There are plenty of fish in the sea, as the saying goes, but scientists have recently discovered this is an understatement.
A study published in the journal Nature Communication this past February found that mesopelagic fish, those that live at least 100 meters (328 feet) below the surface, constitute 95 percent of all fish in the world. These fish represent a total biomass of one billion tons, or upwards of 30 times more mass than scientists previously thought.
Granted most deep sea fisherman stick to that 30- to 40-feet depth, reports World Fishing Network. But even at that level, sharks, swordfish and giant tuna can be reeled in. These three tips will prepare you for a successful and enjoyable trip:
Choose Your Method
There are two ways to go deep sea fishing: take a chartered boat or take your own boat. The previous is the logical option for beginners.
Decide how many people are going and your maximum budget. Party boat charters can be as low as $50 per person, while overnight charters can exceed $500. You will also want to decide whether you want a private charter solely for your party or a shared charter with others. Research the captain and crew. They will ultimately be the deciding factor as to whether your trip is a memorable or forgettable experience.
If you plan to take your own boat, make sure you know all the local laws and have all the necessary licenses before embarking on the trip. Some jurisdictions allow you to take your catch with you, while others require you to throw them back. Safety is always the first priority. Watch weather patterns and postpone the trip if storms are in the area. Rent a satellite phone so you will always have communication capabilities with people on shore. Also test your life jackets and vessels before heading out to sea.
Seasickness is far more likely to happen on a small vessel (like the one you will be on) than a large cruise ship. The fact is, motion sickness is mostly mental. Captain Charlie Ellis, who has 25 years experience fishing, said via Fishingcharters.com that thinking about anything other than the symptoms (nausea, vomiting, disorientation) is usually enough to get you through.
Regardless, don’t let seasickness ruin your trip. Do not drink alcohol the night before your trip and make sure to bring scopolamine and/or dramamine with you just in case.
The Fun Stuff
Shrimp fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico accidentally snared a rare goblin shark on April 19, only the second such sighting since 2000. The moral of the story is that deep sea fishermen should be prepared for the unexpected.
Use graphite fishing rods. They are light, but also strong enough to bring in a shark without breaking. Research what type of fish are in the general vicinity to ensure you have the proper lures. The ones that mimic crustaceans, squids and small fish are good universal fall backs.
Those who really want a leg up should take a sonar device. The Vexalir SonarPhone turns any smartphone or tablet into a sonar system with a maximum depth of 120 feet. If your budget allows it, the hummingbird 581I and Lowrance Elite-7 are also good choices.
There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life. Deep sea fishing is not only an enjoyable experience, but a survival skill that will always be useful.