How To Charter A Fishing Boat
Knowing how to charter a fishing boat the right way can save anglers money and hook them up with great fishing opportunities. The following are some tips that any potential clients should consider when chartering a boat and captain. There are two main types of charter boats in the coastal United States: offshore and inshore. Offshore captains have larger boats, and they go deep sea fishing for billfish, tuna, wahoo, dolphin, king mackerel and sometimes for snapper and grouper around bottom structures. Inshore fishing captains have smaller boats and target inshore fish, such as striped bass, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and drum. Knowing what type of fishing you are interested in comes first.
- Offshore boats are more expensive to charter than inshore boats. They can cost over $1,000 for the boat, captain and any mates for the day, so when going about chartering a deep sea fishing boat, it is best to get a few people together to split the payments. If going offshore fishing with a group, try to shop around. Check out the costs of different boats, and ask around to find out which captains have the most success. If you find a qualified captain who is willing to cater to your fishing expectations for the right price, book the boat.
- Some marinas have lists that single fishermen can join. These fishermen are paired up with a few strangers, and everyone splits the costs. Look into this if you are not planning on heading out with friends.
- Depending on location, chartering a boat may need to be done well in advance. Many popular fishing places or tourist locations keep captains busy and limit the open days on their calendars, so it might be a good idea to call weeks or even months in advance to book a trip. Talk to captains about their calendars.
- Inshore fishing is much the same, but it costs less. Generally, inshore fishing captains charge less than half as much for a day on the water as do offshore captains. But again, look around and compare prices, and see if you can find out which guides are most successful.
- Inshore fishing captains often have specialty fish, meaning that they usually target one or a few species. Make sure any captain that you consider can accommodate your fishing desires. As with offshore fishing, some of the more popular guides have few open days, and calling in advance can help you to reserve some fishing time on the charter boat.
Be sure to talk to the fishing captain or guide before the trip. Give him a call and ask about your type of fishing. Also find out what supplies the captain has, and whether or not lunch and drinks are provided for everyone. Plan accordingly; bring your own fishing gear if the guide does not have what you want to use, and if necessary, bring food and drinks. The captain will have a cooler. Also make sure to bring a little extra for a tip. It is always customary to tip good guides when chartering fishing boats.