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Deep Sea Fishing

Updated on July 24, 2011

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep sea fishing is one of the most popular types of saltwater fishing in North America. Deep sea fishing enthusiasts fish from private boats, fishing charters or head boats, traveling from 40 to over 100 miles from land to reach productive fishing areas.

Newcomers to the sport are often unsure of what to take along when going deep sea fishing. It is important to plan in advance and know what to bring. Asking friends that have been deep sea fishing for tips is a good way to find out about which equipment to take.

When going on a deep sea fishing trip, it's a good idea to start by checking the charter boat website. Most fishing charter boat websites will have a list of equipment to bring as well as what is not allowed on board the boat.

Although there are exceptions, fishing tackle, rods and reels, bait and licenses are normally provided by the captain. Depending on location and tradition, the captain or crew may or may not offer to clean fish to take home. If fish will be kept for food, fishermen will want to be ready with cooler, ice, and equipment for cleaning and packing fish.

In addition to fish cleaning (assuming fish are caught) the list of things to bring usually includes, food, drinks, clothing, hats, sunblock, eyewear, and camera.

Deep Sea Fishing DVDs

Deep Sea Fish Species

A variety of fish species are caught while deep sea fishing off the coasts of North America.

Tuna are among the most common catches. Yellowfin tuna are the most colorful of the tuna. These fish get their name from the coloration of the fins which are bright yellow. Bluefin tuna are another species that may be caught. They have large, torpedo-shaped body. Bluefin are dark blueish-black on the back and white on the lower sides and belly.

Mahi Mahi are one of the most beautiful saltwater fish that anglers may catch while deep sea fishing. They are recognized by their blunt head and bright patterns of green, yellow and blue. They are also known as dolphin, dolphin fish and dorado.

Wahoo are long sleek deep sea fish. Their sides are marked with a pattern of tiger stripes. Wahoo are one of the fastest saltwater fish.

Blue Marlin are magnificent deep sea fish, sometimes weighing over 1000 lbs. Their blue backs, immense size and bill make them very recognizable.

Striped marlin are another large billfish. Deep sea charters often focus on these fish as they travel in schools. Striped Marlin are common in the southern Pacific Ocean as well as other areas.

White Marlin are brightly colored billfish; smaller than blue and striped marlin. They are highly sought after by fishermen who enjoy their spectacular leaps.

Sailfish are recognized by their unique fan-shaped dorsal fin, bright colors and aggressive feeding habits.

Mako shark are sometimes caught in the open ocean. These fast swimming sharks are identified by their blue, torpedo shaped bodies, jagged teeth, and black eyes.

Tiger sharks are popular deep sea fish. These open water sharks have a pattern of striped markings and grow quite large. Tiger sharks are among the known man-eaters.

Favorite Deep Sea Fish

What is your favorite deep sea fish?

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Deep Dropping

Although most deep sea fishing trips target fish near the surface, occasionally boats drift or anchor and fish along the bottom. This type of fishing is often referred to as "deep dropping". Anglers fish with specialized gear including electric reels, heavy weights and other gear.

A variety of species are caught, ranging from small reef species to monster grouper. Among the most popular deep sea bottom species are tilefish, grouper, snapper, monkfish, wolffish, black sea bass, and others.

Atlantic Deep Sea Fishing

In North America, deep sea fishing occurs from the Canadian Maritimes, down thru New England, the Mid Atlantic Coast, to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico. Deep sea fishing is also popular along the Pacific from Alaska to Baja, Mexico.


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    • Corin profile image

      Corin 6 years ago

      A really interesting hub on deep sea fishing. Though I live near the sea, I've never been deep sea fishing. I like to watch the boats coming back with the beautiful bright green, blue and yellow mahi mahi and sometimes tiger sharks.