Booking a charter is not an everyday experience for most people. Whether you
choose a skiff guide to fish the flats or a large off-shore fishing boat, there
are a number of things the angler should know. If time allows, book the boat
in advance. This assures the availability of the boat and gives the captain
an opportunity to match the angler's fishing expectations to the availability
of the species for that time of year. However, most fishing trips are impromptu.
in this case, the captain should be consulted regarding the angler's desired
trophy. Abundance of certain trophy fish can vary with the time of year because
of migratory patterns.
You are hiring an experienced captain, so use his knowledge. The price of charting
a boat seems costly until you closely examine the expense of equipping a modern
sportfishing boat. The cost varies from locale to locale, depending upon the
type of boat and equipment needed for your particular trip. some boats must
run great distances to the fishing grounds. All these factors influence the
price of the charter. In most areas it is customary to tip the mate. As a rule
of thumb, the tip is usually 10% of the charter price. The captain can advise
you on this. Mates are generally enthusiastic fishermen and the tip is a reward
for doing a good job.
Charter fishing is a team concept; as a team member you have responsibilities.
the day before the fishing trip, check to see that you have comfortable light
colored clothing, a sun hat, and polarized sun glasses. The clothing will keep
you cool and comfortable in the sub-tropical sun. Warm clothing may be necessary
in some areas. The hat and polarized sun glasses enable you to see past the
glare on the water, as fish often strike surface baits. Rubber soled deck shoes
will help to protect you against falling on wet decks and also protects the
deck surface. For anglers prone to sea sickness, don't forget to take your
the night before the trip. Over-the-counter Dramamine
and Triptone may be taken one hour before boarding. Again,
remember that a charter boat represents a very sizable
investment to the owner, and is the life's blood of the
captain and mate. Most boats carry a wide selection of
rods and reels for a variety of fishing. This tackle
is also very expensive and care must be taken by anglers
to always place the rod in the holder; never lay the
rod on the deck. If you are not sure what to do, ask
the mate; he is there to assist you. sitting in the fighting
chair can be a thrill, but remember, capturing a big
game trophy fish is a team effort;
are not expected to know how to operate all the equipment,
but you should know your role. Ask the captain or mate
just what your job will be before hooking a fish. Depending
on the type of fishing technique, your role as angler
may vary greatly. for example when fishing for a marlin
with artificial s lures, some captains would leave the
rod in the holder and run ahead with the boat to set
the hook; another method often used for marlin, live
baiting would require a drop back when the fish strikes.
Coordinate with the captain and the mate; they do this
If you don't ask, they may assume you know what to do.
Plan your moves, decide who will bin the chair and be
a part of the team. Most experienced anglers will agree
with me when I say relax, enjoy the warm sun and let
the fishing take its course. Some days the fish will
jump in the boat; other days, you couldn't buy a strike.
Enjoy the ocean and its quiet beauty with all the marine
animals that make fishing fun. When your hour comes and
the cobalt blue water explodes with that trophy fish
on your line - savor the moment!
If you land a trophy fish that you would like to have mounted and shipped to
your office or home, your captain is a local representative for the taxidermist.
Talk to him regarding preserving your trophy for mounting.