Deep Sea Fishing Tips from Atlantic Seafood Market

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Deep sea fishing is an activity that is greatly enjoyed in just about any part of the world where one has access to both a boat and an ocean. While it perfectly combines elements of fun, relaxation and excitement, deep sea fishing can be at best unsuccessful and and worst downright dangerous if you don’t abide by the rules of thumb for safety. With this in mind, we’d like to share some deep sea fishing tips and tricks with you as well as some basic safety guidelines.

First and foremost, if you’ve never been deep sea fishing before, we strongly advise you not to start out doing it alone. Even if you have a sturdy vessel and the best of equipment, you’re setting yourself up for potential danger and tragedy by hitting the deep waters unprepared. Your best bet is to secure yourself a spot on a deep sea fishing charter where you’ll have the help and guidance of the captain, crew, and other fishermen who are along for the ride. Chartered deep sea fishing is what we’re going to focus on in this article.

The best way to start out is always starting out at the beginning, in this case the beginning being the various supplies you’ll want to bring along on your trip. These supplies will ensure comfort, safety, and hopefully, success in reeling in a big catch. Since it is almost always colder and more windy at sea than it is on land, you’ll want to dress in layers. If you get warm, you can always go one layer lighter, but if you’re cold at sea and don’t bring along heavier clothing, there’s not much you can do. Even if the weather is warm, bring along a sweatshirt of windbreaker just in case it gets colder than what you’re expecting. One more clothing item you’ll want are some heavy boots and deck shoes. You don’t want to miss the catch of the day just because you can’t keep your footing on the slick deck.

Another thing you’ll want to bring along is your fishing license. You’ll likely be checked for one and if you don’t have it handy, you won’t be doing any fishing. Also important are sunglasses, a hat, and suntan lotion, preferably one with an SPF level of 30 or higher2. It’s also a good idea to bring some snacks and (non-alcoholic) drinks, just in case the boat you’re on doesn’t supply refreshments or charges more for them than you’re willing to spend.

The chances are high that you’ll need to rent a rod and reel from the landing from which you depart unless you’ve already brought your own. You can expect the charter crew to help you rig up once you’re on board. A conventional rod and reel combination rated for 40lb test line spooled with 30lb test monofilament line is the norm2. If you’re bringing along any of your own tackle (and we highly suggest that you do), bring some braided line with which to spool your rod along with swivels and 25-30lb monofilament line2. Several hooks, sinkers of varying weight, and a few circle hooks should round out your tackle repertoire quite nicely.

Once aboard the ship, make sure to place any equipment you’re not presently using in a safe spot and not lying around on the deck, where it can be stepped on or prematurely moistened. Also, make an effort to meet the captain and crew and learn their names as you’re likely to need their help along the way. If they try to sell you a bag in which to place your fish, take them up on the offer. They’ll assign your bag a number, which you’ll need to remember because when you come back to shore, they’ll hand out your bag based on number and you don’t want to miss out on any of the fish you caught.

Once the boat departs from shore, the captain and crew are likely to make some announcements. You’ll want to listen closely as these will usually involve important information. A lot of this will be going on during the approximately one hour journey out to the deeper fishing waters. Demonstrations of how to use equipment as well as other explanations will likely be given during this time, so paying close attention is a good idea if you want to get the job done right.

When you’ve reached the waters in which you’ll be fishing, wait to cast your line until the captain gives you the go-ahead. If you are using small live fish as bait, you’ll want to wait to hook them until the last minute so they stay alive and more effectively entice the bigger fish that you’re after. If you’re using squid as bait, you don’t have to worry about that particular precaution. Also, if you’re after especially large fish, you will want to throw large chunks of bait in the water near where you’re casting your line. This is a technique that is referred to as chumming.

There are a few spots that are especially good to fish in. If you see lots of seagulls far out at sea circling around the surface of the water and snagging small fish, it likely means that bigger game fish are also in the area. Any area with lots of protruding (or submerged, if you know of it) rock as well as reefs or floating debris are prime areas to catch large fish1. This is because smaller fish will tend to go to these areas for hiding purposes as well as breaks in the strong current. The big fish are well aware of this and will be doing some fishing in their own in those same areas.

If you don’t know where submerged rocks or reefs are located, take along a nautical map. These maps will usually point out such areas. They also tend to provide other very helpful information to a deep sea fisherman in action. Once you’re ready to cast your line, there are a few general guidelines you’ll want to follow. First of all, be careful to avoid crossing your line with that of other fishermen. Tangles can be hard to separate and could cost both of you the fish you’re after. When you let your line sink down and are using larger bait, an effective tactic is to tease fish by dropping the bait as low as it will go before suddenly pulling it back up. This will catch their interest and make them even more eager to bite when the bait comes back into the water1.

When you hook a fish, especially if it’s a large one, the crew members will be very likely to try to help you reel it in. There’s no shame in taking their help, as they’re present for a reason and are experts at what they do. They’ll usually help to manipulate the line during the reel-in but let you do the bulk of the more exciting work of pulling the catch in.

We have a few other helpful hints for you. Don’t jolt your rod around too much, or you’ll risk breaking it. Also, try to keep a smooth yet steady pressure going as you’re reeling in your catch. Without getting too jumpy, gently pull your rod upward and then reel rapidly after slowly lowering the rod’s tip. Walk back a bit to give yourself some additional room to operate with. Let the battle last a bit, because if the fish isn’t a bit tired by the time you pull it on board, it could potentially be violent and dangerous. Avoid leaving slack in your line, because if you don’t, the fish will have a greater ability to shake the hook loose and get away3.

At the end of the trip, it’s a nice idea to tip the crew for a job well done. You’ll also want to claim your bag of fish so you don’t lose out on the fruits of your day’s labor. If you’re looking to do some deep sea fishing in CT, there are a lot of excellent charter companies out there. Some that you might want to take a look at are Sunbeam Fleet deep sea fishing charters of Waterford, Bluefin deep sea fishing charters of Clinton, Islanders Sport Fishing deep sea charters of Old Saybrook and Connecticut Charter fishing deep sea charters of New London.

After you’re back on land and make your way home, you’re going to need to clean and prepare your fish before it’s ready to be cooked. There’s a video below this paragraph that shows you how to do just that. The fish in the video are smaller than what you’ll usually catch on a deep sea expedition, but the methods shown still apply. This video is courtesy of YouTube user Sue Lucas.

Works Cited

1. Author Unavailable
Deep Sea Fishing
http://www.takemefishing.org/fishing/saltwater-fishing/where-to-fish/deep-sea-fishing/

2. Author Unavailable
What to Bring on a Deep Sea Fishing Trip
Channel Island Sportfishing
http://www.channelislandsportfishing.com/what-to-bring/

3. Author Unavailable
What to Expect on a Deep Sea Fishing Charter
Channel Island Sportfishing
http://www.channelislandsportfishing.com/what-to-expect/

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