As a kid the only fishing I got a chance to do was land based in my local area, or on the odd occasion out on the local river in a friends boat.
It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I finally got the chance to go deep sea fishing, and I thought to myself then and there, that I was never going to be able to enjoy land based fishing ever again after such an incredible experience out at sea!
The feeling of getting up before the sun and heading out to sea on a crystal clear morning, just as the sun begins to hit the the horizon and start to climb, is in itself something everyone should experience at least once in their life.
Apart from the visual beauty of the sea, the attraction for me when deep sea fishing is the wide variety of fishing styles, and abundance of fish species to target.
I always want to do them all, but have learned over the years that you need to decide before even getting on the boat
what you are intending to target, and how you are going to catch them, this way you can have the right fishing tackle at the ready, and not waste time swapping and changing rods or your terminal tackle setup if you don’t have to.
Like any type of fishing, when the fish are on, their on, and weather can sometimes determine how much time you have
at sea before you have to head back to shore, so you may only have a small window of time to get your line in the water, so you want to maximise this time by having everything ready to go.
Deep Sea Fishing Gear
Space on most boats is limited, so taking more gear than you need can cause headaches when it comes to storage, and clutter on deck will stop you being able to get around the boat safely.
Choosing what deep sea fishing gear you take will depend on the type of fishing you are doing, and the species you are targeting on this particular trip.
Apart from fishing tackle like rods and reels, there is a huge range of fishing equipment that can help make your trip a lot more successful and there is some fishing gear that will just make your trip a little more comfortable.
Having an accurate GPS to put you on the mark every time, a good fish finder that doesn’t leave you guessing as to whether there are fish around or not, and an underwater or water proof camera to catch all the action to show your mates back on land, are just some of the fishing gear that is around to help you in the hunt for a big one.
The rod is the backbone of your deep sea fishing set up.
If your rod is too light and you hook up on a steam train of a fish, you are likely to lose both rod and fish.
Having a rod that is designed for big fish, means it is equipped to handle the pressure of a big fight, but also designed to aid the angler by acting as a shock absorber as well as leverage, to help pull back against a fish by using the components of the rod it self.
Getting spooled, having a reel seize up, or a tangle that is going to render a reel unusable, are all factors that can be avoided by having the right reel when deep sea fishing.
A reliable, heavy duty reel, that is designed to work with deep sea fishing rods, is a must if you want a trouble free fishing experience.
A smooth drag that works the way it should, with corrosion proof components, and enough torque to drag the nastiest fish to the surface, is what you need if you intend to head off shore.
Even If we are heading out to one of our regular marks to do some bottom bashing, I will usually always chuck a couple of my favourite fishing lures out the back on the way out, and the way home, because you never know what you might pick up.
As long as you are using a lure that will perform properly at your boats cruising speed, or you might need to slow the boat a bit to compensate for this.
I will usually have one rod set up specifically for trolling, as this will require heavier line, possibly different leader material, and my heavy duty overhead reel.
The set up usually differs depending on what time of year it is, and what surface fish are around and have been getting caught in the area, so it is always a good idea to do a little bit of research by checking with your local tackle shop or fishing club, to see who has been catching what.
Dropping a lump of lead to the bottom with the old paternoster rig attached is probably the simplest of the bottom fishing techniques, and in my opinion one of the most effective.
A well set up rig, allows you to quickly change your sinker to a larger or smaller one, as well as hook size or types, if you are changing baits to target different fish, in different water depths, or in current.
Combining the right rod with he right reel, can give you the flexibility to target several different species without having to change anymore than your terminal tackle.
There is nothing quite like throwing a lure into a thrashing ball of bait fish that are boiling to the surface because big fish are chasing them up from the bottom, and hooking onto a predator like a yellow fin or southern blue Tuna, a Spanish Mackerel or a feisty Wahoo.
There is such an array of poppers and lures available on the market that finding what works some days, may not work on others, and from one trip to the next your old favourite may be replaced by your new favourite, depending on the catch count.
Without going overboard (pardon the pun), I like to have a variety of different poppers and lures that can be easily changed over and even have a few different colours of ones I know usually work well.
That way when you come across fish busting up on the surface you can easily try a few different things to see what will work today.