The first thing to expect is that your ocean fishing expedition will not be like the ones depicted on T.V. shows like Shark Men or Deadliest Catch. In probability, your deep sea fishing trip will be a lot more relaxing and a lot less hazardous.
The trip will last anywhere from a half day to possibly a week. Plan your packing accordingly. After embarking, stow your gear below. Don’t leave things on the deck, for they will either get wet or get in people’s way or both. Sign the ship’s manifest so the captain and crew know you’ve arrived. When a crew member asks if you want a bag for your fish, say yes. People aren’t allowed to bring coolers aboard because of space. Remember your assigned bag number.
A crew member may also ask if you want to enter the jackpot. Whoever catches the biggest fish wins the jackpot. It’s true that more experienced anglers catch more fish than do novices – but that doesn’t mean a beginner can’t get lucky and catch that big fish. All people entering the jackpot must have their own bag.
After the boat is underway, the captain will give a talk explaining what you can expect during the trip, where all the safety gear is kept, and how to rig up your fishing gear. If it’s a day trip or shorter, the boat will take a half hour to an hour to reach the fishing grounds. During that time, the deckhands will be setting up the rental equipment and teaching people how to use it. The deckhands will also spell out any rules peculiar to their boat.
Upon reaching the fishing grounds, pick a spot by the railing and wait for the captain’s order to drop lines. Dropping lines before he gives the order is not recommended; the boat may still be moving, and your line could get tangled up.
The bait will be either chopped-up squid or live fish. If it’s squid, go ahead and bait the hook early. If you’re using live fish, though, you want the fish to be wriggling and active when you drop the line. If it’s already limp and dying, it won’t attract the target fish, and you won’t catch anything.
When you catch something, a deckhand will get it off the hook for you and ask for your bag number. They will then put the fish in the bag for you.
At the end of the trip, the deckhands will weigh the fish for the jackpot. If you’ve entered, you give them your biggest fish, and they will weigh it. The jackpot weigh-in gives people a chance to see what other folks caught and take pictures of their catches. Afterwards, the crew will cut your fish for you, which typically may have a cost.
- Listen to the captain and crew.
- If you’re using live fish as bait, change the bait often.
- Concentrate on having a good time. There will be days when the fish just aren’t biting. Try to have fun anyway.
- Tip the crew if you do have a good time.
- Familiarize yourself with the Fishing Regulations
At Bimini Big Game Club we offer a variety of Private Charter options for fishing – choose from full or half day excursions for bonefishing or deep sea fishing.