Is lining up a charted angling trip as simple as picking the telephone number of a captain listed in the ad section of a fishing magazine? Short answer – maybe.
Lake Erie, for example , has such a different selection of fish that many charter providers focus only on one or two species. Book with a salmon tutorial when you want to troll for some walleye and you could short-circuit your trip could launch. The majority of guides and boat captains are dedicated business people intent on providing their sports (‘sport’ is the term for fishermen who employ a service to take them fishing) the optimum time on the water they’ve ever had. Yet what it means to have a great time fishing often means different things to different folks.
Help yourself and your Lake Erie charter chief by doing a bit of investigating:
What Type of Seafood do You Want to Catch?
If you want big River Erie walleyes, say so; in order for you king salmon, say so is to do it more than once. Be sure to politely grill the guide or captain on what fish they spend the bulk of their own time angling for. When business is slow a guide service may say, yes, they do fish for walleye, even though they focus on bass. Hey, most everyone on Lake Erie fish for walleye at some point and the rental captain in question may be very good at catching walleye, but a conscientious manual will always be up front with you about their own expertise.
What Fishing Method Do you wish to Use?
A fishermen who likes to drift deep baits for Lake Erie walleye could be miserable investing his day on the water hearing the drone of outboards trolling lures for walleye. Again, inquiring questions about how a charter program fishes is critical. Try to be as specific as possible when describing what kind of fishing you’d like to do. Both you and the charter captain could end up frustrated in case you keep asking to shut down and drift when he’s more confident addressing more water by trolling. Just like everywhere else, the best Lake Erie guides and charters are flexible and try to adapt quickly to the wishes of their clients.
But don’t forget that getting lots of fish is most often the bottom line by which charter services are judged. If you tell your friends what an excellent guy Captain X was but that you didn’t catch many fish, the captain knows most anglers hearing this story will look to get someone else who puts fish in the boat. Word of mouth, after all, is the primary means of advertising and referrals for that vast majority of charters.
How Much Will it Cost?
Be sure to explain how many people will be going on the charter and how long you’d like to fish. Most captains and guides book half time or full day trips and price accordingly. Don’t bite away from more than you can chew – unless you fish many days a year and are utilized to being out in the elements inside a rocking boat for hours on end, you should think about a half day charter, which usually last 3-5 hours. The journey may be over too soon but you keep feeling charged up and not worn out with a long day on the water.
Even though charter trips often run greater than $200/angler, sports should expect to tip your Lake Erie charter chief a minimum of $30 (mates a little less) to express your appreciation of how difficult he or she worked to make your trip successful. Notice I didn’t say you need to tip because you caught lots of seafood – the tip is for recognition of your guide’s effort, attention to details, flexibility, and safe boatmanship. A bad guide may not deserve a tip and if that is how you feel, then politely explain precisely why and be on your way. And if you can’t pay for a tip, that’s just the way things are; but keep in mind the handshake and smile won’t keep the captain’s family warm in winter season when the lake is iced more than.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What kind of food and beverages, if any, will the particular charter service provide? Do you need to provide your own rain gear, sunscreen, or motion sickness pills? Be sure to bring your own camera to record the good times. Does the boat have a private head (bathroom)? What is the leaving time exactly? Be ready to go, it can your own time and money you’ll be wasting simply by arriving late.
While no River Erie charter captain likes people getting drunk onboard, some have a tendency mind sports having a beer or two; some forbid alcohol of any kind, so ask in advance if you like cracking a cold one after landing a big walleye.
And be specific to find out in advance what the guide’s cancellation policy is.
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There are only a lot of days of fishing season and each you are very important to charter services so avoid leave them hanging by support out at the last second since you don’t feel like going anymore. Really bad manners and you might not make your money back. On the other hand, places like River Erie can get pretty nasty in foul weather and no guide or captain should demand their sports endure unpleasant conditions just to make a buck.