6 Tips for Going on a Fishing Charter

Interested in deep sea fishing but wondering how fishing charters work? You've come to the right place! Guided fishing charters offer a fantastic way to explore new waters, target unfamiliar fish, or relax on an organized fishing trip. 

A major perk of going on a charter fishing trip? Charters (typically) handle the logistics, from the boat and equipment to finding the best fishing spots. 

So, whether you're a seasoned angler seeking deeper waters, a vacationer without your own boat, or even a beginner needing a guide, charters typically cater to all experience levels. These excursions often take place in exciting locations, and some captains might even regale you with their most unbelievable fishing stories! If this sounds appealing, keep reading for what to expect on your next trip.

How Do Fishing Charters Work?

Charters offer a fantastic way to experience new fishing grounds! Boat or excursion companies offer guided fishing trips, allowing you to explore waters you might not be able to reach on your own. 

The beauty of fishing charters is their flexibility. Charter lengths can vary depending on your preferences, with offshore trips ranging from eight-hour "three-quarter days" to extended adventures with overnight stays (lasting up to 72 hours). Pricing can be a flat hourly rate or customized to your group's specific needs. 


Advice for the Perfect Fishing Charter

Our passionate crew here loves fishing charters, and with our experience, we can share everything you need to know to have a smooth outing:

1. Research Before Booking

Like planning any other kind of trip, you'll want to do some research beforehand. Look for charters with positive reviews that target the type of fish you're looking for. 

Additionally, consider trip length, what's included (gear, bait, food), and the captain's experience. Some captains are hands-on and entertaining, while others cater to experienced anglers. 
Still trying to figure out what to expect? Ask friends or locals for recommendations – a good tip can be your golden ticket! Remember, most charters require a deposit to secure your spot, so thorough research saves you time and money in the long run.

2. Choose a Fishing Charter Length That Suits Your Needs

Deciding on a charter length is an important step. As mentioned, fishing charters can be anything from a half-day trip (lasting four to six hours) to a multi-day excursion. To pick the right duration, consider your experience level and how much fishing you'd like to do. 

The charter company can also recommend popular packages or advise on how long it typically takes to catch your target fish. Still unsure? A day charter is a great place to start, and if you enjoy it, you can always plan a longer adventure next time.

3. Prepare Before You Go

Preparation is vital for any adventure, and being out at sea is no exception! Dress in layers for changing weather, and pack sunscreen and rain gear. Calling the captain the day before confirms your departure time and allows you to check on any weather updates.

4. Know What's Included (That You Don't Need to Bring)

Before packing your bags, check with the charter company to see what's included in your trip. While some charters provide all fishing gear, bait, and refreshments, others require you to bring these from home. This will help you determine what to bring and avoid any unnecessary packing.

5. Pack Wisely

A typical fishing charter shares some similarities with a regular boat trip. Remember to pack essentials like sun protection, comfortable clothing, and shoes with good grip (perfect for battling those catches). And, of course, you'll need a rod, bait, and cooler (unless provided).
Depending on the company, food and drinks may be included, so check beforehand. Don't forget seasickness medication if needed, a camera to capture your trophies, and cash for tipping the crew or docking fees.

6. Familiarize Yourself with Fishing Charter Etiquette

Like many other maritime adventures, fishing charters have their own courtesies. To ensure a smooth trip for everyone, arrive on time and be mindful of the captain and fellow passengers. Remember, the captain is your guide to the best spots and techniques, so respect their instructions. And, of course, treat the equipment carefully, and always ask permission before using anything you need clarification on. 

Additionally, while fishing, etiquette extends to fellow anglers. Be aware of your casting direction to avoid tangled lines (a surefire way to disrupt the fun). 

Maintaining a clean boat is essential, so dispose of trash responsibly. Finally, tipping 15-20% of the charter fee is customary to show appreciation for excellent service.

Read Next: Fishing Etiquette Tips

Enjoy The Experience

Our last tip? Be present in the moment! Fishing charters can fly by, so savor every aspect, even if it's windy, damp, or uneventful while waiting for a bite. We hope this guide gave insight into how fishing charters work and what to expect. Remember, relax, have fun, and learn from the captain's expertise!