I'm starting to fish more saltwater myself. I have two setups now and have been experimenting with different baits.
Fished serenity park in McKinney today. Ended up catching 3. Biggest was 2.6 lbs.
Nice fish from Serenity. I've caught smaller bass there but nothing of any size.
As far as saltwater gear goes, bass gear works fine as long as you take care of it and don't bite off more than you can chew. i.e., If you hook into a 30 pound jack crevalle with your bass tackle, good luck because it probably isn't going to end well. Basically, with your reel, don't dunk it in water (I was guilty of this last weekend), rinse it off with freshwater after use and occasionally get it cleaned by someone who knows what they are doing. I use KVS here on the forums, who takes my reels apart and cleans them when needed. At $15 per reel, it is well worth it to keep them in tip top shape (there is no way I could take them fully apart and put them back together with all those tiny parts). Eventually I would like to get a dedicated inshore casting reel, but my Lews have never let me down so I am not in too much of a rush.