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FISHING - Quick Start Guide to Deep-Sea Fishing in Baja

Quick Start Guide to Deep-Sea Fishing in Baja
by Jay Jenkin

Any chance to fish is exciting and can be great fun, but for many freshwater anglers, a chance to go offshore and do some real deep-sea fishing is the opportunity of a lifetime. The sun, the waves and the humongous fish—what's not to like? Before you can head out, however, you need to know what you are doing, so this guide will explain how to fish in the ocean.

First off, preparation. If you are like 90 percent of people, if you go out on the ocean without sunscreen, you will soon resemble a hard-boiled lobster, so sun protection is vital. If the sun is out, it will also likely be very hot, so bring plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration and dress appropriately.

Take safety precautions: Have enough life preservers on your boat for everyone, make sure that someone knows you are gone and will report you missing if you do not come back, and also be sure to take a working radio. Moreover, of course, make sure that you have a valid fishing license and a copy of the current fishing regulations. Being caught with an illegal fish will result in heavy fines and most likely a loss of fishing privileges.

Okay, that is out of the way. Now what? You need to make sure that you bring the correct bait and gear, or you won't be catching anything. Don't bother bringing your freshwater fishing rod—you need a saltwater rig with a beefy reel and some quality fishing line. Select an appropriate hook, and make some choices about bait.

Do you want to use live or artificial? I recommend live, as it is often more effective. The preferred method is to use cut squid bait purchased from a store; go out with that, and use it to catch baitfish, which you can then turn around and use to catch the big fish that you are really after. If you do this, you will need a boat that is equipped with a bait well or some other container with salt water in it to hold these baitfish in.

When you are actually fishing, be ready for a whole lot of reeling. Depths of 200 feet or more are not uncommon, depending on your location, and some find that electric reels are a good choice. In addition, on deep-sea fish, you often do not need to set the hook. You will feel some preliminary nibbles on your line, and then a powerful strike that will set the hook for you. If you pull up too early, you lose the fish.

The last thing to have on your boat is a Fish Finder or other sonar rig. These incredible devices will tell you where the fish are with astounding accuracy, and are fantastic time savers. Don't leave home without one!

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