6 Tips For Deep Sea Fishing

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post discussing my 6 tips for deep sea fishing to hit the depths with this year. Recently I have been doing a bit of deep sea fishing after not having done so for a few years. And even though it is something I had done a lot of in the past, my time away from boats had led me to almost have to relearn a few things I had thought I knew.

I mean I had still been doing a lot of fishing so I know how to tie a line and bait a hook etc., however the ‘ins and outs’ of it had slipped away. However, before we get to that, let’s check just make sure we are clear on what we are talking about when it comes to deep sea fishing.

What is deep sea fishing

Ok, just so we are all on the same page here, when it comes to deep sea fishing I am talking about the type that is undertaken in a boat out in open waters – I.e. the ocean. However, as there are so many variations in terms of how you can fish and the depth of water you can do it in, the tips here are designed to assist you regardless of the type of deep sea fishing you are doing.

I will of course elaborate on many of these variations in other posts however for now, let’s check out the basics to make sure you can enjoy your time out on the water regardless of the type of fishing you are doing…

tips for deep sea fishing - boat away from coast

1. Check the weather

If there is one absolute when it comes to off shore fishing, it is that the weather can change in an instant. Regardless, the chances of you getting yourself caught in a tricky situation out of the boat will be severely reduced if you check thew weather patterns before you go.

Now most of the old salts around where I live will tell me that “if it is a Southerly by Thursday, then the weekend will be sweet. If it is Northerly, forget it”. And of course, they are right 9 times out of 10. However, we still check the old weather aps before we go. Look for:

  • Chance of storms
  • Wind direction and velocity
  • Temperature

And of course this is not just for the time that you intend to head out there but for the entire trip. If the wind is due to get up later on, then maybe start further out and work your way into shore as the day progresses. Alternatively, if the wind is coming from a particular direction, then maybe choose a good spot beside an island or closer to the coastal ranges to avoid it.

2. Check your boat

Now this is obviously an area we could spend all day discussing however for the purposes of this post, the below is a quick list of things to check to make sure that your boat is in order before you take off. The first step to this is always to make sure the motor is maintained and serviced regularly. From there always check:

  • That it is full of fuel.
  • Navigation lights are working.
  • Electronics (sounders/fish finders, navigation etc.) are working.
  • That the anchor is secured to a rope of good quality (I.e. not frayed).
  • You have plenty of water on board.
  • Life jackets are available as per local regulations and legislation.
  • Ladders etc. in working order.

As above, there is quite a bit to this and I will elaborate on each in other posts, however if you check at least the list above, then you should be ahead of the game.

3. Safety

This one is obvious but often overlooked. Either on you, or with you, you will need:

  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Life Jacket
  • Food – preferably dry type food such as biscuits etc. if sea sickness is an issue (see below)

Life Jackets: In some countries it is not a legal requirement to wear a life jacket whilst on a boat – although they generally must be on board and easily locatable. In others (such as In NSW, Australia where I live) they are mandatory on all waters (dependent on vessel size) whereas other states here only regulate them for open waters or after dark. Regardless, it is recommended that a life jacket or Personal Flotation Device (PFD) be worn at all times when fishing on a boat in the ocean.

And before you purchase a PFD, make sure it is the correct ‘level’ or standard for use on the body of water (open or closed) in which you will be fishing.

tips for deep sea fishing - rods in boat

4. Take the right gear

As mentioned above, there are a large number of methods that are utilised when it comes to fishing out in the ocean. This can include trolling with a lure, floating live baits, bouncing bait on the reef floor (with or without a weight) or even casting and retrieving with either surface or diving lures. And of course this can be undertaken in depths from 10 to 100 metres and above (32 – 328ft).

Regardless, the tip here is to make sure that you have the right gear for your targeted species – keeping in mind that in the ocean you are likely to be landing much larger catches than in an estuary (and maybe even the surf). For example, when we go fishing on the reef, we need a larger jigging rod and reel and heavier line as we can be pulling large fish up through 90 to 100m of water. However if we are chasing fast moving surface fish (such as Mackerel or Wahoo for example) then we need a trolling reel that can spool a much longer line as these fish will hit and run.

So as you choose your ‘weapon’ consider the following:

  • Reel – Do you need strength or length? – The higher the line strength, the less you can generally spool onto a line.
  • Rod – Check the weight settings to make sure it can handle a the bigger catches – Boat rods tend to be a little shorter as well.
  • Handline – I always like to keep one or two of these as a backup as well just in case I have any gear related issues. They are good for chasing live bait too.

Note: Things can change quickly out there so my advice… Take two rods at least – one for surface/casting and one for sinking larger weights to the reef floor.

Oh, and don’t forget all the other things you generally need when fishing such as:

5. Take the right clothes

Again, as we have already discussed above, when out on the water the weather can change in an instant. Now I am not saying that you need to take your entire wardrobe with you however if it is warm when you leave, still take a jumper (sweater) and some long pants. If it is cold, take another layer.

Apart from that, comfort is key although I do suggest a long sleeved fishing shirt and a hat to protect from the sun of course. I also strongly recommend taking with you some decent fishing shoes. These not only provide you with grip if the boat is a rocking, but will also protect you from hooks, knives and fish spikes etc. that always tend to find the floor out on the water.

6. Sea sickness

Regardless of the type of fishing you are doing, the boat is generally rocking at least one way or the other meaning that more than a few of you are going to suffer from sea sickness. Sea sickness is nothing more than general motion sickness caused by the rocking movement of the water however once you get it, it can certainly put an end to any enjoyment that you were experiencing.

There are a number of ways to manage sea sickness both before, during and after your trip. These include:


  • Take sea sick tablets.
  • Take a ginger supplement (for a more natural option).
  • Don’t get on the drink the night before – this means you will be dehydrated before you even step on the boat.


If you start to feel nauseous, try the following

  • Find something to do – such as driving the boat or actually fishing – this can take your mind off it.
  • Focus on a single point – this can be a piece of land, or something in the boat.
  • Breath deeply.
  • Eating dry food such as crackers or bread.
  • Drink some water.
  • Sit at the back of the boat if you can (it tend to be less bumpy).


  • Drink water – you will get worse if you get dehydrated.
  • Rest – especially if you have been physically sick – your body will need to recover.


And there they are – my 6 tips for deep sea fishing to hit the depths with this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences or any other tips you may have.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.