There’s nothing better than getting out on the open water — the salt in the air, the sun on your skin, and a line in the water. Chartering a fishing trip is a great way to share a memorable experience with your friends and family that they will never forget. Dreaming of nabbing a fish as big as the state of Texas, or having the family haul in a big gulf catch, but don’t know how to get started? You’re in the right place! Read on to learn how to charter a fishing boat in Texas!
Check Your Season
It’d be wonderful if you could walk out the door any day of the year and catch red snapper. Sadly, you’ll have to stick to state and federal regulations regarding fishing seasons.
Fishing seasons refer to the period of time during the year when you are legally allowed to catch certain types of fish. Some of these seasons are fairly standard, especially for fish that have large, healthy populations.
If a species of fish has low population levels, then the state or federal government will impose catch limits. This means that agencies will limit the number of fish each person can catch and will monitor the overall number of fish caught that season. If the number of fish caught that season reaches a certain level, then agencies are permitted to end the season early.
What does this mean for your fishing adventure? It means you need to check the season and population level of the types of fish you want to catch. If catch limits are imposed, then it’s best to charter a boat early in the season so you don’t miss out.
Pick a Reputable Company
When you book a fishing charter, you don’t want to have to stress out about things like fishing regulations and other smaller details. A great charter company will handle everything like that.
So how do you find a reputable company? The best way to find one is through word of mouth. Ideally, you’ll have friends or family who chartered a fishing boat in the past and can recommend one to you.
Don’t fret if you don’t have any direct references. The next best way to find a good company is through online reviews. Look for references to cost, quality of service, and available equipment on board.
How Many People Do You Want to Bring?
Once you know what you want to catch, when you want to go, and have narrowed down your choice of fishing charter companies, then you need to decide how big of a boat you need. This is largely going to depend upon how many people you want to take out with you and what amenities you need onboard.
If you’re planning on bringing a couple of friends with you, then you only need a small boat. If you’re more interested in a boat that’s large enough to have 50 of your closest friends for a party, then you’re going to need a much larger boat (and have a much bigger budget).
How Long Do You Want to Go Out?
Fishing charter companies have a variety of options for people who want to charter their boats. For many people, all they want to do is charter a boat for the morning and be home in time to have their fish for dinner. Other people want to charter a boat for a number of days in order to have the fishing experience of a lifetime.
At Wave Dancer Galveston Charters, we offer experiences from four to twelve hours. The length of time out on the water is dependent upon how far out you want to go and what type of fish you want to catch.
What About Equipment?
One sign of a high-quality fishing charter is a charter where all the necessary equipment is provided. Once you pick and book your fishing trip, the charter company will take care of all the necessary details. The charter company will also clean and bag your catches for you, allowing you to focus on the experience.
You’ll want to make sure you come dressed appropriately for the weather. You’ll also want to bring along any food or drinks you’ll need on the trip, minus hard liquor and beverages in glass bottles. If you or anyone in your party gets seasick, you’ll want to come prepared by taking Dramamine at least an hour in advance.
Do I Need a Fishing License?
Yes! You’ll want to make sure you and everyone in your party have a Texas Saltwater Fishing License or a one day pass for your trip.
If you’re a Texas resident, then this fishing license will only cost about $35 ($17 for seniors). Non-residents can obtain a fishing license for $63. One-day licenses are $11 for residents and $16 for non-residents.
If you’re planning on taking multiple fishing trips on different types of water, you can purchase a one-year all-water license $47 for residents and $68 for non-residents.
What About Tipping?
It is common courtesy to tip the captain of your fishing charter. While you are never guaranteed to catch fish, a good captain can mean the difference between a good haul and coming home empty-handed. Most people tip between 15 and 20 percent of the cost of the trip, depending on the quality of service.
Ready to Charter a Fishing Boat in Texas?
The great thing about fishing in Texas is that you can plan a fishing trip with great weather almost every day of the year — it’s basically a fisherman’s paradise! Thankfully, it’s super easy to charter a fishing boat in Texas. With a little planning, you’ll be well on your way to making some great memories on the open water!
Ready to book your fishing charter? We can help you with that! Contact Galveston Fishing Charters today to book your offshore, jetty, or deep sea fishing experience!