The fact that a deep sea fishing charter is something of a once-in-a-lifetime experience for so many illustrates the importance of getting it right. Perhaps the most important thing to be aware of when going about the booking process is the fact that all providers and all trips are by no means the same. From value for money to pure enjoyment to safety to amenities and so much more, the differences between competing providers really are night and day – differences that will have a huge impact on your trip as a whole.
Of course, personal preference plays a big role in things and what suits one may not be right for another. But at the same time, there are certain universal rules to follow during the selection process to make sure you don’t land yourself with a dud.
So, with this in mind, here’s a quick look at the six golden rules for booking the best fishing charter on the market for you and your group:
1 – Cheap Isn’t Always Cheerful
First of all, be aware of the fact that there’s a lot more to making the right choice than getting the lowest price alone. It’s all well and good for any given provider to offer an excursion that’s massively cheaper than everyone else, but ask yourself – why might this be the case?
If you’re lucky, an overly cheap fishing charter may be explained by way of poor quality equipment and equally poor quality guides. If you’re unlucky however, it could be that they’re not even licensed and insured to be doing these kinds of trips in the first place. So, before diving into a bargain deal, make sure it isn’t too good to be true.
2 – Book the Captain, Not the Boat
The simple fact of the matter is that it really isn’t important how great the boat or its equipment may be – an unexperienced captain or surly team of ‘guides’ will completely ruin your day. As such, when looking to make a booking it’s a good idea not to be too focused on the boat alone, but to also factor in the captain. They’ll no doubt have all manner of reviews and comments floating around the web, so be sure to do a little ‘fishing’ of your own before you book your fishing trip.
3 – Book in Advance
According to the experts it’s never in your best interests to just turn up on the day and dive straight into an excursion at the dock. There are two good reasons for this, the first of which being that you’ll never get a better deal than those that are available for online booking. So, for the sake of avoiding paying over the odds, it’s good to book in advance.
Secondly, the very best deep sea fishing charters are booked pretty solid throughout the season and generally don’t have any space left over for walk-ins. As such, when there are charter crews down by the dock largely begging for business, it’s worth mulling over why these particular providers don’t seem to be nearly as busy or popular as their rivals.
4 – Check Skill Requirements
There’s a very big difference between a fishing charter provider specialising in pro-level anglers and another that’s more about giving families their first fun-filled taste of fishing. This will usually be made pretty clear, but in all instances it’s important to make sure you know if there are any necessary skill requirements that could make it an inappropriate choice for your own group.
5 – Ask About Tackle
There’s also a very big difference between organising fishing charter trips with the very best equipment on-board, and expecting your guests to use dated, worn and generally quite awful gear that hasn’t been replaced in decades. It’s not like you’ll necessarily be needing the best of the best as a first timer, but at the same time your success and enjoyment will be largely dependent on the quality of the equipment you’re provide with.
6 – Ask About Catch and Keep/Release
Last but not least, make sure you look into the charter’s policies when it comes to catching and keeping or releasing. Exactly which of these appeals most will vary from one person to the next, but it’s nonetheless crucial to make sure you book a trip that’s in-line with your own ideals and intentions. Again, this should be made pretty clear without having to mine too deep for information, but it’s still worth asking just in case.