If youíre looking for a coast side adventure, thereís no doubt that a chartered fishing trip can give you one. Spending a day out on the ocean fishing for kingfish, flounder, and other fish is a day well spent. However, with lots of charter captains along the coast, it can be challenging to pick the one you want guiding your trip. If such is your dilemma, keep reading to know what things to consider when choosing a fishing charter guide.
Safety: Any experienced charter guide knows that the weather and the ocean change quickly and may create dangerous conditions. Your guide should put your safety at the top of the priority list, even before having fun.
Time commitment: Going on a chartered fishing trip isnít like going to see a movie. Many charters offer half day trips (4 to 6 hours long) and full day trips (6 to 8 hours long). If youíre an avid fisher and know you'll enjoy a full day of fishing then book a full day trip. If fishing isnít something you have much experience with and youíve never been on a charted trip, half day trips are a great pick.
The caught fish: The greatest thrill of fishing is getting a bite and reeling in the big one; but what happens when you catch it? Ask any potential guide what their rules are about caught fish. Do you get to keep them and if so how many? Does the guide keep some or all of the fish? Or finally, do they only practice catch and release? Knowing whether or not you want to keep the fish you catch will help you with this decision.
The captain: The most critical part of choosing the right fishing charter guide is the guide, or captain, themselves. Donít be fooled by the size of a captainís boat, or flashiness of his fishing gear. Just because a guide has great equipment doesnít they're going to be fun. Look for a captain thatís willing to engage with you through conversation, help you tie knots, and provide any other help you need or want.
There are certainly more things to consider when choosing a guide for a chartered fishing trip. However, we hope this short list gives you an idea of the qualities to look for in a guide. Of course, the best way to make a decision is to do your own research.