Sea Saltwater Fishing Boat Charters
Are you ready for an
exciting one on one fight with a trophy big game
fish you can talk about for years to come? Looking
for a chance to catch a giant bluefin, blue marlin,
or other blue water sportfish?
If this type of fishing adventure is in your future
then you need to hire an offshore sportfisher or
deep sea fishing charter that specializes in fishing
the offshore waters where these magnificent
These offshore trips can be very exciting and loads
of fun but fishing with an inexperienced or
unethical Captain can easily lead to trouble. When
you are ready to book an offshore sportfishing
charter, especially on a boat or with a Captain you
have never been with you will want to get a
reference or two, speak to the Captain, or find
information that tells you the Captain is
experienced and knowledgeable.
Questions, Check Your Guide or Charter Captain's
Most charter boat Captains and fishing guides are
and will usually provide an atmosphere that will
ensure anglers catch fish and have an enjoyable
fishing trip. BUT, there are those few, like in any
business that can ruin your day and give you a
charter fishing trip you would just as soon forget.
If you aren't careful and willing to just check a
few things out then you may end up with an
experience like this following example that will
send you home very disappointed.
References and Qualifications - Things To Check Out
When You Book A Charter
Most charters booked through the
local inlet marinas like Oregon Inlet Fishing
Center, Virginia Beach Fishing Center, or
any of the major inlet marinas and yacht clubs are
usually quality and professional operations. When
booking through this means, you should be OK, but it
would still be wise to ask for some references, make
sure they are insured and be sure the Captain is
properly licensed. Whether you are chartering a
large sportfisher or a smaller privately owned guide
service we recommend checking references and
credentials. We have listed a few items below that
you may want to do.
If possible check the local BBB -
Better Business Bureau
Ask for references
- An unethical Captain may give you only his
happy customers but still check references.
Maybe check local references around the marina
or yacht club where the charter boat is docked.
They would know your Captain better than most.
Go to Google.com or Yahoo.com and search the
charter service name thoroughly. Hopefully you
will find nothing but good information about your charter.
If they have a fishing website
then go there and check for insurance,
licensing, and things of this nature.
Make sure your Captain is USCG
licensed (Coast Guard) and make sure he will be
your charter Captain on your particular fishing
date. Make sure the Captain isn't home sick
while the Mate takes over the Captain's duties.
What Fishing Gear, Food, and
Clothing Do I Bring to the Boat
What Fishing Gear Does the
On some trips you can bring
your own rod and reel, tackle, and general
gear. Usually for inshore flats or bay
fishing the guide will let you use your own
gear, fly rod, light tackle etc. On the flip
side the big offshore boats usually prefer
to supply all the rod n reels, tackle, bait,
and other gear. The boat rules will vary
from one to the next so ask your Captain
what his policies are before you just show
up with all your gear.
Things most charter
- All the fishing rods
and reels are supplied though you are
allowed to bring your own gear on some
types of trips. Ask the Captain.
- Bait and tackle is
supplied. This includes artificial
baits, live bait, frozen bait, chum, and
- All ice is supplied.
- A fish box to store
your catch so you won't need a cooler
for fish. You will need something to
carry your fish home in.
What Type of Charter do You
If you are new to fishing or
have never been on a chartered fishing trip
then you will need to decide what type of
fishing you want to do. Once you know the
fish or place then you can pick your
What type of
fishing are you interested on?
Offshore Sportfishing, Wreck
and Reef Fishing
Sportfishing - Usually means fishing for
tuna, wahoo, marlin, and the many other
bluewater big game species. In some places
offshore fishing is just called sportfishing
because places like Hawaii or Mexico have
big game sportfishing just a mile or two off
the beach so you aren't really "offshore".
To experienced anglers the term "Offshore"
usually means fishing at least 20 or 30
miles off the beach and in many regions up
too 90 or 100 miles off the beach.
Wreck and Reef Fishing - Some
charters do wreck and reef fishing for
certain bottom fish like sea bass, tautog,
or other deep water bottom dwellers. When
you wreck or reef fish the Captain usually
finds the rough bottom, where the wreck is,
by looking at his electronic gear. Once he
finds the wreck he will anchor up and all
the anglers will fish their lines straight
down to the bottom - hopefully on the old
wreck. For those that don't know a wreck can
be anything from old subway cars to old
concrete that was dumped in the ocean to
create a man-made reef to sunken WWII ships,
subs, or fishing trawlers.
Inshore Fishing, Bay and
chartered or guided fishing trips
usually refers to fishing that takes place
in a local bay, nearby river, or local water
basin. Examples would include Tampa Bay,
Indian River Lagoon, or the Chesapeake Bay
and anglers would fish for the local species
that could range from cold water cod fishing
in the north to warm water snook or speckled
trout fishing in the south. Florida is well
known for it's shallow water or "flats
fishing" where anglers use light tackle like
fly rods, small spinners, and bait casters.
Inshore or near shore charters usually carry
less than 6 people and many times is just
the guide and one or two guests. For those
not ready to spend upwards of 2000 dollars
for a large sportfishing trip then an
inshore guided light tackle trip may be the