The first step in deciding where to go saltwater fishing is choosing the type of water in which you want to fish. With choices ranging from shallow, skinny-water flats to the deep-sea fishing of the Continental Shelf, where you fish in the ocean will determine what species you’ll target, what tackle you’ll use and what type of boat you may need.
Luckily, most U.S. coastline offers the opportunity to move from one type of saltwater fishing to another. From Maine to Washington state, anglers will find everything from surf fishing to backwater fishing to bays and estuaries and offshore fishing.
Regardless of where you choose to fish, five factors will determine where you’ll find fish: water temperature, weather, structure, current and bait. Figuring out what combination will result in good fishing is the central challenge facing all anglers.
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