Well, you want to go fishing. You have a lot of options in Panama City Beach, so whom do you choose? From a small fishing vessel large boats, flyfishing to deep-sea fishing, there are plenty of options if you want to get the fishing bags and enjoy life on the water catching your own food and bragging to your friends.
Here are 10 easy tips for choosing the best fishing charter company in Panama City Beach.
#1. Talk to people online before you actually go fishing.
There are many fishing orientated chat rooms where charter customers can go and talk about their experience and what other people should do or not do while there fishing. You can ask questions about the different types of fish you might want to look for, what you can do with your fish and what to look for in a captain or charter company. Simply going online first could save you a lot of headaches in the future.
#2. Decide on what type of fishing you want to experience.
Obviously around Panama City Beach it is primarily saltwater fishing but you may be able to find some freshwater fishing at a few of the conservatories or nature parks around the area. Many different captains a specialize in particular types of fish in different areas of the Florida waters. Find out what type of fish you want to catch and then narrow your search down for captains that only specify those types of fish.
#3. Cheapest is not always the best.
You want to determine how much you’re willing to pay for the charter. There are so many people that operate as fishing guides that you want to be careful to choose someone that is licensed and qualified. Many times you’ll find captains that are not trained, licensed or bonded and there usually the least expensive option. There are reasons why cost a little bit more to go with a better charter company. You really do get what you pay for and you are protected for any injury or liabilities.
#4. Consider the size of both that you want to be on.
Larger boats will usually house more fisherman so you’ll have some competition in the water. However, smaller boats may have less amenities. They may offer a light snack but not a full on lunch and there may be limited facilities. However, neither of these play any major role in catching the fish. The most important person is the captain. You want to talk to your captain and explain your expectations or ask what they expect of you.
#5. Interview potential charter captains.
You want to know specific information before you put a deposit down or pay for the charter fishing trip. It’s easy to spot a captain who loves what they do for a living compared to someone that’s just doing it is a job and may not give you a full fishing experience. Usually captains that love what they do are willing to give you little tips, tricks and a truly wonderful experience out on the water. Simply talking to them should be able to tell you whether they love their job or whether there simply tolerating it.
#6. Ask for a complete breakdown of all costs.
Often times gratuities are not included so you want to ask what your price includes. Those lunch come with the excursion? What about all the gear you’ll need for fishing? Does bait, fishing line, fishing poles and all the lures that you’ll need to come up with the price or will you have to buy them separately. What about clothing? Will they tell you what to wear on your fishing excursion? What about a deposit? Happens if you were unhappy with your excursion? Do you need to leave a deposit to reserve a charter trip?
#7. Ask about your experience level.
If you’ve never fished before you want a charter fishing crew that is very familiar with novice anglers. You’ll want to ask if there’s a preferred level of experience for a particular boat. Does the captain give short fishing lessons or simply let you go out yourself? If you’re very familiar and know what you’re doing you may want to go with the charter fishing team that lets you bait own hooks, and pretty much let you do your own thing. For many people visiting Panama City Beach Florida, they are unfamiliar with Florida fishing and will need a captain that understands novice fishermen and can give short fishing lessons while there on the boat.
#8. Female captain are sometimes the best.
Now, without getting too sexist here, and it may be politically incorrect even suggest that but because this is primarily a male driven industry, when you find a female captain, usually are top-notch and really know what they’re doing. You might be surprised but you may actually get a better experience with a female captain.
#9. How long do you want to go?
There are daylong fishing charters are just half-day ones. If this is your first time and your little unfamiliar with the setup you may consider going with a half-day charter trip. You can always come back for more.
#10. Before you’re on the boat ask about tackle and technique.
Ask how the captain is planning on having you fish. Some charter boats troll while others cast light tackle and still others do different deep-sea fishing options. Choose one that works for your situation and your desirability level or you can always try something new. But, it’s important to ask about the type of fishing before getting on the boat and realizing this is not what you had in mind at all.
Charter fishing in Panama City Beach is exciting, fun and entertaining but there are so many options that it can get a little overwhelming. Start with these 10 questions, find the captain and the boat that really fit your needs and your expectations and you’ll have a great time.
Image by Charlie Johnson