Fishing Charter Etiquette: A Guide To On Board Do’s And Don’ts
First time on a fishing charter? We’ve broken down some of the unspoken rules of on-board etiquette for those new to the fishing charter scene. From what shoes to wear to tipping the crew, we’ve outlined some essential dos and don’ts to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. Find a detailed list of what items you should bring to make your trip more enjoyable.
Be Prepared for your Charter
Respect the Crew
Treat them as you would valued employees. The crew have an extremely busy job; each one has their own role and responsibility to make sure your charter runs smoothly, is safe, and you have an epic time.
Listen to Safety Briefings
Safety is the prime responsibility for the captain and crew, and they take it very seriously. Please pay attention to any safety regulations given as this is a requirement of both insurance and maritime laws.
Treat the Boat with Care
A simple rule to follow.
Be Prepared for Anything
Charters are weather dependant and sometimes due to wind and waves we have to reschedule them for your own safety.
Write Reviews and Spread the Word
We are a small business and there’s nothing we value more than you leaving an online review. So be sure to take a few moments of your time and write a positive review if you enjoyed your time. This can be done on our Facebook Page or Google Maps.
Prepare For Your Charter: Boat Familiarization
What to Bring
Clothing: What to wear on the boat
- Windbreaker– This will help protect you from spray and keep you warm on early morning starts in the winter.
- Rash Guard or Light colored clothing– this reflects the sun to keep you cool in hot weather. Some brands of rash guards or fishing apparel provide more spf.
- Pants/Shorts- Depending on the season.
- Polarized sunglasses – These will cut through the glare on the water to give you a better view of your target fish.
- Rain Gear – If it rains, we will still fish
- Closed toe shoes – or your safety- Rubber boots work best because from time to time I’ll need to clean the deck and you will get salt water/blood on your shoes.
- We DO NOT ALLOW spiked shoes of any kind on any of our charters. Spikes or metal tips harm our decks and cause severe damage. Please only wear soft soled shoes while aboard our boats. You will not be able to board the vessel with them.
- Hat – Hats with brims provide shade and decrease the risk of sun stroke.
Sunscreen: What type and When to Apply
- Sunscreen. Make sure to get one that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Typically, SPF 50 and above are the sunscreens that are going to give you the highest possible protection from the sun.
- Zinc – Yeah, your nose will look a little funny, but lifeguards swear by it!
- Lip balm. Lip balm with SPF will stop your lips getting chapped out on the water.
Storage: Keep your Belongings Dry
- Cooler – we provide the ice– to store your lunch, drinks, and any fish you want to take home.
- Waterproof bag – to keep your electronics safe and dry as well as any clothing you want dry.
First Aid: Be Prepared
Get the proper amount of sleep and hydration as you will need that to get you through a day on the water.
TAKE MOTION SICKNESS MEDICATION THE DAY BEFORE THE TRIP and take one in the morning when you wake up and another at least 30 minutes after you get on the boat. This is a must if you think you may get seasick.
Only taking motion sickness medication the morning of the trip doesn’t work for most people!
Hand sanitizer and wet wipes – No one wants to eat a sandwich when their hands are covered in fish slime.
Hand Towel – Fishing can get messy.
Food and Drink:
Bring a lunch, enough water for 12- 16 hours, and something to snack on for your long day on the water. We provide ice so bring a small cooler if you wish it to stay cool.
Other snacks – Chips, granola, jerky, you name it.
Cash For Tipping
YEN and U.S dollars for tipping and fish cleaning. Tipping is explained in detail below.
- No double treble hooks on lures. You are allowed one treble per lure for safety reasons.
- Large box of zip lock bags.
- Zip ties or colored rubber bands to mark the fish you catch.
- Camera, smartphone, or GoPro- chest mounts are handy so you are handsfree
All Your Questions on Tipping Answered
Not sure how much to tip or why you should tip your Deckhands??
Ideally, the ultimate goal of a fishing charter is to have fun and catch fish while remaining safe and comfortable. Crews that deliver impeccable service often share their knowledge of the local prime spots to cast lines, provide quality equipment, tie bait to leaders, take photos of passengers with their catch, rent out their gear, share a few lessons, and offer fish filleting services.
This being said our Deckhands only work for tips. These tips are how you show your appreciation for their hard work and effort. The average tip is around $20, so if you had a really good experience on the charter show them by giving an above average cash tip. You know, more than $20.
Deckhand Services that are Separate from Tips
Additionally, Deckhands also make money when they rent out their trolling and jigging gear. They bring additional gear to rent out for use during your charter, elevating your fishing experience.
On certain charters we troll to and from the fishing buoys and possibly in between drifts and you have the option of renting trolling gear. This is separate from drift gear you might have rented when making your reservation. Trolling gear will be available for you to rent at the port by the deckhand for $40.00 per rod with lures and a few lessons to help those who are trolling for the first time.
At least 3 trolling rods are recommended to give the lures a more natural look of running in a school. This will give you a better chance to catch the fish of your lifetime! Jigging gear is also available for $20.00 a setup.
The deckhand will also provide a fish cleaning service after the trip. It is $2 to $3 dollars on average depending on the size and type of cut (fillet cuts with skin). Marlin cuts are $50.00 per Marlin.
It is customary to pay for the gear rental the morning of the charter, and tip at the end of the trip. Please keep this in mind when you are bringing cash with you the morning of the charter.
Fishing Charters Don’ts
Don’t Wear Spiked Shoes
We DO NOT ALLOW spiked shoes of any kind on any of our charters. Spikes or metal tips harm our decks and cause severe damage. Please only wear soft soled shoes while aboard our boats. You will not be able to board the vessel with them.
Don’t Throw Your Trash Overboard
This really is a no brainer, however we do get tourists who may not have experience on the water. Just be respectful of our oceans and don’t litter it with garbage that will harm the sea life.
“Hey folks, Capt Kam here.
I would like to thank each of you for your business and hope you enjoy your trip with us.
I have a very experienced group of Captains and Crew that work very hard for you throughout the duration of your trip.
It is customary the world over in the fishing industry specifically the charter industry to tip your Deckhands/FirstMates for all the hard work and effort they put into creating the ultimate experience for you.
You will see throughout your trip just how hard these crews work to keep you in the action so please take care of them as they take care of you in completing all the tasks that have to occur for you to focus on fishing.
Thank you again and we look forward to your charter”.Capt Kameron M. Burrell, Owner