By Lenny Rudow
You want to charter a fishing boat? Be sure you make the right choice
t takes decades of daily trial and error to become an expert
fisherman on your own, and most of us are lucky to get
a single day on the water each week. That’s why good
anglers surround themselves with better anglers, and learn
from them. It’s also one of the main reasons why people
charter fishing boats, even though they may have a boat and
fishing gear of their own. Others hire a guide because they’re
traveling, they want the best possible chances of success, or
they have a group larger than their own boat can support. But
whatever your reasons for chartering may be, it’s important that
you choose the boat you’re going to book wisely.
Actually, experienced charter anglers will choose the captain, as much as the boat. A captain’s attitude makes all the difference. Naturally you’ll want a safe captain, but you also need
to consider several other factors.
The number-one consideration for many people is cost.
“Cheapest is not always best,” notes Capt. Drew Payne, of the
Worm, a 45-foot custom-built boat that can carry up to 35 pas-
sengers from Chesapeake Beach, Maryland (www.wormchar-
ters.com). “There’s a surprising number of pirates out there,
guys who will take you fishing for half the going rate but aren’t
even licensed properly. Then you have to realize that most ‘real’
fishing guides, probably about 80 percent, are part-timers who
fish maybe once or twice a week. Some of them are good, but
Personal recommendations are a great way to choose a
captain, but in many cases (especially when traveling to unfa-
miliar areas), you won’t be able to get one. In this situation
you’ll have to get a feel for a captain by reviewing his or her
website, and speaking with them on the phone. But don’t give
up on a captain if he doesn’t answer the phone immediately.
PHOTO COURTESY OF OC FISHING CENTER