How to Pick Good Saltwater Fishing Charters

One of the best things you can do when searching for a charter that will meet your needs is to ask the captain up front what it is they offer. You certainly don’t want to waste your time and money on an expedition that is not suited to your needs. Many charter services are very up front about the different options they offer. As a result, you can determine which type of charter is the best fit for your individual needs.

After you decide what type of specific experience you want, you should determine how much you are willing to pay for the charter. For smaller boats (that typically hold between two to four people, prices typically start at around $200-$400. To hire a bigger boat for an all-day fishing excursion, you’re looking at between $900-$1,200.

Another important factor to consider is the reputation of the charter. While most charter services are operated by experienced, quality individuals, there is the occasional shady character that may try and sell you their services. One way to check into the reputation of a particular charter service is through asking around and getting recommendations from some of the locals. This can mean visiting local marinas, bait shops, or simply visiting the docks.

Another option is to check with the hotel where you’re staying – often they have charter services they typically use. Finally, you can interview potential fishing charter captains. This can help you see for yourself what type of person you will be spending a day on the boat with. Often, this is the part of the process that exposes some of the less reputable charter options.

With the explosion of the Internet in recent years, it has also become much easier to sift through potential charter options online. One such site is, which has an extensive directory of deep seas fishing charters around the country. Many sites exist that allow anglers to search by location, level, or other specific criteria. The Internet can also be helpful when checking out the reputability of a particular charter. Sites offered by the Better Business Bureau or MSN allow users to search for the name of the company to alleviate any potential problems.

Once you have selected a charter, like we discussed earlier, you need to contact the captain (or the company) to find out what particular gear you will need to bring. Most charter services supply all the fishing rods and reels, though many allow you to bring you own gear on certain types of trips. They also supply bait and tackle, which includes artificial baits, live bait, frozen bait, and chum. The charter service also typically supplies ice and a fish box to store your catch, though you will need something to carry your catch home in.

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Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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