You need to understand the different types of sea fishing before you start learning how to sea fish. For a simple rule of thumb we can place sea fish into two simple types, Round and Flat fish, there it couldn’t be easier!!!
Round and Flat fish
Round Sea fish generally live in the Pelagic zone (from the surface down) and flat fish live in the Benthic zone (the sea bed into the substrate). So if you are sea fishing for flat fish you will want to get your bait on the bottom and round sea fish can be caught on the bottom up to the surface.
Cartilaginous Sea Fish
But sadly it’s not quite a simple as that to truly classify marine fish. Sharks, ray, skate are all cartilaginous sea fish meaning they do not have a traditional skeleton and they need to be handled with real care when on dry land. Support their bodies and don’t hold them head or tail down as this will damage their internal organs. The snouts on these creatures are also very sensitive, packed full of nerve endings. Due to the fact they do not have any bone marrow; red blood cells in these animals are produced in the spleen, gonads and Leydig’s organ (not found in all cartilaginous fish). Many of these species will also give birth to live young, another reason for gentle handling, very important when leaning how to sea fish.
The others: Bass, Mackerel, Plaice etc have a more traditional skeleton and breed in a more typical way. However, Plaice for example start life looking like a round fish and as they quickly mature their eyes move around their heads and they take the familiar look of a flattie!
There are many thousands of species of Marine fish which have adapted to living in differing environments. Some like the many species of Wrasse have developed powerful jaws and teeth to rasp molluscs of their hold fasts. Pelagic predators including: Bass, Mackerel, Pollock and Cod are streamlined for speed and surprise attacks, and they have very large mouths easily engulfing their prey. Most of the flat fish use camouflage to spring a surprise attack on their victim, hiding partly covered in the substrate. Mullet have adopted a flat head with an almost upward pointing mouth designed to sip things out of the surface layer. These factors are very important considerations to the angler as it will dictate the methods required to catch these fish, and show opportunities not well explored by some anglers.