Inshore fishing gear

Hi Dan, I am new to fishing in the US having recently moved here, although fished mainly rivers in the UK for most of my life. We are going to Fort Morgan Alabama on vacation in September and want to do some fishing. We are intending to go out on a Charter, where the gear is provided, but my question is mainly about gear for fishing in Mobile Bay probably shore or pier although renting a boat is not out of the question. Could you give me an idea what I should be looking for Rods, Reels, Bait, Rigs etc…..Thanks Dan keep up the good work.

Inshore fishing does not require the expensive high-end equipment that true ocean fishing does. Before I start, let me say that my recommendations are what has worked for me over the years. It may not be the best or only choice available. For inshore fishing, you really need two set-ups. One for light duty fish like snook, redfish, flounder, pompano, speckled trout, Spanish Mackerel, and smaller fish. The second set-up is for larger, more aggresive fish like sea bass, striper, tarpon, tripletail, cobia, bluefish, dorado, small to med. sharks, and other bruisers you might come up against. For the light rig, you want a reel that can handle the abuse that salt-water fishing can dish out. Your favorite bass-fishing Ambassaduer reel is not going to work in the salt. You need one constructed of stainless steel, graphite, or anidized aluminum, with 3 to 6 stainless steel bearings. The more bearings, the smoother the reel operates. You will need a gear ratio of at least 5 to 1 up to 6.2 to 1, and beyond. Look for a spool that is longer than the short, stubby freshwater types. This will allow you to cast light baits farther. The reel needs to be able to hold at least 150 yards, or preferabley 250 yards of 12 pound monofilament. Rod length is your choice, but if you are fishing from shore, or a pier, a long rod is not necesary. A 7-8 foot, Med action graphite rod will do nicely. Just make sure it has Fuji guides and a strong reel seat. For the heavy set-up, the same reel specifications apply, only now you need a larger reel that can hold 350 yards of 20 Lb. test monofilament. If you use a level-wind reel, make sure you get one with a bait clicker. The rod construction still applies, only now you need a Med-Heavy action. A 7-1/2′ to 9′ rod is plenty. Terminal tacklle will depend on the species you are fishing for. Ask any bait shop and they will be happy to help. You can get set-up for inshore fishing for as little as $50.00. It’s money well spent. Happy fishing!

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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