Written by: Ashley Conway
So, your family has decided that they would like to go on a charter fishing trip during vacation. Naturally that usually leaves us moms to plan the trip. Most likely you look up places on the internet, finding a few that you think will be promising. You pick up the phone to call but then slowly realize you have no idea what to ask or even what kind of trip you would want to book. We’ve put together a few things to help guide you through this process so that you and your family can get out and experience the wonderful world of fishing without the hassle.
A MOM’S GUIDE TO CHARTER FISHING: DETERMINING THE EXPERIENCE
First, you definitely want to figure out what type of fishing trip you would like to take. When you call around, it’s important to let the people you speak with know if you have children and their ages. This is important for several reasons. For one, knowing the ages of the kids will also help determine if an inshore fishing trip will be more enjoyable than an offshore fishing trip. There are several different fishing trips offered that are very kid friendly. Another reason, is that states require life jackets for children under a certain age. Knowing ahead of time the ages of the children will ensure that the captain will have the proper amount and type of life jackets your kids will need.
Think outside the box
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Both shark fishing and saltwater bowfishing are exciting trips families. Imagine your child hooking a shark and reeling it in. The look on their face will be priceless when they get that prize to the boat. This will surely be a photo opportunity like none other. Kids love to go back and share their shark stories and pictures with their . Keep in mind that our captains do this every day and would never put you or your children in a compromising situation. In addition to shark fishing, saltwater bowfishing has become increasingly popular through the years. Families enjoy watching each other catch a fish with a bow or using a gig. This is done at night with underwater lights on the boats. It’s a completely different experience but well worth the try.
Be upfront with your experience
Do yourself a favor and let the captains know (a good one will ask) what the fishing experience level of your family is. Captains fish with everyone from novice to fishing gurus. Don’t ever be ashamed to let them know if you have never been before. Knowing the experience level helps the captain better plan and prepare for your trip.
A MOM’S GUIDE TO CHARTER FISHING: KNOWING YOUR BUDGET
Another thing to think about is cost. One way to avoid an lengthy conversation that ends in “maybe next year” is to talk money up front. Keep in mind though, that charter fishing trips tend to cost at least $100 per person. Additionally, make sure you ask about any costs not included in the price of trip such as fish cleaning fee and or cancellation fees. It’s customary to tip (20%) both captain or deckhand at the end of the trip.
A MOM’S GUIDE TO CHARTER FISHING: FORGOTTEN TIDBITS
Some charter fishing trips include snacks and drinks on-board, but if not you will want to bring some on your own. Make sure your snacks you bring are easy to eat. Simple sandwiches in a Ziploc bag are among the well suited options. Not all charter fishing boats are equipped with bathrooms or AC, so make sure you find out before you book your trip. You will also want to know if fishing gear and bait will be provided. Usually they are but ask to make 100% sure. Additionally, ask if fishing license is included under the charter trip.Check to see if fish cleaning is provided and the cost if it’s not. In fact, take advantage of hook-n-cook options in the area such as the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. This will help you avoid the hassle of transporting frozen fish.
A MOM’S GUIDE TO CHARTER FISHING: THE TRIP IS BOOKED: NOW WHAT?
It’s a good idea to take Dramamine the night before your trip to help prevent sea sickness. Taking it the night before ensures that the medication will be working by time you and your family steps foot on the boat. The day of your trip make sure everyone drinks plenty of fluids before heading out. Make sure you wear sunscreen; bring extra. Water acts as a reflector when it comes to sunlight therefore, make sure to wear sunglasses. If fishing in the winter, wear layers that can be shed if you start to get warm. It is always better to be able to shed a few layers than to not have enough. Rubber bottom closed toed shoes are a great idea for kids to reduce slipping. A bring along a cooler bring so you easily transport your fish, unless of course you go straight to a hook and cook meal.
Don’t be BULLIED!
Many times women get the run around when calling about something we particularly don’t know a lot about. If you feel like you’re being pushed around, speak up. Don’t be afraid to contact a different charter fishing business. Make your expectations clear upfront. This will help make your family’s fishing trip most memorable. Don’t settle for less. It’s your family’s vacation and you will be spending hard earned money. Don’t let someone talk you into something that is not the best fit for your family. It’s okay to say NO. If you feel like your questions and concerns are not being heard, then that is definitely not who you want to book a trip through. If you ever find yourself in an uncomfortable situation on the phone, it’s not going to be any better on the boat. There are plenty of charter services that are well suited for your needs.
INTERCOASTAL SAFARIS: GIVE US A TRY
It is important to us here at Intercoastal Safaris that our families have a great experience from start to finish in no matter the excursion your interested in. No fishing trip can be 100% guaranteed but what we can guarantee is that we work hard to make your family’s experience last a lifetime. If by chance you find yourself trying to set up a trip in an area we do not serve and could still use our assistance were happy to at least guide you through the process.
Check out this video from Stephen Lee with Intercoastal Safaris on why we are committed to fulfilling your family’s fishing expectations.