Charter Boat Etiquette You Need To Know Before Heading Out
It doesn’t matter if you are an expert angler or a beginner, when it comes to charter fishing in Louisiana, everyone makes their share of mistakes. Fishing from charter boats in the Gulf of Mexico is rewarding, but there are a few basics you should be familiar with before calling the captain of the boat to reserve your time on the water.
The following list of charter boat fishing etiquette will ensure you have the best time out at sea and don’t do anything you’ll regret later.
Tipping Your Charter Boat Crew
Regardless the meal you had, you always tip your server at the restaurant, so too should you be tipping the crew on the charter boat. Regardless if you are fishing for mahimahi or a, jigging trip, overnight trip, or a spear fishing adventure, the captain and his crew rely on your money to make a living.
Charter fishing trips can be costly, but so are the costs to operate the boat. Typically a good rule of thumb is to tip the crew of your charter boat 20 percent of the cost of the adventure. Many of the crew on board actually rely on those tips as their only source of income.
Paying Extra for Extra Services
One of the biggest mistakes many people make who rent a charter boat make is that they assume extra services are just part of the cost of renting the boat. Most of the charter boats in this region have fish cleaning services they offer to their customers, but in many instances, they are extra services and not part of the cost to rent the boat.
While it is perfectly acceptable to clean your own fish after a day of hauling in all those huge yellowfin tuna, keep in mind that the charter crew might rely on that money as part of their income. The twenty-five cents or so a pound to have your fish cleaned might be nothing to you, but a lot to the crew.
Don’t Be “That Guy”
On the subject of charter boat fishing etiquette, we all know that one guy on the trip who gets too drunk, is too loud, is sick, or making a complete ass of himself in front of others. If this might be you, then now is the time to consider you will be on someone’s boat as a guest, just like being a guest in someone’s home, you need to act accordingly.
Don’t ruin the trip for others who may be experiencing charter fishing for the first time. Be courteous, be attentive, and most importantly, be respectful to the crew and other passengers.
Avoiding Getting Sick at Sea
Your charter boat captain can not turn around and bring you back to the shore just because you are drunk and getting sick all over his boat. Plan on rough seas at some point, and take some Dramamine before you board the vessel. Don’t drink the night before, this way your stomach will be less likely to get upset in rougher seas.
Try to get a sound sleep the night before and arrive at the boat well rested. If you are hungover or tired, you are going to have a lousy trip and make things miserable for others looking to have a fun day at sea.
Talking to the Captain in Advance
One of the basics of charter boat etiquette is simply reaching out to the captain in advance of your trip if you have questions or concerns. Don’t assume you can arrive at the docks with a cooler packed with drinks and food if the captain has a no food allowed policy.
Never assume you can arrive with your own equipment when most charter boat captains in Louisiana and his crew furnish all guests with the tools they will need to land monsters out near the oil rigs. One thing, make sure you can bring your own personal flotation devices or does the captain provide for you.
Arriving to Your Trip on Time
Be sure that you arrive at the docks when you allotted time begins. The captain may have several other trips scheduled today, and if you are late, you set a course in motion for them being late for all the remaining trips today. Don’t make the captain wait or they may be forced to cut your time short. Be at the boat launch at least 20 minutes before departure time.
Arrive at the docks wearing all the appropriate clothing and your supplies in hand. Have your sunglasses, sunscreen, phone, or camera, in a bag ready to go. Don’t keep the captain waiting, because time is money for him and his crew.
The Captain Has His Rules
Never assume anything when it comes to traveling on a charter boat. If the captain allows kids on his boat, they are your responsibility, not his or his crew. This is not a babysitting service, so you have to be able to keep your kids out of trouble and under control.
Talk to the kids before the trip about the rules of the boat, no horseplay, no yelling, no running, and no leaving the group. Be sure you know what rules the captain has concerning catch and release. If the captain has a limit for a half-day charter, then you have to adhere to his rules.
Although fishing charters out of Venice LA have been rates as some of the best in the country, things can go bad very quickly with bad charter boat fishing etiquette. Do your research before the big day arrives, it will ensure you and your friends have the best day fishing.
If in doubt, call us in advance of the trip, we will be glad to offer our assistance so that everyone on board has the best possible trip that day.