Buying a fishing boat is a great way to expand your horizons. You’ll be able to fish in deeper waters and coast around the lake, looking for the perfect spot. Plus, you can even bring friends and family along for the ride, since you’ll have plenty of space for everyone’s gear.

But if you’re new to this hobby, or you’ve never fished from a boat before, it can be helpful to have some pointers. Norfolk Marine is proud to be your Virginia fishing boat dealer, so here are some of our best tips for beginners when it comes to successful fishing from a boat.

Get The Right Bait

Fish prefer live bait that is as similar to their normal diet as possible. It’s important to seek this out if you want to be really successful and snag some big catches. Not every type of bait is good for every type of fish, so don’t be afraid to ask at the bait shop what might be best if you’re not sure. Handle your bait with clean hands so that fish can’t smell you on it. If your boat has a baitwell, then you can keep your bait fresh and lively so as to be more tempting to the fish you want to catch.

Dress Appropriately

The temperature out on the water can be several degrees colder than on land, and that cold only gets worse if you get wet. So your goal with your attire is to stay as warm and dry as possible. Layering up is the best strategy for warmth, as it allows you to add or remove layers as needed and it keeps you better insulated than one thick layer. Wear thin polyester or wool clothing that can wick away moisture, and make your outermost layer waterproof and windproof.

Accessorize with wool socks in tall, waterproof boots, a close-fitting cowl or neck gaiter, a wool cap with earflaps and fingerless or convertible insulated gloves. Pack a few extra layers and some extra socks in case you need to change out of wet clothing. Finally, top everything off with your life jacket for safety. Even if you’re a good swimmer, you might be discombobulated when you fall in the water and a life jacket will keep you afloat until you can swim to safety or be rescued.

Pack Your Boat

Your boat should be well-stocked with everything you could possibly need. This obviously includes your bait and tackle, rods, fish finder, a knife, needle-nose pliers, food and water, sunscreen, a GPS and so forth, but it also means you should have emergency supplies on hand. These might include a first-aid kit, extra fuel for your engine, signal flares, a hand-crank radio, a fire extinguisher and anything else you might need. Keep all of your gear organized in your fishing boat’s storage compartments.

Check The Forecast

Before you head out, it’s smart to check the weather for wherever you’re going to be so that you know what conditions to expect. If it’s only mildly chilly or overcast or a light rain is happening, these shouldn’t deter you, but if a severe storm is in the forecast, you may want to delay or cancel your trip. Avoid high winds, heavy rains, thick fog, lightning, hail and sleet. All of these conditions will make boating too dangerous, especially if you’re going off the coast.

Stop by our location in Norfolk, Virginia, to take a look at our full stock of new and used fishing boats for sale. Talk to our staff if you have any further questions! Norfolk Marine proudly serves the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Virginia.