Pros & Cons of Half Day vs. Full Day Fishing Charter

Fishing from a center console boat

When booking a fishing charter, you will have the option of booking a half day vs. full day fishing charter out on the boat. Some customers will have schedule constraints that make it impossible to go for the full day charter; others will simply not take the boat out unless they can go for the full day. 

If you are stuck somewhere in the middle and want to know more about the pros and cons of the half day vs. full day fishing charter, we have you covered. We evaluated all of the things that you should consider before deciding on the half day vs. full day charter.

Inshore vs. Offshore

One of the first considerations to make is whether your charter will be an inshore or offshore fishing charter. Inshore charters have much less drive time than offshore charters, and this can impact the overall fishing time that you will have on the boat. 

For those that are going deep sea fishing, it often makes sense to go for the full day or eight hour charter because of the time that it takes to get to the location to fix. In many areas, this can be an hour or even more than an hour just to get to the fishing location. 

In addition, offshore fishing charters offer opportunities for many different fish, and that may come into play for your decision. If you get the chance to inshore fish often on your own, taking the full day offshore trip may be much more appealing. 

Number & Ages of People

The number of people that are going to be on the boat may also play into the number of hours that you want to spend out on the charter. Sometimes a charter will charge per person; other times, it will be a set rate whether you have two people or six people on the boat. If you have a set rate charter and get four or five people to go and split the cost, it often makes sense to take the full day. 

Try to think about those that are on the boat and whether they are fully prepared for a full day fishing charter. When you have younger children or older people that are not typically exposed to eight hours of high heat, you may end up calling the fishing trip early. 

The key is to ensure that everyone on the boat is fully prepared for all that the day is going to bring. After all, if you are going to pay for it, it makes sense to enjoy either the half day vs full day fishing charter. 

Travel Time 

The travel time to and from the fishing location is a major consideration and one that you should ask a fishing charter captain before you book. Depending on the location of the boat you are taking, the run offshore can be either long or short; the travel time may play into your decision. 

If you take a four hour charter and the travel time is one hour there, and one hour back, you get about two hours of fishing time. For many charter customers, this is more than enough. However, others expect a full day of fighting fish and reeling in some bigger catches. 

Travel time is something that captains can’t do that much about, but they will be honest with you about how it will impact the overall length of your grip and the amount of fishing time you get. This is a question we always recommend asking.  


Full day fishing charters are considerably more expensive than half day fishing charters. 

However, full day charters are sometimes less than double the price of a half day charter. If you are planning to take several half day charters, you may save a little by taking one full day instead. 

The price goes up because you will be on the boat for a longer period of time, and the captain will also have a considerably higher fuel bill. Typically speaking, the tip price for a full day charter is also quite a bit more money. 

Prices may not be the only thing you want to consider when deciding between a half day and a full day charter, but it will come into play. 

Check out the trips available on HookM for a half day vs. full day fishing charter.

Full Day = Half Day Fishing

Sometimes a full day charter really means a half a day of fishing. When you combine the time spent traveling with the time spent baiting, searching for fish, and even cleaning fish, the full day charter really equates to a half a day of fishing. 

If you have big plans for being out on the water and spending time in nature then it makes sense to go for the full day. If you are worried about being gone from the shore for so long and wondering how you will be impacted by the sun or seasickness than the half day charter is a much better choice. 

For most customers that have never been on a charter before, we highly recommend the half day. You will get a better idea of what goes into these trips and how they are impacted by the time spent on the water. Once you have this down, you can see if the half day or full day is the best choice for you. 

The Charter

The charter itself can sometimes help you decide if a half day or full day is best. Some fishing charters are strictly full day charters, and you have no options or flexibility. Other charters will have a mix of both half and full day. 

Sometimes it makes sense to talk to the fishing charter captain themselves and find out what they recommend. Explain your thoughts and your preference, and let them tell you what they think is best. 

Most charter captains want you to have a great time, and they won’t oversell you on the full day charter unless they truly think it is the best overall choice. 


If you are planning to go on a fishing charter, it is best to know ahead of time and make sure you plan accordingly. If you wait until the last minute to book, expect that there could be issues with availability. 

Many times when you wait until the last minute, your only option will be some half day charters, and they may not be on the days and times that you want them. The pros of the half day fishing charter are that you will sometimes have a better chance of fitting one in, whereas the full day fishing charter requires some more advanced notice. 

Pros and Cons of Half Day Fishing Charter

The half day fishing charter is typically the more popular choice because even those that have never done a charter in the past will consider the half day fishing charter to be a great option. Here are a few of the pros and cons to keep in mind when booking a half day fishing charter. 


  • Lower pricing

  • Good for those that are new to fishing 

  • Can work for people that struggle with seasickness or the sun 

  • Better availability 

  • It can be a good family event


  • Run time can decrease the overall fishing time 

  • Will limit the number of fish that you have time to catch 

Pros and Cons of Full Day Fishing Charter

The full day fishing charter typically lasts for eight hours. The amount of time that you spend out on the water will typically double from the half day fishing charter. Although these trips cost considerably more, many people find them to be a really strong value and well worth the money put in. Here are a few pros and cons of a full day fishing charter. 


  • Can catch alot of fish!

  • Much more fishing time 

  • Better for offshore fishing trips 

  • Ideal for the avid angler 

  • Run time out to the perfect location won’t cut into as much of the fishing time 

  • Much higher chance of catching the fish you want 


  • Costs more money

  • Need to be prepared to spend an entire day on the water 

How Long Do Fishing Trips Usually Last? 

Fishing trips can last from an hour or two up to several days or even a week. The key is to find a trip that is a good fit for your commitment level as well as your budget. The majority of fishing trips are either half day or full day charters that are typically between 4 and 8 hours. 

Conclusion: Half Day vs. Full Day Fishing Charter Which Is Better? 

Hopefully, we brought up some points that will help you decide if the half day or full day fishing charter is the better fit for your needs. Most people will end up with the half day for their first few trips, and then when they realize how much fun these fishing charters are, they end up going for the full day. You will get a tremendous amount of value from a full day charter; the key is finding the right charter captain.

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