Saltwater vs freshwater fishing has been a never-ending debate within the fishing community. While many anglers prefer one over the other, the truth is what makes them appealing depends entirely on your preferences. Both options have their pros & cons, even though they are eerily similar. As the debate rages on, we decided to shed some light on the issue. Each one has the potential to become your next favorite, so they both need to be represented in an unbiased manner.
Pros & Cons of Saltwater & Freshwater Fishing
As a seasoned angler, it’s essential to appreciate both forms of fishing. Both methods have been around for thousands of years. In many regions, they have saved entire populations by providing viable food options in areas where farmland is scarce. We wouldn’t have one method without the other, so bashing either one is extremely ignorant.
As humanity evolved, so did fishing. To some degree fishing for survival will always exist, but for the most part it has evolved into a full-fledged hobby. Now bright eyed anglers have two methods to choose from: freshwater & saltwater fishing. Both of these methods use tackle & bait, but they are worlds apart upon further examination.
Freshwater fishing is the most common way to ignite passion in a first-time fisherman. Most people don’t live on the beach, so the closest body of water is usually a lake or river. Fishing in these areas provides a cheap, easy solution for anyone who wants to try their hand at this revered sport. It’s the perfect test for a beginner, since freshwater fish are exponentially smaller than what’s lurking in the ocean.
On top of being convenient, the gear for freshwater fishing is wildly different. Instead of having to wrestle a beast, the toughest thing you will catch in freshwater will be a 3-foot Steelhead that weighs 16 lbs. This means that you can get away with using substantially lighter duty gear. Natural bait can be used in freshwater, but it’s far more likely that the angler will use artificial lures to trap their prey.
Hands down one of the best parts about freshwater fishing is the cost. Since you aren’t going to war, everything is drastically more affordable. From the tackle to the boat, the gear you need is far cheaper in freshwater. The gear is less heavy duty, & this is reflected in the price tag. It’s also a lot safer, which makes it the perfect method for beginners.
The other end of the spectrum is saltwater fishing. This encompasses any fishing that goes on in the sea. It can be done off a pier or on a boat miles off the coast. Usually this is the most expensive method, but many fishermen will swear that it’s the only way to go.
Going toe to toe with nature isn’t for the faint of heart. Instead of reeling in measly marine life, saltwater fishing is about trapping untamed monsters. A blue marlin can easily weigh up to 1,900 lbs, so this is a whole different level. On top of weighing the same as a car, saltwater fish are full of surprises. Surviving in the ocean isn’t easy, so these fish are ready to fight. Razor sharp teeth, massive amounts of toxins & poisonous spines are all to be expected when wrestling these beasts.
Since you are dealing with a staggering amount of weight, all saltwater gear is made out of fiber glass. This material can easily support 1,900 lbs., so it quickly became the standard for saltwater fishing. On top of having to deal with ungodly weight, all saltwater gear must withstand the fury of the ocean. This means that all tackle has to be corrosive proof, & routine boat maintenance is mandatory.
Unsurprisingly, the bait & hooks are very different in saltwater fishing. Most people use live bait, which opens up doors to a wide variety of options. Clams, soft crabs & shrimp are all used to lure in the big fish. The hooks are also bigger than life, which only makes sense after seeing what you’re up against.
In the end the best fishing method is entirely up to you. If you like to play it safe, freshwater fishing can’t be beaten. It’s noticeably cheaper & a whole lot safer. However, saltwater is for anyone who wants to live dangerously. The rewards are more impressive, & so are the risks. The trophy fish of the sea can’t be beaten, especially since what’s out there is still unknown. If you have the money to invest, there isn’t a nobler hobby than saltwater fishing. The choice is yours, let your budget be your guide!