Deep-sea fishing is a great way to put yourself in a position to hook into some really big catches. Before you leave the dock, there are several things you should do to prepare for your trip to make the most out of your time on your fishing boat. To help you out, Boatline is sharing 9 tips for deep-sea fishing from your boat.
1. Decide What You Want To Catch
Make sure to determine the fish you want to catch beforehand, since certain fish tend to respond better to specific baits. Fishing methods, such as trolling or deep dropping, can also influence what you will catch and the equipment you’ll want to take with you. Additionally, different kinds of fish inhabit particular locations throughout the year. For this reason, it’s a good idea to research what will be running in the area during the time you want to visit.
2. Consult Local Experts
If you plan to navigate waters that are unfamiliar to you, ask around at the bait and tackle shops or the local watering holes. Talking with the locals could help you learn what fish are running, where people have had the best luck and more helpful information. Chances are good you’ll find someone who can point you in the right direction.
3. Familiarize Yourself With Fishing Regulations
When deep-sea fishing from a for-hire charter vessel, anglers are not required to have a fishing license. This is because the vessel has the permit for you and everyone else on the boat. However, if you’re fishing from a private vessel or a friend’s boat, you’ll need to acquire a state fishing license.
Ultimately, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the regulations for fishing in state waters versus federal waters.
4. Check The Weather
Venturing out to the deep sea takes a while, and weather conditions can change along the way – especially if you leave early in the morning when the temperature is lower. Be sure to pack for cold, warm, windy, and rainy conditions. You may want to pack additional layers, in case something you’re wearing gets wet along the way. Also, be sure to consider the risk of inclement weather. If it sounds like it’s going to be rough out there, you may want to postpone your trip.
5. Put Technology On Your Side
Using a fish-finder can help you determine the depth of water, if fish are schooling, and what the seabed looks like. It can also help you locate reefs and shipwrecks that are generally good places for big fish to hang out because of the abundance of food fish.
6. Pack For Convenience
Be sure to bring any useful supplies or accessories for your boat. Again, this can depend on the location you’re sailing to, or even the weather. During the summer, you may need sunscreen, protective clothing, and sunglasses. Even if it’s cloudy, you can get a pretty good sunburn out on the water, and so it’s best to stock your boat with items like this.
7. Bring Food and Water
You can pretty much expect your excursion is going to take a full day, if not a good part of it. That means you should have everything you need to stay hydrated and calorically balanced, since you won’t be passing any dockside conveniences along the way. You should be sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner along the way regardless of the boat you’re on. However, many overnight fishing boats have kitchens or cooking stations, which makes them a great choice for deep sea fishing.
8. Have A Safety Kit
Remember to carry a first aid kit in a waterproof case so you are prepared for any potential accidents. Even seasoned boaters can experience seasickness when out in the deeper waters, so it could help pack something to prevent motion sickness. There are a variety of options you could consider, including medication-free bracelets or even ginger candy or gum.
9. Stay Focused
If you find yourself getting queasy out on the water, keep your eye on the horizon. Even if there is no land to focus on, watching the line where the water meets the sky gives your brain a chance to adjust to the motion. It is best to avoid breathing exhaust fumes, if possible, as that can exacerbate the problem.
Doing your research ahead of time could make a big difference in the success of your deep sea fishing adventures. If you are ready to find a new or used boat, search the nationwide marketplace on Boatline.com.
By Barrett Baker
*Disclaimer: Fishing license and boating license laws vary by state. Do plenty of research before planning your next deep-sea fishing excursion.