As a beginner, you can expect your first fishing charter to be an experience of a life time. However, there are things to bear in mind that could make your trip a success or a flop. Here are some things to think about before booking your first charter.
Think about what you want
First thing’s first – think about what you want out of your trip. That way you can talk with your captain and see what is on offer. Are you looking for a calm, relaxing family trip, or are you more interested in deep sea fishing and catching a trophy? And if there is a species you particularly want to catch or a technique you want to learn. As a first-timer, it would be advisable to take your first fishing trip as an opportunity to learn as much as possible. And, what are you going to do with the fish? Release it, or make a seafood platter?
It is crucial before you book a charter fishing trip that you let your captain know that this is your first time fishing out at the open sea. The success of your first charter trip will depend on how clear you are on what you want out of it. It is important that you communicate with the crew before booking. Tell them just how far you are willing to travel out at sea, since a six-hour trip does not entail six hours of fishing, but includes the time to get to a spot. If you are unwilling to wait, maybe opt for in-shore fishing, rather than offshore.
Get to know the policy
It is very important that you have a clear understanding of what is included in your charter and what the onboard policies are. You may find it perfectly normal to smoke on deck, but your captain may think otherwise. Also, some charters forbid alcohol on board, so ask about what you are allowed to bring with you. Moreover, ask about what will the charter provide you with in terms of equipment. Most accommodating charters, like well-equipped fishing charters in Narooma, have their own fishing rods, tackle and bait, their own refreshments, but most importantly – a fishing license.
How to prepare for the trip
Even though charters include basic gear, you still should bring some equipment with you to make your trip easier and more successful. First off, many beginners tend to underestimate just how slippery and slimy things can get, so bring rubber-soled sneakers. Besides that, the weather can be quite unpredictable, and the temperature can increase from morning to noon, so make sure that you dress in layered clothing. Sunscreen and sunglasses may seem obvious, but you definitely do not want to forget that, since the sun can be harsh out at sea, even in winter. That also means that you should wear head protection, like a bucket hat or a baseball cap. If this is your first time on board, bring seasickness meds, because you never know when you might need them. Most importantly, do not forget to bring your own water. The charter may provide water and refreshments, but you never know how much water you will need. Better safe than sorry.
Getting on board
On board, the captain and first mate will provide you with all the necessary info on preparing your bait, the technique you are going to use, and how to avoid losing a fish. This is why it is important to get to know the crew and be friendly and cooperative. The success of your trip will be determined by your attitude. They will also help you with your catch, and maybe gutting and filleting, so you want to be on their good side.
Your first fishing charter trip is an opportunity to learn as much as possible about off shore fishing, so make good use of it and communicate with the ship’s crew. Most importantly, establish what you want and talk about that before booking your trip. The organizer will provide you with all the necessary info.