Taking a Fishing Charter: What to Expect On Your Day On the Water

Have you been curious about what it might be like to take a fishing charter for the day? Join us as we discuss what a typical day on the water with a fishing charter captain looks like, and what you can expect from your excursion. From the gear and bait you need to bring, to tips on how to maximize your catch and have the most fun possible – get ready for some great insight into fishing charters!

Overview of Fishing Charters

Fishing charters are a great way to spend a day on the water, especially when you are on vacation and visiting an area for the first time.  Even if you are an avid fisherman, if you are not familiar with the area, hiring a charter the first time fishing can make all your future trips that much more productive. They offer an opportunity to catch fish, while also providing a fun and relaxing experience.

When you take a fishing charter, you can expect to be provided with all of the necessary equipment. This includes rods, reels, bait, and lures. The charter company will also usually provide a cooler for your catch and to store food and drinks that you’d like to bring. It is important to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Sunscreen and hats are also recommended.

The captain of the charter will typically give everyone a safety briefing before heading out and show you where the safety gear is in case it is needed out on the water. Typically, you will have had some communication with the Captain before your trip date, but if not, they will normally outline the day and what to expect.

Fishing charters typically last 4-8 hours, depending on the company and package that you choose. During this time, you will have the opportunity to catch a variety of fish. The captain will clean and fillet your catch at the end of the trip so that you can take it home with you if it is permitted.  Every species is different and has different regulations which your Captain will explain.

Preparing for Your Day on the Water: What You Need to Know

When you book a fishing charter, the captain and crew will take care of everything related to the boat and gear. All you need to do is show up ready to fish! Here’s what you need to know to have a great day on the water:

  • What To Bring:
    • -Sunscreen
    • -Sunglasses
    • -Hat
    • -Food and drinks for the day
    • -Cooler with ice (if you plan on keeping your catch, but leave it in the car)
    • -Camera!
    • -Layers of clothes as the weather can change and will vary on time of year
    • -Dramamine if there is any potential of getting seasick

A Typical Day on a Fishing Trip

Ideally, be at your departure location 15 minutes before your trip is supposed to depart.  Be aware of parking constraints and allow for time to be on the boat at your agreed upon time.  If you are late, that cuts into your fishing time.  Also, be aware that your Captain and crew have probably been up and at the boat for a few hours already to make sure you have the best experience possible.  Depending on the type of trip we lead, we will be at the boat a minimum of 1 hour before departure time.

The Captain will be taking you to areas that have been producing fish in the recent days.  They want you to catch fish!  They want you to enjoy being out on the water and creating lasting memories.  You will need to travel to those locations which can take time depending on the species of fish you are hoping to catch.

Once arriving at the hot spots, the crew will give you pointers on how to catch the fish that you are targeting that day and in that area.  You may be using a variety of methods and bait.  For example, you may be casting artificial lures to topwater fish or jigging to fish that are deep in the water.  You may be trolling lures or bait behind the boat while you are moving.

Based on the Captains experience will determine how long you stay in one area or based on intelligence he is receiving from his network.  Captains help each to get on to the fish, because we all want to have happy customers!

As the trip is coming to the end of time, you will head back into the harbor.  Make sure you have taken lots of photos and videos of your experience.  Don’t be afraid to as the crew to take group photos and to filet your catch if allowed.

Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Your Fishing Trip

Communication is key!  Be sure to touch base with your Captain in the weeks leading up to the trip when every possible.  Make sure you are on the same page on what you are expecting for the day on the water.  When a Captain knows what you are expecting, they will have a better chance of delivering that experience for you.

Do some of your own preparation.  Have your food and drinks planned out for the amount of time you are on the water.  Review the weather forecast so you can understand how to dress and what conditions you might face. 

Be open and listen to what the Captain and crew are telling you on how to catch the fish, remember they want you to catch as many fish as possible! 


A day on the water with a fishing charter can be very relaxing, fun and rewarding when both parties are prepared and communicate.  It can be a great way to do something different on vacation or to see your favorite vacation destination in a new way.  No matter what your reason for choosing to do a trip, you can expect a trip that will create great memories!  We look forward to seeing you on the water in 2023!

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