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Getting Started - Ocean Fishing in Los Angeles

Fishing is a great sport that gives us a good excuse to stay close to the nature and enjoy the beautiful environment. The fresh air and rich oxygen from the ocean releases our stress from modern daily life and pacifies our minds. Fish are beautiful lively creatures, besides being nutritious and providing us a good meal. Fishing inspires studying of cooking, caring for the environment, teaching of handling life respectively, and building up manly characters. Also, it is one of the activities may be practiced alone without breaking the social etiquette.

Getting started fishing in Los Angeles is easy - no fishing license is required on the public piers at the ocean. Fishing gears can be inexpensive for starters, with as low as $50 for the basic setup. Head to the ocean and visit a pier close to you. Rent a rod at the pier and you are on the way to your first fishing experience!

Stay Safe!

Being small of sharp, hooks are dangerous and need to be handled carefully when you are walking with the rod. Always look back before you cast, making sure the hook will not reach other people, birds, or hooking into power line or trees nearby. Wear glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes. Study these safety tips before going fishing:

Use a Spinning reel

Spinning reel is very common in saltwater fishing. Using a spinning reel is no more than pinch-holding the line with one finger, opening the bail, casting out and releasing your finger on the line, and closing the bail.

Rent on A Rod

Despite being fun for many people, fishing may not be the right sport for everyone. Before investing too much on equipments, you might want to rent a rod and test your feeling about this sport. Pay a visit at Santa Monica pier. The near parking structure of Santa Monica Place costs $1.25 within two and a half hours.

Walk to the end of the pier and visit the Bait and Tackle shop. Renting a rod for 1 hour there cost $4 (as in 2017). Your first taste of fishing needs no more than 1 hour.

The bait at the shop cost $5 for a pack of shrimps or anchovies. If you are lucky, the shop may give you free bait. You may bring one raw shrimp yourself to save money, or event better - ask for small baits from the other fishermen, or simply pick up leftover baits on the fishing deck.

The ocean is below your feet. There’s no need to cast far. Drop your line and you are fishing! Study the rod, the reel, how big the sinker is, the size of the hook, and the thickness of the line, so you have an idea when you are buying your own gear.

Buy Rod & Reel

For a beginner fisherman, buying a rod & reel combo saves lots of money. Typically costs around $50 to copy the gears from your first rental fishing trip (priced as in 2018). You might find good deals at Walmart and Amazon. Heavy or medium rods are necessary to fish at the ocean. Shakespeare Ugly stik is a classic and a durable rod for beginner fishermen. The rod & reel combo costs $40 to $50, but the price may reach as low as $30 during Black Friday sales.

Make sure to pick the size of rod that fits your car. A 7-feet rod can stay in cars with longer body type like Prius, while a typical sedan can only carry 2 piece rod.

Setup your Gears

Some rod & reel combo may not come with line spooled. Spooling a spinning reel is easy to learn - simply tie a loop on the reel and rotate the handle until it is filled with lines.

8-pound test monofilament line should handle most of the fish on the pier.

1-ounce sinkers are typical and easy to cast, though 2-ounce sinkers stay better at windy days.

High-low rig with 1 or 2 hooks is good for ocean fishing for beginner

Purchase Baits

The common bait for saltwater fishing are squid and shrimp. They are commonly available in Asian and Mexican supermarket. Though squid stays better on the hook and less expensive ($2-$3 per pound), shrimp always triggers instant bite if fish is around ($3-$7 per pound). Take 2-3 shrimps or 1-2 small squids with you at a time. A quarter pound of fresh baits less than $1 last many trips (priced as in 2018). Refridge the bait properly to preserve the freshness:

Fishing Time!

Once having all the gear setup, it is time to head to the pier again, have fun and learn from other fishermen. You may want to target Mackerel for your first fish, since they are the most common fish to catch on the pier, abundant, safe to eat and having no legal limit.

Study the fishing regulations and get better at fishing. Simply release fish that you cannot identify to save the hassle. Refer to Califorina Ocean Fishing Cheat Sheet as a guide.

After you are confident at catching fish and would like to fish at places beyond piers, buy your fishing license online or from Walmart. Step up to fish at beach, jetty, charter boat, and you are now a fisherman.