If you’re a beginner, here are some valuable tips that’ll get you started off right. Dear rookie fisherman, welcome aboard!
The open ocean can be an unforgiving place if you don’t know what you’re doing so it’s important to do your research and understand a few things before setting out on your fishing expedition.
Here are 5 tips that’ll get you started on your new and exciting offshore fishing hobby.
1. Know Where To Go
Offshore fishing is a little different than shore or pier fishing, which can be done practically anywhere on the lake, river, or ocean. For offshore, generally, there are certain areas where the fish congregate to make it easier for anglers to boat or kayak right up to them, giving you a higher chance of reeling in what you’re going after. This includes places like piers, buoys, break walls, and reefs which are marked on most maps with GPS coordinates for your convenience. Remember that the deeper the water is (in feet), generally the bigger fish you’ll be able to find.
2. Get Your Gear Together
What is your weapon of choice? Fishing rods and reels, and bait and tackle are sometimes overlooked by beginners because they’re either unprepared or just plain ignorant of how important they are for a good catch. Make sure you have the right fishing rod and reel combination so that you can catch what you’re after.
3. Dress The Part
If you’re an avid fisherman, then it goes without saying that you always wear the appropriate clothes for the time of year and occasion. The same goes for offshore fishing as well because not having the right gear or apparel can make all the difference. Make sure to dress appropriately by wearing a wetsuit or drysuit, depending on the time of year and water temperature.
4. Stay Alert
This seems like common sense but it cannot be overstated how important being alert is when you’re out in the open waters. You should always have at least 1 other person with you because if something – whether it be equipment failure, boat malfunction, or if you’re just unlucky and happen to run into a bad storm – is to happen, then at least there is another person with you to help out. If something does happen, your most important task will be communication so make sure the communication equipment on both vessels works properly and that it can reach other vessels as well as the mainland.
5. Be Prepared For The Worst
This is something that must always be prepared for when fishing no matter how experienced you are or where you’re at, offshore or not. If anything goes wrong – whether it’s an equipment failure or running into a bad storm – make sure to have flares ready in case you need to signal others of your whereabouts or distress.
Some Safety tips for offshore fishing:
Here are some safety tips that you must follow while offshore fishing.
1) Unnecessary risks: Do not take unnecessary risks
2) Mobile phone: Keep your mobile phone in a waterproof container or case, keep it charged and the underwater locator activated at all times. Do this even if you’re just taking a little jaunt off to the reef for lunch, because you never know when something will go wrong.
3) Slow down: slow down when approaching clouds, squalls, or thunderstorms. Not only are these weather conditions potentially dangerous to be out on the ocean in, but they can cause all sorts of issues if not handled correctly. If they look too bad for your liking, head back to port and wait for them to pass.
4) Be “weather wise”: This is a concept that many people who fish offshore often forget about, and it’s one of the things that even experienced anglers get wrong. You should always be aware of your surroundings and what you can expect from the weather at all times, and make sure you dress appropriately for the conditions.
6) Watch Your Depth: Something that all anglers have to deal with when fishing is depth; this is no different for offshore fishing. Always make sure you pay attention when it comes to depth and what you’re dropping your line into. Even if you think that there’s not much in the way of structure, check anyway. You may get lucky and find some deep holes or even wrecks out at sea.
7) Watch Your GPS: Another thing you want to do while offshore fishing is staying on top of your GPS so much so that it becomes a distraction. While it’s important to know your exact coordinates and how far you are from the land so as not to get lost, it can often become a problem. Your GPS is only as good as the information it gets, and if there’s nothing for it to pick up out there, what will you do?
The same goes for sonar; while they’re great tools to have, they’re only good for picking up what’s under the surface. You should remember that while it can be very helpful, you still need to pay attention to your surroundings and act responsibly when out on open water.
8) Bring Plenty Of Water: Offshore fishing can take a lot of energy so staying hydrated is very important; you should always bring plenty of water with you when out on the water. There’s nothing worse than running out of water while offshore, especially if it’s hot outside. Don’t assume that there will be access to water where you’re going; make sure you pack enough and drink up regularly.
What to wear for offshore fishing?
As mentioned, this will depend on the time of year and water temperature; but as a general rule, you should dress for cold and wet weather no matter what time of year it is. This means:
* Wetsuit or drysuit
* Waterproof boots
* Warm jacket with hood/warm clothing underneath
* Gloves, beanie, and sunglasses (for sunny days)
You can always contact the coast guard for assistance if you’re having trouble; just make sure that you know your exact location at all times.
By remembering these five simple tips as well as safety tips for offshore fishing, you’ll be able to avoid the mistakes that many new anglers make. It’s not always easy getting used to offshore fishing but if you follow these tips then it will become second nature sooner rather than later.
If you’re heading out on open water for your first time, make sure to be prepared and have some fun. Be safe and have a great time fishing offshore!