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A Day Deep-Sea Fishing Trip from Port Canaveral

Sometimes it is really difficult to buy a gift for someone who has everything. My father-in-law was one of those people. If he wanted it, he had already purchased it. So my husband and I came up with a rather unique idea for a Father’s Day gift - a gift certificate for a trip to go deep-sea fishing on the Miss Cape Canaveral, docked in Port Canaveral, Florida. He was thrilled. This is his story about his deep-sea day trip.

The crew was already aboard the vessel, an 85-foot “party boat”, by the time of our arrival. They accepted his ticket and he boarded. Since fishing gear, bait, and food were included in the package, he didn’t bring along anything except himself, a hat to keep the sun off his head and out of his eyes, and some sun block. This particular charter boat holds 100 passengers, but during that trip there were only about 50 or 60 passengers out for a fun day at sea.

At 7 AM the ship untied and left the dock. Breakfast was then served. The food on the Miss Cape Canaveral is very good and cooked by the on-board chef. Coffee, juice, soft drinks and beers are provided from departure to return.

After traveling about 10 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean the fishing gear was pulled from the lockers and everyone selected their gear. Bait, both live and lures, was provided. The Miss Cape Canaveral has a fish finder onboard so the Captain selected a spot that should have some good fishing and dropped anchor. Everyone baited their poles and began fishing.

Since the Miss Cape Canaveral’s goal is for everyone to have a great time, fishing advice is provided if requested. Some of the less experienced fishermen were instructed how best to use their fishing gear and what to do if they “hit” on a fish. My father-in-law, being an experienced fisherman, had no need for this advice. Being an outgoing sort, he did meet a lot of fun people to talk to during the day, though.

That particular day, sword fish were striking well. Some people hooked them but lost the battle to get the fish to the boat and onboard. Others, knowing how to ‘set’ the hook into the catch and the proper way to ‘work’ a fish, were successful in landing some large fish. Those who failed the first time were able to learn and have better luck on their second strike.

My father-in-law's first catch was a small lemon shark.  Lemon sharks are frequently found in Florida's waters but are not normally a threat to humans in the water. However, they are consistent in their unpredictability, so treat them warily. After enjoying the hoopla surrounding the catch, he tossed the shark overboard to grow and let someone have a chance at him another day. Only certain sharks make good eating - mako is the best shark for cooking.

Soon thereafter my father-in-law hooked onto a large swordfish. He fought to bring the fish in for quite a long time. This is some very tiring work, but for the fisherman it is a thrill like few others. In the end, this fish managed to get the hook out of his mouth and got away. Several beautiful large specimens were brought onboard that day and many pictures were taken of these beautiful sport fish.

Around noon time, everyone took a break for lunch to be served. Hamburgers, freshly grilled and other hot sandwiches were the fare of the day. My father-in-law said they were excellent, both in presentation and flavor. After lunch, everyone went back to fishing. My father-in-law managed to bring in a dauphin and landed it onboard. Dauphin is a fabulous fish to eat, whether grilled, baked or broiled! While the name is pronounced like “dolphin”, these are not the cute “Flippers” we know. Those are bottle-nosed dolphin. Dauphins are rather ugly fish, but are very, very good to eat. They are also quite a large fish and it makes for a good battle to land the catch onboard.

Of course, pictures were taken with him and his fish. This was part of the charter services provided. The fish was weighted and then cleaned. This was the only fish he brought in that day, but since it made some beautiful steaks and fillets, the trip was a major success.

On the way back to the dock in the late afternoon, everyone was relaxed and telling fish tales to one another. Sitting around cold beers in the air conditioned lounge, of course, the fish got bigger and bigger!

After returning to dock, all the catches were off loaded by the crew. Those who had not cleaned there catch onboard had the option of having photos taken with the fish hanging from a scale indicating the weight and a pole measuring the length.

I think this was one of the best gifts we ever gave my father-in-law. He really had a good time. The cost of a deep sea fishing trip depends on the ship, the number of people it carries, and exactly what type of package you want to buy. If you bring your own gear, food and drink, you can buy non-inclusive packages for less than those that include all food, drink, gear and bait. The gift certificate cost about $60, but this was several years ago. If you want to go deep-sea fishing from Port Canaveral, you can check online for current prices and even make your reservations online.

There are fishing trips available in most Florida ports, but the Port Canaveral area is known for its great fishing. There are day and night packages available. The night packages are primarily shark fishing, but you never know what may be pulled in on any trip. Don’t miss your chance while in the Brevard County area to take a fishing trip on the wide choice of party boats or smaller charter boats.

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