8 Tips for Choosing the Best Fishing Charter in Orange Beach, Alabama

8 Tips for Choosing the Best Fishing Charter in Orange Beach, Alabama

When’s the best time to catch fish in Orange Beach, Alabama? Fishing is often seasonal but on the Gulf Shores, whether it’s inshore or offshore, there’s something to catch year-round.

If you want the perfect fishing trip in Orange Beach, Alabama, don’t leave it to chance. Read on to learn these 8 tips on how to choose the best fishing charter.

1. Expert Captain

The expertise of the captain is one of the key factors in having a great fishing trip. Your day should revolve around an enjoyable trip and catching fish. Everything else is the concern of the captain.

A proficient captain ensures that safety standards are high. They also know where to find fish and help you catch them. Check out the experience of the captain before you book your fishing charter.

Every captain should file fishing reports. They are public records of the fish they have caught and when they caught them. Check the reports of any captain you are considering and you’ll get a feel for their performance.

An owner-operator has a greater commitment and vested interest in their clients having a great day. They want to secure the highest reputation they can for their boat.

2. Do Your Homework

Do your research before you arrive at Orange Beach and certainly before arriving on the dock. A walk along the dock might be an interesting way to choose a charter but consider the downside of this approach.

You only have the charters that nobody else has booked available to choose from. There may be a good reason why they have not been booked. It’s more likely that their competitors are more popular because they have a better reputation.

Browse websites and read the reviews of the boats. Hire the best fishing charter for you rather than the only one available.

3. Compare Your Options

Compare the options available. Choose based on fair comparison and don’t be seduced by meaningless hype.

If you are a novice, you may want some tuition and help. Don’t choose a boat that has flashy pictures of big fish on their website but doesn’t say anything about the service they offer a client.

If you are experienced and want to catch a specific species, select a fishing charter that has expertise in that species. Discuss your needs with them and assess whether they will give you what you want from a fishing trip.

4. Avoid Cheap Boats

If you want a great day’s fishing, hire the best fishing charter rather than the cheapest one.

A boat that competes on price rather than quality is likely to be cutting corners somewhere. Perhaps they will have an inexperienced crew or poor tackle.

They may not be prepared to take you to the best place to catch the fish you want to catch. After all, fuel costs money and they may want to save every cent they can to make up for the low price.

5. Check Tackle and Equipment

The best boats supply all the tackle you need for a great fishing trip. Ask what will be supplied. Chose a boat that will supply all the tackle you might need together with bait and license.

It’s important to know that your choice of charter boat is equipped to meet the needs of everyone in your party. That means you should check that they can handle the size of your party.

6. Check Keep Policy

Do you have expectations about whether you will return fish or keep them? You might want to keep some fish to eat. If this is the case, some fishing charter boats will prepare your fish and provide zip lock bags for your catch so you can take them away in perfect condition.

There are restaurants in Orange Beach that will cook your fish for you. There’s nothing like catching a fine fish and then enjoying that fish for dinner.

Be sure to discuss the boat’s policy on keep or return. There is a strong conservation case for returning fish to grow and be caught again. A responsible fishing charter will find the right balance.

7. Reputation

If you’re looking for the best fishing charter in Orange Beach, take some time to read online reviews, written by previous clients. Find reviews that are from people with similar needs to yours. These reviews will indicate whether you can rely on a good service that will meet your needs.

Reputation counts for far more than promises or flashy websites. Look for great reviews from lots of satisfied customers over a long period of time. Reviews with lots of specific details are the most credible and are less likely to be false or unreliable. 

8. Check the Boat

Not all boats are the same. Check what the boat will be before you arrive. That way you won’t be disappointed by what you find.

Some boats offer only very basic facilities. Some larger boats have proper toilets, showers, and even air-conditioning so you and your guests have some relief from the heat of the day.

A well-equipped boat also makes for a more enjoyable experience. Ask if the boat has a shower so you can freshen up. A refrigerator and freezer are useful for your food and drinks too.

If your party includes some non-fishing guests or children, can the fishing charter provide them with a great trip too? Some boats are not suitable while others understand the needs of non-fishing guests. Keeping them happy will mean that you can enjoy your fishing without worrying about your other guests.

Your Best Fishing Charter

Your best fishing charter is the one that best meets your needs and expectations. With some simple research, you can choose wisely. The result will be a fishing trip at Orange Beach to remember.

Talk to us about your charter fishing needs by contacting us here.