Deep Sea Fishing in Victoria, BC

Everything You Need to Know About Catching Deep Sea Fish

Deep sea fishing is a thrilling experience and a great way to spend time on the water with some fellow avid anglers.

The chance to do this type of fishing doesn’t come along often, so when it does, you don’t want to risk spoiling the trip with poor planning.

Instead, use this handy guide to learn what gear you will need, the ideal type of fishing boat and what you can expect to catch when fishing Victoria, BC waters.

See our Fishing Boats for Sale

Fishing Rods for Deep Sea Fishing

For deep-water fishing, you need a strong rod coupled with a reel that can handle the length of line you will need. There are two main types of saltwater fishing rods:

  • trolling rods and
  • surf rods

Trolling rods are shorter and stronger than typical casting rods. They feature a large top-mounted reel that has free spooling


movement and holds plenty of line. Trolling rods are typically placed in rod holders on the stern of the boat and allowed to trail behind as the boat moves. All you do is drop your bait and deep sea fishing lures in the water, set your rod in the holder, and let the line drop.

Surf fishing rods are typically used onshore, but they can also be used on boats. They can handle large fish and come in a range of lengths and weights. The reel is bottom-mounted and looks much like a casting reel except that’s a bit

larger. The only “catch” is that, since they are designed for fishing in shallower waters, you may be limited to keeping your bait and hook closer to the surface.

Types of Hooks for Catching Deep Sea Fish

The types of hooks used in saltwater fishing are the same as in freshwater fishing, except that they have a greater size range since the target fish are generally bigger. There are three types of hooks used in deep sea fishing as follows:


J-hooks come in a range of styles according to what kind of fishing you plan to do, but the unifying feature is that they are shaped like a J. The basic rule when choosing your hook size is to match it to the size of fishing bait you intend to use and the kind of deep sea fish you want to catch.

Circle Hooks

The introduction of catch-and-release fishing gave rise to the circle hook, shaped so that the point of the hook turns inward toward the shank, rather like a J-hook with a more pronounced curve. This shape prevents the hook from becoming stuck in the fish’s gut, instead moving to hook onto the fish’s jaw as the line is pulled.

Treble Hooks

Treble fish hooks resemble three J-hooks clustered together. The biggest benefit of a treble hook is that you can usually use a treble hook that is a size or two smaller than the comparable J-hook and still get the same result.

Types of Boats for Deep Sea Fishing

In deep water fishing, your boat has to be big enough to accommodate you, your friends, all your gear and whatever you catch. So, a simple powerboat won’t do. Your boat also has to be able to withstand the fight of a large fish, as well as have that fish on board.

Below, you’ll find a quick look at the 3 most common types of offshore fishing boats.

Cuddy Cabin 

This type of boat features a vee-shaped hull, 20 to 35 feet long, with inboard engines. The cockpit is set to the side, allowing entrance to the small cabin at the front of the boat. The cabin has seats that can double as beds, and the more luxurious models will have a bathroom.

Down East Cruiser

This style of boat is popular and has been in use for both commercial and recreational fishing for well over 100 years. With a large hull and large inboard motors that can hold a substantial quantity of fuel, this type of boat is ideal for multi-day trips. Down East Cruisers range from 25 to over 45 feet long, with deep vee-shaped hulls that enable them to handle rough seas.

Sport Fisher

This type of boat is purpose-built for chasing big fish. The minimum length of a Sport Fisher is 30 feet, but they can be up to 90 feet. Sport fishers have “tuna towers,” from where the captain controls the boat and keeps an eye out for fish. Featuring a typical range of over 950 km and an array of outriggers, a Sport Fisher can comfortably take up to 8 people wherever they need to go to catch the type of fish they want.

What to Bring on a Deep Sea Fishing Trip

As with any fishing trip, there is always a list of extra things you will need to take with you including an emergency boating kit. When you are spending a few hours or days out on the water, you won’t be able to run to a shop to get something you missed.

So, before you set foot on the boat with your rods and deep sea fishing reels, go over the checklist below to see what else you will need.

  • Tidal fishing licence
  • Tackle
  • Extra line, hooks and sinkers
  • Bait
  • Clothing for all possible weather
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Shoes with good traction
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Seasickness medication
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit
  • Plenty of food and fresh water
  • Life vests
  • Life preserver rings
  • Towels
  • Camera
  • Sealable plastic bags for waterproofing
  • Cash, if you are hiring a charter
  • A large cooler with ice or freezer packs
  • A dry bag or duffel for transporting supplies

For overnight trips, you will need to include the following items on your checklist:

  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Sleep mask
  • Battery pack and charger for a cell phone
  • Toiletries

What You Can Catch in BC’s Pacific Waters

British Columbia is known for salmon, so it’s no surprise that all five species can be found here in the waters around Vancouver Island. In addition to the five types of pacific salmon, there is a variety of fish species that are popular catches, including the following:

  • Pacific Halibut
  • English Sole
  • Ling Cod
  • Pacific Cod

Get Started on Your Deep Sea Fishing Adventure with Van Isle Marina

Do you want to go deep water fishing but aren’t sure where to start?

Whether you are looking to buy your first sports fishing yacht or want to upgrade from your current cruiser, the Yacht Sales Team at Van Isle Marina can get you set up with the boat of your deep sea fishing dreams.

Our state-of-the-art marina, located in Sidney, BC, is close to the spectacular scenery of the southern Gulf Islands, making it a great place to start and end your open sea fishing adventure.

Contact us today to find out more about our current yachts for sale and our marina services.