How to Choose a Fishing Charter: The Definitive Guide

Are you taking a vacation to Alaska? Do you live in Homer? If so, then you likely know that Homer charter boats offer both travelers and tourists an easy way to escape the water. But be careful, not all of charter providers are created equally! The most essential element is the captain’s capability to deliver a fun and adventurous moment. The weather, location, and your personal pursuits play a big role in what frequently becomes a day you won’t ever forget. 

Head Boats or Private Charters

Here is actually the first choice you need to make. Would you wish to cover $50-$70 per man to go swimming fishing on a head boat with at least twenty strangers or pay $75-$150 per individual to have a ship of your own? Because there are several anglers on a head boat, everybody must fish their own lines straight down. No projecting or live bait is permitted. If you decide to go this route, be sure to get there early so that you can occupy either the left or right corner of the stern. That is where 75 percent of these fish are caught. There could be some opportunity for sight-seeing but do not expect to get off the boat, go swimming, or find out much about fishing. Party boats offer you an excellent, low-cost method to escape and do a little fishing but lack the expert captain and versatility personal fishing charters offer.

Picking the Ideal Captain for a Personal Charter

This might be the single most important decision you make. When looking for a charter captain, make sure you know what you want to do. If you would like to concentrate just on fishing, then select a captain that can place you on the bite. In case you have children or family or friends who’d enjoy something aside from fishing, you might choose to seek out a custom or “combo” charter that provides fishing, snorkeling, and other activities. Here is a listing of things to consider:

A local captain with a long history at the Florida Keys who’s worked as a charter or commercial fisherman is almost always a fantastic bet.

Ask if he or she’s on a Wednesday. Even if you won’t be in town that day you need to make sure you are not coping with a “weekend warrior” who will simply go fishing two a month also contains another full-time occupation.

Beware the’fuel surcharge’ from charter captains because big ships may cost $50-$100+ per engine-hour to operate.

Mid-sized “center console” charters are the most versatile and extend the capability to fish for virtually any target species in many different water depths.

Bigger charter boats with cottages offer air conditioning and comfort if you’re ready to pay top dollar. These boats generally target billfish with trolling procedures. The mates will do all the work and you’ll be handed a pole with a hooked fish if one should actually get caught.

Locate a charter captain that provides a fishing experience, not just a promise to provide fish. Some people today grab hardly any fish and have a fantastic time because the captain left fishing fun and enjoyable experience.

Very few, if any, charters “guarantee” fish however if they do, then ask just what that means. Most charter services will catch fish on every trip. It’s uncommon that a charter captain could “get skunked.”

Check the website for photos. In case a charter captain says he catches big groupers but does not have a single photo of himself using a grouper on his site… beware. If the photos on the website look old… beware. If the captain is not in many of the photos… beware. You get the idea.

The Weather and Marine Forecast

Besides the prediction from the skies, you need to now think about the prediction for those seas too. Anything higher than a 3-5 foot forecast from NOAA means you will want to reschedule. It’s worth noting that marine predictions aren’t too accurate until 12-18 hours ahead and even then they can be wrong. It is true that fishing is best during rough seas but be sure you are knowledgeable about the cancellation policy of the charter. Some do not offer refunds unless they cancel. And when anyone will get seasick, they still demand full payment. Detecting a charter with flexible policies or one that provides other activities is a fantastic way to hedge your bet against rain and waves.

Location, Location, Location

Say by way of example you booked a fishing charter with one of those boats in the crowded tourist docks. You will likely end up dividing the day’s catch with the fleet while sitting alongside three or four other boats all day long. Alternatively, if you can find a charter up on Big Coppitt Key, Geiger Key, or perhaps on Stock Island from Harbor, you will have better access to the Atlantic and much less pressure from other boats. Chartering a fishing boat several miles from downtown has paid off for many savvy visitors who have seen a natural beauty that the Duval-Street-dwellers do. Plus, some of those charters in Homer will pick you up from the hotel and offer access to yacht club amenities such as pools, beaches, restaurants, and bars that others don’t.

Your Interests Matter Most When Booking a Charter Fishing Boat

Getting out on the water is a must. Depending on your definition of a great day, that may mean catching lots of fish, diving, catching lobster, sight-seeing, dolphin-watching, or even anchoring on sand bar and enjoying music while you unwind with a cold beverage. Just make certain that you’ve got an idea about what you want to do and find a Representative or charter fishing service prepared to work with you to make it occur.

Hopefully, you can use this advice to select a charter fishing boat that can make your next vacation or day off a wonderful experience.