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Fishing Charter Adventures

Updated on March 29, 2014

Fishing Charter Boat at Sea

Fishing Charter Boat heading back in from sea.
Fishing Charter Boat heading back in from sea. | Source

Fishing Charters Basics

Fishing Charters are a simple cost effective way of going fishing via a boat without having the expense of owning one. By paying a fee you get in return the opportunity to fish from said boat. While the details vary from charter to charter the following areas are subjects of interest.

  • Where will the boat take you fishing? - Inshore? Offshore?
  • What will you be fishing for? Tuna, Marlin, Sharks....
  • Time you will be out. Most charters will give you a time frame to be out fishing. A four hour Inshore charter. Maybe a eight hour offshore charter. A twelve hour chumming shark charter.
  • Equipment, is the use of the fishing equipment like poles and tackle included in the price of the charter?
  • Bait, is it also covered in the price of the charter?
  • Services provided by ship mate. Baiting of hooks, cleaning of fish. Even though it may be a complimentary service, most mates are working for your tips. It is common place to tip up to 20% of the cost of the trip.

While there may be many more subjects to cover with the captain when negotiating your trip, the above point will give you an educated starting point.

This fisherwoman is well prepared with both a jacket and sunglasses while the charter boat mate helps her with the fish.
This fisherwoman is well prepared with both a jacket and sunglasses while the charter boat mate helps her with the fish. | Source

What to bring on your fishing adventure.

While being out on a boat far away from land may be welcome, it is also a harsh environment because of the exposure to the elements. But just like Boy Scouts strive to be should you for your upcoming fishing trip. Below is not an all inclusive list as everyone has there own special needs, but it will give you a good point of reference.

  • Water - One of the biggest risks of personal injury on your trip comes from dehydration. Dehydration can sneek up on you if you are not prepared for it. Stranded in a boat at sea and water will be the only thing between you and death, so bring plenty of it.
  • Motion sickness - Is a common way to become dangerously dehydrated, so bring some Dramamine just in case.
  • Protection from the elements - The elements are magnified on the open sea, there fore protection from the elements is a must. The sun is brighter, the wind is stronger and storms are fiercer. Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, chapstick and proper clothing can all help protect you.
  • Your thirst for adventure, because in the end this is a bucket list worthy adventure.

Blue Marlin

The Blue Marlin is a worthy adversary that can be found on an offshore adventure.
The Blue Marlin is a worthy adversary that can be found on an offshore adventure.

Inshore verses offshore fishing charters

So you may have wondered what Inshore, near shore, offshore and deep sea fishing are. In a nutshell we will go over the differences.

  • Inshore fishing is done in a boat that stays within site of land. The fishing depths are typically less than 30 meters. Boats can be relatively small in nature including dinghys, row boats, kayak, canoes and pontoon boats..
  • Near shore is an intermediate distance between Inshore and offshore.
  • Offshore is done out of site of land. Depths are usually more than 30 meters. Boats for offshore fishing are more robust in nature to to the harsh environment. Offshore is often referred to as Deep Sea fishing. Larger fish are found in deeper waters.

Shark Fishing

The Great White Shark is an Apex predator that will battle you for hours giving you a one of a kind adventure.
The Great White Shark is an Apex predator that will battle you for hours giving you a one of a kind adventure. | Source

What to fish for

There are numerous types of fish to catch in the coastal waters of the United States. Below is a sampling of fish and sharks you can expect to find in the three major areas East Coast, West Coast, and the Gulf.

In the Gulf you can expect to come across King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Red Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Amber jack, Grouper, Jack Crevalle, Bonito, Red Drum, Flounder, Sheepshead, Porgys, Trigger Fish, Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Slammer Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo, Bull Sharks, Thresher Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, White Tip Shark, Black Tip Sharks, Sandbar Shark, Shortfin Makos and much more.

In the wasters of the East Coast you may find Cod, Haddock, Tuna, Tarpon, Snook, Cobia, King fish, Bluefish, Fluke, False Albacore, Bonito, Snapper, Amberjacks, Rubberfish, Trigggerfish, Marlin, Longfin Makos, Lemon Sharks, Blue Sharks, Whale Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Thresher Sharks, Bull Sharks, Blacktip Shark, Sandbar Shark, Night Shark, Nurse Sharks, Great White Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Shortfin Mako and much more.

In the waters off of the West Coast you might find yourself catching Yellowtail, Sea Bass, Barracuda, Tuna, Rockfish, Halibut, Marlin, Bonito, Red Snapper, Whitefish, Dorado, Blacktip Shark, Great White Shark, Tiger Shark, Bullnose Shark, Shortfin Mako, Blue Shark, Leopard Shark, Thresher, Hammerhead and much more.

Fishing for a Tiger Shark

Finding a Fishing Charter that is right for you

Finding a fishing charter is not very difficult to say the least. Finding the right fishing charter for you may be a bit harder. One of the most difficult aspects is having a list of all of the available fishing charters in the area in order to start sifting through them. S&Mj Adventures has a comprehensive list on their bucket list resource section of their site. That list can be found at

Next you can start perusing through the sites for the different charters looking for the ones that specialize in the type of fish you want while making a chart consisting of the name, numbers, areas, types of fish and other determining factors like price and availability.

Black Marlin jumps in boat

Bucket List worthy Fishing Adventure

The thing about a fishing charter adventure is that you never know what is going to happen. You may have a relatively uneventful relaxing trip. You could also have a one of a kind adventure where seemingly impossible things happen that you will not soon forget. There are videos all over the internet of fish jumping into a boat, nearly impaling the fisherman. Or a video of a fish being reeled in and a shark comes along and eats it. A seal sneaks up and robs a guy of a mahi mahi, right out of his hands.

My advice to you is to bring along a good quality digital camera and a HD video camera. Only god knows what is going to happen while fishing out on the open ocean. A waterproof model may prove to be a good investment for either underwater filming or in case it happens to get wet. . .


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    • johnyater profile image

      johnyater 3 years ago from Hamilton, Ohio

      Very informative article...I plan on goin on a fishing charter in Virginia beach this summer.