If you've enjoyed freshwater fishing outings, you may want to try deep-sea fishing as a change of pace. While fresh-water fishing can be done solo with a few essentials, like fishing waders, tackle boxes, and collapsible rods/reels, deep-sea fishing is a bit more complicated. For your first outing, you may want to book a guide on a charter vessel. Here are four benefits of using a fishing charter.
They Help You Follow the Rules
Each state has its own deep-sea fishing requirements when it comes to licensing and permits. Even if you are fishing in the same area, the rules may change depending on how far away you are from shore. For instance, you may be able to get certain fish in state waters, but if you go very far out to sea into federal waters, it could be illegal to pursue this kind of fish. There are even regulations for how many fish you are allowed to possess depending on the species size, the season, if the species is highly migratory, etc. In short, there are a lot of rules to keep track of, but a guided charter can help you get the proper permits so that you don't face any penalties or fines.
They Manage the Boat
With fly-fishing and spin rods, you can set up on the shore of a river or lake. With deep-sea fishing, you'll need to be several miles from the shore to get to ideal fishing spots. While you could rent a boat yourself, a guided tour is usually better for the first time since the guide will know how to handle choppy waters and various weather conditions.
They Provide Rods and Reels
While the rods and reels of deep-sea fishing look similar to freshwater tools, there are some key differences. First off, deep-sea rods are usually heavier and thicker since they are meant for larger fish, like tuna or marlin. Another notable difference between deep-sea fishing rods and reels and freshwater reels is that deep-sea gear has special casings to protect the instruments from saltwater damage. With freshwater fishing, you will swap out the bait but still use the same rod and reel all day. With deep-sea fishing, you will actually swap out multiple rods depending on the length of the cast that's required or whether a situation calls for spinning reels or special baitcasting. Since all of this gear can quickly add up, it's best to go on a charter boat where it's provided for you. You'll be able to try out different deep-sea gear before committing to a purchase.
They Help You Choose the Right Bait
You can easily pick up dry flies or bait like worms and minnows at outdoor stores for freshwater fishing. With deep-sea fishing, the bait that's used may be more varied and not as easily obtainable. You may need ground bait, or chum, to attract kingfish or snapper. Some deep-sea prey may like a mix of parts from squid, shrimp, eels, or small fish. Dogfish, cod, and halibut are strong enough to take whole crabs. The guide on your charter vessel will know which kinds of bait and lures are attractive to the fish in the area.