To ask if you need anything special to fish in the ocean is to approach a pretty deep subject. Depending on the region you want to fish -- the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian or Arctic Ocean -- what you need will vary from place-to-place and your desired catch. However, there are some basics to consider.
Rods and Reels
Any fishing expedition calls for the proper rod and reel. You should select the type you need in accordance with where you'll be fishing and what you'll be fishing for. For shore fishing, surf casting or spinning outfits are best. As with all ocean fishing, strength is important; however, casting for lengths from shore may dictate a longer rod. For boat fishing, you'll need to determine how you'll be fishing. For jigging (fishing with a lure that imitates a moving fish), you'll want a fast action rod and reel. While trolling (fishing by drawing a lure through the water) usually calls for an evenly matched rod (in pounds) and reel (in size) and depends on the size of fish you'll be trolling for.
Ocean fishing will be most successful with proper electronics. A fish finder provides electronic images of the water below, including the depth and shape of the ocean bottom, actual fish below you or any structures in your path. A VHF radio offers a strong communication channel while out on the water between land and sea contacts, as well as carrying NOAA weather updates. Any fishing vessel venturing out into the ocean should be equipped with one. Many years ago, a GPS (global positioning system) was an expensive piece of equipment that select few fishermen could afford. Today, GPS equipment comes in all sizes and price points and can help you navigate to the perfect fishing spot or track and your direction and fishing patterns.
Bait and Lures
Bait and lures for ocean fishing are largely a matter of preference. Some people consider themselves purests for using only live bait; while other believe frozen bait works just as well. There is also the fishing camp that swears by using fishing lures. Lures come in all shapes, sizes and colors. The best advice is to determine what you'll be fishing for and select your lure accordingly.
License and Permits
No matter where in the world you decide to fish, you can almost be guaranteed that you'll need some type of license or permit. The fines and penalties for not having the proper license or permit can be steep, from monetary assessments to having your vessel seized. Therefore, it's imperative that you do your homework before you set out ocean fishing. This starts with finding the locality that governs your fishing spot before putting your line in the water.
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