If you are reading this, you’ve probably decided for the first time to try and go on a fishing trip. Well done with you! This will prove to be one of the best choices of your life, as anyone involved in fishing will tell you. Fishing, though, has its challenges for the first time, and a lot of new things to learn and pay attention to will come. We have created a list of what to expect on your first fishing trip, and with that in mind; let’s get started!
Before the Trip
Before you really set foot on a boat, we will be discussing the most important things you can do to make your first fishing trip a success. It is important to do your homework early, from talking with your guide, to knowing what to bring.
It’s important you communicate with your guide as soon as you schedule your trip. Even if you have booked well in advance, it’s still a good idea to confirm the details and it will encourage you to “have a feel” for the individual who will take you fishing. As the journey gets closer, be sure to contact your guide to agree on these main points:
What To Expect Out of Your Trip
Even if you’ve never been on a fishing boat before, you might still have some idea or two of what you’d like to do. This may be a fishing strategy that you want to understand, a fish species that you want to capture, or even a particular fishing spot that you want to see. If you have any special requirements or any of your fellow anglers, now would be the time to list them. Addressing these matters with your guide in advance of the trip is highly necessary for a few reasons:
Your guide will plan accordingly, so you can get exactly the sort of service you want.
If something you have asked for is not possible (for example, a fish species is out of season), then your guide will let you know, and you will choose to fish for something else. This will also allow you to set reasonable goals and prevent possible deceptions.
If you have not asked ahead of booking about the “onboard rules” of your guide, now is a good time to do so. You may find it perfectly natural to light a cigar on board, but maybe not your captain. The same goes for the food and alcohol. Most guides will encourage you to carry snacks and drinks, yet asking never hurts.
If you would like to obtain some additional benefits, don’t leave it until the very last second to discuss these. Some guides will be delighted to pick you up and drop you off at no fee. Others aren’t going to or will be doing this for a discount. Using the same rationale to clean and filefish, live bait, gear, and licenses.
Finally, check if your fuel would be included in the price of the ride. The cost of fuel can add up, particularly if you are fishing offshore. Many captains include fuel in the price but double-check if you want to save yourself from an unpleasantly big bill.
How to Get Ready
With your guide you nailed all of the details, fantastic. Now it’s time for packaging. Obviously your clothes may depend on the season and venue, but a few items are important. Rubber-soled shoes will keep you secure and stable on the boat and, if the weather changes, waterproof clothing will give you versatility. Often go for materials that dry out quickly but simultaneously keep you wet.
Other essential products include sunscreen, reflective sunglasses, a mini first aid kit, and medication for seasickness. Carry a backpack for storage, a smaller cooler for food and beverages, and a larger one for fish (if you intend or are allowed to keep it).
Nearly every charter of fishing will have onboard drinking water. Even, something can occur on a boat so it sure won’t hurt to have a bottle or two of your own. Check out our full guide on what to take on a charter fishing trip for more information.
Most fishing excursions begin early in the morning. If you do, make sure you get a good night’s sleep before you head out. If you’re fishing with your family, this probably won’t be a concern, but if you’re in town with your friends, a party night will come back to haunt you, once you’re on the boat.
Your travel day has arrived. You’ll also have a few things to take care of while the excitement builds up. Next, make sure you have already. Getting a checklist is a foolproof way to go about this. We all forget about things, particularly when we’re excited. Go through your list, and make sure that everything is there.
The second thing you need to do is leave early that’s very necessary. Even if there are no traffic jams in the news article, depart early. Have a target of arriving at least 15 minutes before your trip begins. If you arrive early you will have just more time to get to know the team. That takes us on to the next stage.
If this is your first time on a trip, it’ll take you a few times to get around comfortably. Even if the waters are clear this is not a stable land, so always try to maintain your balance. When the boat is in action and you have to move, be sure to hang on to something or at least have a balanced position.
Your things are the first thing you’ll want to take care of when you move aboard. Ask your crew about a safe dry spot for your things. If any first-time angler underestimates one thing, it is how wet and slimy things can get.
An Experience To Remember
Granted, that’s a lot of material for you to consider. Fortunately for you, your captain will be there to guide you through all the steps we described. If you’re worried about missing something, this guide can always be a reminder.
Finally, don’t think much about how big the fish you’ll be catching could be. You could end up catching a one in a lifetime kind of fish and you could catch none at all. Going back to dock with an empty cooler happens to a lot of us, and that is very natural.