The decision to fish in fresh water such as rivers and lakes or to fish the open sea will bring about unique challenges to any angler. Similarities will be present, such as the need for patience and the struggle when landing the catch. The law is another concern, as many states require a license to fish.
So, you've given it some thought and made sure you have the legal right to fish in the ocean, where should you go from here? The first thing would be to look into getting a fishing boat. Anything from the simplest row boat to a full-sized yacht will do the trick, depending on how many people you expect to take with you.
Something like a fifteen foot sailboat with a simple shelter for bad weather would be ideal. It should be rather sturdy to keep it from rocking too hard with large waves, and strong enough to withstand hitting the occasional rock, but it should not be too heavy.
A good strategy for starting off is to go along the perimeter of the coast, rather than venturing into the open waters. Any fish you scare off while doing this, will most likely head to the deeper, open area. After the sides, you can head to the wide open space, and have a greater chance at catching the fish by surprise.
If you are hoping to land fish in the deeper waters, you'll definitely want a cod-line or a perch-line. Of course, if you are hoping to bring home some mackerel, a mackerel jig is simply a necessity. Always consider your prey and plan accordingly to make sure you have the proper equipment with you.
The ebb tide is always the time to begin fishing in salt water. It is usually in the early morning, giving you the chance at having a real productive day. If the tide is in your favor, (haha,) there will be just a slight breeze and you will be heading home with your catch before too long.
You would do well to keep an ear out for the hot spots by visiting the well known local areas where people fish. Impatient anglers tend to move around too much, before giving any spot a fair chance to yield results. Always cast a couple times, and use different bait, to make sure you aren't missing any fish before moving on. Always go from shallow water to deeper water to increase your chances of getting a bite.
Sharks make for a unique challenge in salt water fishing. To keep them from disrupting your catch, you can soak a paper towel or newspaper with fish blood, ball it up and toss it into the water. Sharks will follow the scent as the decoy follows the current, giving you a break to catch fish without problem.
With the right preparation, good weather and skill, salt water fishing can yield you bigger, tastier catches than fresh water. Just make sure you take the proper precautions and have a safe, relaxing time on the open sea.