GETTING THE MOST OUT OF A FISHING CHARTER
Spending a day on a fishing charter is a great way to explore a new fishing location. But it is also a chance to improve and refine your fishing skills. When I see charter customers spending the day taking in the sun instead of getting actively involved in the fishing process, I can’t help but think they have missed out on a valuable opportunity. You as the customer, have a whole day to ask questions and pick the brains of an experienced fisho, you might as well make the most of it.
Wherever you are heading for your next fishing charter, be it up to northern Queensland, down south, or even abroad in the cooler climes of Alaska, Canada, and the US, there are ways to ensure you reap every possible benefit. Here are some tips to get the most out of your next fishing charter.
TELL THE CAPTAIN RIGHT FROM THE OFF WHAT YOU WANT
Your captain is basically an encyclopedia of fishing conditions, fish behaviour, technique, and locations. But they haven’t met you before and have no idea why you booked your charter. Before you set off, let the captain know if you have a specific technique or method you want to try or learn more about. If you express an interest to learn about a specific aspect of fishing right off the bat, the staff will know exactly where to offer input and advice.
If you are looking to practice or try out a specific piece of equipment. Say you want to try a specific lure or are thinking of buying a new reel and have one in mind, there is no harm in asking the charter if they have one you can try. Many charters have the latest tackle and electronics, there is an opportunity to try something new and learn about a new piece of equipment on the market.
Short of becoming irritatingly inquisitive, ask questions that might be helpful. Most charter captains got into the industry for the love of the sport (it certainly wasn’t the money) and will be more than happy to share their expertise. After I have caught something, I like to ask the captain why he or she chose that location to fish in. Sometimes they can shed some light on some unusual indicators that led them to consider the area as a good location for casting.
THE WORLD IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING
Remember that the information you learnt 10 years ago may not be relevant now. The fishing world is constantly evolving, and I have been humbled on charters plenty of times realising that the techniques and practices I believed to be the most effective, were in fact outdated and no longer the most effective way. Even if you consider yourself a veteran, there is always room for a refresher course or update. Don’t take anything for granted.
ASK FOR PERMISSION TO COME ABOARD
If you want to get in a captain’s good books at the start of the day and put him or her in a better mood, ask permission to come aboard. Their boat is their office, their livelihood, and their special place, all rolled into one. Asking them permission to come aboard will make a good first impression and make them more likely to open up to you about the secrets to their fishing success.
LET THE CREW CUT YOUR FISH
If you are on a fishing charter in which they offer to cut your fish for you, always let them. You will go home with a fish ready to cook and eat and you don’t have to worry about filleting your fish at the end of a long day out on the water.
If you have gotten a lot out of your trip, (which you should have) please tip accordingly. You rarely see charter captains driving fancy cars or wearing Rolex watches. This is because they do it for the passion, not the money. Every little helps, and if you have received a good level of service, show your appreciation.
Think of your charter as a learning opportunity rather than a relaxing day out, and you will walk away with valuable skills and experience. You can spend the downtime catching rays, but it is not going to make you a better fisho. You can sit on a beach for free, if you’ve paid the money for a charter, you might as well get the most out of it.
How else can you get the most out of a fishing charter? Let us know in the comments section below.