So, you’re preparing for your first ever deep sea fishing trip aboard a fishing charter. Great! Now, what are you planning to bring with you?
There is more to charter fishing than just casting a line and bringing in the big catch of the day. And, the captain is not responsible for your oversights. In other words, don’t expect him to turn the boat around if you’ve forgotten something important.
Of course, you don’t have to get carried away. A simple tote bag and small ice chest should carry everything you need to bring with you. It’s important to remember that there will be several other people on the boat with you and there is limited space so you’ll need to pack accordingly.
If you’re still scratching your head, don’t worry. We’re here to break down everything you do and don’t need for your fishing adventure out on the open water.
How to Prepare for a Fishing Charter Trip
Getting ready for fishing trips can be just as fun as the fishing itself. You should be thinking about the trip in order to best prepare. And, you should probably start your preparations at least a week in advance to be sure that you have time to gather everything.
The most important factor to consider about your trip will be the weather. Even if the weather report shows sunny skies on the date of your scheduled trip, you should be prepared for storms. The weather can change in mere moments the further away from land you are and most charters spend their time at least 15 to 30 miles offshore.
What to Wear
With the weather in mind, it’s important to pack rain gear. Even if you don’t encounter any storms, a rain jacket or even a windbreaker can protect you from sea spray while you’re taking in the view as the boat speeds toward your fishing destination. Otherwise, wear light clothing such as shorts and a t-shirt.
As an added tip, light-colored clothing will reflect the sun.
Also, don’t forget a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes and prevent your scalp from burning. To protect your eyes, you should bring polarized sunglasses which offer better protection from the glare of the water.
What NOT to Wear
Don’t wear jeans. There’s a likely chance that you’re going to get wet and you don’t want to be miserable because you’re uncomfortable. It can ruin the whole trip for not only yourself but everyone on the boat.
Don’t wear flip flops. The deck surface is going to be slippery. Not to mention other dangers like rogue fish hooks that will easily pierce a flip flop sole.
The point is to dress comfortably for a day out on the water. A light long sleeve t-shirt can help protect you from sunburn while still keeping you cool. Make sure your shoes are non-skid proof with rubber soles.
Still thinking about the weather, the sun, in particular, you’ll also want to bring some sunscreen. Look for a block that has an SPF of at least 50+. Anything less and you’ll be reapplying all day long.
Lip balm or chapstick is another essential item for a day out at sea. The sun and water will take a toll on your skin and your lips are sensitive.
Bring a Snack
Your charter captain may prepare a small lunch based on the catch of the day at some point in your adventure. But it’s still a good idea to bring a few snacks. It is going to be a long day after all.
The boat will probably have waters and maybe some other beverages for sale but they could run out depending on the number of people aboard and the size of the boat. It’s best to bring a thermos or water bottle with your own water.
Sandwiches are easy to pack and keep well in a cooler. Also, granola bars and jerky are good sources of protein to give you energy throughout the day.
Most fishing charters have at least a small first aid kit aboard, but you can never be too prepared for an injury. Not to mention motion sickness.
Stop at your local pharmacy before your trip and pick up some Dramamine. Even if you have never been seasick before, there’s a first time for everything.
You won’t have access to water on the boat except for your drinking water. And you’ll be handling slimy, dirty fish. Don’t forget the hand sanitizer so you can rinse up before you eat your snacks.
As we mentioned, a simple tote should carry most of your essentials. You may find it more convenient to use a backpack. In either case, try to find something that’s waterproof if you don’t want everything to be soaking wet at the end of the day.
The best way to improve your fishing trip from the start is to follow these guidelines and don’t forget the essentials.
You’ll need a camera for sure. You just might end up with a trophy and you’ll need proof!
Some charters don’t require that you have a fishing license, but some do. Make sure to check ahead of time and get one if you need it. You may not be allowed to board the vessel without one.
Finally, don’t forget an ice chest to leave in your vehicle. You should end up with at least a few pounds of fresh catch and you’ll need to keep it cold until you get it to onto the grill.
Planning a fishing charter trip is a little more comprehensive than just booking a ticket aboard. Don’t get caught on the water unprepared or you could end up regretting your experience. Just keep these tips in mind before your next coastal adventure so you don’t forget a thing.
If you have questions or you’re ready to schedule a fishing trip, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have experienced captains with over 30 years of combined experience chartering the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay.