- Check the captain’s background. Much information can be gotten through social networks (reputation through referrals, or online review sites).
- Confirm licensing and insurance. How many clients does their license cover? What is the limit of fish per season?
- Review their website. Do you see effort? Evidence of successful catchers? Is the kind of boat and equipment they use there? Is their contact information right there – front and center?
- Reach out by telephone. Talk to your captain. Ask whether the captain is experienced fishing in the area you wish to go. A captain new to the waters you intend to enter will be a crucial factor. Ask whether the captain is experienced fishing for the type of fish you seek.
- Determine the value of service provided for the cost. This means asking about the charter rates and what they provide. A charter without a mister on a 105-degree day will be an issue. A charter with seating for five will be a problem for your 8-person plans. Coolers, seating, music, snacks, and drinks aren’t on every boat! Do your diligence.
Before you book your charter, ask what happens in the event of a cancellation – whether you get a refund on your deposit, and if so, when is the latest you can cancel.