipment you use will vary. Here’s a quick overview of each.
The majority of anglers start in freshwater simply because it’s cheaper compared to saltwater fishing.
If you’re starting out, all you need is a hook, line and a fishing pole. You can fish from bridges over streams and rivers, ponds, lakes, or from a boat in a lake.
Freshwater fishing is very relaxing whether you catch a fish or not, so it’s something you really ought to try.
Types of Freshwater Fish
Freshwater fish are smaller compared to saltwater fish, but they’re not difficult to catch, and the current is weaker than in saltwater.
The fish available in freshwater depends on the region, unless the local governments filled the water with other types of fish.
The most common however, are the following:
- Rainbow trout
- Largemouth bass
- Channel catfish
- Black crappie
Freshwater Fishing Equipment
For best results you should get a high quality rod and reel. Particularly, look for a rod that isn’t going to snap if there’s a struggling fish on the line.
Apart from the rod, freshwater anglers might also need telescopic reels, bait, bait casting and spinning. Artificial and live baits can be used, with worms, crickets and minnows popular with the latter.
Fishing in Saltwater
Fishing in saltwater is very different, and you won’t have the opportunity to do so unless you live near the ocean. If you do get the chance to fish here, it’s going to be more challenging compared to freshwater, as the fish are more aggressive.
Fishing can be done on piers that extend into the oceans, or you can do it from fishing boats.
And if you’re the adventurous type you can wade in estuaries and back bays to catch some fish.
Saltwater fish are generally larger compared to freshwater so you’ll need to fight to keep them. While this adds an extra level of challenge, it does make reeling and fishing more exciting.
Even if you have the right equipment, it’s important you learn how to draw the fish near your boat so you can take it out of the water.
The most common saltwater fish are:
- Striped bass
- Pacific halibut
- King salmon
Regardless which of these fish you get, expect it to fight, and for anglers that’s part of the thrill and what makes saltwater fishing so enjoyable.
Saltwater Fishing Equipment
You’ll need equipment that can stand up to strong water currents and harsh weather. Depending on how you plan to fish, you can go with a short rod so you have more power, or you can opt for the long one so you can cast at longer distances.
Your fishing tackle should also include jigging reels, trolling, bait casting and spinning.
Apart from the standard fishing equipment, saltwater anglers also require nets and gaff that can handle the fish close to the shore or boat.
Remember that ocean currents are more powerful compared to those in freshwater regions so you can’t settle for second rate equipment.
Furthermore, you’ll need gear to shield yourself from ocean spray.
Other Differences between Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing
Probably the biggest difference between the two is the size of the fish you’re going to catch. Just to give you an example, you can catch a 14 ft., 1900 lb. blue marlin in saltwater, while a 3 ft. 16 lb. steelhead is probably as big as it’s going to get in freshwater.
Fishing in freshwater turns up the usual suspects like trout, catfish and bass, while in saltwater you could end up with an octopus or a goblin shark.
One more thing needs to be considered in the freshwater vs saltwater fishing debate, and it’s that natural bait is more frequently used in saltwater, such as shrimp, crayfish and clams.
In freshwater, anglers often make use of artificial lures that resemble grub, insects and other animals that fish eat.
However, you can also use artificial baits in saltwater if you want.