Saltwater Fishing

As the most basic level there are two kinds of fish – those that live in saltwater and those that live in fresh water. OK, that does not account for some species, such as salmon, that might go back and forth, but that is adding unnecessary complications.

Pier or Surf

When it comes to saltwater fishing there is an added benefit – the vacationers get to go to the beach. Although everyone might not share the desire to “wet a hook,” just about everyone likes something about the beach. And, using a common stereotypical scenario, the wife and kids can catch some rays and splash in the water while dad fishes on the pier, all in plain sight, just a wave (so to speak) away from each other.

In fact, everyone can be even closer together if the anglers in the family opt for surf fishing. Deciding between surf and pier fishing is only one of the choices for saltwater fishing. While these two are the most simple, and least expensive, ways to do battle with denizens of the deep, vacationing anglers can choose several other options.

Charter Boats

The most expensive of these is to charter a fishing boat and head out to deep water for some serious sports fishing. A charter boat excursion usually will mean all the difficult work is done by the hired help. A typical charter boat crew will include the boat’s captain and at least one mate who are experienced hands at finding and hauling in the big ones.

The captain will know where to find the fish and the mate will know how to make sure the fish gets into the boat and how to keep the anglers out of the water. The mate also will keep the lines in the water, help the angler get strapped into the hot seat, gaff the fish and bet it aboard, and even clean and fillet the catch once back in dock. The mate might even be the one who delivers lunch if the fishing party has chosen the catered package deal.

Expect to may upwards of $100 a person for one of these trips, easily rising up to $300 for an afternoon of solo fishing. That does not include the tip for that mate who has done just about everything for you except handling the rod. Charters can charge by the person or by the hour and day, so the cost can be dropped if several friends get together to the charge for a half-day rental. Rental of the tackle, cost of the bait, and gas for the boat (not always) is included in the price.

Head Boats

Another way to get out into deep water is to book a spot on a head boat. These boats are larger (and therefore more stable) than most charter boats and can accommodate from approximately 10 to as many as 200 anglers. The trips last from half a day to several days and fish often are reeled in as fast as the angler can spin the reel.

These boats also have mates to bait the hooks, haul in the catch, and assist the anglers. The catch generally is divided equally between the anglers. Expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $200 for this excursion based on features offered and the length of the trip.