There’s nothing like an offshore fishing expedition in Galveston, TX. The problem is most people don’t have the boat or equipment for this type of trip. In addition, they don’t know the right places to go to catch the ‘big one’.
The good news is you can go the route of a fishing charter and hire a boat with an experienced captain and crew and have a day you will remember for years to come.
If you have questions or concerns about how fishing charters work, here are some helpful tips and information to make sure you are prepared when you leave the dock.
Research the Charter Company
Just because someone is offering a fishing trip doesn’t mean they are a reputable chartering company. You should always do your homework to find an experienced outfit.
They should have (and be able to produce) all applicable permits to fish in the waters they go out on. They should also be insured. Many charter companies don’t take the extra step of insurance and it could be costly to you if something goes wrong.
It is vital they have approved life vests available and enough for everyone on board. There should also be a fully stocked first aid kit readily available.
Read any reviews from their website to get an understanding of the experience others has had. Finally, call and talk to them. They should be able to provide you with pricing, details, and answer all your questions.
Once you have found just the right fit, you can start to plan your trip!
Communicate Special Requests
Once your trip is scheduled, you should reach out to the captain if you have any special requests.
Maybe there is a particular type of fish you want to try and land. Is there a specific fishing technique or style you want to learn? There may be an exact location you want to try and reach.
All of these should be communicated with the captain before the day of your trip. They may need to make adjustments to their plan or schedule to accommodate your wishes. If what you are asking isn’t possible, other arrangements can be made before the last minute.
Know What Is Included
Every fishing charter has a list of services and amenities they offer, but they are not all the same. Find out exactly what is included in the price.
They should provide all the rods, tackle, and bait required for the type of fishing you intend to do. It is always a good idea though to confirm if you wish to use something different or your own.
Do they charge extra for fuel? This will be a significant increase if the boat travels out far from shore. Do they offer to clean the fish once back at the dock, or is that an extra upcharge?
Are any snacks, beverages, or other incidentals provided? There really aren’t any right or wrong answers, just make sure you know what you are paying for so you can then prepare accordingly.
What You Need To Bring
Once you have determined what is included, you will know the items that you will need to bring with you.
This will most likely include a day pass fishing license if you don’t already have one. If you plan to bring any fish home with you, a cooler is necessary. You can also use this cooler for any beverages you wish to keep cold while you are out on the water.
Speaking of beverages, make sure you understand what is permitted by the captain, especially when it comes to alcoholic beverages and the type of containers that are allowed.
You should provide your own sun protection. This includes sunglasses and any sunscreen. Make sure you dress accordingly for the weather and wear rubber, soft-soled shoes to help keep your balance out on the water.
If you get motion sickness, plan to take a non-drowsy form of medication about an hour before leaving the dock for a more enjoyable trip.
The Day of the Trip
Check the weather for the area you plan to be in and around. If there are any concerns, get in touch with the captain. Also, make sure you prepare for any traffic delays, especially if in high-tourist areas. You definitely don’t want to miss the boat.
Once you arrive, you and your party will be introduced to the captain and the crew. You will also be given a tour of the boat and provided with the location of the facilities, the life vests (if you aren’t already wearing them), and the first aid kit.
Get comfortable with the layout and also take a minute to get used to the movement of the ship and get your ‘sea legs’. Then sit back and enjoy the ride out to the fishing spot.
Fishing Charters – The Experience
The whole idea is to catch fish, but that is one thing the charter company cannot guarantee. They are experienced with the best places to go and equipment to use, but you may need to be patient and avoid these common mistakes.
Be kind and respectful to the crew. They are doing their best to make sure your group will have a good time. Listen to their advice and consider their suggestions if what you are doing isn’t working.
Don’t give up and hopefully you will eventually hit on just the right spot.
Back at the Dock
Once you have made your haul, it will be time to head back to the dock. You should already know by now who will be cleaning the fish and the disposition.
Most fishing charter companies will do a complimentary picture of you and the haul. There may be other photo packages available upon request.
Be sure to tip the crew. This is a service industry as well, and the crew works hard to earn this extra gratuity. The recommended amount is 15-20% of the total cost.
Fishing charters in Galveston, TX are a great way to have a one-of-a-kind fishing trip. Hiring a local, experienced crew who knows the best fishing spots and has the right equipment is a sure-fire way to a good time.
For more information on how we can make this happen for you, please reach out.