When planning a fishing trip with your friends, you’re excited to book your charter boat and get things moving. However, before choosing a boat and captain, it’s important to ask some questions to ensure your safety (and ensure that you get the experience you want out of your trip). Here, John Benevento shares a few questions you’ll want to ask before you put down the deposit for your fishing charter.
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Are you United States Coast Guard certified?
According to John Benevento, the answer to this question should be a resounding yes. This means that the boat captain you’re going to charter has passed certain tests and has logged enough time on the water to be certified by the government. If the charter you’re considering isn’t certified by the Coast Guard, move on.
Can we bring our fishing gear?
On most chartered fishing trips, your boat captain will provide all of the gear you need for the trip, including fishing equipment. If you have a rod that you love or specific gear that you’d like to use, be sure to chat with the boat’s captain about whether you’re allowed to bring your equipment, as well as whether your equipment is suitable for the type of fishing you’ll be doing on the trip, recommends John Benevento.
What can we expect to catch on the trip?
Your boat captain will know the waters in the area well and will be able to tell you what you and your party can expect to catch based on the time of year and the season of your trip. If you have a specific catch in mind, ask your captain whether it’s better to book during another time of year.
How many people can participate in the trip?
According to John Benevento, whether you already have a group of friends and family together for the trip or just starting to assemble your crew, you’ll want to ensure that the charter you choose can accommodate your group. Your boat’s captain will talk with you about how many people can safely ride on board, and you must stick to this number–you won’t be able to squeeze an extra guest or two on the boat on the day of your trip.
If you or your friends have little ones interested in tagging along, it’s important to chat with the captain about whether kids are permitted on the charter. According to John Benevento, if they are, be sure to ask about life jackets and anything else your kiddos might need to bring along for a safe experience.