What to Expect When You Go Deep Sea Fishing

An in-depth guide on what to expect when you go deep sea fishing. What to Expect When You Go Deep Sea Fishing thegearhunt.com

For those who have never been on a charter deep sea fishing trip, you might be a bit nervous when it comes to what it all entails. This might be even more true if all you have ever done is freshwater fishing. Some of the questions that might be on your mind when you consider a trip of this nature might include things like:

  • What should you bring?
  • How is it different from fishing on the edge of a pond, lake, river, etc.?

In the following paragraphs, we will try to give you a better understanding of what you should expect when you book a trip of this nature. There really is nothing else like it.

What is Deep Sea Fishing?

The main things you need when you go deep sea fishing are deep water and a boat. The water needs to be a minimum of 30 meters deep and this type of fishing will occur farther away from shore than most of the other kinds of fishing. You can also call this type of fishing: offshore boat fishing, big game fishing, and sports fishing. Generally, when you are deep sea fishing, you will be trying to fish for the larger species of ocean fish. Fighting for these big game fish is quite an experience and a challenge for many true anglers.

Big game fish include things like tuna, marlins, sharks, and more, and are generally found in the deeper ocean waters as opposed to being nearer to the shore because there is more room for them there, as well as more prey. This means that deep sea fishing charter boats need to travel far out into the water, and sometimes even to where you will no longer be able to see any land.

Deep Sea Fishing – What to Expect

If you haven’t been deep sea fishing before, you might have only a vague idea of what a trip of this type will entail. Most of what you think you know may have come from TV shows or from movies. These can often be examples that aren’t the best and can even be a bit stressful. The thing is, most of the time, people just relax and have a good time. The best thing about deep sea fishing – and fishing in general – is that you never know what you might hook on the end of your line.

The very first thing that you need to do will be to introduce yourself to your captain and pay attention to and follow any instructions you are given. Remember that any instructions you will be given will not only be for your safety but for the safety of everyone on board. The captain might also instruct you as to where to stow your gear. Even if he doesn’t do this, try not to just put it on the deck. The deck can get more than a bit slippery and everyone on board will need room to move around without tripping over someone’s gear. Once the trip has gotten underway, the captain will talk to you again to give you a few more instructions as well as to let you know what you should expect for the day out on the water. This will vary depending on the weather and a few other factors. He will also let you know how you should rig up. Keep in mind that it can take as long as an hour to reach your destination where you will spend the day fishing, so attempt to relax and enjoy the ride to where ever that spot might be.

Once you reach the location where you will be fishing, you will need to wait until the captain tells you that it is ok for you to drop your lines once you have found a spot on the rails. Never take your bait out – especially if it is live – until you are actually ready to get started fishing. If you bait your hook too early, you won’t be able to attract a fish to bite. Also, you should check on your bait often to ensure that it is still alive.

When your amazing day of fishing has ended, you need to gather all of your gear. Depending on the type of fish you caught, you might be allowed to bring it back to the shore to be weighed and have pictures taken.

Basic Tips

If you have never been on a boat before or if you are prone to getting seasick, you will need to take something before starting out on your trip. You might also bring some seasickness medicine on board with you. If you want to go the natural route, ginger is a natural way to curb nausea, so you might want to bring a few ginger cookies or a bit of ginger ale if this is a worry.

If you are using live bait, be sure that you check on it frequently.

Listen to the captain and crew and follow all of their instructions.

The First Time

If this will be your first time angling on the open sea, this sport can pose a thrill that is incomparable. As with any type of new experience, if you go into it knowing what might happen, it can be helpful and less stressful to be prepared. Even when you don’t yet have your sea legs, the captain and crew of the boat you charter will ensure that you have a fantastic time aboard their boat.

When it comes to the actual boats, they will differ depending on who you charter with. That being said, most of them fall in the 40 – 50-foot range and will have amenities such as spacious seating, a cabin that is heated or cooled, and running water. However, you still need to keep in mind that you will be on the ocean. If you haven’t ever been on the ocean before, as mentioned above, you might want to take along something for seasickness just to be on the safe side. Nothing will ruin a deep-sea fishing trip faster than seasickness. You can go the natural route we talked about above or you can get some drops or pills at the local pharmacy or grocery store.

Charter boats tend to be well equipped with life jackets for both adults and children, so you won’t need to worry about the equipment of that nature. You might want to bring your sunscreen though. The sun tends to be quite a bit stronger on the water. This is because the light reflects off the surface of the water. You might also want some eye protection (sunglasses), a hat, and clothing that is comfortable and loose-fitting. This comprises the ideal outfit for fishing. You will also need a pair of comfortable, yet safe shoes since you will be walking across a deck that can get mighty slick.

Finally, you might want to bring a camera along so that you will have proof of your bragging rights. The captains of charter fishing boats navigate the waters they fish with both precision and experience, so each trip will allow them to hook their passengers a catch that is incredible. Even if you are experienced with fishing the rivers and lakes in your area, there simply is no way to prepare yourself for the absolute rush of catching a fish while you are out on the open ocean.

Essential Items

It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced angler or if your trip will be the first time you will ever fish in your life, there is a lot that you need to plan for before you set foot on the charter boat. Most charter boats will supply the boat along with most of the supplies that will be needed for an amazing trip out on the water, but there are still a few essentials that you will need to bring along.

Here are some of the things you might want to pack for your trip:

  • Food and drinks. You need to ensure that you bring plenty of juice or water so that you will remain hydrated, as well as some snacks or more substantial food. Remember that being on the water can make you extra hungry.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen. Some of these things, like these items, bear repeating due to their importance. The rays of the sun can be incredibly powerful when you are out on the water, even when the day is overcast. As far as sunscreen goes, you need to use a minimum of SPF 30. Make sure to use it on your lips, nose, and ears. Try to avoid the type that sprays on because the wind tends to blow a lot on the water and it will more than likely end up on other people. Sunglasses are also a necessity and you might want to secure them with a strap or lanyard. You might be surprised at how many pairs end up in the water.
  • Medication for motion sickness. This is another extremely important item. Bonine or Dramamine work well for most people. You just need to get the type that won’t cause drowsiness and follow the instructions for usage. You might even want to take a dose before going to bed the night before your trip. That way, it will be in your system and you will have already addressed the psychological element. You can then just supplement it with more as it is necessary.
  • Layers and a waterproof jacket. When you are out on the water, the temperature can be either much hotter or much cooler than on land. You might want to bring a waterproof jacket or a sweatshirt, along with dressing in layers so that you will be able to un-layer if you begin to get too warm. Keep in mind that the weather out on the water can be more than a bit unpredictable.
  • It doesn’t matter if you will be pulling in a tiny blackfish or a massive marlin, the deck will quickly get wet and become slippery. You will need a good pair of deck shoes that have soft soles, a pair of sneakers, or any other type of shoes that are waterproof. You might be surprised at how many people try to deep sea fish in cowboy boots or street shoes. Not only does this look foolish, it is also quite dangerous.
  • Extra cooler. Most of the charter boats will offer to clean and fillet your catch for you. Once this happens, it will be essential that you preserve the fish. A great way to accomplish this is by using a cooler that is medium sized that you will be able to put your fish in. You can even use the one that you carried your drinks and food in if it is empty.

A Few Fun facts

It can be quite relaxing to cast a line on the bank of a river or in a lake, but there is nothing that will compare to it quite like deep sea fishing. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the sport or an angling master, this is an activity that will introduce you to a fantastic source of excitement that you can only find far off the coast. In an effort to help you get a bit of an idea about what you can expect, here are a few interesting facts about the sport.

Big game is everywhere. Species such as catfish and trout are generally found in bodies of water that are smaller, but when it comes to the ocean, it is the home to more impressive fish – such as sea bass, sharks, marlin, tuna, and much more.

Reeling is a rigorous activity. When it comes to deep sea fishing, this isn’t really an activity where you can set it and then forget it. If you want to take on the open ocean, you need to be prepared to have patience. There are times when it might take an hour or more to tire out and be able to reel in some of the more feisty species. However, even though these creatures will put up a heck of a fight, the prize will be well worth it.

You need a larger boat. Dinghies, kayaks, and motorboats might fit your needs when you are on calm water, but when it comes to fishing in the open ocean, you will need something much more substantial. Deep sea fishing vessels have to be able to withstand things like changes in the weather, rough water, and be able to comfortably store both the passengers and whatever they catch. Because of this, it just makes better sense to charter one of the larger breeds of boats – like trawlers, power Catamarans, or Hatteras yachts.

As long as you prepare as described in the paragraphs above, your deep-sea fishing trip can be a fun experience that is hard to beat.


  1. You Tube, Deep Sea Fishing – Sharks, Snapper, and Bonita (Catch Clean Cook)
  2. Channel Islands Sport Fishing, What to Expect
  3. Voyager Fishing Charters, Deep Sea Fishing Myrtle Beach
  4. Triple Trouble, What to Expect When Going Deep Sea Fishing