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How to Choose a Fishing Charter: The Definitive Guide

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The Definitive Guide on Picking A Fishing Charter

Ah, fishing charters, what dreams are made of. Sometimes getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, especially with a group of good friends is desperately needed. There is nothing like a fishing charter. It could be a regular event, or a one-off thing, either way, you want to choose the right charter and enjoy your dream day on the water.

But wait! You cant just go out there all on your own! You need to pick the right charter, especially if this is your first time, and that is where we come in! We have successfully helped book hundreds of thousands of angler trips. From choosing a captain and picking the boat and securing that perfect photo op experience, Myrtle Beach Fishing Charter has you covered!

With Myrtle Beach private fishing trips you can have the experience of a lifetime and have it all planned out for you! No worrying about the small details or the itinerary, only you, the water, your buds, and the fish! There is a great deal to go over, so let’s get started!

Picking Your Myrtle Beach Fishing Charter Experience

In order to narrow down your search, there are certain things you are going to want to consider. Every charter service is unique and most specialize in a certain style of fishing. Consider the following:

Shared Fishing or Private Fishing Charter?

While this might seem like an easy choice at first, choosing between a private and public charter can be difficult as they both have their own pros and cons.

With a shared charter, you save on some money, but you lose control of the ship and the exact species, or technique you are after. You are with other people who get a say and are involved in what is going on with the boat. The crew is shared, and the captain may be going from person to person helping them out. Leaving beginners a little lost and without help, unless they are with a group themselves.

With a private charter, it’s all up to you. From where you fish (we do inshore, nearshore, and offshore fishing trips) to how long  and the captain’s attention is all yours. While more costly, you do get what you are paying for as the focus of the entire ship will be on you, your safety, and your fishing experience.

Inshore or Offshore? 

When it comes to fishing, where you fish makes all the difference. Literally, everything about the situation changes when you change the location, from the style of fishing to the type of fish that are being caught. When it comes to ocean fishing there are three main kinds. Inshore trips, Nearshore trips, and Offshore trips. We will go over all of them and what they mean so that you can make the best decision on how you want your sports fishing charter to go.

Inshore Trips:

These trips stay in sheltered waters near land and are often shorter. They are plenty of fun and a great option for kids or first-timers. But that is not to say the experienced fisherman would be board either! Some of the worlds top game fish live inshore!

Nearshore Trips: 

These trips usually take you out to the reefs and wrecks to reel in easy to catch, delicious bottom fish. Youre in open water, so the sea can be a tad rough, but beginners and children should be just fine as nothing gets too nasty near the shore.

Offshore Trips:

Then we get to the big games. The open ocean, where you are so far away from land that you cannot even spot it. This is where serious sports fishing takes place and usually lasts all day. The waters can be rough, treacherous, and even deadly. Only confident anglers should face this challenge.

Food or Sport? 

This one is possibly the most important environmentally conscious decision you will make all day, and is connected to everything we have discussed so far. Take a step back and ask yourself what you really want from this trip.

Are you in it for dinner? For a trophy? Fun with the family? Or to fill a cooler? Depending on your reasoning the type of fishing you are doing changes. For example, if youre set on landing a monster, your best chance is on a private charter with a deep-sea specialist. (Did you know we have shark fishing trips?)

Want to make sure the little ones have fun? Pick a short inshore trip with a kid-friendly captain. If all youre after is something to throw in the fryer, shared reef fishing trips offer serious bang for your buck.

If you are just out to test your skills, perhaps catch and release is your best way to go, but if youre looking at bringing home dinner for the family, youre going to want to bring a cooler with you. It just all depends on you and your needs.

Picking the Best Fishing Charter

In the digital age, you no longer need to walk the boardwalk or find a friend of a friend to get a charter boat. It’s much easier now. Many services, such as Myrtle Beach Private Fishing Trips have websites with great booking services. All you have to do is find the one that you think will suit your needs best!

But there are some things that you should look out for, and we are going to go over them right now.

The Captain: 

El Capitan, the big man. More than anything, it’s the captain that makes the trip. That is why it makes sense to get to know them before you book. Find out information about them, like how long they have been in business if they are local or not, how long they have been fishing, etc.

An experienced local guide can be the difference between a good day out and the trip of a lifetime.

A good way to learn more about a captain is to check them out online. Many captains have public Facebook pages where they share the what they are catching and trip pictures.

Finally, in this day and age, look them up on Yelp or some other similar service! See if they have a rating and what people are saying about them! And remember, oftentimes reviews are more than just their star rating, read what people have to say in order to make your best-educated decision when it comes to your charter captain.

The Boat: 

While this might be the first thing you think of when it comes to booking your charter, as we discussed it isnt the most important. While it definitely deserves a good deal of consideration, it doesn’t affect that trip as much as you might think it would.

Basically, there are two types of ships that you will be using to do your charter fishing. Center Consoles and Sports fishing boats.

Center Consoles are fast and have little to no shade leaving you quite exposed to the elements. The upside is that you can move around more freely as you fish.

On the other hand, sports fishing boats have above, and below deck areas, providing a place for some protection from the elements and a sanctuary for those suffering from seasickness, which is also aided by the fact that fishing boats are more stable than center consoles.

One thing that all boats have in common is a maximum capacity. This is normally four or six passengers, depending on the license – not the size. A boat may legally hold four, but be much better suited to two. Around 22 feet is a comfortable minimum for a family of four. Sport fishing boats should have space for six.

Permits and Licenses: 

Making sure that your charter has all of the proper paperwork is essential, you do not want to run into any problems with the coast guard or worse. The proper paperwork can show that youre in safe hands with someone who is properly trained.

You are going to want to look for the captain’s license, a permit to run fishing trips, and insurance. However, it is important to remember that permit laws can vary from state to state, country to country.

The Price: 

Were going to come out and say it. Dont book the cheapest charter you find. Its probably cheap for a reason. Maybe the boats old or the equipments worn, (or even damaged). Perhaps the captain doesnt have insurance (which isnt mandatory in many places).

Most commonly, there are a bunch of additional charges. Because of this, you should find out whats included before you book.

Ask about the fuel and the bait (is live bait more expensive?). Also, check if the crew will clean your catch and what refreshments are provided. You can usually find this information online. Keep in mind that the price never includes gratuities or other such fees.

Chat With The Captain

Before booking your charter, a wise thing to do might be to contract the captain of the ship. The internet age has made this very easy to do, and efficient as well. There are a few questions you might want to ask before booking your charter such as the following;

What fish are biting?

Most fish migrate, and water conditions change day by day, even if the fish are there, they may not be in season or close to harvest, there is a great deal of information you can find online, but the person who is going to know the best is your local guide, i.e your captain.

What should I bring?

A simple, but important question. Do I need bug spray?” “Does the boat have child-size life vests”. You might also ask what not to bring, as this can be just as useful.

What happens to the fish?

In many countries, the crew keeps all the catch, on shared trips you either keep it or its pooled and shared. Want to release the fish? Let the captain know ahead of time.

Do you have insurance? 

As we mentioned before, insurance isnt mandatory in many places, even within the United States Check if they have it and what it covers. It will give you peace of mind and help you learn about the captain.

Now, Book Your Fishing Trip

Youve chosen the trip, narrowed down your options, and talked things through with the captain. Time to choose a fishing charter and book it! We cant tell you how booking directly works because its different for every outfitter. However, we can tell you how it works on FishingBooker. Its pretty straightforward.

How do I book?

The simplest way to lock in your trip is through Instant Book. Just hit that lightning bolt and fill in your details. No waiting to hear back. No worrying about your dates being free. Youre set.

Like a captain but cant find the trip youre after? Drop them a message. They can suggest a custom package that suits you better.

When you book, you will be asked to pay a deposit to secure the trip. You usually pay the remaining balance to the captain when you meet them, either in cash or by card if they accept it. Some captains also let you pay the full balance online when you book – useful if you dont like carrying that much cash on you.

What about cancellations? 

Lifes unpredictable and sometimes things come up which means you have to cancel. Its a shame, but its not necessarily a problem. Depending on the charter, you can cancel anywhere up to 48-hours before the trip and get your money back.

Every captain has their cancellation policy set and clearly visible before you book.

Sometimes, its the captain that has to cancel. This could be because of the weather or a problem with their boat. If that happens, well reach out to find another date or charter that works for you or give you a full refund.

Safety is the captains number one concern. Trust them if they cancel due to weather – even if its sunny on the beach.

Choosing a Fishing Charter Easy When You Know How 

Choosing the proper fishing charter for the right event can be a daunting task, especially if you do not know where to start. is that place to start. Now that we have gone over so much, hopefully, you know enough to make an educated decision to give yourself the best chance of having an unforgettable day on your fishing charter! More questions, give us a call! Ready to book, let’s do it! Pick your fishing experience here.