Big Blue 101: The Beginner's Essential Guide to Deep Sea Fishing

Updated on October 16, 2019
Daniel Calvin profile image

Daniel is an avid angler, a seasoned camper and a lover of the outdoors.

Knowledge is key. The first step in taking up deep sea fishing as a hobby or otherwise, is feeding your curiosity with the proper information. One can easily gather misleading information on the matter that may cause more confusion in the long run.

Researching on the subject and getting the specific information from proper sources, taking on fishing courses and chartering trips prior to any seafaring adventures to the wide-open sea can allow you to stock up on the much-needed know-how, and experience has always been known to be the perfect mentor.

An enjoyable source of knowledge is getting first-hand education from serious saltwater anglers. Getting yourself a membership to angler social clubs gives you the exclusive personal overview of the "how to's" from seasoned seafaring saltwater anglers. This gives you the opportunity to sail on the wisdom of senior anglers through regular meetings and fishing events. These experts will gladly show you the basics and share their tales of derring-do, along with every charter trip.

A charter trip is always best accompanied by an expert. A sure way to learn the ropes quickly is the opportunity to have an expert guide you through every nook and cranny of the experience. On a chartered trip, an expert will give you more than just a guided tour to the best deep sea fishing spots. He will be sharing with you the types and specifications of the fishing equipment you will need, and the types of bait you will need for every type and kind of fish you target, whether you are bream fishing, bass fishing, or whatever else.

Essentially, the expert will share with you the true adventure and beauty of the hunt! Charter trips are much like hands-on classes where theoretical knowledge is brought in and applied to practical situations.

Usually geared for novice learners, charter trips for experienced anglers are also available. You may choose an option to join a pre-arranged trip with a bunch of other fisherfolk novices, or alone with a fishing expert. Either way, knowledge will be shared and with a group, you may split the cost.

Fishing and angler classes are also a sure-fire way of learning first hand. Fishing classes have a one-time registration fee, sign up for one as these classes are sure to fill quickly. Most fishing classes take you through the theories on almost all kinds and type of fishing. There are some classes that will focus on saltwater shore fishing, while some other classes will take you out onto the water.

Fishing Ethics

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a novice fisherman develop into an ethical fisherman, one who follows the ethical codes of angling. Fishing is more than just a hobby or a favourite past time to the ethical fisherman. One should go above and beyond in truly upholding the responsibilities that come along with any kind or type of fishing.

Respect for the established rules and regulations set forth by any given fishing authority governing the distinguished sea and waters of any place comes vital and primary for every fisherman or angler. Following these regulations are important so that you do your part in protecting the fish population and ensure that our kids and grandkids can enjoy sea fishing as much as you do.

In as little effort as knowing the size regulations and local catch limits and keeping a list of the specific species that are prohibited from being harvested at any given season while securing and purchasing the proper permits required for almost every type of fishing is a great step towards building the personality of the ethical fisherman.

Arguments have been increasingly rampant on knowing how to properly catch and release a fish that you do not intend to keep. Generally defined as a technique of conservation, delineating the proper methods of catch and release within recreational fishing boils down to the basics of properly unhooking caught fish, without or with the least harm and disruption you may cause the fish.

Fish have an especially sensitive protective mucous membrane, hobbyists and pros with the intent of catch and release should always be extra careful in this procedure and equally prepared with the proper tools to give the fish the best chances of survival. In the event of a tagged fish for observation wounds up getting caught, a proper record of the species of fish, length and weight, date and location of catch and the conditions of the catch should be kept and duly reported.

Lastly, be wary of the trash you bring along and the rubbish around you. It is vital that no trash end up in the water. Water pollution is a huge global issue, and you would not want to add to the microplastics that constantly endanger aquatic life. Remember, the best way for hobbyists and pros to preserve the environment is to set a good example for others to follow.

Choosing the Right Vessel For Your Sea Fishing Adventure

Fishing from the shore can be equally fun, but the fish are a-plenty in the open water! Choosing the right fishing boat for your adventure can make a huge difference in deep sea saltwater fishing.

Center console boats have a basic design and will surely take you on a voyage to get the job done. With limited to no available structure to protect you from the gusts of wind or the occasional sea drizzle, you may tend to cut short a promising fishing adventure. Otherwise, on any perfect day trip, you can fish off of any side of the boat with ample walking space around the entire perimeter.

Most center console boats are designed for the fisherman and have built-in compartments for sea fishing bait and fish wells along with rod holders. These boats come in aluminum and fiberglass constructions and can hold between four and eight passengers and range from 15 feet long to 42 feet long. The biggest engines can do a solid 70 mph on open water.

A deck boat focuses more on a multiple purpose design with the angler in mind and is also very comfortable for any special family outing. Built much flashier than a center console boat, deck boats sport an open-type design that can load up a bunch of passengers with just a few fishing at any given time.

The AUV class of open sea vessels, the all-purpose boat is the real deal for saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing, watersports, or just taking the family out on the water for a good time. Undeniably the best design for sea trips, it is most often chosen for any type of fishing. The all-purpose boat sports additional design features that make them safer and more comfortable in any weather condition in the open water.

Top Gear for the High Seas

We have seen the beauty of owning top-notch gear almost everywhere online and streaming shows. These gadgets come with a price tag but are sure to give you tons of excitement and pleasure in experiencing the beauty of the adventure!

A Global Positioning System or GPS unit will allow you to navigate the open seas and pinpoint a specific location and return to it whenever you want. Developed originally in Japan, fish finders or sounders will show you when fish are below your boat. In choosing the best electronic gadgets for fishing, always make sure that you have a specifically designed equipment for deep sea fishing.

A dual-frequency transducer works similarly to a fish finder. The transducer sends sonar waves (sound waves) down into the water. When the sonar wave hits something, it estimates the size and depth of the object and sends that information back to the display via a flash sonar pulse. Using a fish finder which utilizes CHIRP will improve fish recognition by sending a continuous range of sonar frequencies, displaying much more data than a traditional fish finder.

Choosing the Correct Bait and Tackle

When choosing a suitable rod for sea fishing, there’s a few things you need to take into account:

  • Consider what style of fishing you will be mostly doing, whether it be pier fishing, boat fishing, inshore or offshore fishing, you’ll want to know beforehand so you can find the right tool for the job.

  • A sea fishing rod needs to be able to withstand saltwater and not corrode over time. Not only the rod, but all components must be able to withstand saltwater.

  • If you are a beginner you may want to search out a “combo” rod, as these types of rods are customized to a particular style of fishing and takes less effort to get started.

Fishing lines should be properly selected prior to any seafaring adventure. In choosing the right grain and strength of the fishing line, a max pound test based on the fish you are targeting should be applied to the fishing line. Monofilament lines are the most popular and can be used on just about every type of fish. Braided line is stronger but more visible to fish. Fluorocarbon lines are completely invisible in the water. They are stronger than monofilament but also more expensive.

As a rule of thumb, use the thinnest line that you can without the risk of a big fish breaking your line. The thinnest line is easier to cast and harder for the fish to see.

Whether you fish with live bait or artificial lures depends on a number of factors, such as the species of fish you are going after and the water conditions you are fishing in. They both have their benefits, but depending on what you are fishing for and where, one may be better than the other.


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