As a beginner to the world of sea fishing it is important to do a little research before you get started.
There are many different techniques involved such as float fishing, spinning and ledgering. You should first decide which technique you will be using to start with and then find out as much as you can about the various skills and equipment involved.
The type of fishing and the equipment you will be using will often be dictated by the spots you intend to fish. Fishing from rocks with lots of debris on the ocean floor requires a totally different technique and equipment to fishing from a clean sandy beach for example. Doing your research into local fishing spots will enable you to make sure you have the right gear for the job and will also increase your chances of catching fish.
There is now a wealth of information online available to new anglers that will give you advice on anything from what bait to use for certain fish to what type of knots to use for rigs and how to tie them.
You can also ask in your local tackle shop who are usually more than happy to help, or another good start would be to join a local fishing club or group.
2. Get to know the basics
Once you have decided on the type of fishing you are going to do the next step is learning the basics, this includes skills such as learning basic knots for attaching hooks, building rigs and learning to cast. Some techniques could be considered more advanced than others, generally float fishing or spinning would be good techniques to start with for a new angler. Other techniques such as ledgering can use much more complex rigs often tailored to the spot and the species of fish being fished for.
Fishing rigs are basically a set up of tackle involving things like line, swivels and hooks etc for a specific fishing method.
3. Right gear/equipment
When starting out one of the most important factors is having the right gear for the job. The type of equipment you will be using can obviously depend a lot on the location you are fishing and the type of fishing technique you are planning to use. When fishing a location do your research before you go, find out which technique is most successful there and which species of fish you expect to catch.
You will find that many anglers will have their favourite lures and bait for catching particular species of fish such as Bass for example. Knowledge in this area from local fishermen can be more invaluable than anything you can find online and in books.
You can find out a lot by just visiting your local tackle shop or by going to local forums online and asking, there’s always experienced anglers willing to help and share their advice.
4. Fixed Spool or Muliplier?
These are the main two types of reel used in sea fishing.
If you are a total beginner you will more than likely be starting with a fixed spool.
There was a time when using multipliers would mean you would have a significant advantage over casting with a fixed spool but as the technology has evolved fixed spools are now almost on par with a good multiplier. The benefit of using a fixed spool is that they are extremely easy to use. Multipliers whilst very effective are considered more difficult to use for beginners as they require a certain amount of skill and experience as it’s very easy to end up with a large tangled mess or birds nest as it is often called, when casting. Even more experienced anglers often use fixed spools now as they are just a lot easier and stress free to use.
That said the technology used in multiplier reels has come on a lot in recent years and continues to get better all the time, this makes using them a lot easier than it has been in the past.
If you are planning on learning to use a multiplier it would be a good idea to find an empty field to practice casting in or take a second rod and reel with you when you go fishing as when starting out you will more than likely be spending more time untangling birds nests than fishing.
5. Weights & Tackle
The type of weight you will be using is dependent on your rod. Every rod will have a recommended casting weight and it’s not usually a good idea to exceed this as you will be likely to either damage the rod or yourself or both!
Weights also come in many shapes and will also be dependent on the type of fishing you do, float fishing requires a completely different type of weight than ledgering for example.
Other types of tackle that need to be considered are things such as hook type/size and line.
6. Location Location location
Again this goes back to doing your research before you go. There are often many different locations that are ideal for fishing but they may not be ideal all year round. Usually you will find that many spots get fished at different times of the year based on which species of fish are around and the weather. Asking at your local tackle shop is probably one of the best ways of finding out this information.
Bait comes in many different forms from live bait such as crabs, worms and sandeels to lures like feathers, spinners and jigs. Many fishermen swear by certain baits for catching particular species of fish such as Bass or Cod and some baits are better at different times of year than others or will just not be available at all. Choosing bait will usually come down to where you are fishing, what species of fish you are likely to be fishing for and the time of year.
Lures have become very popular now as they have come on in leaps and bounds over the years and can now easily hold up against real baits and quite often out fish them. You also have the advantage that they are a lot less hassle to use than real bait and can work out cheaper.
Some of the most popular brands such as Sidewinders are extremely lifelike and come in many different shapes and sizes from sandeels to sprats and shrimp.
The weather is a very important factor when sea fishing, it can dictate where to fish and the type of clothing you will need to use, it’s also a good idea to check on tide times too.
We have a large selection of all weather clothing on our main site, we also have information about local weather and tide times for South Devon Torbay area.
9. Be prepared
Most experienced anglers will always carry a tackle box with everything they might possibly need for a day’s fishing. There are many tools that are invaluable to a fisherman and make life very difficult when you haven’t got them.
Check out our selection of angling accessories with everything from fishing pliers and scissors to headlamps and tackle boxes.
Also always be prepared that you could lose your tackle through snags etc so make sure you always have enough spares to make it through your fishing session. As well as equipment and tackle it’s usually always a good idea to take extra clothing as the weather can often change quickly.
Safety is the most important aspect of sea fishing for any angler especially a beginner. Many fishing spots can become extremely dangerous in bad weather and even the most experienced anglers can sometimes get caught out. Always pay attention to tide times especially if you are fishing a tidal area that can become cut off. Also try and wear sensible clothing/footwear, fishing off of rocks even in the summer can be dangerous and slippery underfoot.
Always try and let someone know when you are planning to go fishing and when you expect to get back, if possible it’s always best to go with a friend.