Saltwater fishing really no different
I’ve always said fishing is easy once someone shows you how. Without a mentor, however, the learning curve can be steep. Growing up I was fortunate to have “older” guys in our neighborhood take me fishing with them. I was around 12 and they were in their mid-30s. They showed me how to catch stone cats and hellgrammites with my bare hands and how to secure them on a hook. As a result, I became a pretty good bait catcher and learned to catch Susquehanna River smallmouths.
Last week we were visiting some friends at the New Jersey shore and I decided to take a walk to see what was happening at the pier near the marina at the end of their street. The pier is a popular local fishing spot and I enjoy watching others fish there. After the short walk, I discovered two fishermen with lines in the water and, naturally, asked if they were catching anything. “A couple of stripers,” one said. “The fluke are small but we caught a few of them as well,” said the other.
Saltwater fishing isn’t exactly new to me and I’ve caught a number of big bluefish and some weakfish from a friend’s boat some years ago, but the idea of catching fish from a pier jutting into the water was something I’ve never done.
Watching the pair fish, I came to the conclusion fishing in saltwater from a pier is not much different than freshwater fishing from a bank. These guys had about a one-ounce egg sinker attached to the line about four feet above the leader and hook. They baited the business end of the rig with some pieces of clam they said they raked from the surrounding marsh the day before. Just as in freshwater fishing, each fish species requires a slightly different method, and saltwater is no different. The requirement for catching blues, fluke, weakfish or tuna all involve a different technique, but these guys said they were fishing for whatever was biting. Fishing is fishing and it was clear they were just enjoying their time on the water. I wished them well and made a promise to myself to give it a try the next time we were down there.