Is Saltwater Fishing In Your Blood? Does your pulse rate quicken a little whenever you smell the sea air and hear the seabirds calling? Are you in your element when you can feel the sea lapping around your waders on a surf beach? Or never happier when you're heading offshore for a boat fishing session?
Yes? Then there's no doubt about it - you too are a saltwater fishing fanatic!
And what a rewarding and all-consuming passion this great sport of ours is.
From the social banter between fishing buddies on charter boat to the inner peace enjoyed by a solitary angler on an isolated surf beach, saltwater fishing has much to offer.
If you've got the saltwater fishing gene, you are fortunate indeed.
So read on!
These two boat anglers have dropped anchor over some rough ground off Anguilla in the Caribbean.
Their fish strip baited bottom fishing rigs will be bring them porgies, grunts and snappers - maybe a grouper if they're lucky.
Here in the less exotic waters of the UK, similar tactics would catch black bream, seabass or pollack.
The proven saltwater fishing techniques are truly international - the fish may be quite different, but the methods used to catch them are much the same.
But not all saltwater fishermen have good sea legs - nor do they have much intention of getting them.
In fact some of them would only set foot in a boat if it was securely propped up ashore, and reluctantly at that.
But you don't always need to get afloat to place your bait in deep water, as great fishing can often be had from the piers, jetties and breakwaters that project from our shores.
On the day I took this photograph though, these anglers on Weymouth pier may not have wholeheartedly agreed with me!
The most technical form of fishing from the shore is surf fishing
On some surf beaches it's necessary to get your baited hook out as far as you possible can to reach the fish.
For maximum distance, not only will you need specialist (and expensive) surf rods and reels, but also the highly developed skill needed to get the best out of them.
No such difficulty for these surf anglers though, as they're fishing the famously steep-to Chesil Beach in Dorset.
Long casting here may well put your bait well put your bait far beyond the zone in which the fish are feeding. Like most fishing venues, local knowledge on Chesil counts for a lot.
Nothing beats a kayak for getting to fishing marks that are beyond the reach of the most able surf casters and totally inaccessible to conventional fishing boats.
But whether you're a kayaker-turned-fisherman or a fisherman-turned-kayaker, a high degree of competency is a must if you're to stay safe, particularly when coupled with this potentially hazardous way of fishing afloat.
For all this, kayak angling is the fastest growing branch of saltwater fishing, and it's not difficult to see why - relatively inexpensive, environmentally friendly and a great form of exercise. Kayak fishing has a lot going for it.
Like kayakers, sailors too can benefit by combining two quite different, but perfectly compatible activities.
Trolling a lure astern of a sailboat will, sooner or later, get results - often without much effort from the yachtman, whose primary concern is in sailing the boat.
On a long offshore passage, the ability to provide the galley slave with fresh protein straight from the sea is a valuable skill indeed. Expect praise and adulation to be heaped upon you by a grateful crew.
Take this handsome chap here for instance, to whom you'll soon be introduced - never one to shy away from any form of flattery.
Deep blue sea, warm sunshine a sailboat bowling along nicely using nothing but the freely provided energy of nature - and a freshly caught kingfish to dine on later. Could life get any better?
Me? I'm Dick McClary, a lifelong sea angler, ocean sailor and author of books and magazine articles on saltwater fishing and offshore sailing.
That's me, the bearded bloke, posing with a disconsolate looking tuna on the cover of my book 'Fishing Afloat'.
Now whilst I can string a few words together on a good day, and take a half-decent photo with a digital camera on some of the others, I can't draw worth a damn.
Which is why all the artwork you'll find on this website is done only by those who can.
Hey, but enough of all this. Let's get back to the saltwater fishing...
Just click around in the topics in the column on the left or the thumbnails on the right.
You might be surprised where it leads you. Enjoy!
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