Tips to Choosing a Fishing Charter or Resort

With so many different options available when it comes to fishing charters and resorts, it might feel overwhelming to know where to start! Considering how much you’ll be spending on a trip, it’s important you book with a company that will create the absolute best experience for you! Here is a list of helpful tips to consider when it comes to picking a fishing charter or resort for your next fishing vacation.


  • Fly In, or Drive In?

Depending on the type of experience you want – remote and focused versus accessible and independent – will determine if a fly in or drive in resort is the right fit for you. Want to see the pros and cons of each? Check out this article:

  • Trip Types, Times and Length

Some charters only have early morning departures. If you’re not a morning person and are not looking to be out there for the morning bite, this could be an issue. Some also are looking at being out all day, which can be up to eight hours! Make sure you find a charter or resort that offers the right length and type of trip, or perhaps some flexibility, to suit you.

  • Guided, or Un-guided?

Already know what you’re doing? There are plenty of places that rent out just the boats and gear for the day so that you can take the reins yourself. For some, having a guide set hooks so you can merely reel them in is not a fishing charter worth their time. For others, finding the fish and getting them in the boat would be a near impossibility without having a professional show them the way. Depending on the experience you seek, having a guide onboard, or not, will make all the difference.

  • Accommodation

A true, fishing lodge experience can be fun, but definitely isn’t for everyone. Find out if the charter or resort you’re looking at offers your preferred type of accommodation. Some will only have one option, while others can book anywhere in town for you.

  • Suggested Gratuity

If you do go with a charter or resort that offers guided trips, ask what the expected gratuity is for your length of trip. It’s often a forgotten cost and can be uncomfortable when you’re unprepared.

  • Area to Fish

Know what kind of fish you want to catch and where the best place is to catch them. That’s where you’ll want to start looking for a charter.

  • Expectations

Make sure your charter and resort of choice are going after the kind of fish you want, and know what the expectations are for your length and type of trip.

  • What’s Included

Are you looking to just show up and fish without having to worry about any of the details? There are charters and resorts for that. Do you want to be in charge of your own food and travel plans? There are charters for that too. Know what you want out of a trip and find a charter or resort that offers it in its entirety, or close enough that you don’t mind taking care of the rest.

  • Guides

Again, if you do choose a guided charter, be sure to read about the guides. Especially if you’ve never fished before, they can make or break your trip. Experienced guides in the area (eg. Fishing on the west coast of Vancouver Island is very different from fishing in Alaska) will know where to find the fish and the best techniques to making sure they get on the boat. They’ll also be more familiar with the weather and tidal conditions.

  • Safety

Check out the safety standards and procedures of your chosen charters. Make sure their vessels are safe and their equipment is on board and ready to go.

  • Read Reviews

Nothing is as helpful as a firsthand experience – read the reviews of different charters on Google, Tripadvisor and Yelp. Be sure to read the three and four-star reviews, as well as the five stars and see if the owner or company has responded. Sometimes complaints are thanks to a bad fishing day rather than the company or guide, and how they respond to it will show a lot about company values.


So, before you go ahead and book, make sure you know what you want and expect from a charter so that you can find the best match for you. Ask any questions you have and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting with each so that you can book with confidence!


For a great example of a site with different options and information about what you’ll get, check out


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