What To Wear Deep Sea Fishing: Trip Checklist

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So, you’re planning in going on your first ever deep sea fishing trip. Yeah, that means getting on a nice boat and heading out far from the shore to fish for some mighty big specimen.

It’s your first trip and you might be wondering what kind of clothing to wear and what kind of gear to bring with you. Yes, there’s a fairly long list of essentials that you should bring with you. Let’s go over a full checklist on what to wear for deep sea fishing.

The short answer is;

  1. Sunglasses.
  2. A hat.
  3. Gloves.
  4. Sunscreen.
  5. A shirt & sweater.
  6. A hoodie.
  7. A waterproof coat.
  8. Pants or long johns.
  9. Waterproof pants or overalls.
  10. Socks (+extra socks).
  11. Waterproof boots or shoes.
  12. Food & water.
  13. Emergency supplies.
  14. A life preserver.
  15. Your fishing gear (if needed).


What to Bring for Deep Sea Fishing: Men & Women

deep sea fishing checklist

Here is a complete checklist of all of the things you should bring with you on your deep sea fishing trip. We’re focusing particularly on clothing here, but some other stuff too.

1. Sunglasses

One of the first things you’ll want to bring on your deep sea fishing trip is a good pair of sunglasses. You do want these sunglasses to be polarized and you need them to provide you with UV protection.

A good pair of UV blocking sunglasses will allow you to see the water and the fish without being blinded by glare, and they will help protect your eyes too.

Related: Costa Vs Maui Jim Sunglasses for fishing?

2. Hat

The next thing you want to bring here is a hat. Now, what kind of hat you bring depends on the conditions.

If it is a warm summer day, a basic fishing or baseball cap will do just fine, just something to keep the sun out of your eyes and keep a bit of wind away from your head.

However, if the temperatures are cool and it is very windy, which it may very well be on the open sea, consider bringing along a winter hat.

You can always get a combination winter hat that has a brim to keep the sun out of your eyes and to keep you warm at the same time.

3. Gloves

Although gloves are not the best for fishing, because they reduce how much you can feel with your hands, they do come in handy when it is cold.

Go for a nice pair of fishing gloves which have a bit of insulation for warmth and have a waterproof layer to keep your hands dry.

You can always take them off if you don’t need them.

4. Sunscreen

Fishing on the open sea without any cover in the middle of the day can get very bright and sunny.

You might not think it, but spending all day on a fishing boat is a great way to end up looking red as a lobster.

To prevent this from occurring, bringing along some high quality sunscreen is probably a good idea.

5. A Shirt & Sweater

Remember that it can get very cold on the open sea. However, if there is not much wind and it’s a sunny summer day, it can also get quite warm.

Therefore, just to be sure that you are prepared, bring along a t-shirt and a long sleeve sweater.

Layering up is always a good way to go, because if you get hot, take the long sleeve off, and if you get cold, put it back on over the t-shirt.

6. A Hoodie

Next on the list is a decent hoodie or hooded sweater. Yes, once again, this has to do with layers.

If you get cold, you do want to have a thick hoodie on hand, something to keep the wind out and to keep the warmth in.

That hood can also come in handy to keep the wind away from your head.

7. A Waterproof Coat

Yeah, things can get pretty nippy out on the high seas, and this means that you need to keep warm. When the sun goes away and the temperature drops, you will be very thankful for having a nice coat with you.

A good fishing coat should have a decent bit of insulation for warmth, it should be windproof or at least wind resistant, and it should definitely be waterproof too.

Having a coat that is not waterproof in the middle of the ocean is not going to get you very far. One good spray from a big wave and you’ll be soaking wet.

8. Pants and/or Long Johns

Moving down the body, you definitely want to bring some nice pants too.

Yes, a lot of people wear shorts, but this is not ideal for deep sea fishing. Depending on how cold it is, a good pair of jeans may suffice.

If you see the weather forecast predicting cool temperatures and high winds, you might also want to invest in a good pair of high quality long underwear for added warmth.

9. Waterproof Pants or Overalls

Yes, a decent pair of rain pants or waterproof pants of any kind will come in handy too.

That salty sea spray can be deadly cold and cool you down super fast. Once those pants are wet, that’s it.

Of course, there are special waterproof fishing pants out there complete with a plethora of pockets to hold all of your gear.

If you really want to take things to the next level, waterproof fishing overalls or coveralls will do fine as well. They’ll help to ad some extra warmth for your torso and midsection.

10. Socks + Extra Socks

Feet are definitely susceptible to getting cold out on the high seas. Your feet are always right on the cold and wet deck of the boat.

Therefore, bringing along multiple pairs of thick socks is recommended. You need the socks to be thick for warmth and you definitely want to bring along extras in case they get wet.

There’s nothing as uncomfortable as fishing with wet feet, especially on the chilly ocean.

11. Waterproof Boots/Shoes

Perhaps one of the most important pieces of gear you’ll need for your deep sea fishing trip are a good pair of boots.

You should go for some high quality fishing boots or rubber boots. Sure, some people choose to wear running shoes, but those will get wet within minutes.

Of course, you should never ever wear open toed shoes when fishing. That’s just dangerous.

Any kind of boot that is waterproof and windproof is ideal for this.

12. Food & Water

Besides clothing, make sure to bring lots of food and water along.

Fishing is hard work and being in the sun all day can quickly dehydrate you. While you may be tempted to drink the saltwater if all else fails, saltwater cannot be ingested.

It’s always a good idea to bring enough food and water with you to last for a few days, just in case anything goes wrong.

13. Emergency Supplies

Speaking of something going wrong, you definitely want to bring emergency supplies on your deep sea fishing trip.

This means having a comprehensive first aid kit, a mirror for reflecting light, an emergency radio, a whistle, and a flare gun too.

14. A Life Preserver

Short and sweet, never get on any sort of boat without a life preserver.

Sure, you probably see pro fishermen going out without a life jacket on. Well, this is what we would call unsafe and totally irresponsible.

15. All of Your Fishing Gear

Of course, don’t forget your fishing rod, line, hooks, lures, bait, tackle, tools, and everything else you are going to need to haul in that monster fish.

What Not To Bring

There are some things that you will want to avoid bringing with you on your fishing trip. These are things best avoided.

1. Drugs & Alcohol

Anything that is going to impair you and alter your state of mind needs to be avoided. Yeah, we all like having a beer, and this might be fine if you are fishing from the shore, but not out on the high seas.

You need to be able operate the boat, deal with big fish, and not fall in the water. Alcohol and drugs of any kind are a big no-no for deep sea fishing and for operating a boat in general.

2. Shorts

Yes, some people wear shorts for deep sea fishing. While this may be fine on an exceptionally warm and calm day, for the most part, if you wear shorts, you’ll just end up being cold and wet.

3. Expensive Electronics & Anything Fragile

Yes, you need to bring along a phone for emergencies and you probably have a fish finder too.

However, other than that, fragile items and expensive electronics are best avoided. Most electronics won’t be able to handle getting wet, especially not with saltwater.

4. Freshwater Gear

Folks, don’t bring any freshwater fishing gear with you. Whether a lure, a hook, the line, or the rod, especially the rod, if it’s not designed to handle saltwater, it will rust, oxidize, and break apart in record time.

Only saltwater approved fishing gear can be used for deep sea fishing.

Should You Eat Before Going Deep Sea Fishing?

On one hand, you are definitely going to be burning through a lot of calories and energy when fishing the deep seas.

It’s hard work. Therefore, you do probably want to do some carb loading before you go. A good breakfast of toast, bacon, eggs, and whatever else floats your boat is a good idea.

That being said, don’t eat super greasy foods that will make you feel slow and sluggish. Foods with lots of sugar are not recommended, as you’ll probably end up having a sugar crash.

if you are prone to sea sickness, having a stomach full of heavy food won’t do you any favors. Whether or not you eat before your fishing trip, and how much you eat, really depends on whether or not you are susceptible to getting sea sick.

Eating a ton of food and then getting sea sick is just a waste of food.

How to Prevent Sea Sickness when Deep Sea Fishing

If you are prone to getting sea sick from the motion of the waves, you are probably weary of going on a deep sea fishing trip.

Here are some great tips on how to avoid getting sea sick on your trip;

  • If you are prone to sea sickness, only eat a small and light breakfast, nothing heavy that is going to want to come back up at the first sign of trouble.
  • It is always a good idea to check the weather forecast. If you’re prone to sea sickness, going out on the water on a windy day probably isn’t your best bet.
  • There are plenty of over the counter medications out there designed to counter sea sickness and nausea. Gravol is the number one choice that comes to mind here.
  • If it is your first time going on a deep sea fishing trip, do everything you can to stay calm and don’t panic if you hit a wave. Being panicky and anxious is only going to make things worse.
  • There is a special acupuncture technique where pressure is applied to a specific spot on the wrist, and yes, this is proven to reduce or eliminate nausea, at least for the time being.

Can You Go Deep See Fishing While Pregnant?

There is really no reason why a pregnant woman cannot go fishing or deep sea fishing. A normally healthy woman is going to be fine on the high seas. Now, that said, this should be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Women who are high risks for complications should not go deep sea fishing, as the motion or any hard bumps may cause problems.

Moreover, women who are pregnant offer suffer from nausea. Combine this with the motion of the sea, and it might lead to some extreme nausea.

Is Deep Sea Fishing Better in Morning or Afternoon?

Both the morning and the afternoon are fine for deep sea fishing. It really depends on what type of fish you are aiming to catch. Some fish are more active than others at certain times of the day.

Yes, the morning is great for catching fish that are feeding at dawn, but beware that the early morning on the high seas gets quite chilly. It’s going to be much warmer in the afternoon sun.

However, during the middle of the day, especially when it is very sunny, fish may retreat to deeper waters to hide from predators. Although, if you have the right gear, no depth is too deep for the fish to hide from you.

How Dangerous is Deep Sea Fishing?

Deep sea fishing is not especially dangerous. As long as you wear a life preserver and fish properly, it’s pretty safe.

Now, of course, there are certain risks associated with deep sea fishing. For one, ocean water can be very cold, so if you fall in, hypothermia can set in fast.

Moreover, being out in the middle of an ocean does also pose some inherent risks, such as getting lost. Also, if your boat dies on you, if you don’t have a way to communicate for help, you may be in trouble.

The biggest risk associated with deep sea fishing is extreme weather, although weather forecasting is quite accurate now, so you should be able to avoid this.

Simply put, yes, deep sea fishing can be a bit risky, but you should be fine as long as you take proper precautions.


As long as you have the right gear, your life preserver, you check the weather, and bring along some emergency supplies, there is no reason to fear deep sea fishing. It can be a lot of fun and there’s no doubt that catching a huge fish will be the experience of a lifetime for many.

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.