Fishing in Rough Waters: Tips and Best Practices

Jess KContributor IIIOctober 20, 2010

Deep Sea Fishing
Deep Sea FishingDavid Cannon/Getty Images

Fishing in the deep sea can often mean rough and dangerous fishing conditions that require special techniques and teamwork while fishing. Below are some critical deep sea fishing tips that are incorporated into every successful deep sea fishing practice in order to ensure that a person's fishing experience is both safe and productive.

  • Conscientious seamanship starts before the boat even leaves the dock, especially if you are setting out into rough conditions. Responsible, experienced captains will never head out into big waves without first securing the door latches, loose fishing gear and cabinets within the cabin.
  • Although proper preparation of the boat itself is incredibly important, it is also imperative to know where the fish will be. In these cases, a service such as Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service is useful for determining current edge and any changes in temperature so that you can troll along with the waves.
  • When trolling in rougher water, your trolling presentation should be appropriate for the conditions. If the water is choppy as opposed to rolling waves, try incorporating a chugger head and ballyhoo. If the water is rougher, you will want to use a flathead to ensure your lure stays in the water.
  • Rough water means that trolling spreads will usually differ. In larger seas, troll with your bait somewhat closer to the fishing boat. This will prevent them from blowing farther out and it will also be easier to feel bites.
  • When the water is rather rough, the fish will actually have a challenging time even seeing your hooks and leaders. Because of this, it is necessary that you use the correct fishing tackle that is heavy enough for these conditions. Since rough waters will mean fish aren’t as easily spooked, stepping it up on your tackle could prove beneficial.
  • Track your waves in the same manner that a fish might. When the water is rough, tuna and billfish will tail down sea so that they can cover more ground while wasting less physical energy. As they do this, they will also be looking for food.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Winds that are strong have the ability to carry line right off of fishing reels. Since the crew watches the bait and the captains are responsible for navigating the waves, you need to be sure that your fishing gear is in proper working order. Your rods should be free spooled and in their holders at all times.
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