Drop the line, catch the fish.
Not so fast.
Without the proper equipment, you won’t have the best experience … nor will you get fish.
At Vero Tackle & Watersports, we know more than a thing or two about fishing. Our roots date back to the 1930s, and the Indian River is our backyard. We’ve been on boats since young tots, and you can say fishing is in our national pastime. Consider us your guide not just for water sports, but also for fishing equipment.
And while fishing is about the sport, it’s also about bonding, relaxing, the thrill of the catch, and time shared, or time alone.
But first, let’s get back to basics, to know what’s what, and why.
Our Vero Tackle and Marina Shop is staffed with fishing experts and enthusiasts to help you get started. Below is a summary of what you’ll need, but we always look forward to welcoming you to our live bait and tackle shop. We issue fishing licenses if you’re on your own boat, but if you take one of our fishing charters, the license is included.
Rod, reel and extra line
The Indian River is saltwater, with areas of brackish water (where the salt water comes in through inlets from the Atlantic Ocean and meets the fresh water, which also makes for a pretty awesome marine ecosystem).
The rods and reels should be appropriate for saltwater fishing on the Inidan River Lagoon, specifically for the type of fish you’ll find here pending the season. Some fish you could catch near Vero Beach are snook, trout, redfish, tarpon, snapper, pompano, and flounder.
Rods come in a variety of materials and sizes. A 7’6″ Medium, Medium-Heavy or Heavy work best on the Indian River Lagoon. Typically, 9′ and taller work best on the beach. Our go to brands are Star Rods or Daiwa for beach or inshore fishing.
The reel will wind your line and bring in your catch. We’ve found spinning reels work best at the beach and Indian River Lagoon. It’s also a good idea to use a sealed reel for saltwater.
Our tackle shop in Vero Beach sells high quality equipment from Daiwa, Star, Crowder and Shimano. Come in and try a rod and reel in your hands to get a feel for what is right for you.
Fishing line needed will vary depending on what you’re targeting, and where you’re fishing. We offer line spooling for 8lb – 50lb braid or mono line. Braid is best because it’s much thinner than mono, so you can add more line. It’s also more expensive. It’s best come in to the shop to talk fish stories and discuss what’s best for your fishing adventure.
A tackle box is a good idea. Why? It keeps all your fishing gear in one place and easily accessible. Better than a plastic or cardboard box, a tackle box will be your trusty friend. Just like most folks keep a small tool box in their vehicles, a tackle box will serve the same purpose. It has what you need when you need it.
Tackle boxes range from less than $15 for casual use, or up to hundreds of dollars. But remember, the point of fishing it to enjoy the experience. Get on the water first, try out equipment, and you can always upgrade later. Our goal at Vero Tackle and Watersports is for you to have a positive experience so you’ll want to enjoy the sport again and again.
Bait, lures and hooks
By now the excitement of your fishing trip is building!
You’ve decided upon your equipment, now we’re getting closer to actually catching the fish. And to do that you need bait, lures and hooks.
And there are a myriad of options!
Bait is usually live shrimp, and they will attract hungry fish. Some anglers use live fish like mullet or croakers. This requires the use of a cast net to catch your bait before you get to fish. We’ll have more about cast nets in another article.
Lures are artificial bait, usually colorful and sized to resemble smaller feeder fish. It’s a good idea to keep some lures in your tackle box in case you run out of live bait. When selecting lures, keep in mind the time of day and season you’ll be fishing. For example, light-colored lures are good for bright days while dark-colored lures are better suited for cloudy days.
Clothing, hat, sunblock, sunglasses, waterproof bag for your mobile phone
Make sure to pack these essentials to keep you comfortable on your fishing trip. Even those of us who are seasoned professionals have been burned (literally) when we’ve forgotten to put on sunblock, or didn’t wear sun-protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.
We recommend looking at long-sleeved, dry-fit type clothing that is lightweight, breathable, but also covers. Hats and sunglasses are a must as well, for optimal protection. These items are a minimal investment; no need to spend a lot on high-end brands, just look for a generous SPF rating, and for sunglasses, we recommend UVA and UVB protection. The reflection off the water is much more brilliant, so it’s important to protect your vision.
You’ll also want to include nets and buckets, a cooler and ice for your fish, so they stay fresh until returning to land.
And one more item …