Why Choose us as Your Fishing Guide?
10 Reasons Why you Need to Choose Us
Dear Anglers, Readers, and Future customers, we know choosing a fishing guide can be a difficult thing to do. So this “Definitive Guide for Choosing the Right Fishing Charter Service” or guide service with the thousands of unbelievable choices out there will certainly help the process and ease the burden on you the customer. So take a look at our 20+ years of experience and see we formulated the “Top 10 best ways to pick a fishing charter and not to leave it to chance.“
1.) It Starts with these 5 items?
Before you start browsing the internet for captain’s and charter boats and asking, why choose us or them. It’s important to know the destination, by doing this it provides all the options in that area. Then consider the type of charter you’re looking for. The industry is made of three categories of charters.
- Offshore or also known as deep-sea fishing. This would be considered the most expensive and the most well known. Would be coastal only and take you in the ocean, not the best choice if you get seasick.
- Inshore or nearshore fishing, this is very popular and less expensive than offshore but still saltwater. Popular places are the Everglades, Lagoons, Intercoastal, and Bayous.
- Freshwater, the most popular of all three. It’s done on lakes, rivers, and canals and provides the best wildlife viewing and is the least expensive of all three.
So all three completely different as well as big pricing differences. Every charter service is unique and most specialize in a certain style of fishing. Styles are considered the way you fish, Artificial lures, Live-bait and Fly-fishing are the most common. Consider these aspects for your trip and you can narrow down the decision making tremendously.
2.) Not all Online Websites are Reliable?
There are plenty of online fishing platforms now available, buyer beware when on vacation looking for a fishing trip. Stick your search to reliable sources like Expedia, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and others where they vet the captains, require larger insurance policies. The opposite has evolved in the fishing industry, there’s no less than 25 online listing websites that do not vet the captains. They might have safety emblems posted and say verified but that’s not vetting a captain. These sites are only interested in the commission from your sale, this is why that’s the only part they collect during booking!
There are other types of online sites like Bass Online, where all the captains are exclusive. Not just hired to fill trips, but each one is voted on by the other guides in the system ensuring we keep a TEAM mentality and quality every-time.
3.) Check Online Reviews and Activity?
Great Online reviews are a game-changer, especially ones from valid companies like TripAdvisor. But beware, not all reviews are real. But you can valid date them here. Look carefully at the dates of the reviews and the reviewer. Then search captains social media like Facebook, Instagram to see if dates match up with customers posted. While browsing social, look at how often they post pictures of customers during a charter?
Again we ask, why choose us because we have real customers tagged in the post. Count the day’s in-between post will tell you actually how often the captain is on the water.
4.) Lowest Price is NOT good in the fishing Industry!
Unfortunately because of the low cost of entry, there are plenty of anglers who operate as fishing guides. here are three reasons why?
- Without validation licenses, NO liability insurance, and lack of training it allows them to drop the price at the expense of your trip.
- Majority of the time the inexpensive (cheap) anglers have old equipment, much cheaper and older boats with a lack of safety equipment.
- They don’t have any work, why is that? What you find is desperation has them offering a fire sale weekly.
These items and more lead up to discounting or being the least expensive option. If a charter seems surprisingly low in cost, let’s say $350 and everyone else is $400 don’t do it. In the end, you’re losing $350 not saving $50 dollars. All reputable and reliable charters are going to be about the same price which is considered. So why choose us, we help set the industry standard in that destination.
5.) Ask or Search Online for Certifications?
A captain’s license is a sign of commitment to the craft of fishing. Without a license, the person or service is not committed to your overall experience. Would you use a surgeon or visit a doctor without a certification or license? Many US states also require a state license, both would be required and are there for your protection. Have they studied how to become a fishing guide, or they just winging it?
6.) Ask about Seasons, Tackle & Techniques?
Many people overlook fish species having seasons, because they migrate this is true in saltwater and freshwater. A good captain will be able to explain the species patterns and seasons. Beware of the captain that says yes to everything? Once you verify he or she and fish for your specific species, check there tackle, types of rods, and reels. A downfall to discounting captains is they don’t replace their equipment every year. Check these facts to help determine your overall decision.
7.) Ask about Catch & Release and Conservation Techniques?
Make sure you’re captain is familiar with rules pertaining to each species you can keep and what the state or federal limits are. Also, it’s your choice to keep or release a legal fish. If you want to practice catch and release, the captain wouldn’t put the fish in his/her cooler. In offshore charters, this happens often, where it’s a battle over who gets to keep the catches on board. In some areas, it is customary for the captain to keep all catches that occur on his boat.
This is not right or fair, but you should know ahead of time. There are also charters that pack your catch in an ice chest and clean it back at the dock, some for free, some charge additional. Read up on your charter to avoid disappointment, it’s your choice and conservation is important to the sustainability of our fisheries.
8.) Don’t use a Concierge or Valet?
Why concierge and valet can be very helpful when picking a local restaurant in most all cases they are getting a commission. Fishing charters that are provided are not vetted and typically go to the highest bidder willing to pay the largest commission. A quick review on your phone will reveal the most qualified local charters. If you do get a concierge suggestion read up on that charter to avoid disappointment, it’s your choice, safety, and vacation that’s on the line.
9.) Never Book on Dock or Walk up Marina?
Some captains will sit at the dock and try to engage passers-by in conversation, then sell them a trip. This typically occurs with deep-sea fishing charters across the country because their boats are docked in the water. This doesn’t necessarily make these captains a bad choice, but booking on the spot doesn’t give you time to research their reputation and if they’re sitting, then ask yourself why are they not out?
10.) Ask about Cancellation Policy?
The world is unpredictable and sometimes things come up which means you have to cancel. It’s not your fault, and it’s not necessarily your problem even. Depending on the guide or charter service, they all have different policies. Many, well almost most have a non-refundable policy, others have 30 days or 7 days from the booked date. The better more reliable companies have a 24 or 12 cancellation policy. Some offer a full refund, while others only offer a partial refund. Every captain or service should have their cancellation policy clearly visible for you to read.
There are other reasons for cancellation that are out of your control, the captain had to cancel. This could be boat problems, sickness, or weather. Again, if this happens, we’ll they want to move you to another date, pass you off to a friend, anything to keep from giving you a refund. Will or they willing to provide a full refund? We will and we do that another reason why choose us.