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4 Things to Do When Going On a Fishing Charter

Fishing Charter

Guided fishing, whether on a kayak tour in a river or a large sportfishing yacht in the ocean, can be one of the most exciting and informative experiences you can have if you enjoy fishing. Too often, though, things go wrong, and a delightful day on the lake ends in disappointment. If you’re planning to hire a guide or board a charter boat soon, follow these simple tips to make the most of your fishing charter experience.

4 Things to Do When Going On a Fishing Charter

Come Prepared

If you are on a mission that needs a certain level of skill on your part, practice before you go. If you want to catch a Permit with a fly rod, which is extremely difficult for even the finest fly fisherman, spend as much time as possible practicing your casting at home before your trip.

You also need to pack for the trip. Some of the things you should pack include:

Rubber-soled sneakers: These will help you stay strong and steady on the boat. To avoid leaving footprints on the boat, make sure they are non-marking or have a light sole.

Layered clothes: This gives you flexibility in case the weather changes. Always choose materials that dry quickly while also keeping you warm, as well as those that provide wind protection.

Sunscreen and polarized sunglasses: Polarized glasses will not only protect you from the elements, but they can also help you with certain fishing techniques, such as sight fishing.

Seasickness medications (such as Dramamine): These are ideal if you are prone to motion sickness, especially if you will be heading offshore in rougher waters.

Bring a backpack, zip-lock bags for valuables, one small cooler for food and drinks, and one larger cooler for fish (if you plan on keeping your catch). If you don’t already have these supplies, you can always buy them from a dedicated fishing store such as Melton Tackle.

Know What You Want

Fish Tackle

Via Photo by Maël BALLAND : https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-fish-bait-3099227/

Even if you’ve never been on a fishing charter before, you undoubtedly have a few ideas about what you’d like to try. This could be a new fishing technique you want to learn, a new fish species you want to catch, or a particular fishing location you want to explore.

If you or your fellow anglers have something specific in mind, now is the moment to inform your captain. Also, let your guide know this is your first fishing excursion. This will give them a decent idea of your ability and allow them to prepare better to show you the ropes.

Perhaps the most crucial consideration is what type of trip is best for you and your group. When many people think about fishing charters, the first thing that comes to their mind is deep-sea fishing, but it is far from the only type of fishing excursion offered. After all, not every charter involves battling massive fish in deep water.

To help you make the right decision, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

How far do you want to travel? The initial leg of your journey is all about reaching the hotspots. The largest fish are typically found offshore, so reaching them takes time. Are you willing to wait it out? If not, an inshore or bay excursion will be better for you. The fish may be smaller, but you’ll have more time to fish.

Are you looking to catch as many fish as possible? “Filling the boat” is commonly seen as a sign of a successful journey, however this is not always the case. In addition to this, if you catch a lot of fish, what will you do with them?

Having to discard your catch can ruin an otherwise enjoyable trip, and most anglers who are charter fishing for the first time are content bringing home a fish or two to cook up and show off to their friends.

How much time do you have? Some people consider spending a full day on the water to be a dream come true. Others may be unable to participate due to seasickness, or they may prefer not to commit to a whole day on their first try.

The amount of time spent on board will determine how, where, and what you can catch. If you only have a few hours, it’s usually unrealistic to expect to catch large species.

Know What to Expect

Fishing Charter Boat

Via Photo by David Dibert: https://www.pexels.com/photo/wide-angle-photo-of-body-of-water-during-sunset-635518/

As much as you should have an idea of what you want, it’s good that you know what to expect so that you can keep your expectations in check. Before you mail that deposit check, you should be clear with your guide about all of your expectations for the day. Inquire about the fishing conditions and what is expected for the season. Make sure you get a clear description of how your day will go. Inquire about the weather conditions, cancelation policy, tackle and bait, what’s included, and any potential hidden expenses. Clear up all of these issues ahead of time to avoid any disagreements and leave the dock with a solid understanding of what your day will entail. Total clarity should be a top focus for any experienced guide, but it doesn’t harm to initiate the conversation on your own to ensure you understand their standard process.

Don’t Get Drunk

Drinking alcohol while boating can be hazardous. In fact, many charter operators prohibit it, while some leave it to your discretion. Enjoying a cold beer on the boat isn’t harmful, but getting drunk on one exposes everyone to a new set of risks.

No guide enjoys babysitting a drunk, and the risk of a disaster onboard grows significantly with each drink. The bottom line is that if you’re looking for a party, there are far better places to go than a fishing boat. Show restraint and do not put the captain in an unpleasant situation or ruin the trip for the rest of your group. Save your celebration till after the trip.

Parting Shot

Fishing in FijiThese are some of the things you should do when going on a fishing charter. Remember that there is no way you are going to have a good time if you choose the wrong charter, regardless of how well prepared you are. Due to this, always take your time and find a professional charter that matches your expectations.

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