Maybe you’re going on vacation, maybe your boat is down due to mechanical problems, or maybe you just want to get a new perspective on things. Whatever the reason, virtually all dedicated anglers end up booking a charter guide at one time or another. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get stuck with some bozo of a captain who either doesn't care what you catch or doesn't know how to make things happen. Here are three tips that will help you make a wise choice, when booking a charter guide.

fishing charter fleet

There are plenty of fishing charters to choose from, so make sure you pick the best.

1. Beware of captains who have lots of open weekend dates. If a boat isn't booked on a sunny summer weekend, there’s probably a reason why. Good, well-established captains are booked for months in advance, and an overabundance of available dates should raise a red flag.

2. Be a reverse-sexist. Yes, we know it may be politically incorrect to suggest this, but the fact of the matter is that sexism has a place in your decision-making process. Female fishing guides usually have to work harder and longer to prove themselves. As a result, any who stays in business is likely to be top-notch. Every female charter guide I’ve ever fished with (and there have been at least a half-dozen or so) has been a total winner.

3. Don’t be cheap. There are plenty of people who operate as fishing guides even though they aren’t trained, licensed, or bonded—and often, they’re the least expensive option in town. If a charter seems surprisingly low in cost, ask the captain to provide license numbers ahead of time, and ask about his or her credentials. There are also guide’s associations in most areas; if your captain isn't a member, ask why. As the old saying goes, you usually get what you pay for.

Wait a sec – there are plenty of other factors to keep in mind when it comes to booking a fishing charter guide, right? Of course there are! That’s why we outlined a more complete group of considerations in 10 Tips for Choosing the Best Fishing Charter, on Yachtworld Charters. Check it out, to see the rest of the tips.