Saltwater fishing can be of interest to both visitors as well as residents of the USA. Here in the USA, fishing has been a traditional pastime and is often a family oriented hobby. My fishing began when my father and older brother took me many years ago. Since age 6, I have been addicted to the sport.
In the movie The Hunt for Red October, the movie ends with a scene where American and Russian officers discuss their mutual love of fishing which went back to their childhood. Fishing was a common interest that they could share. The scene was a good example of how people hold fishing as a tradition here and abroad.
I grew up and still live around the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters of Maryland and Virginia in the USA. Fishing here is very diverse. There are a few species that take up territorial positions in the area but many of the fish only migrate through. From tautog and mackerel in March to the last striped bass of December, the area is constantly in a flux of migrations.
Experienced anglers prepare and await the various fish and make running adjustments to the plan as fish fail to appear or stay longer than expected. Staying in touch with the movements of the fish is an art in itself. Word of mouth is important and anglers make long term alliances to share information. Technology has changed fishing dramatically, allowing information to be shared over marine radios, cell phones, computer forums, websites and email. When fish arrive, word spreads at virtually real time.
Weather is a major factor in local fishing. Wind, rain, snow and fog all hamper fishing. The environment is unprotected in the ocean and the season there is much shorter than in the Chesapeake Bay. Anglers in both areas can experience weather that is unpredictable and sometimes conditions can go from pristine to life threatening in minutes.
Fish are mostly located around structures and much of the fishing involves a careful study of locations. Technology is involved as most boaters will use a variety of electronics to navigate, pinpoint structures and locate fish. Wrecks, natural structures, artificial reefs, channel edges, shoals and rips are all areas where fish congregate.
Local areas are diverse enough that users can choose from a wide variety of fishing techniques. Anglers can enjoy surf fishing, pier fishing, bait casting, trolling, jigging, fly fishing and other techniques.
Competition is a factor as the quantity of fish is dropping as the number of anglers is rising. Fishing in a group is not always peaceful but the majority of boaters are safe and courteous. Most people that fish locally develop long term friendships and help each other.
People fish here for a variety of reasons. Seeing the sun rise and fall over the water is very stimulating. Watching birds, dolphins, whales and fish in their environment is also a thrill. Of course most people love the catching, but most anglers choose to harvest fish for the table. The atmosphere of group trips is desirable to some while others like the solitude of a surf fishing or kayaking venture.
Local fishing is a meaningful pastime. The investment of time and money is enormous but the joy of being on the water, seeing nature and meeting friends makes it worthwhile.
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