Deep-sea fishing can be a thrilling and exhilarating experience. However, for a beginner, it can be challenging and brutal as it is very different from other types of fishing. It demands more physically and mentally from people. Once you have experienced deep-sea fishing, you will always want to go for one.
Here are 10 tips that will prepare you for an unforgettable offshore fishing experience.
Deep Sea Fishing Tips for Beginners
1. The Right Boat Matters
It goes without saying that you need a boat that is designed for offshore fishing. Make sure you choose the right boat, one that can withstand large waves and harsh weather conditions. In case your trip extends for more than a day, the boat should be large so that you can sit and sleep comfortably during your trip. A smaller boat is fine for a few hours. Make sure that the boat is safe and well-maintained, and has safety equipment.
2. Get the Right Equipment
Fishing rods for offshore and deep-sea fishing are larger than traditional rods and are usually made from graphite. These rods should have fishing reels with high cranking torque. So, invest in affordable but high-quality fishing rods and reels designed for this purpose. In addition, you also need other equipment, such as a off shore fish finder, nautical maps, and GPS systems. Usually, offshore fishing boats are equipped with navigational equipment and devices so you should not worry. Also, ensure that you bring along comfortable fishing seats, fishing rod holders, and even a portable grill if you want to cook your catch and savor it.
Related article: Review of the top deep sea fishing reels
3. Bring Along the Right Gear
Besides your fishing rods, reels, seat, and rod holders, you need other gear so that you are comfortable during your trip. The first is to dress appropriately for the trip. Wear clothes that work with water. In summer, you can wear cotton but in winter, you may want thermals that keep you warm and dry. Also, bring along a towel that you can dry yourself with. It is best to bring layers as once the sun sets, you will want to stay cozy and warm. Think of carrying blankets, sweatshirts, and sweatpants.
4. Stay Hydrated
When you are out in the open sea, your body will lose water. Hence, it is important to drink sufficient water so that your lips do not crack and your skin does not dry up due to the salt. The water reflects the sun and that will make you hotter than what you would feel when you are on land. If you lose too much body fluids, you will begin to feel seasick. If necessary, carry water with you. You will be grateful for it.
5. Get Knowledgeable of the Legal Requirements
Offshore fishing is governed by several laws. Before you head out, ensure you educate yourself. Even if you choose a local charter company, it is advisable to get familiar with the local deep-sea fishing laws and will assist you to get the right permits. Knowing the law will let you figure out the type of fish to catch, where you catch the fish, and when you go fishing. Remember, there are stiff penalties if you infringe these laws and you cannot claim ignorance as a defense.
6. Select the Right Bait
Bait used for deep-sea fishing is very different from the bait used in shallow water fishing. You can choose live baits, like mackerels, shrimp, and minnows. In case you are looking to catch big fish like sharks, opt for oily and chunky pieces of bait. The choice of bait will always depend on the fish you want to catch and that is something a local charter company or guide can help you with.
7. Don’t Forget Artificial Lures
While you have the option of using just live bait, you should also experiment with artificial lures. You will be pleasantly surprised at the results. You will be able to find lures of all shapes and sizes and many are designed for deep-sea fishing. You can easily drag an artificial bait behind the boat. This method of fishing is known as trolling and can be quite effective in catching marlin and tuna. It enables you to cover a larger area. Speak to a local to find out which artificial lures are the best for the area. That way, you can equip yourself before you head out.
8. Fish While Anchored
Trolling can be fun but make sure you get the boat captain to drop anchor. You will not be able to catch some species, like snapper and grouper, with trolling. They prefer still waters to venture near baits and lures. Also, when you drop anchor, you can sit on a chair and relax as you admire the vastness of the sea. This is also a good time to use your fish finder to measure the depth and experiment with different baits and lures to perfect deep-sea fishing.
9. Head to Reefs and Shipwrecks
If the area has reefs and shipwrecks, get the captain to guide the boat to them. Here, not only will you find a large number of small fish but you will also be able to catch for few predators who feed on these fish. As a beginner, fishing near reefs and shipwrecks will give you the confidence you need for offshore fishing as you will be quite successful.
10. Take Medication to Avoid Seasickness
If you have never gone into rough sea, you may suffer from seasickness. The good news is that you can avoid it by taking anti-seasickness pills. You can purchase OTC pills at an affordable price. In case you do not take medication, avoid eating and drinking too much. That will prevent you from throwing up. However, do stay hydrated during your trip. Focus on your fishing rather than your seasickness. It will help you find your sea legs sooner or later.
The Bottom Line
These are the top 10 tips that beginners can use for deep-sea fishing. You will find that these tips are very useful and you will not regret making use of them.
See also: Inshore vs Offshore – what is the difference?
Updated: August 13, 2021
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