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deep sea fishing

Ultimate Deep Sea Fishing Resource Guide

Deep sea fishing requires a boat trip miles off the coast to get to open water at the proper depth. This type of fishing is often referred to as sport, offshore, or game fishing. But you don’t need to be an expert fisher to try deep sea fishing. Even children and beginners can partake in this incredible experience – whether that’s a one-time adventure to add to a vacation experience or a hobby you want to continue to pursue.  

 

In this resource guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about getting started with deep sea fishing, along with how to take a charter captained by an expert who will help you have a fun and successful day (or more) out on the water.

What is deep sea fishing?

Deep sea fishing is often called offshore fishing because a water depth of at least 30 meters deep is ideal. To reach these depths, you’ll need to take a boat out about 10 – 20 miles offshore. The waters are more rough than inshore waters, but the aquatic species you’ll find are different than you’ll find anywhere else.

Some top favorite species to be had include: bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, snapper, mackerel, tarpon, sailfish and blue marlin. But what you’ll catch also depends on where you’re at. 

Where is the best deep sea fishing?

There is epic deep sea fishing to be had around the world.

San Diego is one of the top destinations in the U.S. for deep sea fishing and we have a great list of charters to get you started if this is where you’ll be. You can check them out in our article, “8 Best San Diego Fishing Charters for Your Next Fishing Trip.” 

For some other U.S. spots that are sure to be a hit, Fishanywhere lists these recommendations: 

  1. North Carolina
  2. South Carolina
  3. Cape Cod
  4. Miami
  5. Galveston
  6. San Diego

But if you’re ready for a destination somewhere else on the globe, a few fun places to try would be Phuket, Cabo San Lucas and Victoria, Australia. 

Honestly though, if there’s a sea closeby, definitely look into deep sea fishing opportunities that may be available. You may not have to go as far as you might think.

Is deep sea fishing expensive?

Unless you are experienced at fishing and have your own boat, you’ll likely want to hire a chartered boat with a manned crew. They will be able to safely sail you out to the right spots and give you all the tips and pointers you need to end the day with a catch. Plus, they already have their appropriate licenses and will be able to equip you with the bait and tackle you need so that you don’t have to worry about doing that on your own.

Charter options come in a wide range – trips can be as short as a half day, but you can also opt for weeks-long excursions. Trips are often customizable if you have a large group hiring a private charter, or you can choose to join a group on boats that head out daily. 

The cost of a deep sea fishing trip will depend a lot on your location, but it’s similar to what you might pay for other vacation adventures. For example, an outing with San Diego’s H & M Landing has trips from $60 for a half-day excursion out on the water. Though this may cost a bit more than another option, it will certainly be an unforgettable experience. 

Private charters will be more expensive, but you will get more specific instruction by choosing this option and have a more customized experience. Billy K Fishing and Pinnacle Sportfishing are both popular fishing charters in San Diego that offer private excursions, sure to provide an unmatched opportunity to learn from the best in the business and hopefully get a big catch.

What to Bring for a Deep Sea Fishing Trip

You can count on most fishing charters to provide you with the bait, tackle, rod/reel combo and safety equipment, such as life vests, that you need. (Though it’s important that you always check with the charter you’ve booked so there aren’t any surprises.) 

 

But there are other important pieces of gear and clothing that you’ll want to make sure to have with you in order to be prepared for weather and whatever may come your way. Additionally, anyone over the age of 16 will need to obtain a fishing license. Be sure to check state guidelines for how to obtain one in the area you’ll be fishing. 

 

Beyond that, the top five items you’ll want on your list for a simple ½ day or full-day trip are:

  1. Hat – Since you’ll be out in the sun for hours at a time, you’ll want to keep the sun off your face with a good hat. Choose a good moisture-wicking one for a hot day that can keep sweat off your face, as well.
  2. Sunscreen – You are more prone to sunburn when out on the water, so be sure to use a sunscreen with a minimum of 50 SPF.
  3. Windproof and Waterproof Jacket – Even if the weather seems mild when you’re onshore before you head out for your trip, it may be windier out on the water and you never know when the clouds may creep in. Even if you don’t use it, it will be good to have it just in case.
  4. Polarized Sunglasses (Straps will ensure you don’t lose them!) – Water reflects sunlight, making it extra harsh on your eyes. A set of polarized sunglasses are best for eliminating glare.
  5. Closed-Toed Shoes with a good rubber sole – this will keep you from slipping on the boat even when the deck is wet.

Additionally, if you suffer from motion sickness or have never been on a boat on the ocean before, you’ll want to be prepared by bringing along medication that can counteract that such as non-drowsy Dramamine. Nothing will cut the fun short faster than a bout of queasiness in the middle of your outing.

Longer excursions that last for a few days or more require more forethought and planning. These can be unforgettable experiences, but you want to make sure you’re remembering the trip for the right reasons. In order to make it enjoyable and something you’ll look forward to coming back to, you’ll want to have a few extra pieces of gear. 

We recommend bringing the following on any trip longer than one day:

  1. Satellite phone – Once you’re offshore, and out of cellular range, you won’t be able to use your cell phone. For anyone traveling on a private boat, having a satellite phone is an absolute must for safety purposes. With charters, they will have a way to stay in communication, but you won’t be able to personally stay connected to the outside world. In order to make calls to friends and family back home or stay in touch at work, you’ll want a satellite phone. We recommend the Iridium 9555 for voice and text capability or the Iridium GO! Wifi hotspot if you want to turn your smartphone into a satellite phone where you’ll also be able to access your email and social media apps.
  2. Passport – Because offshore waters are considered international territory, it’s best to have a passport with you at all times (most day trips won’t require that you have one)
  3. Cash – some items for purchase may be cash only and it’s always good to have cash for tips, as well
  4. Layers of Clothing – don’t depend on the forecast, be prepared with warm and waterproof clothing
  5. Hand Towel or Chamois – Fishing can be wet and messy at times so it’s always best to have a clean hand towel or chamois with you.

    Headed out on your own? Check out this Deep Sea Fishing checklist specific to those headed out on a private boat. 

Considerations for Deep Sea Fishing

Deep sea fishing trips are not all created equal. Length of the trip as well as what you want to bring to make it an enjoyable trip are only two aspects to consider when planning your trip. 

Here are some other things you’ll want to think about:

  1. The type of fish you want to catch – Different fish will be found in different waters. For example, the northern, cold Atlantic waters are home to very different species than those you’ll find in in the warm Pacific off the coast of Baja California. Additionally, they may have charters that are specific to one type of species, such as ones catered toward catching Blue Fin tuna.  

     

  2. Time of year you’ll be going – Not all fish are available to catch year round because of their migration patterns. So if there is a certain species you’re after, you’ll want to find out when the best time is to go. 

     

  3. The experience level and ages of the people in your group – Different fishing charters cater to different experience levels and ages. Kids can absolutely go out deep sea fishing, so if this is what you’re after, make sure you choose a charter that is kid and family-friendly. 

     

  4. The type of overall experience you want – If you’re after something specific such as spearfishing or getting one-on-one instruction to learn how to deep sea fish, then make sure you book something that will meet your needs and give you the best experience 

“Amazing customer service and product!”​

Amazing customer service and product! They are always there when you need them with anything. Iridium phone kept me connected to my family while I was traveling for work. Wouldn't do another trip without one. If you are looking for a reliable product and great prices contact these guys!
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Best Satellite Devices For Offshore Fishing

Iridium PTT kit:

The impressive Thales VesseLINK utilizes the Iridium Certus satellite service to provide mission critical communications capabilities during your marine operations, from anywhere on the globe.  This is a commercial solution, with a military-grade design that rises above your challenges regardless of whether you operate a single vessel or control an expansive fleet.

Thales VesseLINK
Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone front

Iridium 9555 Kit:

The Iridium 9555 is the ultimate go-to satellite phone for all campers. If you are looking for a satellite phone for your basic talk and text needs.

DEEP SEA CHECKLIST​

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How to Book a Deep Sea Fishing Trip

Hiring a charter to take you and your family and friends out to sea for a deep sea fishing adventure is a perfect way to get introduced to the sport. 

One of the best ways to find top deep sea fishing charters in the area where you’re headed is to find websites that have reviews and prices of top options, such as on a site like Trip Advisor. You can also call or visit the webpage of the Tourism Authority as they’ll usually provide extensive information as well. 

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers
  • Fishing license. Anyone 16 years and over must have one. (Can be purchased online here. You can also purchase at the landing the day of. (cash only).
  • Cash to pay for items on the boat such as fish cleaning, galley purchases, gratuities, etc.
  • Gunny sack. (These can also be purchased on most boats.)
  • Sunblock (30+ SPF) Thoroughly cover your face, neck and ears; and any other exposed skin.
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Safety goggles/protective eyewear
  • Hand towel or chamois
  • Camera: to capture that trophy fish photo
  •  Seasickness can occur, even in calm weather conditions. If you do not know if you are susceptible to motion sickness, please arrange to bring appropriate medication. There are numerous over-the-counter remedies or you may wish to consult your pharmacist or doctor. Generally, the boats are unable to return to the dock to drop off passengers who are seasick, so advance preparation is the key.
  • Ice Chest to leave in your vehicle to transport fish home.

On every trip full day or half day, we usually catch a good number of nice fish. We don’t get skunked very often, but it does happen… that is why it is called fishing and not catching. Our captains usually fish every day (weather permitting), so we have a good idea at where the best possible place to catch fish is. Since we our full-time captains, we are always talking to each other about where the best fishing is that day. When you contact us about a fishing trip, we will honestly tell you what the fishing has been like and what you can expect to catch. Please feel free to go thru our past daily catch reports on our reports page and see what we have caught over the past couple of years. We post our daily catch whether it was good or bad. We are very proud of how good we are at finding and catching fish. We feel that we provide our customers with the best possible chance at a great fishing trip.

When planning your deep-sea fishing trip, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions to determine the best time of year to take a deep-sea fishing trip in Charleston- What kinds of fish are you hoping to land, and what type of fishing do you prefer- trolling or bottom-fishing?

The price of a private charter fishing boat averages between $165 and $240 per hour, for up to 6 people. If there are more than 6 people in your group it will cost an additional 10% for each person over 6.

Take a look at this guide to see what is currently in season.

On every trip full day or half day, we usually catch a good number of nice fish. We don’t get skunked very often, but it does happen… that is why it is called fishing and not catching. Our captains usually fish every day (weather permitting), so we have a good idea at where the best possible place to catch fish is. Since we our full-time captains, we are always talking to each other about where the best fishing is that day. When you contact us about a fishing trip, we will honestly tell you what the fishing has been like and what you can expect to catch. 

We suggest that customers bring drinks, lunch, snacks, sunscreen, hats, beach and hand towels, sunglasses and zip lock bags if you want to take fillets back with you.

On every trip full day or half day, we usually catch a good number of nice fish. We don’t get skunked very often, but it does happen… that is why it is called fishing and not catching. Our captains usually fish every day (weather permitting), so we have a good idea at where the best possible place to catch fish is. Since we our full-time captains, we are always talking to each other about where the best fishing is that day. When you contact us about a fishing trip, we will honestly tell you what the fishing has been like and what you can expect to catch. Please feel free to go thru our past daily catch reports on our reports page and see what we have caught over the past couple of years. We post our daily catch whether it was good or bad. We are very proud of how good we are at finding and catching fish. We feel that we provide our customers with the best possible chance at a great fishing trip.

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