9 Things to Bring on a Charter Fishing Trip
Booking a charter fishing trip is one of the easiest ways to get out on the water without the financial outlay you might have if you were buying performance fishing gear – or, say, a boat. A chartered fishing trip means you get the wisdom of the experts, the equipment is right there when you need it, and the big picture details are taken care of on your party’s behalf. However, that doesn’t mean that going charter fishing is as easy as boarding the boat. You, as the passenger, have some responsibility for your own comfort and safety, which is why we have put together this list of 9 things to bring on a charter fishing trip.
1. Food and drink. While some fishing charter companies will provide meals – usually for a fee – it’s much more common for passengers to bring their own refreshments. Drinks are especially important, and we’re not talking beer here. It’s easy to get dehydrated out on the water.
2. Motion sickness pills and sea bands. Even if you’ve never been seasick in your life, there’s a first time for everything. Motion sickness can happen, especially if the weather turns out rough, and it’s unlikely that your charter boat captain is going to turn the vessel around just for you.
3. Jackets, hats, sunglasses, and raingear. Speaking of weather, check the forecast and then plan for every possible weather condition. It can get chilly if there are high winds, even in the summertime. Rain can sweep in out of nowhere. The sun glinting off the water can start to drive you nuts. Protect thyself!
4. Tip money. The charter boat captain and crew are paid, but probably make at least some part of their living off tips. 15-20% is a good range when you’re tipping your crew.
5. Suncreen. It’s not sunny? Well, you may not know this, but the damaging effects of the sun’s rays can actually be more pronounced on cloudy days – especially given that the water around your boat will reflect them back at you. Make sure your sunscreen of choice blocks UVA and UVB rays.
6. Your camera. Your charter boat crew may take pictures of your catch, but if you want to capture the whole of the day it’s up to you to bring a camera or a phone equipped with a good enough proxy. You can always ask someone employed by the charter to take a picture of your group using your camera.
7. Non-slip shoes with non-black soles. The decks of most charter boats are coated with slip-resistant paint that keeps you from toppling into the deep, but things can still get slippery. Running shoes are usually a good choice.
8. A cooler. Assuming you are keeping some or all of your catch, bringing your own cooler will mean your fillets are fresher when you finally do get them home.
9. The proper licenses. In some cases, charter fishing boat trips will require you to have the right kind of fishing license, so if you have it, bring it. You may have the opportunity to purchase a fishing license at the marina before the charter launches, but don’t count on it. When it doubt, ask ahead of time!