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Charter Fishing Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts of Charter Fishing

Etiquette is universal. Whether you’re having a tea with the Queen or watching a football match in a rowdy stadium, etiquette will always gain you respect by others. It’s also the same when embarking on a fishing adventure. If you haven’t been on a trip before or been on many, we at Ocean Blue Fishing have come up with a few pointers which will help make your next trip a better experience.

Always Ask for Permission before Boarding a boat

Captains value their boats pretty much more than their own lives. So if you want to start the day right, ask for permission from the captain first before setting a foot on the deck, even if you have paid for the charter. Their boat is where their office and livelihood are at so they would most likely give a few ground and safety rules before letting you enter. Asking permission from the captain will always gain you a lot of respect which is a great start to any trip.

Manners Can Go a Very Long Way

This should go without saying but we will include it anyway. Having manners onboard or off will always go a long way. If there’s something not going well, talk to the crew with courtesy. Though they are paid to do their duties, the crew will always go beyond if you are polite, making the trip more pleasant and enjoyable.

Tell the Captain and Crew What You Want

Don’t forget to talk to your captain about your expected experience. Prior to the trip, tell them what kind of fishing you have in mind. Whether you’re aiming for a specific fish to land, fishing methods you like (or don’t like) and even food and drinks you like to have onboard. The more info you provide, the better for them to manage your expectations.

Don’t Put Your Captain and Crew in a Difficult Situation

Being demanding at sea and persistent about it is a stressful situation for any captain or crew to be in. If you’ve communicated prior to your trip, captains will generally manage your expectations advising what is and not possible or likely. Making unrealistic demands and not taking your captain or guides advice more often than not leads to an unpleasant experience. You may be a seasoned weekend angler but note your fishing guide fishes almost every day and will know his or her patch of turf better than anyone.

Anything Can Happen

One thing to keep in mind is your guide takes great pleasure in catching their clients fish and will do all they can to make this happen. They are also as disappointed or frustrated as you the client when fish are not co-operating. So, in reality, fishing is just that, “fishing”. Catching does not happen all day, every day. Whether you travel to a destination from the other side of the world, or just walk down to your local dock, nature may or may not co-operate. With this in mind, you’ll enjoy your experiences so much more. The best experiences take place both on and off the water.

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Ocean Blue Fishing

Be Flexible with Your Itinerary

Although captains are very skilled and extremely knowledgeable about what they do, they cannot control weather and natural occurrences. So when that captain says it is not advisable going somewhere because of safety and weather concerns, you just have to trust his expert judgment. Ask for an alternative activity so you can make the most of the trip, if he hasn’t suggested it yet.

It’s Fishing, Not Catching

As mentioned previously, anything can happen. Though it’s great to have a specific list of species you’re aiming to land, predictability can be a pain in the rear. Sometimes you can have many species crossed on your list while sometimes you can’t buy a bite no matter how many times you throw a bait or lure at them. The captain will do their best to get the prize you want. However, keep an open mind that there will always be great days for fishing – and the day you picked might not just be it.

What and What Not to Wear

There are not many restrictions when it comes to what you wear for a fishing trip – except maybe wear something comfortable. The footwear, however, is another story. Heeled or dark soled shoes are not advisable as they can damage and mark decks (which are quite expensive to repair or replace). You may wear boat shoes or canvas pumps for the trip.

Don’t Try to Do Too Much on Your Charter

Fishing can sometimes be extreme but don’t also forget to enjoy the “downtime” – you are on a boat after all. Enjoy the water, the endless view and the fresh ocean breeze. Get acquainted with the captain and crew and be one with nature. Bottom line, relax and enjoy the whole experience.

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group fishing charters

Be Always Safe

Though you can have as much fun while fishing, bear in mind you’re in the middle of the ocean. No underwater hospitals, no clinics run by dugongs; just you, the captain and the boat. You always have to practice safety. Always listen to the safety rule briefings and take them to heart; these rules are there to guard your life.

What About Tipping?

Seeing a fishing captain wearing a Rolex watch or driving a Ferrari is like hitting the lottery jackpot – the odds are near to impossible. Fishing for a living is not as lucrative as how others may think. Charter fishing may be expensive to you, but so does its maintenance – from fishing gear to marina fees and insurance among others. Providing a 5 to 15% tip would be most welcome to the crews. You could add a little bit more if you’re feeling magnanimous.

Simply… Enjoy

Our last tip is probably the most pivotal of all. This is the best time to bond with your family and friends while basking in what the ocean has to offer. Unwind and have fun – you’re on a fishing trip after all!

“Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it.”

– Harry Middleton, writer

Hope you find this article useful. If you’re planning to a trip soon trip soon, Ocean Blue Fishing can help. We can provide and plan for an exciting and fun experience to remember.

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Charter Fishing Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts of Charter Fishing

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