Captain's Log

Fishing For First Timers

Posted by on

A cast down rigger fishing rod bowing under a catch, silhouetted in the setting sun.“Most adults suffer from a condition called AAD – Adult Adventure Deficit,” says local coach Vic Lindal. We think he’s right, and we have a perfect cure for it. There are few things in life that offer the adventure, the camaraderie, the relaxed enjoyment, and heart pounding excitement of an ocean fishing cruise.

To maximize your enjoyment and make sure your first ocean fishing adventure is everything you hope it will be, you need professionals to guide you - a captain and crew who know the local waters and weather, who know everything there is to know about fish, and — most importantly — how to catch them. Our ship’s captain has over 40 years of experience in offshore fishing. We know how to find the area’s best fishing spots, how to plan, and how to alter plans quickly as conditions change.

Preparation starts early in the morning for us. Before each trip, the captain pre-rigs the leaders, sets out the tackle and gear, and readies the ship before leaving the dock. A multitude of scenarios can and do arise on the water, and we want to be ready for anything.

To safely enjoy your fishing cruise, you need to make some preparations too. Here are a few pointers.

Before Your Fishing Adventure

Everyone in your party who plans to fish will require a tidal waters recreational fishing license. A one-day license is $5.51 for Canadians, and $7.35 for non-residents. Children 15 and under can be licenced for free. You can register online with Fisheries & Oceans Canada or get your license in person from local distributors like Island Outfitters.

What to Bring

Sunblock of at least 30+ SPF is a must no matter if it’s sunny or not. Even on cloudy days the sun reflects off the ocean, making sunburns a serious possibility.

A hat that will stay on your head in the wind and polarized sun glasses to reduce glare off the water.

Clothes for layering. It is at least 10 to 15 degrees cooler on the water, and Victoria’s weather changes quickly. If you dress in layers, you can adjust up and down accordingly.

A camera for taking great shots of scenery, wildlife, people in your group, and your trophy photo to show your friends and family.

Might we suggest, instead of showing pictures to your friends and family, bring them on the fishing cruise with you! The Fantasea is a 41foot vessel that will hold up to 20 people!

Sea sickness medication: If you’ve never been on the open ocean, or you're prone to motion sickness, err on the side of caution and buy it. Some medication works best if you take it in advance of your trip. Check the instructions.

The Fantasea boasts a full bar, but feel free to bring your own non-alcoholic drinks and water.

An ice chest or an insulated cooler bag. You’ll need it to take your catch home.

The most important thing to bring is a great attitude and patience — with fishing you can have a great day of catching, but it’s never a guarantee. As every good fisher will tell you, “This is called fishing, not catching!” We’re pros, but there are still days we don’t catch any fish.

When You’re On The Fishing Cruise

When you come aboard, we’ll show you where to stow your camera, water and other gear. Never leave it on the open deck. It becomes a tripping hazard and it could get soaked.

Abide by all the rules and listen closely to instructions given by the captain. We’ll tell you where all the safety equipment is stored, give you an idea of what to expect for the day, and demonstrate you how to rig up your fishing gear. If there is something you don’t understand, ask questions.

If you like crabs, let us know early — we can set out crab pots upon request, adding to your catch at the end of the day.

Be sure to drink plenty of water. The sun and wind on the ocean will dehydrate you quickly. You’re welcome to enjoy our bar anytime but realize you will have a much bigger hangover if you let yourself get dehydrated.

We’re on hand to help as needed, and once you bring your fish to the boat, we’ll help you land it. If it’s not a keeper, we’ll let you know right away and set it free. The keepers go on ice to stay fresh.

As a beginner, we know you’re enthusiastic for a big catch. That’s understandable, and sometimes beginners get a lucky strike, but don't get frustrated if it doesn’t happen quickly. Make sure you’re enjoy the experience because you might be in the perfect place at the perfect time, yet still not catch anything. It happens even to us pros.

When the fishing cruise is over, we’ll begin cutting and cleaning the fish for you while we explain how it’s done. Then we’ll revel in the triumphs and stories of the day as we head back to the docks.

When you finally get home, feeling exhausted, relaxed, and deeply satisfied, you’ll show off some filleted fish in a bag of ice ready to be baked, broiled, fried the way you and your family enjoy it best. Nothing is more rewarding than eating bounty from the ocean you’ve caught with your own two hands!