They say that the fisherman is always the last to know. Maybe it’s because we spend so much time on the water, or maybe it’s because we’re too busy reeling in a prized catch to notice anything else around us…but there are several things I wish someone would have told me when I started charter fishing years ago. Here are tips for deep sea fishing on charter boats.
1) Do your homework, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about where you’ll be fishing and what you should expect. If you’ve never been deep sea fishing before, I recommend booking with an outfitter who specializes in offshore trips – they’ll likely put you on a boat with a more comfortable ride than someone who specializes in inshore fishing. If you’re looking for some tips on how to pick a charter boat, read this article from Captain Sam Jett’s blog – he catches up with some of the most successful captains from around the Gulf of Mexico to find out their top tips for charter fishing.
2) Most boats are fully equipped, but a pair of earplugs and a bandana can help keep you comfortable on the ride out. Some people like long sleeve shirts in case they get chilly, but I prefer to stay uncovered so that I don’t get sunburned (and remember – wear sunscreen!).
3) Be prepared with your own snacks and beverages if you want them. It’s not uncommon for fishermen to go all day without eating or drinking, but if you prefer to stay fueled up (whether it’s for the ride out or for your time on the water), bring what you need.
4) Wear clothing that is comfortable and easy to remove – some days can be quite windy, and there are lots of times when unhooking fish require you to get into some funky positions. Trust me when I say a wetsuit makes these tasks infinitely easier!
5) How many people will be fishing with you? If your party is large, choose a boat that has plenty of room in the cabin and can hold enough supplies to accommodate everyone – just remember that offshore trips have longer days than inshore trips due to travel time, so plan accordingly.
6) Not sure what type of bait to bring? Find out ahead of time so that you don’t get caught off guard. It’s always nice to have a few hooks and weights on hand in case they’re needed, but remember – not all charter boats are equipped with the same gear, so plan accordingly!