Let’s Talk Tackle Box - Basic Tackle Setups You Should Have for Your Inshore Fishing in St. Pete
Inshore fishing here in St. Pete refers to fishing the waters closer to land but still requiring a boat to get to them.
Inshore fishing spots here on the Gulf include the shallower waters along the shore as well as the estuaries, bays, saltwater rivers, flats, and mangroves that dot our coastline. Finding the fish here is easy, with these areas teeming with a diverse array of gamefish just waiting for your line. All you need is a rod, reel, and a well-stocked tackle box, and you’re ready for some great fishing.
Basic Tackle Requirements
Tackle basics 101: you need the right tackle to attract the fish you’re going for, get it reeled in, and then into the boat. If your line or tackle weight is too heavy, your casting will suffer. Too light, and you’ll lose the fish. Once you supply yourself with the basics to begin with, you can then play with tackle, depending on your own fishing preferences.
Rod and Reel
Most inshore anglers will begin with a medium-power rod between 7 and 7 1/2 feet long. This rod length will allow for enough length to get your casts well-positioned while giving you the right balance between sensitivity and strength. Your reel should be saltwater resistant with sufficient line capacity for your needs. A 2500 to 3500 series is a good first choice.
Does the Tackle Box Matter?
When you’re fishing shallow inland waters, you are looking for something compact and waterproof.
Organized with plenty of compartments, slim tackle trays like the ones offered by Plano are great if you have limited space on the boat or kayak. These tray-type boxes provide an easy view of everything laid out with multiple compartments of different sizes, so your hooks and lures are organized and don’t slide around on the bottom. And a tackle box that is waterproof and sealed can be handy if your box happens to take a tumble overboard.
Live Bait or Lures?
What inshore anglers are immediately faced with is bait type. While many are die-hard proponents of live bait when fishing inshore and go out of their way to catch their own bait, there are those who insist that understanding lures in inshore settings increases your success factor exponentially.
Depending on the bait you choose to fish with and the fish you’re targeting, your tackle box will be dedicated primarily to those choices.
Practical Gear You Need in Your Tackle Box When Fishing Inland
Many anglers go overboard on tackle. When you’re limited for space, practicalities are important when deciding what to include in your box. Depending on your specific needs, you will want
- Several sizes of weighted hooks – Gear up with a few different types, so you’re ready for a variety of fish in different conditions.
- Sinkers in various sizes – These will depend on the type of fishing you're doing and the strength of the wind and water you're fishing in.
- Leader line – Both monofilament and fluorocarbon lines will vary by the amount of tension they’re able to withstand before snapping. A 20 to 30-pound leader line is usually a good all-around option for inshore fishing.
- Swivels – Swivels allow your line and leader to work with each other without getting bunched up.
- Jigs and jig heads – If you are fishing with lures, different weights and colors will prepare you for different targeted fish and water depths.
- Soft plastic lures that hold their scent in different colors depending on what you are fishing for
- Hard body lures – These come in a wide variety of divers, floaters, and top water varieties that will depend on the type of fish you are going for.
- Dry bags – When fishing off a kayak or other smaller boat, dry bags are essential to keep your gear and belongings dry.
When you’re headed out on the inland waters in and around St. Pete, head over to Pinellas County’s largest outfitter first.
At Reef & Reel, we pride ourselves on helping you find whatever you’re looking for. We have plenty of tackle boxes, gear, and even more advice for making your day on the water successful. You can’t miss us at 3350 Tyrone Blvd. N. in St Pete. Stop by today!