Kayaking Tips for Beginners

If you’ve been tempted to go kayaking but think it might be too strenuous, or technical, or just too much of a hassle, think again. It actually can be a fantastic, no-stress way to get some exercise and fresh air and see the world from a duck’s-eye view. Here are some Kayaking Tips for Beginners.

Kayaking Tips for Beginners

Kayaking Tips in Ocean City | NJ Kayaking Tips

Learning to Paddle

Kayaking is an intricate dance of strokes, maneuvers and balance between person, boat and paddle. Although it requires a certain degree of arm and core strength, it’s a sport that almost anyone can master with a bit of practice.

Dress for The Water, Not The Weather

Although appropriate clothing choices depend on the location, take into consideration the water temperature rather than the air temperature. If your kayaking tips over, you’ll learn very quickly how important it is to plan for water temperature. Layers of quick-dry clothing are ideal, and hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are highly recommended. For footwear, wear sturdy, strap-on sandals or water shoes.

Kayaking Tips in Ocean City | NJ Kayaking Tips

Select a Boat Appropriate for Your Kayaking Experience

Fin-atics offers high-quality vessels of different sizes, including one-, two- or three-person sea kayaks that average 14’ to 17’ ‘in length. And the differentiation is for a good reason. It’s way more fun if you have a decent boat for what you’re doing.

Know How to Rescue Yourself and Others

Fin-atics staff members provide safety and rescue gear like life vests, pumps (in case the kayak fills with water) and inflatable paddle floats, which allow a kayaker to re-enter the boat after a capsize by creating a stabilizing outrigger.

Go to The Pros

Before you go kayaking, find a good local outfitter with a certified instructor who can give you a lesson. An instructor will teach you the basics, but also will get you in the right type and the right size kayak. Sea kayaks tend to be less tippy than shorter whitewater kayaks, for example, so they’re often the best type for beginners. You’ll want the seat and foot pegs adjusted to fit you, along with your all-important PFD (personal flotation device).

Kayaking Tips in Ocean City | NJ Kayaking Tips

Don’t Push Yourself

Kayaking is like anything you do for the first time: You need to be honest about what you’re capable of. So go easy at first, and concentrate on learning the technique. When you get the technique down—which isn’t difficult to do—you can paddle along almost effortlessly. You don’t need to be in great shape to do it, by any means.

For more helpful kayaking tips as well as kayak rental, fishing tackle, bait, and other fishing equipment, check out Fin-atics. Serving the South NJ area, this fishing tackle store offers quality supplies both in their Ocean City NJ store and online at good prices. Contact them at (609) 398-2248 or visit the website.

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Rod & Reel Combo or Separate?

Ocean City NJ Fishing Rod and ReelShould I buy Fishing Rod and Reel Combo or should I buy them Separately?” That is a very common question among many who enjoy fishing. Many professional fishermen will give you a variety answers. To figure out what is best for you, you must narrow down the type of fishing you are going to do.

Jersey Shore Rod & Reel Combos

For fly fishing, buying a combo is usually the best way to go about it because they are specialized. If you fish casually as a hobby, you can usually find packaged deals at tackle shops that will be able to meet all of your fishing needs. If you are an avid fisherman and have a variety of fishing spots and techniques, you may want to buy the rod and reel separately so that you can move your reel to different rods that are more suited for what’s on your fishing agenda. 

While many fishing tackle shops will be honest and try to help you get exactly what you need, some may just be after your money. They may try to pitch something to you that you really don’t need. Do your research, and walk into a shop with an idea of what you want. For non-weighted opinions, go around to your local fishing spots and ask experienced fishermen what they would recommend.

Fin-atics offers a wide assortment of fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing line, and any other fishing accessory you may need both in store and online. Come check out the best Jersey Shore bait and tackle shop!

Choosing the Right Fishing Line Strength

Ocean City NJ Fishing GearDifferent fishing line strengths serve different purposes. Ideal strength depends on you rod, reel, and the fish you are trying to catch. Wrong strength can cause difficulty with casting and landing a hooked fish, so choosing the right one is important. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Find out the line capacity of your reel. if you can’t find it on your reel, just google the model. it’ll be marked with the amount of yards your reel can hold and the lbs test line. 

 

  • 2-4lb test is good for fishing off the shore or a dock.  The fish you catch from these areas are generally smaller, and you will need a light line to be able to see their nibbles. A 2- to 4-lb. line will almost always be strong enough to land these smaller fish.

 

  • 12lb test line works for most freshwater species in larger rivers or lakes. Line of this strength is small enough to notice an 8lb fish nibbling at his bait, but is also strong enough to reel in a 15- or 16-lb. fish that puts up a decent fight.

 

  • 15lb test line is usually good for species like largemouth bass, which you may have to drag out of thick aquatic plants. A weaker fishing line could probably land one in open water, but you need extra strength in case the line gets caught in plants.

 

  • Very strong 30lb test or stronger fishing line is good for ice or deep-sea fishing. The majority of fish caught in those areas are much larger than those caught in freshwater. 

Fin-atics offers a wide assortment of fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing line, and any other fishing accessory you may need both in store and online. Come check out the best Jersey Shore bait and tackle shop.

Choosing Your Fishing Reel

Ocean City NJ Fishing ReelsWith all of the different kinds of fishing reels out there, it may seem like choosing the one for you is impossible. Below is some helpful information on types and uses of fishing reels:

Types of fishing reels:

There are two main types of fishing reals. The spin real, also known as a threadline, eggbeater or coffee-grinder reel. An ‘overhead reel’ refers to a collective including several types of reels that might otherwise be known as a conventional, game, trolling, barrel, baitcaster and low-profile reels.

Strength, maximum drag capacity and line capacity were once the determining factors that made overhead reels the choice of ‘serious’ anglers, simply because early spin reel designs couldn’t match the overhead designs. Modern spin reels can now equal—and in some cases exceed—the capabilities of overhead reels. This makes the choice of which reel is better for you less clear, so we’ll take a look at the options relative to the intended purpose:

Bait Fishing:

Either a spin or overhead reel is fine for everyday bait fishing, where you’re casting your baits from shore or a boat, so let your personal preference decide. It is recommended for beginners start with a spin reel because they are simple to use and will do everything you need. As you develop more specific fishing styles that might benefit from an overhead reel, then you can add to your tackle then.

Trolling:

Overhead reels are the best choice for trolling, whether you’re targeting marlin offshore with game reels or seeking barra or cod in rivers using baitcaster reels. This is simply because the shapes and designs better suit being left in rod holders.

Casting:

There are good casting reel options in both spin and overhead reels. Spin reels are easier to cast with. However, casting with an overhead reel can be mastered, it just takes a bit more practice at the start. Spin reels are better at casting lighter weights. An overhead reel generally requires more momentum so heavier weights make in easier to cast. The spin reel’s ‘freer line’ advantage diminishes as the lure or sinker weights increase because with more weight comes more momentum, regardless of which reel type is used.

Bottom fishing and jigging:

Overhead reels are a better option for boat fishing scenarios such as when you’re dropping baits or heavy lures to the bottom and fishing vertically. The immediate line contact and spool control are advantageous when your lure or bait hooks a fish on the drop. Line capacities are usually ample for fishing deep water. More robust parts and fewer small parts are better for longevity in a harsh saltwater environment and bigger gears designed for more torque tend to last longer as well. The line running over the top of the rod is also useful during fights with big fish because it reduces the chance of the line accidentally coming in to contact with the gunwales when a fish has you bending over the side in a rough sea, which could cost you a fish in a moment of distraction.

All that said, strong modern spin reels now hold their own offshore. Some offshore anglers prefer this style because of the extra lure speed they can make when needed, and because a big spin reel offers more versatility should the angler encounter a scenario where a long cast could secure a bonus fish spotted feeding on the surface.

Extra Tips:

If you intend fishing saltwater, check that the reel is suitable for this purpose. Some reels imported into Australia are specialist reels developed for freshwater-centric markets in other countries.If you intend fishing with a heavy drag setting, check the body, reel seat, handle and bail arm assembly for flex by gently squeezing and moving the parts with your hands. Too much flex might cost you a fish and might be an indication the reel is not up to the torture you have planned for it.It’s worth checking that the reel you’re planning to purchase will actually fit into the reel seat fitting on the rod you plan to match it with. It’s only rare that they won’t fit together, but check, just in case. Whichever reel you choose, remember it has a lot of interconnecting moving parts that operate in harsh conditions and at times under extreme pressure. The more you look after it, the better its chance of having a long and reliable life.

Fin-atics carries a wide assortment of fishing reels and any other fishing accessory both in store and online.

Choosing Waders

Ocean City NJ WadersAre you searching for a new pair of waders? Maybe yours don’t fit, are leaking at the seams, or aren’t keeping you warm enough. Or maybe you don’t even have a pair yet. Regardless, here are some things you should consider when buying waders:

 

  • What are you going to use the waders for?

Are you buying the waders just for fishing or do you plan to wear them when you hunt ducks and geese?  If you fish more than you hunt, then the type, thickness and color of the wader should be considered when compared with the type of fishing you normally do. The same is true if you hunt more days than you fish.

 

  • What water temperatures will you be fishing in?

Colder temperatures mean thicker and insulated waders to keep you warm, which generally cost more.

 

  • What kind of material should You choose?

There are several different types of materials that you can select from when choosing your waders. This is the time that you really want to consider what you will be using the waders for and how often.

  1. Neoprene is probably the most popular wader material and for many good reasons. It is very durable and you get to chooses the thickness. In colder temperatures, thicker waders are recommended.
  2.  There are also breathable waders that are constructed from a permeable membrane such as Gore-Tex®, which allows moisture to escape through the wader even while in the water. They are versatile and can be used in both summer and winter months.
  3. Canvas waders are another choice. Although you lose more flexibility and they are heavier, the less expensive price can make them good for beginners.
  4. Nylon waders are also great choice for beginner fly fishermen. They’re a slight step up from the rubber waders that most beginners start out with, are lightweight, and will keep you dry and warm. One disadvantage of nylon waders is that they can be hot, and because they are not breathable, it can cause a problem in the colder months when sweat builds up causing the fisherman’s clothes to become damp or wet. Not only will this cause discomfort, it could lead to hypothermia if the angler should become too cold.

A wading belt is always recommended.

Wader Fitting

If your waders do not fit right not only will you be uncomfortable, but also you will find that you will tire much easier, which could lead to a potential wading mishap. Improper fitting waders can also restrict your range of motion while climbing over rocks or getting in and out of a boat, all of which could also contribute to a wading mishap or fall that could cause personal or equipment damage. If you’re ordering online, email the owner of the site and give them your height, weight and shoe size and they should be able to fit you that way. If you purchase from a fly shop or sporting goods store, take the time to try them on. Do a couple of knee bends and walk around a little bit. See if you can put a foot up on a stool. This way you will know for sure that they are the right fit.

Fin-atics offers waders and accessories both online and in store as well as anything else for your fishing needs.

 

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Picking Terminal Tackle

Ocean City NJ Fishing TackleHooks, jig heads, weights, floats, and leader materials make up terminal tackle. It is highly recommended to carry a wide variety of hooks in your tackle box for any kind of catch. Multiple sizes of circle and “j” hooks from #1 through 8/0 will do the trick. Go with some smaller sizes i.e. #1 or 1/0 or sheepshead and snapper and then change to 2/0 – 4/0 for larger species like snook and redfish. When chasing tarpon I use 7/0 or 8/0. Using mostly circle hooks for most of your fishing needs is helpful because of the ease on the fish and the angler. They take all the guesswork from the hook set. It’s also good to use weighted screw in type hooks for my soft plastics, so you will want some of those as well. 1/16 oz-3/8 oz will be fine. Switching to jig heads again variety seems to be best. 1/16 oz – 1 oz depending on the application will cover all your bases. Don’t get too caught up in colors, but some variation may be beneficial. Weights come in all shapes and sizes and a little of each would suit your needs. Some pinch on’s for easy on and easy off are great. Egg sinkers work best for deeper water and knocker rig application and therefore should be a part of your tackle. You can sometimes use worm weights for soft plastics, so add a few sizes. Floats are used for many applications, but a few need mentioned. Popping corks should be a staple item in every tackle bag, just make sure and get the ones with the titanium shaft; they won’t get all bent up after a few fish. Also go with the ones that have a concave front as opposed to oval, they make more noise in the water which will lead to more strikes. It’s good to have a variety of other common floats when using live bait around mangroves or over the grass flats. Use the weighted floats, you will get further casts. Finally, let’s take a look at leader material. Fluorocarbon has been the big deal for quite some time and is recommended by many avid anglers. Have a few different strengths; 15lb-30 for smaller species and 70-100 for larger. You can cut pre-length leaders and put them in zip lock bags, it will save you time later.

Fin-Atics.com offers a huge variety of terminal tackle both in store and online in the Jersey Shore area. Feel free to contact us regarding any questions you may have.

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Choosing Your Hooks for Saltwater Fishing

Ocean City Fishing TackleChoosing a hook for saltwater fishing isn’t always the easiest. When it comes to choosing the size and shape of your hook, there are some important things to know. There are a wide variety of hooks for every fishing style, so it’s likely to be an ongoing learning process as you change your fishing techniques and types of fish.

You can use a small hook to catch a wide variety of fish. For example, a number five size hook can catch fish from a quarter pound to 25 pounds. However, angling and landing that number 25 fish, when using a small number five hook, requires careful and expert angling, or landing with a net.

Choose brand name hooks that are well known and proven to be of great quality. There are also many of other name brand hooks that work even better than Eagle Claw and Mustad. Ask your fellow fishermen what they use. Retailers often push what they either make the most profit from or they are trying to push overstocked items.

Different lengths have different purposes. Short shank hooks are good for their strength and long shank hooks are easier to remove. The short shank hook, by design, is more durable and will not straighten out or break easily. In areas with many coral heads or a drop off, use a strong, short shank hook, heavier lines, and always keep the line taut with the fish on. Instead of forcing the landing of a fish in these conditions, an alternative is to let a big, strong fish tire itself in the deeper water and reel it in in the shallow, line breaking area, after it is no longer putting up a hard fight.

If you are in the Cape May County NJ area and are looking for great quality fishing hooks, bait, or other tackle, come check out Fin-atics in Ocean City NJ! You can also check us out at our website.

Using Fishing Lures

Ocean City Fishing LuresAlthough live fishing bait is among the most popular and effective ways to catch fish, fishing lures can be equally or even more effective. There are countless different types of fishing lures that come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and buoyancies. Different types are used for catching different fish. Using fishing lures is a little bit different than live bait. It requires more skill and practice because you’ve got to reenact the movement of live bait to make your lure seem like an appealing meal to your target. Also, some lures are made to sink while others are made to float or stay at a certain depth under the water.

At Fin-atics, we offer a giant assortment of fishing lures for any of your fishing needs. Located in Ocean City, we serve towns in the Cape May County and Ocean County area. For more information, call us today at (866)224-2248 or visit our website at fin-atics.com.

Tautog Fishing In Ocean City

Ocean City Bait and TackleTautog now join the other species we are allowed to target, Tautog 15 inches: 4 fish Jan. 1 – Feb. 28, 4 fish Apr. 1 – Apr. 30, 1 fish Jul. 17 – Nov. 15, 6 fish Nov. 16 – Dec. 31. They will be found close to structure such as jetties, piers, docks, pilings and of course wrecks and artificial reefs. Just drop down a small green crab or piece of clam next to the structure and be ready for a quite bite.

Fluke are starting to move toward the inlets as they make their way offshore. Fish near the inlets in deeper water with larger baits like the Gulp! 5” Swim Mullet with a heavier bucktail in the 2-3oz range. This will get you down into the depths were the bigger fluke hide. Get out and Fish!

Fishing in Cape May County

Ocean City Bait and tackleThe Kingfish and Spot have finally started biting off the beach.  A small piece of Bloodworm or Fishbites Bag O’ Worms will do the trick on a Kingfish or Sabiki Rig.  Also showing up in the surf, in good numbers are Summer Flounder as they have been moving out from the bay.  Try for them using a Spro Bucktail with with a strip of Squid, Mackerel or better yet a Berkley Gulp! 4” Swim Mullet.  Don’t cast to far, you will find them between the waves and the beach in shallow water.