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7 Risks You May Encounter on a Cocoa Beach Fishing Charter

Cocoa Beach Fishing Charter Boat

Cocoa Beach Fishing Charter Boat

Any recreational activity has risks, even chess. Sitting at a table hunched over for long period of puts a lot of stress on back and neck muscles for example. Or, lack of Vitamin K from no sun exposure can be bad for your health.

While offshore fishing provides an abundance of sunshine to boost your Vitamin K, it certainly carries more risks than your typical indoor activities. However, you can’t land a trophy Wahoo or Amberjack in your living room or on a roller coaster in Orlando!

Despite the excitement that comes with hooking a healthy Snapper or Mahi, there are some risks you need to be aware of before setting out. It’s not our intention to alarm you – the vast majority of private and charter fishing outings off Cocoa Beach go off without a hitch, at least in terms of safety.

Many of these risks are relatively minor in nature. Taking the right precautions with the following 4 risks will help ensure you have an enjoyable trip. The remaining 3 are more serious in nature and can even be fatal. A responsible fishing charter captain though will take the proper steps for ensuring your safety, so your chances of encountering one of these are pretty low.

Common yet minor risks you could encounter on a Cocoa Beach fishing charter.

1. Seasickness – If you’re not used to being out on the rocking and rolling of the ocean, you may have to deal with a little sweating, dizziness, nausea and possibly even vomiting. Most cases will pass while you’re still out on the water, but in limited cases, excessive vomiting can lead to dehydration.

To prevent seasickness, be sure you get a good night’s rest, eat a decent sized but not too big of a breakfast and consider taking a medication or natural supplement. While you’re out on the water, stay out in the fresh air and look out over the horizon, the shore, or anything that’s stationary.

2. Sunburn – Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is nothing to mess around with, especially if you’re out fishing in the open waters off Cocoa Beach. Not only do you get the direct rays from the sun, you’re also being hit with rays bouncing off the water’s surface. Many people mistakenly believe that a partly-cloudy or overcast day means you don’t have to worry about sunburn, but as anyone who’s been there can tell you, that just isn’t true.

To protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, sunscreen does help, but it can be easy to forget to reapply every so often. This is why a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and clothing designed for protecting you from UV radiation is considered the most effective way to protect yourself from overexposure to the sun.

3. Slippery boat surfaces – Since you’re out on the open ocean around fish, bait and other people, the boat’s surfaces can become very slippery, especially if you encounter a rain shower or the seas are rough. If you’re not careful, you can slip and fall and possibly hurt your arm, leg or back. Although many surfaces on the boat have a rougher texture to help your shoes grip, it can be easy to lose track of where you are and step on a slippery surface.

The best way to prevent this is to get familiar with the boat you’re on and watch where you put your feet. While most of these accidents are minor, it is possible for you to really hurt yourself if you’re not careful.

4. Hooks, knives and other sharp tools – Another risk to be aware of out on a charter fishing boat are sharp objects like fishing hooks, knives for cutting bait and so on – a hook digging into your skin is not the highlight you want. If it goes past the barb, you may need to go to the emergency room. Fillet knives and other sharp blades can cut or puncture you, which is especially risky since you’re out in the waves.

Being mindful of your surroundings, watching where you put your hands and where people are casting are the biggest things you can do to prevent yourself from being hooked, cut, jab or otherwise hurt by something sharp on the boat.

Major, yet uncommon risks you can encounter on a Cocoa Beach fishing charter.

Other risks of being out offshore are a bit more serious, but fortunately, not as common. Also, these risks generally fall under the responsibility of the charter boat captain and not individual patrons. It’s not the captain’s responsibility to ensure you have proper sun protection. However, it is their responsibility to ensure their boat is safe and they’re not operating in dangerous conditions.

5. Tidal pull at inlets - When traveling between the dock and the ocean, you will need to go through an inlet. These channels are especially narrow, so at certain times, water can rush through very quickly. If the boat overturns or you fall overboard, you could easily be swept out to sea if the current is moving fast enough. The more narrow the channel, the more dangerous it can be. Swimmers and snorkelers rather than fishermen on a charter are at a higher risk of being swept away from shore – see this story for more.

If you do find yourself in this situation, do NOT try and swim against the current. Try and find your way to a calmer area and then determine your location.

6. Waves/rough seas – It’s rare you will have a completely calm day with glass slick seas. Most of the time, there are waves and swells off Cocoa Beach, but most fishing boats can handle these just fine. However, if a storm or wind is bad enough, the waves can get much bigger and pose a threat to the vessel. Most of the time this just means you’ll have a longer trip back in and possibly some seasickness. In extreme circumstances though, the boat could take on too much water or overturn.

7. Lightning/storms – Florida is famous for the spotty afternoon thunderstorms that come out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s unavoidable to run into one these storms offshore, but the openness of the ocean does help boat captains see an approaching storm and take action. With these thunderstorms comes, you guessed it, lightning. Since the boat is the tallest thing around, it’s a prime target out on the open water.

Safe Fishing Charters in Cocoa Beach

Avoiding these serious risks is generally the responsibility of the captain. They will have extensive knowledge of the inlet and will pay close attention to the tides and weather reports. If it looks like things will be too rough, they will reschedule your trip. Not only will your trip be miserable with no fish to show for it, you may be at risk of a serious, even fatal accident.

Fishing boat captains like Joseph Smith of Fin Factor Charters in Cocoa Beach take special precaution to ensure you not only have a good time out on the water, but that you’re safe from major risks.

Taking prudent measures to protect your skin, minimize seasickness or preventing an accident from an errant hook or knife are steps you can take yourself to ensure a good trip. To learn more or to schedule your next fishing trip off Cocoa Beach, contact Fin Factor Charters for more information today.

Call: 321.405.4551 or email

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