While many parts of the country are still dealing with ice, snow, and ridiculously cold temps, here in Central Florida our bass are already in their summer patterns. And that means we are having a fantastic …
Salted vs. Unsalted? Tell Us Why and Win
By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost Travel Journalist
Whether it’s popcorn, peanuts, Margaritas, or fishing, lots of people have a strong preference between salted and unsalted. Take fishing: would you rather chase largemouth bass from dawn to dusk in your neighborhood freshwater lake? Or troll the salty ocean depths for mahi, sailfish and blue marlin? Maybe there are other species on both spectrums that you favor.
In celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week June 6-12, Guy Harvey Outpost is conducting a sweepstakes contest in which one lucky angler will win a pair of Costa del Mar sunglasses simply for logging a fresh- or saltwater fishing trip on the iGHOFish app during the month of June. If you aren’t already using the app, you can download it for free on your smart phone or at Google Play.
So which will it be– salted or unsalted? For many anglers, especially in coastal states like Florida which also have an abundance of freshwater bodies, it’s a tough choice.
One very successful bass tournament pro in South Florida who has pretty much dedicated his life to being crowned Bassmaster Classic champion admits he’s crazy for yellowtail snapper fishing. (Since he’s also a five-star chef, the tastiness of this primo saltwater fish probably has a lot to do with it.)
Then there’s a certain popular national television fishing show host who has pretty much dedicated his life to saltwater fishing and helping others to become successful through his national seminar series. It might interest you to know he owns a second home on central Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes where he covets spending holiday weekends fishing for bass and bream with his family.
Also, there is a whole legion of anglers who navigate easily between salted and unsalted. These are the bay boat and skiff fishers who spend all their time around estuaries where salt- and freshwater mix. These versatile anglers catch sea trout, gag grouper, and redfish at the mouths of rivers that empty into saltwater bays. Then, when they’ve had enough, they simply head upriver far enough for the water to become fresh where they catch largemouth bass to their hearts’ content. Tarpon and snook travel freely between the two environments, so these anglers catch them coming and going.
So–just for the sake of discussion– here are some possible pros and cons of both saltwater and freshwater fishing:
Pros: Wide variety of species; generally larger fish; expansive habitat.
Cons: Vulnerability to weather; costly vessels and other equipment; longer travel distance for inland dwellers.
Pros: Enhanced ability to zero in on the habits of a limited number of species; less-costly vessels and equipment; less vulnerability to weather.
Cons: Limited variety of species; generally smaller fish; potentially-crowded fishing grounds.
Be advised that whichever you prefer, you’ve got a boost from the state of Florida. The state has declared June 4-5 as a license-free weekend for saltwater anglers and June 11-12 a license-free weekend for freshwater anglers. That means neither residents nor out-of-towners need to have a Florida fishing license to wet a line, but all other regulations such as size and bag limits and closed seasons still apply.
So, get out on a lake, canal, pier, river, bay, or ocean and try both salted and unsalted. Either or both could become lifelong habits.
Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/. For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling, camping, sailing and powerboat racing. She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit.
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