Is Deep Sea Fishing Worth It?

Deep-sea fishing is an exciting adventure and is unlike any other type of fishing you might experience. The beautiful sights, wildlife and unique catches can make it a great experience for those wanting to try something different.

However, chartered fishing trips are pretty expensive and can take up a lot of your vacation time. If you have never been, you might be wondering is the cost and time it will take to go deep sea fishing worth it?

I’ve been deep-sea fishing a few times including on the great barrier reef in Australia and in Florida. The experience, thrill, and adventure of deep-sea fishing with the right guide is well worth the cost. You’ll see some beautiful sights, catch some unique fish, and make some incredible memories.  

However, I know friends and family that have gone and haven’t enjoyed their experience and I realize that it might not be for everyone.

To help you better understand what to expect, and if deep-sea fishing is right for you, I have put together this deep-sea fishing guide. Where I’ll share my experience, how much it typically costs and everything you need to know about a deep-sea fishing adventure.

Cost of Fishing Charters

One thing that can ultimately be a deciding factor on whether or not you may choose to go deep-sea fishing is the cost. Some fishing charters can get pretty expensive. It’s important to understand the total overall cost you should expect before committing to a trip.

If you book a private charter fishing trip you should expect to pay an average of $1000-$2000 dollars for a 6–8-hour trip for around 6 people. If you decide to book a shared trip with other people (typically includes 40-70 anglers) you should expect to pay anywhere from $65 to $120 dollars per person for a 6–8-hour day. For semi-private deep-sea fishing charters, it will cost anywhere from $150 to $225 per hour. In addition to the total overall price, you should expect to also pay 15-20% for a tip as well.  

Much of the overall cost will depend upon how long your trip is, the location, type of chartered boat you booked and the species of fish you are targeting.

Booking a fishing charter can be a great option if you are just starting out or want to have a fun, relaxing, and successful day on the water. If a fishing charter is something that you are interested in I’d highly recommend checking out They are basically the airbnb of fishing charters and are a great place to book a trip.

What to Expect When Deep Sea Fishing

If you have never been on an offshore or deep-sea fishing trip you might be wondering what it’s like and what you should expect. Maybe you have seen TV shows like the deadliest catch or Shark Men and think you might experience something similar. More often than not it might not be exactly like what you see on TV.

Before Your Trip

Researching and selecting the right guide service is extremely important and will make a big difference in your overall experience. Once you find and book the right guide and type of trip it’s important to understand what you need to bring and to communicate your expectations.

Here are a few key things to think about:

  • What fish do you want to target and catch?
  • Do you want to keep the fish you catch, or practice catch and release?
  • If you are keeping your fish, does it cost extra and how are you going to store and clean them after?
  • How much time do you want to spend out on the water?
  • Is catching a lot of fish or targeting bigger game fish more important?
  • Understand where to meet and what time you are leaving & coming back
  • Make sure to pack the right gear and essential items.

During Your Trip

Finally, the day of your fishing trip has arrived, and it is time to leave. Make sure to leave and get there early. I can’t stress this enough. Last thing you want to do is be late or even miss the boat departure. Give yourself plenty of time for travel and make sure to bring everything you’ll need.

When you get there, you’ll meet the crew/captain and they will explain all of the rules and safety requirements that you’ll need to be aware of on your trip. They will also show you where the coolers are and where you can sit and put your stuff.

Once you have settled in, takeoff will happen shortly after. For most deep-sea fishing expeditions, you can expect a fair amount of your time to be spent traveling to your fishing spots.

Your fishing experience is going to vary depending on what you are targeting and what part of the world you are fishing. Most deep-sea fishing charters have their customers use live bait and fish with some type of bottom rig. Your guides will have everything you need and will show you what techniques to use.

From there it’s all about using the right techniques to catch and reel your prized fish in, having some laughs and spending some quality time with friends and family.

After Your Trip

After your allotted time is close to ending the crew will take you back to the dock and drop you off. As you leave make sure you’ve collected all of your belongings.

If you want, you can also arrange the crew to take some photos of all your catches and you can coordinate how to best transport your fish (If you have decided to keep any). Some charters will charge you for keeping fish while others won’t, so make sure to understand that going into it.

If you have already paid the only thing left, you would need to worry about deciding how much you should tip. In general, it’s customary to tip 15-20% of your total cost. Most captains prefer to accept cash and may not have credit card machines available.

What to Bring Deep Sea Fishing

Making sure you pack and bring the right gear and snacks is always important especially before heading out on an all-day adventure out at sea. After all, the last thing you want to have happen is to be out in the middle of nowhere without the right supplies.

To help prevent this from happening to you, here are a few things you should make sure to bring:

Fishing Charter Checklist

  • Fishing License
  • Snacks and Drinks
  • Sun Protection
  • Motion Sickness Medicine
  • Proper Fishing Apparel
  • Insect Repellent
  • Personal Care Items
  • Camera

I’ve put together this checklist to help make sure you bring exactly what you need when you head out to sea.

4 Reasons Why You’ll Love Deep Sea Fishing

Deep sea fishing can be a unique experience and thrilling adventure. It’s an activity that is on a lot of people’s bucket list and can be well worth the time and investment.   

Here are four reasons why you will love your deep-sea fishing experience.

The Fish

The thrill of deep-sea fishing is unlike any other type of fishing that you’ll get to experience. You will see and catch fish that you have never seen or heard of before. The unknown and mystery of catching unique and sometimes strange fish makes deep sea fishing a thrilling adventure. Not to mention the size and caliber of fish is unlike anything you’ll see when freshwater fishing.

The Ocean

This one probably seems pretty obvious, and it is. When deep sea fishing you’ll get to spend the day out on a boat in the middle of the ocean. What can be cooler than that? There is something about the fresh ocean air and the peace that being out on the ocean and away from the crowds that deep sea fishing can bring.  


Regardless of what ocean you are on or what type of fish you are fishing, you are bound to see some kind of cool wildlife anytime you head out to sea. You may see dolphins, sharks or even sea turtles right next to your boat. These wildlife sightings can be exciting and will add to your overall fishing experience.  


Most of the time fishing is much more than just fishing. Going on a chartered deep sea fishing trip is all about making memories. Sure, you might come away with some memorable catches and some awesome pictures. However, the most valuable thing that you’ll take away from your trip is the time and memories you share with your friends and family.

5 Reasons Why You Might Not Like Deep Sea Fishing

Deep sea fishing may not be right for everyone and it’s better to know going into it rather than spending a bunch of money on a bad experience.

Here are a few reasons why deep sea fishing may not be right for you.

Sea Sickness

When I went on my first deep sea fishing trip, I got pretty sick, and it ended up being a very long and miserable day. Back then I wasn’t prepared and didn’t realize I got motion sickness so easily. If you think you are likely to get sick then I’d recommend getting the right medicine or consider not going. You’ll end up paying a lot of money only to sit inside and feel sick all day.

Crowded Boats

Another downside to some of the chartered deep sea fishing tips is they can get pretty crowded on a full boat. The charter companies want to fit as many paying customers, they can on a single trip to maximize their revenue. This could mean crowded fishing areas, line tangles and less attention from the fishing guides. This isn’t always the case, but I’ve definitely been out when there have been too many people on one boat. You can pay for a private charter but those can be pretty costly.  


Going out on a half or full day guided fishing trip can get pretty expensive. This is especially true if you are bringing your family or booking a private trip. In general, you can expect to pay around $250 dollars per person for a full day and around $150 dollars for a half a day per person. A lot of the cost depends on how long you go and the kind of fish you are targeting.

It’s Fishing

There is a reason why they call it fishing and not catching. Setting realistic expectations will go a long way toward how much you will enjoy your fishing trip. It’s important to understand that the fishing may not always be good and there is a chance you might not catch anything. There are so many factors that go into how many fish you might catch such as time of year, weather, region as well as many others.  


Just like many other outdoor activities there is the possibility of bad and unpredictable weather. Resulting in some rough waves and the potential of your crew needing to cancel your guided fishing trip. You can always reschedule your trip, but just know there is a slight possibility your plans might have to change because of weather.

Deep Sea Fishing Q&A

Is Deep Sea Fishing Dangerous? Anytime you are out on a boat at sea there are some potential dangers or risks you may run into. However, serious accidents or injuries are rare. The most common risks of deep-sea fishing are actually sunburn, dehydration and sea sickness.

Should You Eat Before Deep Sea Fishing? Before going deep sea fishing, it is recommended that you eat a healthy meal and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages the night before. For breakfast eat something light and make sure to take any motion sickness medicine an hour before you get onto the water.

Can You Drink While Deep Sea Fishing? Most fishing charters will allow their customers to drink while out on a deep-sea fishing adventure. It’s best to check with your captain to make sure how it’s something that is allowed beforehand.  

What Should You Wear Deep Sea Fishing? The right fishing apparel will depend upon the climate and weather you are fishing in. I would recommend bringing multiple layers that will keep you warm and also protect you from the sun. You definitely want to bring head protection, sunglasses and clothes and shoes that are okay to get wet.  

How Much Do You Tip for Deep Sea Fishing? For most fishing charters its customary to tip 15-20% of the total price of the charter. If the crew has gone above and beyond you may want to consider tipping a little bit more to show your appreciation.

Bottom Line

Whether you are a passionate angler wanting to cross off deep-sea fishing on your bucket list or are just looking to have a few laughs with some friends while out on a fishing adventure, deep sea fishing can be a lot of fun.

There is something about being offshore out at sea that makes deep sea fishing a unique experience and a great adventure. You’ll get to see some amazing wildlife, catch some exotic fish, and make some wonderful memories.

If you are out on vacation and faced with the decision on whether or not you should spend the day fishing at sea, I’d highly recommend it just as long as you are prepared and go with an experienced guide. It will be well worth it.

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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