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How to Deep Sea Fish

Learning how to go deep sea fishing is dramatically different from surface water fishing. Not only will you be heading out into deeper waters, but you’ll need to prepare for differences in the types of available species, conditions, and equipment.

Where to Fish

Whether you are just learning how to saltwater fish or have been saltwater fishing for years, the most important thing to know about offshore fishing is where to go. Typically, you want to aim for spots where the depth of the water is about 100 feet.

Depending on your location, that may mean you need to head as far away as 50 to 100 miles or more from shore. At these depths, you’ll likely be able to find big game trophy fish like tuna, marlin, and sharks weighing anywhere from 500 to 1,500 pounds.

You’re Going to Need A Bigger Boat

If you’ve ever been saltwater fishing before, you already know that you’ll need access to a boat that can handle the harsh, corrosive nature of saltwater. But when setting out into deep waters to catch big game fish, you will also need to consider the size of your boat. That’s because you’ll need a bigger watercraft that can offer greater strength and stability in order to reel in the larger catches.

The most common vessel options for offshore fishing are large center console boats, flybridge boats, and convertibles, typically at least 35 feet long. Many anglers prefer two engines for added security when they’re far from land. A fishfinder can be useful in choosing the right depth and setting your downriggers. The boat should also be outfitted with the right equipment. Not only mechanical equipment like radar and sonar, but also properly rated life vests, first aid kits, fresh water and other items to ensure the safety of passengers. Those new to deep sea fishing often opt to charter a boat with an experienced captain before taking on the challenge themselves.

Weighing the Weather

Like inshore fishing, when you prepare to head out deep sea fishing, it’s important to take the weather into account. There are many factors to consider that could impact your success. First, the wind, both speed and direction, can have an effect on stirring up bait. Extremes in temperature and barometric pressure can cause the fish to be less active. While light rain can be an ideal fishing condition, it’s wise to avoid deep sea fishing in heavy rain. And lastly, like any fishing outing, avoid hot, bright sun and instead, try to target cloudy days or early morning or evening.

Best Bait Options

Those learning how to go deep sea fishing should understand the available bait options. You can choose either live or artificial bait. If you opt for live bait, try to pick fish that your target feeds on. For example, tunas like squid and sardines while swordfish are less picky. For artificial lure users, you’ll want to pick a flashy bait with lots of bright color that will attract the fish. Or you may want to stock a combination of live and artificial bait to give you more options.

Avoid Seasickness

Many inshore anglers are in for a big surprise when they head to deep waters. That’s because seasickness is common when deep sea fishing. To avoid getting ill, try to stay on deck and look at the horizon. It can also help to avoid the fumes from the boat, which will only aggravate nausea.

For some, a more effective method to avoid seasickness is the scopolamine patch, which attaches behind your ear before you head out on your journey. Pressure point wrist bands and over-the-counter motion sickness medications are also available. Or there are natural remedies like ginger you can try to settle your stomach.

Landing The Big One

When mastering how to deep sea fish, one thing you’ll probably quickly realize is that you may wait for a long time before you see some action. While deep sea fishing can be less hands on than other types of fishing, once you hook a fish, landing it is one of the most exciting experiences an angler can have.