How to Select A Saltwater Fishing Guide Image

How to Select A Saltwater Fishing Guide

Updated: June 30th 2017 @ 9:15am

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How do you find a top-notch, reputable fishing charter in an area where you've never fished before? 

It can be enormously time consuming and frustrating to sort through numerous fishing websites as you attempt to compare and contrast your favorites.

We get it. In fact, it was the frustration of finding a big game hunt we wanted that compelled us to start Dream Sporting Trips (read our story here). We totally understand the confusion of sorting through multiple websites trying to find the perfect sporting trip, and when you find one that sounds interesting, you can't remember what site it was that you'd like to compare it to. Before you know, you've wasted far too many hours, are more confused than ever, and still haven't arrived at a decision.

That's why we hired some of the top web designers in the business and tasked them with designing our Dream Sporting Trip online directory to be not only user-friendly, but full of the information a hunter or angler wants and needs to know before booking a trip. Our web designers, like all of our staff, are avid hunters and fishermen (and women), which gives them an edge on developing the perfect blend of options and information YOU need when putting down your hard-earned money for the trip of a lifetime.

There are a number of quality, trusted fishing guides on our easy-to-use online directly listing, and that number grows weekly as new guides and outfitters discover the advantages of listing on the Dream Sporting Trips directory.

The first thing you'll notice is the simplicity of noting the individualized features each fishing charter offers, as you make your comparisons and shop for the right fit for you. Our captains and guides input the information themselves, so you'll notice each is a bit different and in their own words. However, all entries are standardized to include photos, trips, reviews (if available), and reports (if guides choose to utilize this feature).

When you find a guide you're interested in, you'll see that we have provided their contact information and their own website link(s) so that you can quickly and easily contact them DIRECTLY with any additional information you may want, or to book your trip (we never charge commissions or booking fees).

Ready to find your Dream Sporting Trip?

Saltwater guides come in two varieties: inshore and offshore.

The inshore guides typically fish the grass flats in shallow running skiffs that can accommodate two or three customers. Offshore guides, on the other hand, travel to deep water in much larger boats that carry up to a half-dozen passengers. These charters are typically more expensive because a bigger boat burns more fuel.

[photo at right: Salty Gillz Charter, Tampa Bay, Florida]

Salty-Gills-2.jpgHere are some things to keep in mind when comparing guides and making your selection:

  • What type of fish do you want to catch? Knowing what you're after will help determine the location you'll want to fish. 
  • Determine how much you're willing to pay for the charter. When booking a fishing charter, you typically pay for the use of the boat for your entire fishing party as well as the services of the captain and crew.
  • What is included in the fee? Lunch, drinks, do they clean the fish you catch? 
  • What are you expected to bring? Do they furnish fishing equipment? Bait? Coolers? Do they allow alcoholic beverages onboard?
  • What is the itinerary for the day -- departure time, length of time on the water, return time, etc.?
  • Is there a preferred level of experience for the party booking the charter? Does the captain give short fishing lessons for inexperienced or first-time anglers?
  • Do you need any type of fishing license when fishing aboard their charter?
  • What type of boat will you fish from?
  • What is their cancellation policy due to inclement weather?
  • Do they offer lodging? If so, is it included in the price? Are meals included?


[Photo: Reelivin' Lodge, Buras, Louisiana]

Guides work hard to ensure their clients have the best fishing experience possible. They know the area they fish, they know what's biting, and they often have years of experience to draw on. Many will entertain you with stories of epic fishing trips and you'll come away feeling like you've made a new best friend.

Of course, no one can guarantee you'll reel in those fish you're after--there are a number of factors outside the guide's control--but a qualified, seasoned fishing guide is the best way to enjoy this sport and improve your chances of catching fish! 

Read More:

25 Reasons to Hire A Fishing Guide

Easiest Way to Fish in The Sport Fishing Capital of the World, Islamorada? With a Guide! 

Going Fishing? Travel Tips - Islamorada, Florida - the Sport Fishing Capital of the World

Fishing in the Playground of the South - Galveston, Texas

One of Florida's best kept secrets--Cedar Key--and the Captain who knows it well

Get to Know Your Guide! Visit the Dream Sporting Trips blog for exclusive interviews with our outstanding captains and outfitters! 

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