Charter a Fishing Boat – How to

Don’t fall for the old “hook, line and sinker“. Make sure you know what to ask before you charter a fishing boat in South Florida. With Ft. Lauderdale and Miami being one of the top fishing spots in the world, the deep sea charter boat business is big here, but don’t be fooled, not all are created equal.

Times have certainly changed from the days where one would just walk down the dock at the marina and look at the transoms of the sport fishing boats to see which ones had the most billfish marks. The more scratches, the more action the captain and crew had on the charter boat. At least so it was thought.

Nowadays, there’s a lot more to it. With so many inexperienced charter boat captains sport fishing just for fun rather than to make a living, you’re not always getting what you pay for. Don’t just base your decision on price because neither more expensive nor cheaper is necessarily better.

So here’s what you need to know:

Some important questions and things you need to ask and know before choosing the charter fishing boat for you.

Who do I call/where do I begin?

Usually you can call the Captain or a member of the crew directly. Most phone numbers are listed on the boat at the dock or on the internet. The captain or crew member should be able to answer all the below questions or I would give it a second thought going with them.

Is it customary to tip the crew and how much do I tip?

Yes, it is customary to tip the crew members, however it is not mandatory. Typical gratuity is 10-20%, but feel free to leave what you are comfortable with and should also be based on the performance of the mate(s) and Captain.

The job of the mate is to catch the live bait that is caught using a cast net unless the anglers prefer to catch the live bait by hook. The mate is also responsible for making sure all rods are properly rigged, have belts and harnesses immediately available for the anglers to fight the fish, keep the cockpit of the boat clean and organized at all times, assist in getting customer’s on and off the boat, and clean the caught fish for the customer’s to take home, if desired. Safety is also extremely important for everyone onboard and the mate plays a major role in keeping the boat safe.┬áThe mate also cleans the whole boat after each job.

What do I need to bring?

New Moon Sportfishing provides everything you need such as all rods, reels, bait, tackle, ice, sunscreen, bottled water and fishing licenses. The only thing you will need to bring, if desired, is food and other beverages (beer, wine, soda etc).

How many people (anglers) can there be?

We have two sport fishing boats that hold a maximum of 6 people and one sport fishing boat that holds up to four.

Can I charter more than one boat at a time?

Yes, if booked in advance we will more than likely be able to accommodate your fishing charter needs.

Do I need to be licensed?

Nope. We have all the appropriate licenses needed.

How any lines will there be in the water?

Generally, we put one line for every customer/angler up to six lines.

Is the live bait included or do I have to buy it?

On our fishing charters we provide all live bait. We typically catch them on our way offshore, however there will be times when there will be bait already onboard.

Can I catch a trophy fish for a picture without having to mount it?

Yes, on New Moon Sportfishing we do not require that you have your catch mounted. Although a lot of customers prefer to have certain fish mounted. You do not have to mount the actual fish (if you would prefer to release it or save it for food); the taxidermy company we use offers exact replicas of your fish via a mold, and they are just as beautiful as the real thing.

Can you take the fish home with you?

Absolutely! Our mates will even clean the fish and filet them up for you.

What if you can’t or don’t want to take the fish home or back to your hotel?

No problem. We will gladly take the fish off of your hands as we can use them for bait or sometimes we even eat them ourselves. We love fish, too!!!

How do I know I hired a good Captain and Crew?

The Captain should always be attentive toward the customers and the mate(s) should be assisting the captain in doing so. The mate(s) should pay attention to each customer equally and help them with whatever they need. The charter boat should be kept clean and tidy. Also we pride ourselves on having a positive vibe aboard our fishing boats. We love to fish happy, and we want our customers to do the same.

Can you set the hook yourself or is it the mate or captain who will set it?

You can set the hook yourself. Aboard New Moon Sportfishing we love to teach our anglers how to handle a light tackle spinning outfit (conventional rod), as well as, anything else that we have under our belts. So never be afraid to ask us any questions or to show you anything you would like to learn.

What is our catch and release policy?

If it is a fish of legal size, and it is edible it is ok to keep. If it is not of legal size or it is a game fish we try our hardest to release it unharmed.

Is there an age limit?

No, we accept all ages aboard our charter boats. In fact, we love our junior anglers and look forward to seeing them reel in their own fish, especially when it is their very first catch.

Our goal is to build a relationship with our clients. Here at New Moon Sportfishing we are like family, and we treat our customers the same.

Fill out our Contact Us form for more information or to inquire about our fishing charters.


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