Is Deep Sea Fishing Dangerous?

If you are really into fishing, one thing that is on every anglers bucket list is to go deep sea fishing. Whether it is for Tuna, Marlin, Shark or any other type of trophy fish, there is nothing like bringing in a 500 pound or more fish while sitting in a chair in the middle of the ocean. I have been fishing in Mexico several times, and when my friend brought the idea up to me, I actually was nervous and scared instead of excited.

The reason I was so concerned was that I had never been out fishing where I could not see the land before, so a lot of different things were swirling through my head. Anyone who thinks about chartering a fishing boat out in the ocean has had some of this anxiety before, and our brains are wired to keep us safe, so this is perfectly normal for everyone. The biggest question that I had in my mind that was a very general one as if deep sea fishing was actually safe or not.

Is deep sea fishing safe? Yes, It is safe to go deep sea fishing, but there are some things that you want to make sure you are aware of before booking your trip. Safe can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, so here is a list of fears that people might have when thinking of deep sea fishing in the first place.

  • Will the boat sink
  • What if we need help
  • Will I get sea sick
  • What if I get hurt
  • What if there is a fire
  • Could a storm capsize the boat
  • What if I fall overboard

As you can see, a lot of things go through our mind when we get nervous about something. The good thing is, if you take the time to do your research, listen to the captain of the ship, and take some Dramamine, you will be perfectly fine out on open water. Accidents do happen, but most fishing charters do this sport fishing as their business, and they are out on the water every day, so they know what to expect, even when an emergency happens. Deep sea fishing is safe, and it is a very fun sport that every angler should try in their life.

Research The Charter

ALWAYS research the charter company that you want to use, and do research on multiple companies before you buy something. This is something you should probably not cheap out on and spend the extra money if you can so you know that you are getting something reliable. Having the most expensive charter in the fleet is NOT always the best way to go, but you do not want to look on a website and book a trip and when you get to the dock it is a small fishing boat with a trolling motor.

People can put whatever they want online, and they are not always the most truthful, and trustworthy, so do your homework, make the calls to the companies, and ask them information up front, so you are not surprised when you get to the dock.

Most charters are good at what they do and can get fined by local authorities and busted by the coast guard if they are not compliant, so that typically takes the first layer of scams out of the mix, but people do get through, and that is when deep sea fishing can be dangerous, so always tell someone where you are going, and which charter you are renting for your trip.

Always Check The Weather

Do not expect that a charter company will call you up and say the weather is too bad to fish. Even if they are supposed to give you advanced notice of storms and weather, it is a good idea that you check the weather the week leading up to the day of fishing so that you do not get down there and head out into rough seas.

deep fishing

What may seem like a Tsunami to us, might be a light weather day for the captain, so it is up to you to say when enough is enough. If you plan on fishing in very popular areas like Mexico, Hawaii, or Alaska, check online and make sure you are not going in the winter or hurricane season.

You might find a great deal on a fishing charter only to find out it is in the middle of hurricane season in Mexico, and you are seasick all day. Know the seasons for what area you want to fish in, and plan your trip when you know you will get the maximum fishing experience. Weather can be a horrible thing that makes you regret even getting in a boat and can be scarier than you think because a 20-foot wave in real life takes your breath away.

Always Bring Supplies

Even if you get an all-inclusive charter boat that feeds you lunch, snacks, and drinks, always bring your own supplies. Some charters only give out a sandwich, chips, and a drink for lunch, and may not have anything else until you go in. The last thing you want to do is ruin a whole day of fishing because you are thirsty or hungry and they have to motor back in for hours to get your food.

It would be more likely that if you have to go in because of hunger, the captain would be less willing to take you back out because of fuel costs. Bring a towel, and change of clothes in a backpack, and bring a few snacks and water with you just in case. It can get hot out there, and sometimes it takes hours to catch a fish, if at all, so you want to be prepared to be out on the water for 10 to 12 hours in that day.

It might be a good idea to bring a roll of toilet paper and other essential supplies depending on what the charter is like, and how many people are going. The bigger the boat, and the bigger the crew, the more chance you will have of getting more from them like food and drinks, and the boat will usually be cleaner, but this will also cost you more money.

Accidents Happen

Yes, accidents do happen, but that does not mean that deep sea fishing is not safe, and here’s why. Say you are walking on the boat and you slip and cut your finger, the first thing you might say is “I knew it! This is NOT safe”, but you could slip on your kitchen floor and break your leg, so it could just be a fluke thing. If you keep safety in your mind, and you really listen to the crew, you are going to be just fine.

They will tell you what to do if you get into rough seas, and they should always have your well being at the top of their list. Do not go running along the deck of the boat, and do not do anything dumb, even if it is funny, and you will make it back to shore without a scrape. In the event that something does happen, like getting hooked, or twisting your ankle, stop!

fishing in the deep water

Call over the crew and let them assess the situation and help you out. If the injury is severe enough, they can always turn the boat around, or call for the coast guard if needed. You will almost never be the only boat out on the water fishing, so there will be other vessels out there to help you if the need arises.

Wear The Right Clothes

If you really want to have a good day on the water, it is really important that you talk to the crew of the fishing charter and ask them what type of clothes you should bring or wear with you. You will most often leave early morning between four and five AM.

This is so that they can get out to bait suppliers and get out to the fishing grounds at a reasonable time. Even in Mexico and Hawaii, it gets brisk in the morning, so you could show up in shorts and a hooded sweatshirt and be just fine. I would recommend NOT wearing sandals or any footwear that gets slick when wet.

Flip flops are a very bad idea, and going barefoot is not allowed (at least on the charters I was on), due to slipping on the wet boat. When you come in from fishing, it will most likely be around seven or eight at night, so it could be very cold out on the water. It is a good idea to have a sweatshirt and maybe even some sweatpants or jeans as well as a fresh pair of socks. Even though it could be in the 80’s or 90’s while you are fishing, the morning and the evening out on the water can be very cold.

How Much Is A Full Day Fishing Charter In Mexico

Mexico fishing is the most popular places to charter fishing because of the Tuna, Dorado (mahi-mahi), and Marlin fishing. I took a poll of all the fishing charters that I could find and came up with a rough estimate on prices for 4-6 people on average. Keep in mind that there are a lot of different charters, that offer a lot of different things like food, size of the boat, people it can accommodate, and length of fishing time, so this is an estimate of a 1-day fishing trip.

  • For a 28 to a 40-foot fishing boat that can support 6 people and the crew, it is roughly $600 – $1300 dollars depending on the charter
  • For boats longer than 42 feet, that can support 6 to 18 people, it is roughly $1800 – $3500 dollars depending on the charter.

This usually includes bait but does not include the tip for the captain, so you will want to factor that in when you look at charters. If you and four of your friends want to rent a charter for the day, plan on spending about $750 dollars with the tip for the captain.

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