Deep Sea Fishing

About to go deep sea fishing? This comprehensive guide will show you the equipment you need, the fish to go after and lots of other important info on getting the most out of your deep sea fishing adventure...

You and your buddy toss some rain gear and a few pieces of equipment into the car and head out onto the highway to the coast for a deep sea fishing excursion.

You're really excited and are looking forward to it.

Deep sea fishing is done far out in the ocean. There are many deep sea fishing grounds in the world's oceans and these excursions are best done by charter unless you have a huge budget and can afford to buy your own boat equipped to safely sail in the open ocean..

You can fish the open ocean for a wide range of fish species, including cod, wolf fish, haddock, halibut, Pollock, cusk, tuna, shark, sailfish, swordfish, rockfish, marlin, dorado and wahoo.

For deep sea fishing you will need very heavy equipment including rods, reels and tackle.

Reels must be able to hold up to 300 yards of line and your line should be between 12 and 30 pound-test, depending on the targeted species.

Inexperienced anglers should always use 30 pound-test line. Skilled anglers will find that using a 12 pound-test line presents more of a challenge.

Be sure your rod, reel and line balance in size. Hook size should run between 3.0 and 6.0. Leaders should be between 10 and 15 feet long and be tied to a double line.

All leaders used for deep sea fishing should be between 30 and 50 pound-test.

Live ballyhoo is a good all round bait for sailfishing.

Bigger deep sea fishing baits include speedos, blue runners and googleyes, cut bait, dead bait rigs and lures, however live bait is best.

The best rule of thumb for bait is to present the fish with it's natural prey - this is the smaller fish that the targeted species feeds upon.

Sandperch, threadfin, herring, pilchards, hermit crabs, lugworms, mackerel, mussels, shrimp, squid, sandeel and mullet are all good bait for deep sea fishing.

Grouper, kingfish, snapper, tuna and wahoo will all take these baits as they are the fishes natural food.

Never handle your bait after applying sunscreen without washing your hands with non-scented soap and water.

In fact, the less you handle deep sea fishing bait, the better it is.

Do not use bait that has scales missing or if there are red spots around the nose.

Deep sea fishing baits are easily found around fish cleaning tables, markers, bridges and docks.

If you can't find bait, watch the seabirds. They fly in tight circles and dive in spots where bait is plentiful. If pelicans dive and immediately bring up their heads, they've found herring or pilchards. Seabirds can tell you where bait can be found.

The gear you will need will depend partially on where you are fishing. No matter where your deep sea fishing excursion is, be sure to take rain gear to protect you in inclement weather.

When booking your deep sea fishing excursion, be sure to ask the charter company what you should bring along. Most of them provide a list so that you will bring everything you need.

Use caution when chartering a deep sea fishing excursion.

Be sure the company is in good standing and that they have the proper permits and insurance.

They should have been licensed at least two years and willingly provide references from previous satisfied customers. If they hesitate, continue your search for a charter that is right for you.

Charter companies should provide safety equipment and be fully bondable. Don't hesitate to ask for proof of licensing, insurance and bonds.

If you have trouble choosing a charter company, ask someone who has previous experience for a recommendation. This could be a family member, a friend, a neighbor or a member of your angling club.

To read more about fishing and fishing tackle, click here to return to the Fishing Home Page

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