Pros and Cons to Booking a Fishing Charter

There are two sides to every story, and that includes booking a fishing charter. Booking a fishing charter might not be for everyone, especially if you’re a seasoned angler, but there are definitely pros and cons to a charter. Not sure if it’s the thing for you? Check out the list below!

Bad news first – here are some cons to booking a fishing charter that you may want to consider:



It can be hard to justify the expense of a fishing charter when you may have all of the equipment ready to go at home. If you’re only a party of two, or even just one, it can be incredibly expensive! Plus, if you’re a great angler, having to pay some guy to cart you around in his boat.


Don’t get to Set Up

Speaking of having someone cart you around, booking a charter means that all of the equipment will already be set up for you. Hooks are tied, lures and locked, the downriggers are good to go and you just have to show up. That aspect certainly isn’t for every angler.


Unfamiliar Equipment

At home, you may have the perfect rod set up and maybe even the top of the line equipment. Or, it could be that you have your lucky lure, or great-grandfather’s trusty fishing rod. Whatever the case, you will be working with unfamiliar equipment and for those particularly attached to their own, cheating on your fishing rod for even a short stint could be tough to do.


Specific Departure and Return Times

Booking a charter means you’re tied to their schedule. If you want to head out at the crack of dawn, but there were only afternoon trips available, you’re going to need to wait until you get their go-ahead. Plus, if you’re not at your limit and your time runs out, you still have to go in and pay to try again another day.


Need to Book Early

Fishing is a top thing to do in a number of places, which means it can book up. Even if you had your heart set on fishing in a certain destination town, you might not get a chance. However, it’s hard to plan a year in advance! Who knows what your situation will be that far down the road.

This list might not be exhaustive, but it definitely includes a few things to consider when looking to book a charter.


Now, on to the good news!


You don’t Have to Set Up

For those who hate planning ahead, know that all you need to do is show up at the boat is a blessing. No picking lures and tying lines in advance, no choosing which friend to put in the boat, no making sure you have enough gas for the trip: someone else has taken care of making sure everything is ship shape, and that the selected lures are good to catch you some great fish.


A Guide

Having someone take you to all the hotspots and that has an in with the other fishermen in the area is a great perk when you’re fishing somewhere new. You won’t have to play guessing games, and they’ll know how the fish bite. Plus, they’ve probably been doing this for years, meaning unless you do something once they’ve set the hook for you, losing a fish isn’t as likely as it would be if you were doing it all on your own. Don’t doubt the power of having someone around that knows the fish and their patterns like the back of their hand.



From the moment you book, all you need to do is show up, especially when your charter is all-inclusive. Rather than the extensive amount of planning that goes into crafting the perfect vacation, booking a charter can be as easy as 1, 2, 3.


No Driving

Speaking of worry-free, when you’re not the one driving the boat, you really can just kick back. You don’t have to worry if your friends are having fun, or try to find the fish. You can focus on enjoying your time, eating your snack, walking properly without losing your balance and perfecting your form for reeling in the big one.


Someone Does the Dirty Work

Most guides also take care of the dirty work – that is cleaning up the boat, and cleaning/fileting your fish. Some even take it to the vacuum packer for you. It’s nice to know that all the blood and slime from your salmon won’t need to be scrubbed off the deck by yourself after a long day at sea. Plus, if you’re worried about wasting fish when you try to butcher it up yourself, a trained professional with an incredibly sharp knife will be taking care of it for you, ensuring you get the most meat from your catch.


So even if you’re the type of person that takes pride in doing it all yourself, there are some incredibly enticing perks to booking a charter. After all, it is supposed to be a vacation, right? Every now and then it’s nice to kick back in those gumboots, shake the responsibilities and let someone else do the work until it’s time to reel in your salmon.