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How To Book A Fishing Charter

How To Choose The Right Charter Boat: Preparing For Your Fishing Charter

By working out as many details as possible, you will avoid misunderstandings. Here are the questions you should ask the captain or booking agent:

  • How much is the charter and what is expected for a crew tip? (15 to 20 percent is customary)
  • What are the policies for deposits and cancellations?
  • What is included in the charter rate? (food, beverages, fishing licenses, bait, etc.)
  • How has the fishing been recently or what's biting during the time of year when you want to go?
  • What time should you arrive for the charter?
  • What time do you return to the dock? How long does it take to get to the fishing grounds?
  • What kind of tackle is provided? Do you need to bring your own?
  • What type of safety gear do they carry? Is there an EPIRB? What type of electronics and communication equipment is on board?
  • Who keeps the fish that are caught during your trip.

Fishing half day charters:
If a half day is all the time you have or if you are limited by budget than it's got to be a half day. Because every day of fishing is a new adventure, the more time you are out there will generally produce a more desirable catch.

Picking the cheapest boat:
Everyone wants a good deal, but choosing a charter boat based on price is almost always a bad idea. A low price could mean several things: The boat isn't properly maintained; the tackle isn't properly maintained; the boat is small; the crew is working for less money; the captain doesn't do this full time; or a host of other things and few of them good. Remember, 'sometimes you get what you pay for'!

Picking the right boat:
The best thing you can do is go to the charter dock, speak to several captains and take a good look at the boat and the tackle they have to offer. If you can't see the boat in person then ask a lot of questions. You should at least feel comfortable speaking to the captain on the phone.

Setting unrealistic expectations:
Be realistic with your expectations, this is fishing! Be open to suggestions from an experienced pro at the helm and you can avoid a lot of disappointment at the end of the trip.

Prepare for a day offshore:
You may be fishing with people who swear they never get seasick but all of a sudden they are over the side. If there's any doubt, always ask your charter companions to use a seasick prevention pill at least an hour before departure, or for breakfast they should have doughnuts or bananas because they taste pretty much the same coming up!
Don't forget a hat, sunscreen, polarized sunglasses and a camera. If the charter doesn't include food or drinks be sure to bring your own.


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