3 Effective Tips for Fishing from A Charter Boat

Fishing from a boat for the first time can be quite a mix of excitement and fear. While heading into deep water is a bit scary the first time, it need not be dangerous or overwhelming. The trick to getting comfortable fishing from a boat is to truly understand the experience, asking questions, and to find a captain you can trust. 

Before you buy the boat and all the gear and head out into the salty brine, you maybe want to try a charter boat fishing expedition first. The experience of a seasoned captain and crew makes the difference.

Understanding the Experience 

Charter boat deep sea fishing is a different experience from one charter to the next. It is important to understand before you book your fishing trip that you know what the experience is going to be. That process lets you formulate questions to ask so that everything is clear from the start. 

The experience includes the fishing – what are you fishing for, how does the fishing occur, how long is the trip, and what you need to bring. Some boats may supply water or soft drinks or not. Having water available is a must when you fish. 

Sometimes you troll for fish and other times the crew lays down a chum trail and you fish in one spot. If you are prone to sea sickness, trolling may be a better option for you as the boat is moving rather than bobbing up and down in one spot. 

Be prepared for small medical situations, like a hook in the finger. It happens. Most charter boats have a first aid kit, but don’t rely on the boat to be your lifeline. Pack a basic first aid kit with bandaids, asprin, sunscreen, and motion sickness meds. If you are fishing with a mixed party boat, you may opt to save someone’s experience by sharing. 

How the boat fishes is a big deal – You want to understand going in if the trip will be trolling, chumming, or both. Fishing from a boat when you are new to fishing takes a little getting used to. The motion of the ocean can be tricky and getting your legs under you while casting and fighting fish takes practice. You can practice from a floating dock at home before you head out to the deep water. 

Charter Fishing

Asking Questions

There are no stupid questions, and a good captain is aiming to make your fishing adventure on their boat something that is not only positive, but exciting enough that you will come back for more. Asking questions allows the captain, crew, or booking party to set you up to succeed. 

Common questions are:

  • What Do I Need to Bring?
  • Do You Supply the Fishing License? 
  • Are there fishing limits?
  • How experienced Do I need to be?

Likewise, the captain will want to know about you and your fishing experience. That information can enable the captain to pair you with the right mate on the boat. The mates are often the ones who teach you and show you how to fish in deep waters. They are also the ones who help you when you tag that big Marlin. 

Find the Right Captain 

A good charter company should be approachable and happy to answer your questions. They should be willing to give you information and take the time to make sure you are prepared for fishing off a boat for the first time – even if you are an old pro. 

The charter’s website should be full of information that easily answer common questions and provides the visitor with an overall picture of how the charter works and what the expectations of the captain are for each of the anglers who choose to boat fishing for beginners a go. 

The overall experience of communicating with the charter should leave you feeling excited, prepared, and comfortable. A good captain will easily make you feel welcome and valued. 


  • What You Can Do to Get Prepared
    • Make sure you have your fishing license – check with the charter to see if they provide the license.
    • Check with the charter about what they provide and fill in the gaps with the gear you need. Chances are you will not need any fishing gear. You may need food and water – bring more than you think you will need. 
    • Exceptional fishing adventures leave nothing to chance. 
  • Prepare to Learn the Boat
    • The captain will go over the days schedule with the charters. If the fish are not biting in one location be prepared to relocate to another spot. Weather and time of year play a big role in where the fish bite. 
    • Walk around the boat once you board and find the areas where you fish, where you relax, the restroom, and where to stow your gear. Ask questions of the mates as needed. 
    • Watch a few YouTube videos on charter boats and the accepted behavoir of anglers who share the boat with other chartered guests. 
  • Prepare for catching the fish
    • Watch Videos on YouTube of charters catching fish. If you are brand new to fishing, be sure to let the mates know that. They are there to help you learn and to enjoy your day. 
    • Ask questions as needed. If a mate or the captain tell you something that does not make sense, ask them to explain it. Their time is sometimes limited and split among other anglers. You can learn a lot before you get to the boat by watching charter videos and then asking questions. Be straightforward with what your expectations are and what you want to learn.