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Beginner’s Guide to Deep Sea Fishing

Beginner’s Guide to Deep Sea Fishing

Posted by Starla Gunter on

If miles and miles of ocean, deep waters, and big catches are what your dreams are made of, you might want to take up deep sea fishing. Also called big game fishing, or trophy fishing, this most popular form of fishing is perfect for novices and experts alike to enjoy.

So what qualifies deep sea fishing as deep sea? It’s all about the depth of the water you’re fishing in. While offshore fishing is based on how far you are from shore, deep sea fishing is based on how deep the water is, specifically 100 feet of depth or more. The deep sea is where you’ll find people fishing for the big ones – marlin, tuna, and mackerel, among other trophy fish that live and migrate offshore.

If you’re new to fishing or have never attempted deep sea fishing, you’d be surprised at how accessible this sport is. There are just a few things you need to know to get started.

Where Can I Go Deep Sea Fishing?

When it’s hundreds of feet of depth and deep sea fishing you’re looking for, you might be surprised that the distance from shore can widely differ, depending on where in the country or in the world you’re going fishing.

For instance, along Florida’s Gulf Coast in locations such as Destin, the sea floor slopes drastically and can reach seriously deep waters just a few miles offshore. 

If you were to head somewhere off the West coast of Mexico, such as Cabo, you can encounter deep sea species less than a mile offshore. Imagine being able to start deep sea fishing within a few minutes of leaving the dock!

Heading off the coast of California might land you in one of the longest treks to a deep sea fishing spot. Fishing in these spots can involve journeying out to “the canyons” which lie about 100 miles from shore. Sure, take the scenic route, but less us warn you. Your trip will likely involve choppy waters and a full day at sea. (Maybe pack some seasick patches, just in case!)


What Type of Boat Do I Need?

Now that you might have a good idea of where you want to fish and what fish you’re targeting, you’ll need to decide on a boat to get you there. There are three primary options for getting you where you need to go when it comes to deep sea fishing excursions.


Party (or “head”) boats can hold as many as 50 people aboard.  You might be thinking of music blaring, dancing, and lots of booze. Don’t worry, it’s not that kind of party boat.

Also called head boats, this option typically runs cheaper, but can deter deep sea fishing enthusiasts due to the amount of people on the boat and limited access to the type of fish you’re targeting.

Most head boats have a schedule to keep and a set location to travel to, meaning you don’t get a customizable itinerary. But if this is your first trip or you’re wanting to take the kids on a deep sea fishing excursion, this is a great option in terms of keeping your out-of-pocket costs down (tickets on average are $10-15 per person) and giving you camaraderie with other novices.


An alternative to fishing on a party boat is going out on a group charter. Charters are a great alternative for those who want to go fishing with a smaller group of people and have more of a private deep sea fishing experience. Group charters, on the other hand, hold anywhere from six to 15 people and can save you quite a bit of money, as they are only about $30-35 per person.


Private charters are more intimate, allowing no more than 6 people at a time, but are more expensive, over $200 per person. The added benefit of hopping aboard any of these vessels, versus trying to secure your own boat, is that bail, license, and tackle are all included in the cost. Additionally, the camaraderie of being with other die-hard fishermen can make this experience one of a lifetime!

What Equipment Do I Need?

Now, before you can start figuring out which fish species you are targeting, you must acquire the right gear. Besides, who wants to be adrift, miles away from shore, only to find out you don’t have all the equipment you need to reel in a big one?

Let’s start with the basic gear. You’ll need a fishing rod and reel, along with some tackle, including line, hooks, and sinkers. If you find yourself aboard a deep sea charter, you’ll be fishing from a large boat, which means you’ll likely find a variety of rods and reels on board. But we recommend checking with them ahead of time so you’re fully prepared with the gear you need to bring yourself.

Aside from the basic fishing gear, we recommend bringing extra layers of clothing for protection, rubber soled shoes, and a pair of gloves. Polarized sunglasses are great for a sunny day, as is sunscreen. Don’t forget, you may be on the boat most of the day, and when the sun reflects off of the water, the intensity of its rays hits right on your face.

Last but not least, if you’re new to deep sea fishing, we recommend seasickness medication. It doesn’t take much rocking of the boat to make you feel uneasy if you’re not used to it.

Gone Fishin’

Deep sea fishing is a must-do experience if you live near the coast or want a quick, adventurous getaway. Unlike other fishing experiences, saltwater fishing can be exhilarating and unpredictable in the best ways. 

Getting the most out of your deep sea fishing experience means you need to be prepared for a day spent on the water. At Groove Life, we specialize in outdoor-friendly gear that can be customizable to your needs. 

What are you waiting for? Get started by checking out our website today to find the perfect gear for your next deep sea fishing trip!

Groove Life®. Ready for Adventure™.

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