4 Tips for Planning a Group Fishing Charter or Tournament
Planning A Group Fishing Trip?
Coordinating group activities can be a daunting task. Unfortunately, humans don’t quite behave like schooling fish, and getting everyone aligned on the same course can be difficult. There are many different people to make happy and goals to achieve. Key considerations include:
- Will it be fun for everyone?
- Will it unite my group?
- Will it help develop relationships?
- Will it be memorable?
- Will it be worth the planning and investment?
Group fishing charters can be an answer to many of these otherwise stressful questions. Fishing often brings to mind a bonding activity between two people (i.e., parent and child, good friends, mentor, and student), but getting out on the water with a larger group creates different dynamics that offer their opportunities for positive interactions between friends, family, or teammates.
Getting people “in the same boat” for a few hours creates effects and memories that last long after you’re back on land. Consider the scenarios below if you’re wondering if an organized fishing trip is right for your group.
1. You’re a professional organization looking for a team-building activity.
Some of the best team-building activities involve getting outside in a new setting. Why settle for the usual field day or golf tournament?
Host a fishing tournament!
- All you need are some great charter captains who know the area and a way to keep track of everyone’s catches.
- Since most charter boats around 25’ and larger can carry up to 6 guests, and smaller inshore charter often take 3-4 guests for fishing, you can mix and match groups to facilitate team members getting to know each other outside of the typical pairings people spend the most time in at work.
- Each boat can have a team name, and there can be many prizes: most fish, biggest fish, most keepers, most unique species…the possibilities are endless to keep your group engaged and excited.
A fishing tournament offers a casual environment for anyone to let out their competitive side and display their strengths, teamwork, and leadership styles that can then be directed towards your organization’s day-to-day and strategic goals.
Pro Tip: Choosing multiple competitive categories / prizes is a way to broaden the winner’s pool, and a group meal or happy hour after the tournament enhances the experience allowing everyone to share the stories from their boat and solidify the memories.
2. You’re part of a fishing club and want to learn from someone else’s experience.
(Plus, take a break with a captain taking over the work for you).
Whether you’re a fishing veteran or new to the area, a guided fishing trip can free you up for a more relaxing experience while still participating in the activity you love. Learn more about the area, meet new captains and build relationships with fellow passionate anglers.
There is always something new to learn on the water and satisfaction in belonging to a strong community of people who have the same interests and goals. Get a new perspective on your old hobby and catch fish doing it!
Pro Tip: Meeting new charter captains can pay off with increased local knowledge and a go-to contact when you’re looking for someone to teach a club seminar, donate a trip for a fundraiser, etc. Be sure to show appreciation to your captain and consider ways a long-term relationship could be a win-win.
3. You’re celebrating!
Bachelor party? Birthday? Family reunion? Wedding weekend?
Particularly when you have people visiting from out of town, taking in the surroundings from the water and spending time with a local captain is a unique way to venture off the beaten path and explore a destination.
Even if you have kids or people who have never fished before, fishing charters cater to novices and experts. Surprise some of the people you like most and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Pro Tip: If your group includes people without boating experience and/or kids, an inshore or nearshore charter may be your best bet in case group members don’t know whether they’re prone to seasickness. If going fishing offshore, group members who are unsure can always take a first dose of dramamine 30 to 60 minutes as a precaution in advance of the trip.
4. You’re an event or destination planner, who is responsible for planning an exciting, reliable local activity.
Each assignment comes with many people to please and varying interests. One thing they all have in common is they’re craving local experiences outside of the routine they’re escaping from. What makes a fishing charter a crowd-pleasing option is that no day of fishing is ever the same.
While a fishing guide has plenty of tactics to leverage for success, the conditions of the day, seasonality and variability of fish in the sea is what keeps even the most experienced anglers coming back knowing that a new personal best could be lurking in the depths.
When the group you’re coordinating for has varied levels of fishing experience, this can be a setup for a great day too. Those who already enjoy fishing get to share something they’re passionate about with others who are new to it, and can help them pick it up even faster.
Pro Tip: Charters have recommended start times based on the best windows to fish, time needed to clean and prepare the boat between multiple trips in a day, and other factors.
- They may have flexibility, but going with the recommended times usually results in better fishing.
- Be sure to also budget enough time before or after a charter if there are other activities you have planned for the day.
- Groups may want to change clothes, and if anyone will be taking home fish they’ve caught after a trip, the captain and/or mate(s) will need a few minutes to clean and filet the fish.
These are only a few sample scenarios for people who plan group activities. Perhaps the biggest key to a successful group activity is to have everyone, no matter what age, participate and have fun.
About the Author: Capt. Jason Semeyn has been professionally guiding in SW Florida for over 13 years. With Boatsetter Fishing, his job is to connect anglers with the outdoors.