Finding the Best Offshore Charter

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Those big sportfishers don't come cheap, so most of us will charter if we want to fish for blue water pelagics.

Let’s be real: offshore fishing boats that can get you to distant pelagics like billfish and tunas are a monstrous expense. In fact, you just about have to be a one-percenter to get one of those big sportfishers, much less be able to pay for all the fuel it burns. So for most average anglers, fishing offshore will mean hiring a charter. And, some charters are better than others.

offshore charter boat

Those big sportfishers don’t come cheap, so most of us will charter if we want to fish for blue water pelagics.

Before you shell out a pile of your hard-earned cash for an offshore charter trip, make sure it’s an experience you’ll enjoy. Do your homework, and find the best offshore charter for your own personal needs. Remember:

  • The “best” charter is not necessarily the boat that catches the most fish. You may dream of fighting a marlin, and end up catching a bunch of tuna instead. Would you have preferred to spend the time searching for that marlin, tuna be danged? Some captains will go along with this, but some others will not. Talk to them ahead of time, let them know what your personal priorities are, and ensure that they’re willing to modify the game plan to do what you want.
  • You’ll be in close quarters with the captain and mate for hours, so you want to be sure you get along with them. It’s a good move to go to the marina, meet them ahead of time, and chat for a bit. In fact, if you spend some time just hanging around at the docks eventually you’ll meet the people you naturally click with. No matter how good the fishing is or isn’t, being around people you like is the best way to ensure a good time.
  • Don’t make a choice based on short-term availability. As a rule, popular captains who are good anglers are booked well in advance. Calling a marina and asking who’s available the next day is a good way to end up on the worst boat in town.


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