If you’re new to charter boat fishing excursions, we have the frequently asked questions (and answers!) as you plan your trip out on the water in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, FL.
1. What do I bring and what do I wear on a charter boat?
Regardless of the season, wear loose-fitting breathable clothes when you go on a charter boat. Dry-fit material in any season works the best! For colder months or windy days, remember to use layers — a hoodie or light jacket works. The main concern is to be protected from the sun. Exposure on the water can make your skin redder than a snapper if you’re not careful. Always remember sunblock and stay hydrated. Also, even calm seas might make you seasick if you’re not used to rolling waves. Dramamine or Bonine are always a good idea.
2. Can charter fishing be family-friendly?
Yes! Charter boats usually have a long ride out to the fishing site, and for many young anglers, that’s more exciting than fishing. Most captains allow children on their vessels as long as they meet height, weight, and age requirements. The thrill of seeing deep water fish up close is also a huge draw for kids on charter boats. However, parents are encouraged to keep an eye on their kids at all times and to consider how they do with being confined to a boat for a long time.
3. What types of fish will I catch?
The answer, put simply, is many. But to name a few, you’ll likely catch drum, mackerel, mahi-mahi, grouper, snapper, and even sharks! Depending on the season and the sort of fishing you’re doing, Destin-Fort Walton Beach, FL offers some of the best fishing in the world. Bottom fishing almost guarantees you success by dropping a line on a wreck and pulling in a bounty grouper, snapper, and triggerfish. For first-time boat charters, this a fun fishing experience because trolling makes it more difficult to predict where fish will be.
4. What is the difference between inshore and offshore fishing?
Just because you’re fishing in the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t mean that you’re fishing offshore. Nine miles from Destin Harbor turns inshore fishing to offshore fishing by bringing you to 200-foot depths. Each offshore package has you geared toward sportfishing for a big catch such as tuna, swordfish, and marlin, which normally aren’t found inshore.
If you’re looking for a way to relax and let the rods do all the work, trolling less than a mile away from shore is like a beach cruise with an opportunity to sport fish. Cobia, sailfish, and king mackerel love the inland surf where they chase schools of smaller baitfish close to the shallows.
No matter how you fish in Destin, you’re sure to discover why it’s the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”!
5. Why can’t you bring a banana on a charter boat?
However, under no circumstance, should you or your party ever bring a banana onto charter boats. Back in the 1800s, many shipwrecks were discovered with only bananas floating among the wreckage. Sailors learned to associate bananas with bad luck, but the roots of the myth also make mention of vermin, pests, and fish-repellant fermentation. Remember to check with your captain if their superstition extends to foods with bananas in them or products with bananas in the name!
Learn more about fishing in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, and explore other opportunities to enjoy fishing charters from afar, like an afternoon walk along Destin Harbor to see charter boats come in.