What Are the Costs of a Fishing Charter?
Thinking about going on your first fishing charter? Imagine the sun on your face, the breeze in your hair, and catching more fish in just a couple of hours than you can keep. Sounds great, right? Then you see the price tag and may feel some sticker shock.
To many, the price (let’s assume $550 for a 4-person inshore fishing charter) can sound a little steep to make that happen for you and your friends or family. Plus, a 15% – 20% gratuity is typically expected for the charter captain or their mate. Fishing is one of America’s greatest pastimes and should be an accessible activity to enjoy frequently with people you enjoy without breaking the bank.
For a group of four to fish from a charter approximately once a month, that would be about $6,600 a year to go out fishing. It begs the question of whether it would be cheaper to just get a boat and fish yourselves.
Though, doing the math helps put costs into perspective.
The average price of an inshore saltwater fishing boat for four passengers alone blows that cost out of the water (let’s say on average, about $15,000). Then, all you need is moorage, insurance, gas, equipment, licenses, maintenance and bait. These costs easily reach $1,500+ a month adding another $18,000+. Add all the costs together, and at those rates, your group of four could go on 50 fishing charters a year – one almost every week – for the costs of owning and maintaining a boat.
With a fishing charter, you don’t have to worry about the time it takes to acquire insurance, gas, equipment, licenses, permits and bait – not to mention knowing where to find the best spots. Saving that time and hassle alone adds even more value. Now, we’re not trying to discourage anyone from boat ownership as boat owners and captains are the lifeblood of Boatsetter, and many members of our Boatsetter team including myself are boat owners as it’s something we prioritize and highly value in our own lives. Our goal in this article is simply to point out the value you receive when booking a fishing charter.
Next time you see the cost of a fishing charter- think of everything you don’t have to worry about and the value of spending four, six, eight or more uninterrupted hours out on the water with the sun on your face, the breeze in your hair and catching more fish than you can keep – not to mention your captain and / or mate cleaning fish for you to enjoy later!
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.