My arms and back burned as I kept a tight grip on the rod, fighting the fish in the water below.

While I labored to hold on, the deckhand slashed toward the water with a hook attached to a long pole called a gaff. The fish he pulled up was about a foot and half long, silver and yellow with vacant eyes.

In a swift motion, the soon-to-be separated Marine reached a hand into its gills and bled it (to make the fish taste better), then flung its flopping body into a giant cooler filled with icy blood water.

It was the first fish I had ever caught. Many of the other guys who were with me got their first fish, too.

Big fish caught in Okinawa waters while deep sea fishing

Are you tired of bland team building activities?​

Then a deep sea fishing trip is just what you’ve been looking for to shake things up and strengthen morale for your crew.

Here are 6 reasons why.

Reason 1: You’ll all be in the same boat.​

Within an hour of departing the port, 3 guys in our group had assumed the puking position. One got so sick from the churning seas, he couldn’t fish all day. But in the end, we still shared some of the spoils of the day’s catch with him. That's what teams do.

Everyone on your trip will be affected by the conditions of the sea, whether they are rough or calm, rain or shine. The common experience will forge unbreakable bonds.

Tip: Bring motion sickness meds along just in case!

Rough seas in Okinawa

Reason 2: It'll be a bloody good time.

In between bursts of fishing sessions we had time to talk and B.S. about nothing and everything. As the blood water from fish sloshed at our feet, we learned to appreciate each other in new ways. The result was an unforgettable outing we would cherish for a long time.

You and your buddies will feel more connected than ever.

Tip: Wear closed-toe shoes, unless you like fish blood between your toes!
Chit-chat while on a deep sea fishing trip

Reason 3: Catch a boat load of fish… and dinner.​

A fish caught while deep sea fishing in Okinawa

Between the 10 of us on the trip, we caught 42 large fish. That was enough for each of us to go home with two large Ziplock bags of ready-to-cook-for-dinner massive filets.

The catch alone made the cost of the trip worth the price.

Tip: Bring large plastic bags to haul your catch home.

Okinawa deep sea fishing trip big fish haul

Reason 4: Workout together.​

It turns out that being on a small boat in rough seas while fishing is a good workout. There wasn’t a man in the group who didn’t report feeling beat up in our group chat the following day. For some, it was the most serious exercise they had gotten in weeks.

Group chat talking about their long deep sea fishing trip
Screenshot from our group chat

Who knew catching fish could be more physically demanding and rival even the most rigorous Air Force PT session? Forget ultimate frisbee and give deep-sea fishing a try.

After all, the team that trains together stays together.

Group fishing off the side of a boat

Reason 5: You’ll all sleep well.​

Everyone went to bed early the night of the trip. The long day, angry seas, and sun exposure were more effective than any sleep aid.

By 2100 that evening, our group chat went silent.

Get the best sleep of your life.

Napping while waiting for the fish

Reason 6: Memories for life.​

After everyone recovered, we shared tons of pictures and stories with each other in our group chat. For some, it was bitter-sweet. It would be their final outing before departing Okinawa during the summer move cycle.

But no matter where we all end up, we’ll always have the shared experience of fishing, chatting, and puking together as a team.

Sunrise on the day beginning a deep sea fishing trip in Okinawa's waters
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