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101 Fishing Tips From the Net



1Florida Gulf Coast

Florida has some of the best deep sea fishing gulf locations in the world, (, 2013).

2. Destin Deep Sea Fishing

Destin is probably the most popular location among Florida spots, (, 2013).

3. Learn the Navigation Charts of the Area You’re Fishing

If you’re new to the area, then take the time to research the area, and review its navigation charts. This will help you locate the most promising fishing spots and help ensure you don’t get lost, (, 2015).

4. Marine Charts

You’ll find fish in places where food is readily available, such as the mouth of a creek, channel, inlet, or estuaries. Falling tide is a prime example. Structure of almost any type is another. Marine charts and maps are indispensable for locating such potential hotspots, (, 2015).

5. Understanding Tidal Currents

Understanding tidal currents and how they affect the areas you fish is critical, because the movement of water does not always precisely follow high and low tides. In many spots, especially inlets and channel entrances, the tidal current may lag the actual tide by an hour or more. In areas like this, fish often respond more to the direction and speed of water movement than to the actual height of the tide. However, in open water the height of the tide can be most important, (, 2015).

6. Follow the Tides

Try to schedule your fishing day on a day when the tide is ebbing. This typically presents the most opportune fishing for saltwater anglers. If an ebb tide isn’t in your scheduling window, then a half-rising or half-falling tide will also work well, (, 2015).  

7. Clear Water

Wind and tides will always leave one side more turbid than the other, and targeting the flat with optimal clarity is usually the better option, (Brown, 2014).

8. Be One With Nature

A deep sea fisherman needs to establish some intuition, and learn how to read into signs that a novice may not catch, (, 2013).

9. Fish Where the Fish Are

A lot of fishermen have the idea that they should be catching their live baits over the reefs before going to deep waters. If the live baits are not in the area where you’re planning to catch the larger game fish, then why would you come up with the idea that the large fish are there? Wouldn’t they be in the area where the bait fish are, (Dodson, 2013)?

10. Head for the Reef

The best place to fish is near a reef, because they are hot beds of activity for smaller fish, which means larger fish wanting to feed will swim to a reef, or along its outskirts, (, 2014).

11. Rocks, Reefs, and Wrecks

Rocks, reefs, and wrecks are great places to start looking for fish when offshore fishing. These types of structures provide a haven for every species in the food chain, and offer a place for fish to hide from the strong ocean currents, (, 2015).

12. Look For Structure

Most fish would rather spend time around a submerged structure to take advantage of its pertinent, basic safety. In particular, Snook would rather be around ledges, posts, and rubble. Finding these kinds of spots will help you locate more fish, (, 2015).

13. Hills and Sea Mounts

Submerged mountain ranges and hills divert the current and create ideal spots for offshore fishing. Sea mounts can provide fish with more favorable water conditions. Water temperature, light level, or salinity may be out of the range for a particular species at the bottom of the sea mount, but just right at the top, (, 2015).

14. Keep Your Eyes Open for the Birds

Should you see Seagulls which have been feasting on tiny bait-type fishes, you can find likely larger game-type fish beneath the surface area of the water, (, 2015).

15. Pay Attention to Floating Wood or Debris

When you chance upon a large piece of floating wood, you can find large game fish in the area, and maybe even enjoy some dolphin encounters, (, 2014).

16. If You’re Looking for Tuna, Find the Dolphins

Yellowfin tuna are usually found schooling with dolphins. If you see a group of dolphins, chances are, there are some tuna in the area, (Dodson, 2013).

17. Look Out for Dolphins

The two species often school together, so the dolphins often mark the tuna. Careful though, dolphins are protected so make sure you do not try to catch one, (, 2013).

Best Time and Places to Fish



18. Familiarize Yourself with the Equipment and Bait

If you’re new to saltwater fishing, you’ll notice the equipment and bait are somewhat different from what you might be used to. Knots are different too. Therefore, get familiar with these things before you get out on the ocean. This will help to ensure that you spend more time fishing, and less time trying to tie certain knots properly, (, 2015).  

19. Use What You Know

Use only brands of fishing line that you are familiar and comfortable with. Unknown bargain lines will often let you down at the worst moment, (, 2015).

20.Don’t Use a Wire Leader

Don’t use a wire leader if you can get by with monofilament. You will get more strikes this way. Wire also kinks easily, which may cause it to break. Even toothy fish, like Spanish mackerel and bluefish, can be caught on mono leaders, if the material is heavy enough (at least 50- or 60-pound-test), and if you cut back the mono whenever it begins to look gnawed, (, 2015).

21. Use the Right Line

If an individual chooses to go “down below” some time, a cod-line is a must for everyone to enjoy saltwater fishing. A perch-line may also be beneficial, and if it’s time for mackerel fishing, a mackerel jig is going to be an excellent aid, (, 2015).

22. Cut and Burn

 If you have trouble cutting through a spiderwire braid, try using a lighter or a match, (Dodson, 2013).

23. Tough Knot

The Bimini Twist (also known as the Twenty-Times-Around Knot), is the only knot that maintains 100 percent strength under all conditions. Use it to double the line for a strong leader connection, (, 2015).

24. Cut Back That Front Part

Change monofilament often. Once it begins to look dull or feel rough, it is no longer strong. At the very least, cut back that front part of the line to remove the weaker section, and then retie the leader, (, 2015).

25. Big Fish with Rough Lips

Big fish with rough lips require extra-heavy monofilament. It takes 80- to 100-pound test to land a 100-pound tarpon, or 50- to 80- pound tests to land a really big Snook. Casting a long length of that stuff is difficult, so divide the leader into two stages. Keep the heavy stuff short (e.g., 12- to 20- inches), and use lighter (e.g., 30- to 40-pound-test), for the secondary section when fishing around heavy cover or structure, (, 2015).

26. Quick Sinking

Gel braid lines are more sensitive than monofilament. They also have a smaller diameter that offers less resistance in current, which makes them an excellent choice for fishing lures that sink quickly, especially jigs. They have become very popular with heavy jigs in extremely deep water. Some anglers fish them in depths in excess of 300 feet, (, 2015).

27. Lubricate a New Reel

Lubricate a new reel to make sure no critical areas were overlooked at the factory. Lube it again at the end of the fishing season, or every six months if you fish throughout the year. Bait casting reels may need a touch on the level wind gears more often. Always use light oil in those areas where grease is not required, (, 2015).

28. Skip the Swivel

If you must use a wire leader, skip the swivel if possible. Make a loop in the wire with a Haywire Twist, and tie the doubled mono to the wire loop with an Albright knot, (, 2015).

29. Larger Diameter Line

The Connector Knot is the best way to attach a larger diameter line to a smaller one, because it slips through guides easily, (, 2015).

30. Circle Hooks

Hook sizes and shapes are critical with all types of bait. Circle hooks, for instance, are popular, because they very rarely hook fish in the throat, and their hookup rate is as good, or better than, the conventional J-hook. Treble hooks are a poor choice for bait fishing since they are easily swallowed and do far more damage than when attached to a lure. Any fish that escapes with a treble hook in the throat is a dead fish, (, 2015).

31. The Circle Hook

Use a circle hook if you would like a higher hook up ratio. These hooks guarantee more catches because of the minute gap and the reverse point. They are generally better for the fish, since they do not hook in the gut, just the lip, (Pilkington, 2015).

32. Drop a Dropper

When jigging, tie on a salt-water fly, or soft plastic bait above the jig, using a dropper loop. Some theorize that fish are competitive, and since the jig looks like a fish chasing a smaller bait fish, they dart in to steal the food, (Bishop, 2015).

33. Pink Balloons for Live Baiting are Best

Many experts agree that using pink balloons to hold up live bait seems to attract more yellowtail kingfish to the bait. When using a balloon as a float for live bait, remember to tie the balloon off to the rod end of the swivel. If you tie it off to the bait end, you can almost guarantee leader line twists and tangles, (Bishop, 2015).

34. Lures Work Better

Most lures work better if attached to the line or leader with a loop knot. This allows a more natural action for bait, as well, (, 2015).

35. Lures That Look New and Bright

Fish bite best on lures that look new and bright. Buy only lures you know you will need, and buy just enough to last a few trips. Rinse the used lures, and dry them before returning them to the tackle box, (, 2015).

36. Noisy Lures

When fishing turbid water, try noisy top water lures. Lures with a rattle or pop, worked slowly, are easy for the fish to locate. Smaller is sometimes the best on calm days, but bigger is better in choppy water, (, 2015).

37. Know the Bait

Learn what the larger fish are feeding on during each season of the year, and especially when you are fishing for them. True, this is something you need to pay attention to in regards to any type of fishing. However, when it comes to deep sea fishing, you will most likely need to buy a specific type of bait for the best success. Talk to some experienced anglers who specialize in catching the type of fish that you’re going after, (, 2014).

38. Change Your Bait Regularly

It’s a good idea to always keep fresh bait on your line when you’re deep sea fishing. If you’re not getting a bite, mix it up and try something new. Listen to the captain and crew for advice, and have some patience, but also try to nix bait that’s not working, (HumanBeing, 2011).

39. Unwanted Transfer  

Be sure to rinse your hands after applying sunscreen while out on the boat. The smell and taste can transfer to the bait you’re handling, causing the fish to stop biting, (, 2014).

40. Live Bait Stays in Top Condition

Live bait stays in top condition longer if kept in a well with good circulation. Incoming water is always best, but if that’s not possible, use an aerator. Warm water cannot hold as much oxygen as cool, so temperature is critical. In an aerated, non-circulating system, the water must be changed every few hours to remove waste material that replaces oxygen in the water, (, 2015).

41. Bottom Bait

If bottom fishing, try using fishing lures, such as, large jigs or heavy-duty rigs to get the baits down deep, (, 2015).

42. Drifting a Bait

Live and cut baits can both be drifted with a weight, on your line, to keep it near the bottom, or suspended beneath a bobber or popping cork. The difference between this fishing method and bottom fishing is motion. Drift fishing requires some weight to get the bait down, but the motion of the boat moves the bait through the water slowly. You can also drift bait under a bobber or popping cork, (, 2015).

43. Shrimp, Crabs, and Crustaceans

Shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans can be kept alive and healthy for many hours in an ice chest if they are packed in wet newspaper or damp vegetation so they do not make direct contact with the ice or ice water, (, 2015).

44. Crabs for a Full Moon

During full moons, use soft crab imitations as bait. That’s the time when crabs shed their shells, and stripers come looking for them, (Dodson, 2013).

45Shark Bait

For bait, you need something that bleeds. Sharks go crazy for blood, so the more the better. The usual suspects for shark bait are tuna, eels, and stingrays, (, 2013). 

46. Chumming

Chumming, or chunking, is an effective addition to the bait fishing techniques you use. By releasing tiny bits of ground up bait, called chum, into the water, you create a scent trail that the fish can follow to your boat and your baits. Chum can be ground fish, creamed corn, cat food, or just about anything that creates a fish-like scent. Simply throw pieces of bait into the water, around where you are fishing, to bring feeding fish close to your boat, (, 2015).

47. Three Ingredients for Chumming

Chumming requires three ingredients: fresh or fresh-frozen material, a current to carry it, and judicious use. The idea is to create a line of food that draws fish from far away. Toss in too much food over a short period of time, and the fish may hang too far back and simply enjoy a free lunch. Too little chum may not move them at all. Start slowly, and gradually increase the chum until you get results, (, 2015).

48. Take Care of Your Gear

Keep fishing knives sharp, and cover the blade when not in use, (Benton, 2014). 

49. Soak It In a Bucket

Before storing a reel for any length of time, soak it in a bucket of fresh water for several hours to get all of the saltwater out of the line and the interior corners of the reel, (, 2015).

Sunscreen Unwanted Transfer



50. Bottom Fishing

In some instances, fish can be found on the bottom, so the best way to catch them is to put your bait down there, as well. You’ll need a weight or sinker on your line, rigged below your hook, to get your bait down to the bottom and hold it there (try using a 3-way rig). If there is a lot of current, you’ll need a heavier weight. If you rig your weight above your bait in a strong current, the bait will drift back the distance between the two. Once you have dropped your lure or bait, let the bait rest, and float along until you get a bite. Check your bait periodically to ensure it’s still on your hook, (, 2015).

51. Anchor for Reef Species

For reef dwelling species, such as blackfish, grouper, or snapper, consider anchoring the boat in place with the engines, and then drop baits down to the structure, (, 2015).

52. Use the Boat to Your Advantage

With many big fish, it is best to keep the boat moving forward to keep the fish from heading down. Keep big fish close to the surface, (Hadley, 2013).

53. Casting

Experienced fishermen cast their line by throwing it as far from the boat, and other lines, as possible.  For beginners, many recommend just dropping the line down, (Kowalick, 1999).

54. Don’t Get Tangled

Keep your lines as straight as possible whenever the boat turns. Try your hardest not to cross lines with anyone. If they do get crossed, and someone gets a fish on the hook, you both will start reeling your lines and cause a tangle, which will be very difficult to get loose without losing the fish, (HumanBeing, 2011).

55. Set the Hook

Many anglers set the hook before the fish has the bait, or lure, well inside its mouth. Better to wait an extra second or two if you cannot see the fish, or wait until you actually see the bait or lure disappear inside the fish’s mouth. A good way to time this is to wait until you feel a lot of pressure on the line from the fish, (, 2015).

56. Trolling

The best deep-sea fishing techniques involve trolling with natural or artificial baits, (, 2015).

57. Fast and Slow Trolls

For high-speed predatory fish such as tuna, wahoo and billfish, try fast-trolling fishing lures and slow-troll live baits, (, 2015).

58. Don’t Give Up on a Spot Too Soon

Successful saltwater fishing demands patience. It can be tempting to leave one spot for another if the fish haven’t been biting, but be wary about leaving a spot too early. Instead, try at least two different lures, or bait, and make sure you cast to every point in the area that looks promising, (, 2015).  

59. Avoid the Sharks

Sharks in the region will disturb individuals from finding and catching fish. By pouring some fish blood on a paper towel, rolling it into a ball, and tossing it overboard, sharks will follow the current and vacate the location, surely increasing the likelihood of catching fish, (, 2015).

60. Detecting a Sticky Drag

Put the reel on a rod, thread the line through the guides, and have a friend, partner, child, or Husky, pull off line, while walking briskly away. Hold the rod at about 45 degrees. If the rod tip ‘nods’ up and down, as line is pulled off against the drag, you’ve got a problem. Fortunately, a sticky drag is easily fixed by a quick trip to the tackle shop, (Bishop, 2015).

61. Fish the Edges First

You need to always try the borders of the perimeter, first, instead of plopping your bait or lure at the center, because it will scare the other fish away. By going through the edges first, one will gain a much better chance of capturing unsuspecting fish in the middle, (, 2015).

62. Leave the Work to the Rod

Let the rod do the work once you know you have solidly hooked the fish. Let the guides, water resistance of the line, line elasticity, and drag work together to tire the fish, (Hadley, 2013).

63. Pull & Reel

Work the fish closer to you by pulling the rod tip up, then reeling rapidly as you drop the tip down, (Hadley, 2013).

64. No Slack!

Avoid creating slack in the line at any time. This can enable the fish to spit out the hook, or break your line, (Hadley, 2013).

65. Wear Out Big Fish Before Landing Them on the Boat

Big game fish can be dangerous. It’s better to tire the fish out, and avoid bringing it to the boat “green”, (Hadley, 2013). 

66. Let the Crew Help You Bring in Your Catch

Large game fish can be difficult to reel in, so it’s important to listen to specific instructions, and do as you’re told. Assistants may help to set the lure, and let you do the hard muscle work, or they may have other ways of working. Just listen closely, and stay out of the way, if you can’t help, (Jakesoup, 2014).

67. Keep Your Back Straight

 The fish will be heading out and towards the bottom of the ocean floor, pulling you into the boat’s railing. Keep your back straight, with contraction of your core muscles. This will support your back best. With some fish, you will have to slump over the rail. Habitually, you will want to stand up using your back, (Clough, 2014).

68. Stagger Your Feet 

Staggering your feet allows a more upright position, and will better prepare you for that huge tug as you hook up a fish, (Clough, 2014).

69. Anchor Your Rod

 Use your body to support your fishing rod, and it will alleviate some of the strain on your back. Try placing the end of your rod in your side, about 3 inches to the left of your belly button. Using your body helps to stabilize the rod, which allows one to use his or her legs, and keep their core muscles tight, as the fish is reeled in, (Clough, 2014).

70. Bend Backwards

After a successful fishing trip, and reeling in that huge prize winning fish, bend backwards a few times to counteract the forward force that your body just fought against, (Clough, 2014).

71. Use the Waves  

 Even if the fish you have hooked up isn’t too big, the ocean can fight against you. Here are a few tips to fight back. Wait for the boat to go up the wave. Once at the top, wind, wind, wind, wind as you ride down the wave! This allows the wave to bring up your rod, saving your arms and body the trouble of pulling up on a fighting fish against the swells of the ocean, (Clough, 2014).

72. Follow Your Fish

The fish will move sideways, and even swim all the way around the boat. Follow it! Torquing your body at different angles is stressful on your back. Staying in front of your fish, and moving your feet with it, will help keep the fish on the line, as well, (Clough, 2014)!

Saltwater Fishing Techniques



73. Feel It Move

A fish that appears tired and lethargic may need some help. If you simply toss it back in the water, it will likely sink and die. Moving it back and forth in still water or facing it upstream in current will get its respiratory system back in operation a lot faster. Wait until you can feel the fish beginning to move on its own before letting it go, (, 2015).

74. Gut Hooked

If a fish is gut hooked, just cut the leader or line as close to the hook as possible, and then release the fish. Acids in the body of the fish will dissolve the hook, literally, within days (King, 2006).

75. Gaffing

NEVER gaff a fish you plan to release. Open wounds from a gaff invite infection and draw predators, (King, 2006)!

76. Do Not Be a Surgeon

If you hook a fish deep in its mouth, then do not attempt to surgically remove the hook. Instead, cut the line as close to the hook as possible so the fish’s internal organs and gills do not get compromised in the process. Do NOT go up through the gills to access a deep hook, (Simonds, 2015).

77. Check for decompression problems

A fish’s swim bladder (used for buoyancy) can uncontrollably expand when getting pulled up from the depths too quickly and render it unable to get back down (they’ll just float upside down on the surface and die from exposure, or from a predator coming in for an easy meal).Traditionally, anglers use a venting tool to de-inflate the fish’s swim bladder, (Simonds, 2015).

Catch and Release Tips



78. Take Measures to Prevent Seasickness

You might want to adopt some precautionary actions, and ask a physician for seasickness medicine before your departure, (, 2015).

79. Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is an important factor to consider if you are a novice who has never gone out deep sea fishing. The purpose of the trip is supposed to be exhilarating fun. It will turn out quite differently than expected if you are prone to motion sickness. There are medications you can take to alleviate some of the symptoms, (, 2013).

80. Avoid Seasickness by Looking Up and Out

At the most basic level, seasickness is a matter of sensory mismatch. When you’re sitting on a boat that’s rolling on the water, the body, inner ear, and eyes all send different signals to the brain. Your brain gets confused, and you get queasy. Stop tinkering with your computer and equipment, and look out on the horizon, which usually appears very stable. Your peripheral vision will see the ocean swells that you feel. The whole picture will make more sense to your brain. Likewise, brace yourself at the center of the boat where the rocking and rolling is less amplified, (Yeager, 2015).

81. Don’t Have Sea Legs

Watch the horizon and stay on deck. This would generally help you if you’re having trouble with sea sickness. Stay away from the boat fumes, because breathing fumes only exacerbates the problem, (Dodson, 2013).

82. Be Clean and Sober

Even a mild hangover can easily degenerate into seasickness, besides increasing various diving risks. Likewise, fatigue predisposes you to seasickness, (Yeager, 2015).

83. Relax

Anxiety contributes to seasickness. Those who are frightened by the ocean and the movement of the boat, or anxious about the diving later in the day, are more likely to become seasick, (Yeager, 2015).

84. Apply Some Pressure to Minimize Seasickness

For centuries, traditional Chinese medicine has included acupuncture or acupressure on the inside of the wrist, at a spot called P6, as a way to suppress the nausea associated with motion sickness, (Yeager, 2015).

85. Breathe the Ocean Air

Prevent motion sickness by keeping your face to the wind and breathing fresh air as much as possible. Do not swallow the air (that will make it worse) – breathe deeply through your nose.  The goal is to relax.  The smell of fresh salt air is actually soothing, and can help to eliminate nausea, (Ellis, 2013).

86. Do Not Drink Excessive Amounts of Coffee

Drinking coffee, in general, is a bad idea before you go to sea: 1.) It is bad for your digestive system. 2.) It increases the need to defecate. 3.) It fills your stomach with a thick liquid, and a bad aftertaste, (Ellis, 2013).

87. Do Not Go Below Deck, in the Cabin, or near an AC Unit

Going inside the cabin of a boat, rolling around at sea, is a surefire way to get seasick.  You need fresh air.  Even if it’s raining or cold, stay outside, (Ellis, 2013).

88. Avoiding Seasickness

Don’t want to get sea sick?  Don’t stare at people who get sea sick, (Ellis, 2013).

89. Don’t Lay Down

If you lay on your back, stomach, or side while in rolling seas, you will get sea sick. Stay on your feet, sit only when you have to, and stay active.  When you move around, you will bend your knees and compensate for the movement of the waves, (Ellis, 2013).

90. Avoid Exhaustion

Exhaustion interferes with the vestibular system’s habituation process.  If you’re well rested, your body and mind will be ready to handle whatever comes their way, to the best of their abilities. Depriving your body of the REM cycle it needs to recuperate, and “balance” your metabolism, is a ticket to a long miserable day at sea, (Ellis, 2013).

Tips for Avoiding Seasickness



91. Wear a Life Vest

If using a boat to fish, wear your life jacket and make sure that your passengers wear theirs, too, (Benton, 2014). 

92. Inspect Waterfronts Daily

The natural environment is subject to change without notice, (Benton, 2014). 

93. Don’t Fish in Areas Where it is Not Permitted

These areas have been declared “off limits” from fishing to protect wildlife and vegetation, or for your safety.  When choosing a site for fishing, always consider safety factors, (Benton, 2014). 

94. Consider Safety Factors

When choosing a site for fishing, always consider safety factors. Because fishing is practiced in a variety of environments, evaluate factors specific to safety in each environment, (Benton, 2014). 

95. Pay Attention to the Weather

Weather is always a factor. Set up a weather committee, or rotate weather forecasting responsibilities, (Benton, 2014). 

96. Have Basic Safety Gear

Bring along extra safety items, such as water, flashlights, maps, and a cellphone or radio, (Benton, 2014). 

97. Wear the Right Shoes

Always wear footwear appropriate for the conditions, (Benton, 2014). 

98. Protect Yourself from the Elements

Stay dry, warm, and protected from the elements. Wear a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15.Wear thin layers of clothing, and progress outward to include water and wind protection as the final layer, (Benton, 2014). 

99. Use Bug Spray

Use appropriate insect protection measures, including dressing properly and using repellents, (Benton, 2014). 

100. Don’t Just Grab the Fish

Handle fish carefully, (Benton, 2014). 

101. Go With Experts

It is always a good idea to have at least one person on board who knows a lot about deep sea fishing. A novice group should never travel alone, as this is a sport that holds a lot more danger than the average fishing trip. There are plenty of excellent deep sea fishing guides who can make your trip both fun and safe. It is also a recommended to find as much deep sea fishing info and learning materials as possible before heading out, (, 2013).

Safety Fishing Tips


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Clough, S. (2014, July 10). Deep sea fishing: 7 Tips for prevention of low back pain. Retrieved from

Dodson, S. J. (2013). Learning how to fish. Clinton Gilkie. Retrieved from


Ellis, C. (2013, June 04). Seasickness prevention: How to avoid sea sickness on a fishing charter. Retrieved from

Field and Stream, (2015). 25 Tips for saltwater fishing. Retrieved from

Hadley, C. (2013, November 01). How to reel in a large fish. WikiHow. Retrieved from

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Intracoastal Angler, (2015, June 16). 8 Saltwater fishing tips for landing the big one.  Retrieved from

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Pilkington, N., (2015). Discover Boating: Deep Sea Fishing Tips. Retrieved from

Simonds, L. (2015, July 03). Must know catch and release fishing tips for saltwater anglers. Retrieved

from (2015). Deep-sea fishing. Retrieved from (2015). Fishing techniques. Retrieved from

World Fishing Network. (2013, July 07). Deep Sea fishing. Retrived from

Yeager, S. (2015). The healthy diver: 15 Tips for avoiding seasickness. Sportdiver. Retrieved from