If you've never been fishing before, booking a spot on a deep sea fishing charter boat can be a great way to immerse yourself in the experience. Deep sea fishing is especially fun with a group, because there's something for everyone. Relax by enjoying the ocean scenery, or enjoy the excitement of watching some one reel in a big one – or maybe even catching a big fish yourself. But if you want to have a good time on your fishing trip, it's important to be prepared. Take a look at what you need to do to prepare for a deep sea fishing charter.
What to Wear
Whether you're going out for a few hours or a whole day, it's a good idea to dress in layers. You have to be prepared for almost anything when you're out on the ocean. Most people plan to go fishing on warm, sunny days, but when you get out in the deep water, a cold ocean breeze can have you wishing for long sleeves. What's more, a small, innocuous-looking cloud can become a serious storm rather quickly.
Wearing long sleeves and pants over your summer clothes and bringing along a waterproof jacket will prepare you for anything that you might experience during your trip. It's also a good idea to bring along a brimmed hat to help protect your face from the sun. If the hat is also waterproof, that's even better.
What to Bring
When you book your charter, ask if food and drinks are sold on the boat. This way, you'll know whether you should bring a cooler with food and drinks or just cash. If you do bring your own food and drinks, bring them in plastic containers—most charter boats specify no glass on board. Make sure to bring an empty cooler along as well for the fish that you'll catch. You probably won't need to bring your own gear. Most charters provide things like rods, reels, and bait, but check to make sure before you go. You may need to rent some equipment if it isn't provided.
You should definitely bring a camera. Depending on where your boat is going, you may see whales, dolphins, or sea birds. Sunscreen is a must; remember that you can get sunburned even if it's cloudy outside. Finally, if you're prone to motion sickness, or if you've never spent time on a boat before and don't know how you'll react, then you should bring along something to help relieve motion sickness if it occurs. If you have any health conditions, make sure to ask your doctor before taking over-the-counter pills for motion sickness; they may react with your current medications. Motion sickness wristbands are an inexpensive alternative if you prefer to avoid medications.
What to Tip
The captain and their crew do a lot of work before, during, and even after the trip to make sure that you have an enjoyable experience. They also don't make a large salary, so they depend on tips to make up the difference. Fifteen to 20 percent of the cost of the charter is a customary amount. Make sure that you bring enough cash with you to provide a good tip.
Being well prepared for your deep sea fishing trip can help ensure that you have a great experience that you'll always remember. Dress properly, make sure that you bring everything you need, and let the ocean do the rest.