Sportfishing is one of the most popular pastimes in the world for good reason. It transports people to places that not only boast astounding natural beauty but also remove them far from the stresses of modern-day life. Out of the salt people rediscover the thrill of the chase and the simple joy of extreme focus – there is no room for the mundane cares that plague us on dry land. We are focused on the blue horizon and the creatures which call the sea home.
Choosing from the myriad of destinations to enjoy a world-class deep-sea fishing experience is a joyously challenging task. The choice between fishing Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Cape Verde Islands, the coast of Costa Rica, Mexico, and the African waters of Kenya (among many others) is one that provides a pleasant conundrum. It will be influenced by the time of year you wish to cast a line, the species you wish to target, and your chosen style of fishing. However, there is one consideration that should always be top of mind and that is how will you ensure that you enlist the help of a skilled captain and crew to enjoy the ultimate fishing charter experience?
There are some things you should take into account if you really want to have a saltwater experience that will provide memories that will last a lifetime.
Private or Shared Charter Experience:
One of the first things that you need to decide is whether you want a private or shared charter experience. A reputable fishing charter operation will offer both. A shared experience is great for those who have experienced a charter before. You’re not going to get that personal attention that you would on a private charter – the crew is going to be helping everyone. A private charter experience means a much more personalized experience. You’ll be able to target the species that you want and set your own pace. The captain and crew will also be on hand to help out beginners.
The second decision to make is whether you want an onshore or offshore charter experience. For those who are prone to seasickness an inshore experience will mean calmer waters – but smaller fish. You can also charter for a morning or afternoon session. If you head out into the blue waters that will usually mean an entire day. The seas can be challenging and the fishing is best suited to those who are experienced.
Choice of Captain:
One of the most important considerations when chartering is your choice of captain. Do some research and find out how long they have been in business. If they’re local they will have intimate knowledge of the waters and the species that inhabit them, as well as what strategies are best suited to guaranteeing a hookup – and that can mean the difference between a good day and a spectacular one. Read some reviews of the charter operation you are considering.
Strike up a conversation with your captain. He will be able to give you information on what species are biting, what you should bring with you on the charter, whether you can take the fish home, any discounts, and the possibility of flexible time for departure. A conversation prior to boarding can make all the difference to your experience.
Then there is your vessel. What is most important to you – five-star comfort or speed that will allow you to reach that perfect spot as quickly as possible – and if necessary relocate to more promising waters. Centre console boats are cheaper to charter, they’re fast, but you can be exposed to the elements. Sportfishing boats boast full toilets, great shelter from the sun and more room to move around. They’re also more stable -meaning that the possibility seasickness is not as great. Also, take into account the maximum number of people that the boat can accommodate.
With some forward planning, you can enjoy a charter experience that will provide you with an experience that will not soon be forgotten. Start planning now – and tight lines.