How To Find The Best Fishing Charter Near Me

Catching Sheepshead On A Spinning Reel

Finding a great fishing charter should not need to be difficult. There are several great resources that will help you ensure that you enjoy your time out on your fishing charter. Sometimes when out of town on vacation, it can be hard to narrow down which fishing charter near me is best because of the number of options and the advertisements that are being sent your way. Here is a great way to find a fishing charter near you. 

Talk To The Locals

If you are visiting a new area, or simply have a new found love for fishing, make sure that you are talking to the locals about who has the best fishing charters. Finding a great fishing charter sometimes means talking to others who have had experience with this same charter captain. 

Locals will know who catches the fish and what they are catching. Of course, if you are just in town for a few days, it may be tough to schedule with the captain that the locals are always talking about. 

Instead, you will want to prepare ahead of time and make sure that you are ready for your fishing excursion. When you book your trip, try to speak to the concierge at your hotel or the host of your VRBo to determine where to look for a great fishing charter experience. 

Head Down To The Docks

For locals that are looking for a fishing charter, it can make sense to head down to the docks to see who is catching fish. Try to figure out the times that fishing charter boats will come in from their half day and full day charters. 

Take a look around and see what people are catching. Of course, boats can vary from one day to the next with what they are able to bring in, but you should be able to see charter captains that look as though they do a good job, give people a good value, and customers that seem as though they had a great trip. 

This is a great way to get a look at who is going to help get you on some fish when you book your trip. 

Look For Websites 

There are many great websites for booking fishing charters online; however, it is great to find the website of the charter itself. When you find the website of the charter itself, you can take a look at pictures of their trips, testimonials from customers, and even some detailed information about the boat you will be taking. 

These individual websites will also allow customers to see the options they have for full day or half day charters and how the rates change throughout the year. Sometimes the individual websites of fishing charter captains will also offer discounts for repeat customers, so that is something to look for as well. 

Scheduling Software On Websites

Professional fishing charter captains will be good at running a business in addition to catching fish. This is where it makes sense to look for scheduling software on a website. When you look to book a trip on the charter captains website, does it bring you to a section where you can look for open time slots? 

If charter captains have invested in booking software like this, chances are they run a professional fishing charter business. If, instead, the link is just a button to call, and when you call, you can’t reach anyone, expect this trip to be a bit different. 

Fishing charters are expensive at times, and you want to make sure that you are investing in something that will be a good day out on the water and not cause you any trouble financially, either. 

Reviews and Testimonials 

Reading reviews and testimonials about a fishing charter experience will be another way to find the best charter near me. When you look at the reviews and testimonials, it is easier to get an idea as to what the actual trip will be like. 

Customers that have a great time are much more likely to leave a review. In addition, customers that have a very negative experience will also leave reviews, so you get a good balance of the good and the bad. 

If the negative reviews are all about not catching fish, take this with a grain of salt. We all know there are days on the boat that you can’t catch fish, but if there are dozens of reports of not being able to catch fish, then you may want to look for a different boat. 

Always be smart about the review and testimonials you read, but they can give some good insight into what to expect out on the water. 

HookM Fishing Charter and Guide Booking 

HookM is an online fishing charter and fishing guide booking system. However, HookM also has a backend system for fishing charter captains that will assist them in almost every aspect of their business. HookM does a great job of giving potential charter booking customers the ability to look through some of the most professional and highly regarded charters all over the country. 

In addition, you will notice that the fees and overall pricing on the HookM website are considerably lower than you will find on other fishing charter booking websites. 

Keep The Captains Info 

If you have a great time on a fishing charter, keep the charter captains’ information. If you don’t want to go on another fishing charter, chances are your friends or family will ask you for a recommendation at some point. Keeping the charter captains’ info will ensure that you get back out on a boat that you really want, with a captain that knows what they are doing. 

With all the options out there, you will want to save the information when you have a great experience with a professional and hard-working charter captain. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we get started here, we should warn you that charter customers have a ton of questions about choosing the right charter for their needs. There are many options out there, and it can get overwhelming to narrow them down. 

Are fishing charters worth the money? 

A fishing charter is worth the money if you are serious about fishing and want to learn from a professional. In addition, for those that do not own a boat, fishing charters will actually help you save money. Going out on a fishing charter is considerably cheaper than buying, owning, and maintaining a boat. 

If you find a great fishing charter and are able to get out on a great day, the experience you have on the fishing charter will be well worth the money you spend. 

Is it worth taking a local fishing charter? 

Those that love the water often think about taking a fishing charter when they are away on vacation or exploring a new area. However, there are times that it can make sense to take a local fishing charter in your area.

Some charter captains will offer you a discount for being a local. You may want to see if there are offers like that in your area; sometimes, this can happen at the beginning and the end of the season. 

Getting to see your local area from the water is a really great experience, and then catching and eating the fish only makes it that much better. 

What is the difference between a fishing charter and a fishing guide? 

The main difference between a fishing charter and a fishing guide is the size of the boat. The fishing guide typically has a boat that is less than 21 feet in length, and the fishing charter boats are considerably bigger. The fishing guides typically take a smaller number of people out for a trip, so this can impact your overall experience as well. 

Should I tip a fishing charter captain? 

If you go through the effort of finding a great fishing charter and then end up with a captain that you enjoy being with, make sure you take care of them for the day. Although you may think that your fishing charter experience was a bit expensive, think of all the expenses that your charter captain must pay in order to give you this experience. 

Between fuel, equipment, and upkeep on the boat, there are quite a few out-of-pocket costs that leave the fishing charter captain with a very modest hourly salary. Use this guide to determine what to tip when on an offshore fishing charter.


Hopefully, you now feel a bit better about how to find the best fishing charter near me. Depending on if you are looking locally or looking for your next upcoming vacation, there will likely be quite a few fishing charters and guides to choose from. Always do a general search to see who is the best in the area and ask around to see if friends and family have had positive experiences with anyone. The best fishing charter boats are typically going to book up rather quickly. Use HookM to ensure that you get a great boat before it is too late. 

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