I've been out 50 miles out of Venice, La. several times in a 22 ft. Champion bay boat. Had problems only one time but made it back. Problem is nobody wants to tow anyone from that far out! We had the cover off of our motor and working on what seemed to be a fuel issue. When we started working on the motor there were around 5 other boats around us. After a while I looked up and everyone was gone! Guess everyone around said to themselves, if you're stupid enough to go out 50 mi. in the gulf with one motor, you deserve to stay there!
You just have to be aware of the weather just as another poster mentioned. If you can't get out of the storms that pop up, you better know what you're doing or that can be your last trip.
We've been in some nasty seas out there, 3 and 4 ft. seas a couple times. That Champion bay boat can handle some rough stuff. I wouldn't trust an Express in those conditions. You can take calculated risks, but are fish really worth risking a life for?
Another thing, if you don't have all the necessary emergency equipment like a radio to communicate to the rigs if something happens, you're better off not taking a chance. Cause sooner or later something will happen and you better be able to handle it! Remember that boat is your life when you're out there! Something happens to it , just one mistake and that's it, you and everyone with you can be, well you know dead, gone, no other chance to fix the mistake! IT CAN GET VERY SERIOUS VERY FAST OUT THERE!
Do not take those trips out there lightly!