Guiding is so much different than I ever imagined when I started. I always thought that every Tampa fishing charter had to be filled with tons of trophy fish. As I enter into my 16th year of guiding I realize that guiding is so much more than just catching fish. Every trip is different in its own way and offers benefits for the customers along with challenges for guides. Here are a few tips to give you a realistic idea of what to expect on your next fishing charter.
First step would be to call ahead and talk to the captain if you have a specific demand. This is very important these days as there are so many was to connect with someone. I best line of communication is definitely talking on the phone. This could range from pick up times to whats included in a trip. Or a special request that you might have. This will make sure both you and the captain are on the same page leading up to your fishing charter.
Second tip would to be realistic on what you catch. All good captains have great days. We also have bad days no matter how good we are.What separates the good and bad captains is how had they work to make sure you have a great day. I hear all to often the customer say they watched a fishing show or you tube video and during the 10 minute video they caught everything that swims. Most film crews will film multiple days to get the 10 minute segment. They put the best clips and make a short video. Makes for a great video but may not be realistic in a single day of fishing.
Stay away from no fish no pay. This is funny to me when I hear this one. Guys that do this are using a sales pitch and while it may work for some its not always the best method to look at when booking a charter. I tell my clients I guarantee Ill work hard for them during there charter and will try hard to meet the demands of the customer. I also ask what they are looking to do and try to the adjust the fishing day to accommodate there needs. Most charters end up with a positive outcome.
Another good tip when booking a Tampa fishing charter is not to try and justify the fishing charter with how many fillets you have on the table at the end of the charter. We have some great fishing here in Tampa,Florida but we also have seasons,limits and sizes. This varies depending on the type of fish that are biting. Certain times of the year we can catch a ton of game fish and have a banner day but may only have a couple keepers. This will ensure that next time you fish in Tampa Bay that you will have great fishing for years to come. If you would like to look up the types of fish,limits. and sizes check out https://myfwc.com/
Last tip to use when you are looking to book a charter with your kids would be to not keep them out too long. If you have younger kids and is there first fishing charter you dont want to do a 8 hour trip. Keeping out a novice angler too long will only drive them away on future fishing charters. 4 hour charters are typically plenty if you have young kids and will give the a good experience and keep them coming back for years to come. Tight-lines