Deep sea fishing involves fishing at depths of at least 30 meters (100 feet), which will allow you to catch a significant number of fish that are usually unavailable in shallow waters, such as marlin, tuna, dolphin and swordfish to name a few.
The ideal way to go about this is to charter a boat, unless you have one already.
Chartering a Boat
If this is your first time to do this, it’s best to charter a boat and hire a fishing guide to help you. Even if you’ve done this before, it can be difficult if it’s your first time to fish in this particular location, so having a local to guide you will be very helpful.
If you already have a boat, make sure all the permits and paperwork are taken care of.
Next, you need to bring along the appropriate gear, though if you’re renting a boat, all of that will be provided for already.
If you’re going to rent equipment, special deep sea rods and reels are available in your local fishing store.
What Should I Wear?
Leave your loafers and slacks behind as you’re going to get wet: just wear something that you wouldn’t mind getting wet in, and if you’re going to fish until sundown, bring extra layers of clothing to keep you warm during the cold nights.
Where to Find Fish
Reefs, trenches and drop-offs are good locations, and reefs in particular are noted for the vast numbers of fish that swim there along with other types of marine life.
If you’re after fish in general, the reef is a good choice, but tuna and other school fish are usually found near dolphins and debris.
However, the location will depend on the weather and which region / state you’re fishing at, so this is where a local guide can really be of assistance.
What Bait Should I Use?
You can’t use a night crawler like you do when trout fishing, as the bait will depend on the type of fish you’re after, though both live and artificial bait work equally well.
The most widely used are mackerels, minnows, shrimp and squid. Although these can be used live, others are cut up, and they’re especially useful in attracting predatory fish like sharks.
Just as there are different baits, so do the methods vary, and what you use will depend on the type of fish you’re after and the condition of the general area.
Trolling involves dragging your line down the ocean floor, and is commonly used to lure grouper and small fish (usually a weighted line is used to skim the bottom).
If you’re after bigger fish though, you might want to try chumming instead. In chumming, you place baited lines in the water and hurl chunks of bait there to lure several fish.
If signs indicate that several fish are going to gather in the area, cast a line a bit up the current and allow it to return to the area, letting the fish go for the bait. When you’ve got the fish, reel in and recast.
Tips for Effective Fishing
Keep the lines as straight as you can while the boat is turning. If you’re fishing with friends, avoid cross lines because when you start reeling in, the lines will get entangled and you’ll lose the fish.
If you’ve been fishing in the same area for a while, change the bait every now and then so the fish don’t get tired of it. The rule of thumb is to always have fresh bait, so if you notice that fish are no longer falling prey to your regular bait, it’s time to switch to a new one.
If you’ve been fishing for a long time, don’t hesitate to go with your instincts, as that can make the difference between getting that trophy and going home empty handed. Of course you want to listen to advice, but if nothing has come up and your gut is telling you that it isn’t going to be your day, just pack up for another day.
Finally, understand that deep sea fishing requires patience. There’ll be times when it seems like nothing is going to come up, but you just need to persevere and hang in there, as the best is yet to come.