Is Deep Sea Fishing Safe?
Last Updated on July 3, 2019
It’s probably every angler’s dream to land a huge fish, something that will afford you bragging rights for years to come and is worthy of posting to Facebook. Whether you’d like land a Shark, Marlin, Tuna or something else, there’s something magical about wrestling with a truly monster fish. Even if you don’t land anything, the very fact that you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean is an experience in itself. I’ve done my fair share of fishing all over the world, from South America and Canada to Australia and Scotland, I’ve been lucky enough to throw my line into nearly every ocean. However, until very recently, I hadn’t had the opportunity to sail into the ocean for several days of intense deep sea fishing.
When the opportunity presented itself, the first thought I had to myself was is deep sea fishing dangerous? Thankfully, deep sea fishing is not especially dangerous. However, anything involving boats, water, hooks, knives, wild animals and unpredictable weather will present some sort of risk.
Some common concerns about deep sea fishing are:
- Can the boat sink?
- What happens if there’s an accident?
- What if I’m seasick?
- What if there’s a fire?
- Is it safe to be in a storm?
- What if someone falls overboard?
As above, there are a lot of things to potentially be concerned about, however, the biggest dangers are probably the same ones you’ll face when on land. Sunburn and dehydration. Keeping yourself hydrated and topped up with suntan lotion will go a long way to avoiding most of the risk. For everything else, pay attention to what you’re doing and pay attention to what the captain and crew are telling you and you should be absolutely fine. It would be naive of me to say that accidents can’t happen, because they definitely can, but bear in mind that charter boats do this stuff day and day out and should have a plan in place for every eventuality.
Is Deep Sea Fishing Dangerous? | Do your Research!
You must thoroughly research the charter company you’re employing to take you out, in fact, it’s worth doing a comparison off as many companies as you can before you commit any money. It’s definitely a situation where cheap is not always best, spending a little bit more on a charter can mean a more reputable company. However, the most expensive option does not necessarily mean it’s the best. Try and find actual customer reviews online, ideally on third party websites such as trustpilot.com. Bear in mind that customer testimonials and reviews placed on the charter companies own website can be cherry-picked or completely fabricated. Additionally, any online reviews can be manipulated quite easily, so just bear that in mind when you’re reading them.
Get the charter on the phone before making any final decisions and confirm the details published online. The last thing you want to happen is to turn up on the day of the booking and be met with a boat that looks nothing like it did online. Having said that, most charters are truthful, otherwise, they wouldn’t stay in business for long. Most scam companies are taken down pretty quickly by the authorities, but some will always slip through the cracks, it’s these companies that pose a danger and can cause a deep sea fishing trip to become dangerous.
Know the Weather
You shouldn’t rely on someone else to inform you if the weather is not ideal for fishing. Most charter companies will cancel or delay a trip if the weather forecast is bad, however, it’s always a good idea to check the weather leading up to a trip for any unforeseen storms or strong winds. It might be possible to head out into rough seas, but it’s not at all fun, especially if you suffer from seasickness. What might feel like a storm to end all storms to you, might just be a little bit of chop for the captain?
At the end of the day, you’re responsible for saying when you’re uncomfortable and when enough is enough. If you’re going to some of the more popular deep sea fishing locations such as Mexico or Alaska, make sure you know what season you’re going in, and try to avoid hurricane or winter seasons. If you check online, you might see some great deals, just make sure that these deals are only available during hurricane season. Being on a boat in rough weather can be experienced, but it quickly becomes tiresome and is not something I would recommend. A twenty-foot wave is far larger than you might think and trust me when I tell you that they are incredibly scary, even for experienced fishermen.
Take Your Own Supplies
Most charters will provide you with food, including snacks, drinks and main meals, but it’s worthwhile taking your own just in case. You might find the food is not to your taste, or there’s simply not enough, if this happens to you, you’ll be glad you have your stash. It’s incredibly unlikely the ship’s captain will turn around simply because you’re hungry, the fuel costs alone make this uneconomical, so make sure you have enough to keep yourself fed and watered for at least a day. Additionally, I would recommend bringing the following items:
- Change of clothes & warm clothes
About The Author
Jonathan Holmes, MSc
My name is Jonathan Holmes. I am passionate about the outdoors and enjoy writing about what I love.
I love camping, fishing, sailing and really anything else that gets me out into the fresh air. I began this blog as I wanted to write about what interests me, whether that’s RVs or my latest fishing trip, you’ll find it all on this blog.