Deep Sea Fishing charters can be expensive, but the chance to do it on a Wicked Tuna boat is a unique and unmissable opportunity.
Why Deep Sea Fishing?
What makes deep sea fishing so unique is the size and scope of the potential catch. The fishing trip takes tourists on a charter boat hours from the shore to find bigger fish that are rarely available near the shallow waters of the coast. Heading to these fishing grounds requires guidance, a higher skill level (at least for the crew), and different bait and tackle.
Here are some of the fish that can be caught on a deep sea charter:
- Blue Marlin
- White Marlin
- Red Snapper
- Yellowfin tuna
- Big Eye Tuna
- Mahi Mahi
- many, many more
The draw in sport fishing on a deep sea expedition is partly the type of fish caught, but mostly the challenge of the catch and the fight to land the fish.
On a recent trip to North Carolina, members of my family had a chance to partake in deep sea fishing the Outer Banks. While some of my family have been deep sea fishing before, this particular experience was once-in-a-lifetime for a few reasons. One of those reasons was that this was to take place on a ship that appeared on the TV show, Wicked Tuna. My father-in-law was able to attend and is a big fan of the show. The cost of this event was also prohibitive as was the ability for many in the party to attend.
The Little Shell began its full-day fishing experience departing from Nags Head, North Carolina. Up to six were permitted to attend the early morning departure (4:30 AM) and in total it lasted nearly 12 hours from start to finish.
The crew advised Dramamine and five of six took the sea sickness pills, though two still became ill in the party despite this (my wife did not take it and was not ill for what it’s worth.) Following the journey a few hours out to sea, the group began fishing with six simultaneous lines in the water. At one point, every rod had a fish on its line.
My father-in-law proved himself to be a rather qualified angler reeling in the largest fish of the trip. While he wrestled the aquatic beast he eschewed the seat and instead brought it in by hand standing up. He also caught a gorgeous Mahi Mahi (brightly colored green, yellow, and blue) among others.
During the day, the team was able to land more than 600 lbs of fish (gross weight) with a mix of Yellowfin Tuna, Big Eye Tuna, and Mahi Mahi. The Little Shell crew stated that it was a sizable haul (high praise) and that it was one of the last days (late May) to catch fish in the area before heading north.
When fishing boats return to shore, a service is available to dress the fish and prepare them on behalf of fishing charters based on the quantity of fish to be processed. For this large catch, the cost to process was about $150. Another service available is to vacuum seal the meat into portions easier to transport, this runs about $2/pound.
Note: due to supply constraints and the very busy time of year (following Memorial Day weekend), vacuum sealing supplies including bags were difficult to come by in the area.
The entire party of 20 was waiting back at the seaside home our group rented and enjoyed some of the more than 200 lbs of fish filets.
Little Shell Charters
The cost of securing a similar trip with Little Shell is more than $2,000 at the moment due to high fuel costs. However, for those who can eat, transport, and store such a large quantity (divided among participants and their families in this case), the trip more than pays for itself. At wholesale rates of $15/lb, this haul would have yielded $3,000 of high-grade seafood, and at retail ($35-40/lb) significantly more.
Address: Oregon Inlet Fishing Center
8770 Oregon Inlet Rd. Nags Head, NC 27959
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was expensive but unique. It meant more to my father-in-law who is an avid viewer of Wicked Tuna, and for all of the participants to experience deep sea fishing on the beautiful calm waters of the Atlantic ocean. They loved their experience and we have hundreds of pounds of souvenirs to enjoy for a long, long time. Who’s up for fish tacos?
What do you think? Have you been deep sea fishing?