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How to prepare for deep sea fishing

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 04 July 2012. Posted in Fishing Advice


My friend who is a marine shared a saying they have in the military that I love to quote. It's called the 7 Ps and it goes like this:

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Deep sea fishing is a fun and enjoyable activity and generally doesn’t require much special preparation, but there are some good things you can do before hand and bring on the trip with you so that you are best prepared.

For starters, make sure you get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water the day before the trip. Fishing can be a physical activity and the Florida heat, even in the winter months can contribute to dehydration and exhaustion.

If you are prone to seasickness, hydration and rest is even more important, and it’s a good idea to pick up some Bonine or similar anti-motion sickness pill and take it the night before the trip. You should also consider getting a prescription for a seasick patch, which usually is applied the day before.

On the trip, bring plenty of water (some boats supply it, but most don’t) and other food, drinks, and snacks. In addition, sunscreen is essential no matter where or when you’ll be fishing. The most common mistake my passengers make is assuming that if it’s cloudy they won’t get sunburned. Big mistake!

For clothing, you should bring a few layers, including a waterproof jacket in case there is rain or splash. It’s a good idea to call the Captain the day before the trip to find out what weather is expected so you have the appropriate clothes.

Most crew members work for tips, so plan the gratuity ahead of time and bring cash. 15% - 20% of the price of the charter is the customary gratuity for good service. Exceptional service can be rewarded with a higher tip and subpar service can be discounted.

Like with any small business, Captains of fishing charters preferred to be paid in cash to avoid costly credit card fees. In certain areas, such as Destin, it is common for the boats to charge a credit card processing fee of around 5%. Check on this ahead of time and you could save yourself $25 – $50 on most tips, by paying in cash. Even with the best rewards cards, your rebate and miles are not worth that much!

About the Author

Capt. Noah

Capt. Noah

Noah is a United States Coast Guard licensed captain and PADI divemaster. He grew up in South Florida and has a passion for all things involving water. He is one of the rare bread of boaters who loves sailing and power boating. Noah sails competitvely and enjoys travelling, photography, and cooking. 


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