So you’re ready to conquer the high seas of Alabama’s Gulf Coast and reel in some beautiful fish—perhaps even a few for dinner.
Here at Alabama Gulf Seafood, we salute you! But we also want to make sure your trip is as successful as possible. Deep-sea fishing is no easy endeavor, and you don’t want to spend a whole morning on the water and come up empty-handed.
You’ve probably already got a fishing pole and your lures of choice (depending on what species you’re targeting), but here are a few things that every Gulf Coast tacklebox needs, courtesy of Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and program administrator for the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission.
A good pair of pliers will take you a long way. Since you’ll be setting multiple lines throughout the day, you’ll need pliers to take care of all that.
Hooking a fish is (sometimes) the easy part, but unhooking your catch can get a bit tricky. A good dehooking tool will allow you to safely, cleanly remove the hook from your fish, which is especially important when you’re throwing one back.
Speaking of throwing your catches back, if you’ll be fishing in deep water, it’s important to not just dehook the fish you don’t keep but vent them as well. In order to preserve the fish’s swimbladder (and thereby keep the fish alive), you’ll need a venting tool handy.
Measuring Tape or Ruler
A measuring tape is great for sizing up your catches and bragging to all your friends about your trophy fish. But it’s also important for following the rules for catch limits and size restrictions. Make sure you have a measuring tool in case you have to throw your catches back.
Assortment of Hooks
You may have some hooks handy from various other fishing trips, but keep in mind that certain fish are easier to catch with specific hooks. This includes varieties like circle hooks that can help you target the catches you want.
Once you reel those beauties in, you have to hold on to ‘em! There are plenty of brands making gloves specifically for deep-sea fishing, and a good pair will not only keep your catches safe, they’ll prevent you from cutting up your hands with sharp-edged species.
Once your tacklebox is complete with these essentials, you’re ready to set sail. Best of luck, and remember to always throw it back if it’s not in season!