Charter fishing services have become increasingly popular in recent years, and with good reason too. They give both amateur and experienced anglers alike, the opportunity to experience their hobby in a whole new light. They can step away from the quiet lakes and gentle rivers and land some monster fish in the great open ocean. It’s a fun and unique way to spend time with your friends and family, to pick up new skills, and to land the fish of a lifetime.
But, how do you know if a charter fishing service is worthwhile? There is certainly no shortage of companies to choose from, so how different can they be? Well, you’d be surprised. In fact, the difference between a great charter fishing service, and an average one—can be the difference between you having a memorable experience and throwing your money away.
The fact is, it takes experience and knowledge to identify the best fishing spots, especially as the weather conditions change. Only the most ardent skippers can take you to the busiest spots which can significantly increase your chance of landing the biggest fish. It’s not unheard of for people to spend loads of money on a charter fishing experience, only to come back empty handed. Certainly, there are no guarantees, but when there are companies like Blue Reef Fishing Charters who have landed 220 ‘keeper fish’ on their best day, then you’ll understand why its important to do your research before rushing in.
So, what do you look for?
1 – Plenty of logged hours at sea
The most reputable charter fishing services will have logged thousands of combined hours at sea. These are the skippers and crewmembers that you want to be sailing out with. With so much experience, not only will you be much more likely to end up fishing the best spots, but you can relax in the knowledge that you’ll be in safe hands.
2 – Fully licenced and insured
Be mindful that you’re not just heading out with someone who happens to own a boat. Any reputable company will have the relevant experienced, qualifications, licencing and insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask, because they will have no issues presenting this information to you.
3 – A positive reputation
Ask around, read up on their social media channels, and try to get a better idea as to what sort of operation they run. Reach out to other fishermen and see what they might have to say about them. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find some positive feedback regarding their service.
4 – Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest option
If a company is significantly cheaper than other charter services, you have to ask yourself, why that might be. Cheap isn’t always the best option, as tempting as it might be to try and save yourself a bit of money. At the end of the day, if it’s a memorable fishing experience that you’re after, then you should be prepared to pay a fair price. Don’t forget! You’ll be able to take home some stunning, fresh fish, which would otherwise cost you an awful lot at the fishmongers.
5 – Go with your gut
This is always an important factor. How do you feel about them? Make contact and see how your inquiry is received. Explore their website and get a feel for who they are as a company. If you are happy with the prices, the feedback, and everything else, then what does your gut tell you? If you’re confident, then go for it!