New to Deep Sea Fishing? 4 Ways to Prepare for Your Next Trip
You and your family thoroughly enjoyed your most recent fishing trip. You taught your kids a few basic techniques at your closest lake, pond or stream, and you took plenty of photos of your biggest catch.
Now you and your family want to expand your horizons and explore deeper waters. You’ve always wanted to try deep sea fishing, and you’ve found a rental boat big enough to bring your family as well as a few of your friends.
But before you turn on the engine and strap on your life jackets, make sure you’ve performed each of the following steps.
1. Choose the Right Rod and Tackle
While a hook tied to a piece of string may work well when you teach your kids to catch minnows, you’ll need sturdier equipment for deep sea fish. Tuna, marlin and sailfish can easily weigh hundreds of kilograms and will often snap the typical fishing rod.
In general, you’ll need heavy-duty poles ranging from 1.5 metres to 4.5 metres. Depending on the trophy fish you want to catch, the reels should pass a 25-kilogram test, though 35- to 45-kilogram lines may be necessary.
Don’t forget to balance your deep sea rod as well. If your rig feels top-heavy, you may need to add weight to your rod to reduce muscle strain.
2. Wear Appropriate Clothing
When you fish from the sea, you don’t have the opportunity to grab a jumper the moment the weather turns sour. And you won’t have any trees, mountains or other landmarks to protect you from the sun and wind. You could experience uncomfortable glaring heat or bitter icy cold, sometimes in the same day.
To prepare for a variety of conditions, choose layered clothing that you can easily take on or off as needed. For example, you may want to wear pants that unzip at the knee to become shorts. If you anticipate a lot of wind, opt for a long-sleeved shirt that fits snugly under a wind breaker or water-proof jacket.
Don’t forget to wear non-slip shoes (or deck boots, if you have them), and avoid sandals.
3. Learn the Signs of the Sea
If you think that a school of tuna or a frenzy of sharks will swim up to your boat and let you pluck them out of the water, think again. Deep sea fishing requires a lot of patience, and you need to read the signs of the sea to catch anything at all.
For example, if you see seagulls or other waterfowl diving for bait-type fish, you can anticipate that larger game awaits just below the surface. Or if you observe a pod of dolphins, you can usually bet that yellowfin tuna feed nearby.
Read as much as you can on the game you plan to catch. You may discover that certain species prefer different types of bait or that approaching storms could improve fishing for a time while receding storms bring fishing to a standstill.
4. Bring Additional Entertainment and Food
Although you may feel thrilled at the idea of catching large game, you may also feel a little bored as you wait for fish to bite. On some deep sea trips, you might not catch a single fish, even if you come fully prepared.
When you or your children sit in a boat for hours on end, some may start to feel antsy, frustrated or depressed. To make the time pass a little faster, don’t forget to bring some extra entertainment and snacks. Books, card games, art supplies and small toys can keep your family occupied while sandwiches and crackers can keep you full with minimal preparation.
Think twice before you bring any electronics with you. While your iPad or digital camera may have a waterproof case, you wouldn’t want to accidentally drop either of them overboard.
Need More Advice?
While these tips will help you prepare for your upcoming trip, you may need a few more details to feel comfortable on the open ocean. For expert advice and inside tips, ask any of our crew about the best fishing hotspots and read our blog regularly.