Fishing in Brackish Water: Is It Possible?
When we think about fish as a species, we generally tend to classify them as just living in the water.
However, more specific than that, these amazing creatures are capable of living in a diverse range of environments than we realize, including arctic, frigid, and even brackish waters.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a coastal area, there’s a good chance you’ve considered the fishing spots located in brackish water before.
Brackish water, referring to areas where freshwater and saltwater combine, does have its advantages to the angler provided you do it right.
So, is brackish water fishing possible?
Yes, you can fish in most brackish water areas and there are many species of fish that thrive only in this specific type of water. Some freshwater fish are capable of living with a higher level of salinity in the water and are often found specifically in these areas.
To successfully fish in brackish water, you need to understand more about these waterways and the fish species that live in them.
With the basics of this type of water, what fish live there, and how to find the best spots, you can tap into these previously unexplored areas that might be close to where you live.
What Is Brackish Water?
Brackish water is a term used to describe an area with a mixture of both saltwater and freshwater.
The term comes from the Dutch word “brak” which means root.
These types of water conditions usually occur in coastal areas where freshwater rivers flow into the ocean or smaller bays, like estuaries.
Aquarium owners may even create a living environment for their fish which is brackish, as it’s the preferred environment for many species.
The result of the two types of water mixing is brackish water which has a reduced level of salinity compared to fishing in saltwater alone.
This means a large range of fish species will inhabit the area, with some species preferring this low level of salinity.
When fishing in brackish water, there’s no special equipment or techniques you need to know.
However, using additional methods like gauging the water temperature or using information from the tides to choose the best spot, or even fishing from a bridge or jetty, will likely increase your success.
The Types of Brackish Water Fish You Can Catch
Depending on the area you’re fishing in, you’ll likely find a pretty good selection of fish living in brackish waters.
These include a mixture of both freshwater and saltwater species that are able to survive in both of these conditions, which makes them perfect candidates for living in brackish waters.
The fish found in these waters will differ in each coastal state and country, but a general idea of species that thrive in brackish conditions include:
- Red Drum
- Channel catfish;
- Striped bass;
- Largemouth bass;
- Peacock bass;
There are literally hundreds of fish species that can thrive in this type of water.
For those in the wild, they might choose to only live part of their life in brackish water and the rest in the ocean or a freshwater body.
Others will spend their entire lives here as the low level of salinity is best for their health.
How to Find Brackish Water to Fish In
If you’re an angler and you want to test out brackish water fishing for yourself, you’ll need to choose the right location.
This isn’t always easy to do, especially if you live inland and generally fish only in bodies of fresh water.
Anyone living in a coastal area should be able to locate an ideal fishing spot with a little bit of research.
“Structure” is a term used for brackish water fishing and it refers to sand bars, rock bars, mudflats, channels, mangroves, and even man-made structures like canals and wharves.
Because fish are generally attracted to these types of things, you can focus your fishing spot on them and will hopefully have some luck.
Another important factor to consider is the quality of the water.
Fish will only want to live in healthy water where they are in comfortable levels of salinity, temperature, and purity.
Look for water that’s cool and with a slight tint of brown or green to it, and avoid anything that’s too clear as it can scare the fish off.
The most important thing to remember when fishing these waters is to keep an eye on the tide and plan ahead.
The movement of the tide plays a huge impact on where the fish will be located in brackish waters and it will largely affect when and where they feed.
Therefore, it’s not usually the type of fishing that you would do on a whim.
Fishing in brackish water can be an exciting new method to experience for an angler and provided you live in the right location, there should be plenty of spots to try.
We’ve answered some commonly asked questions regarding this type of water so you can learn the fundamentals of brackish fishing.
Does Rain Affect Saltwater Fishing?
The presence of rain can affect saltwater fishing, but not always a negative one.
Rain can sometimes scare away fish who crave higher levels of salinity, but for those that don’t, it could bring them to water discharge structures like pipes and spillways where the fresh rain causes conditions are brackish.
Is Brackish Water Fishing Legal?
In most areas, it’s completely legal to fish in brackish waters.
However, you should check with local and state regulations regarding specific areas it’s allowed as well as any size regulations that might be in place.