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Fishing Charters and Fishing Guides for Hire in the USA

Find fishing charters and guides for your next salt water sportfishing trip or vacation. We have a fine charter boat directory with featured charterboats for every saltwater state in the USA. We provide information to help you in your search to hire a quality Captain or guide.

Our fishing charters and fishing guides information page will help give you a few tips and gain a little know-how on how to hire an experienced and reputable fishing boat Captains with good fishing and boating skills and will also help you to know what gear to bring to the boat and what gear you should leave at the marina.

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You should be able to find a reputable charter boat Captain or fishing Guide on FinTalk for every saltwater state in the USA. We have East Coast and West Coast listings including Hawaii and Alaska.

Charter fishing the Atlantic Ocean for white marlin

Deep Sea Saltwater Fishing Boat Charters

Are you ready for an exciting one on one fight with a trophy big game fish you can talk about for years to come? Looking for a chance to catch a giant bluefin, blue marlin, or other blue water sportfish like the one pictured? If this type of fishing adventure is in your future then you need to hire an offshore sportfisher or deep sea fishing charter that specializes in fishing the offshore waters where these magnificent creatures roam.

These offshore trips can be very exciting and loads of fun but fishing with an inexperienced or unethical Captain can easily lead to trouble. When you are ready to book an offshore sportfishing charter, especially on a boat or with a Captain you have never been with you will want to get a reference or two, speak to the Captain, or find information that tells you the Captain is experienced and knowledgeable.

Ask Questions, Check Your Guide or Charter Captain's Credentials

Most charter boat Captains and fishing guides are reputable and will usually provide an atmosphere that will ensure anglers catch fish and have an enjoyable fishing trip. BUT, there are those few, like in any business that can ruin your day and give you a charter fishing trip you would just as soon forget. If you aren't careful and willing to just check a few things out then you may end up with an experience like this following example that will send you home very disappointed.
example of a charter horror story.

References and Qualifications - Things To Check Out When You Book A Charter

Most charters booked through the local inlet marinas like Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, Virginia Beach Fishing Center, or any of the major inlet marinas and yacht clubs are usually quality and professional operations. When booking throught this means you should be OK but it would still be wise to ask for some references, make sure they are insured and be sure the Captain is properly licensed. Whether you are chartering a large sportfisher or a smaller privately owned guide service we recommend checking references and credentials. We have listed a few items below that you may want to do.

  • If possible check the local BBB - Better Busness Bureau

  • Ask for references - An unethical Captain may give you only his happy customers but still check references. Maybe check local references around the marina or yacht club where the charter boat is docked. They would know your Captain better than most.

  • Go to and search the charter service name thoroughly. Hopefully you will find nothing but good info on your charter.

  • If they have a fishing website then go there and check for insurance, licensing, and things of this nature.

  • Make sure your Captain is USCG licensed (Coast Guard) and make sure he will be your charter Captain on your particular fishing date. Make sure the Captain isn't home sick while the Mate takes over the Captain's duties. This happened to one of us here at
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What Fishing Gear, Food, and Clothing Do I Bring to the Boat
Bring a cooler for food and fish
Bring a cooler for food and drinks. Also depending on what type of fishing you will be doing you may need a large cooler for your fish. At least something to carry your catch home in.
A duffle bag to carry all your gearA duffle bag is a good idea to bring for carrying your rain gear, extra tee shirt, hat, and other personal items that you need to bring on a salt water fishing trip.
Bring your food, chicken, subs, and sandwiches Bring all your soft drinks on the boatBring all your food and drinks. If you want to bring beer you should clear it with the charter Captain first. Foul weather gear is a good ideaNot as important on a large sportfishers with the luxery of a "floating family room" with all the amenities but on vessels without a cabin you certainly should bring some rain gear or foul weather gear.
Bring polarized sun glasses or fishing glassesBring sun glasses. Preferrably polarized fishing glasses to lessen the sun's glare that reflects up off the water. Bring a video camera to film your trophy catchBring a camera to take snapshots of those big game fish you release and better yet bring your video camera to capture the charter fishing action.
Fishing hats to block the suns raysBring a ball cap or a fishing hat to protect you from the intense sun. Remember the ocean intensifies the suns glare and can cause you to burn much quicker than on land. Bring you motion sickness pills so you don't get seasickIf you get sea sick or aren't sure if you get sea sick then it is a very wise idea to take your Dramamine before you leave the dock. Nothing can ruin a fishing trip worse than a guy named "RALPH".
Sun screen to block the suns raysFor the same reason you wear your hat on the water you will want plenty of sun screen especially if you easily burn. The suns effects are doubly strong on the water and without sunscreen can cause you to burn very quick. Bring cash so you can tip the First mate of the boat - TIP HIM WELL!You probably already paid for the trip but you should make sure you have some cash in pocket so you can tip the First Mate. Being Mate on a charter boat is not easy work and these guys deserve every dime they get. Tip them well!
What Fishing Gear Does the Captain Supply?

On some trips you can bring your own rod and reel, tackle, and general gear. Usually for inshore flats or bay fishing the guide will let you use your own gear, fly rod, light tackle etc. On the flip side the big offshore boats usually prefer to supply all the rod n reels, tackle, bait, and other gear. The boat rules will vary from one to the next so ask your Captain what his policies are before you just show up with all your gear.

Things most charter services supply:

  • All the fishing rods and reels are supplied though you are allowed to bring your own gear on some types of trips. Ask the Captain.
  • Bait and tackle is supplied. This includes artificial baits, live bait, frozen bait, chum, and etc.
  • All ice is supplied.
  • A fish box to store your catch so you won't need a cooler for fish. You will need something to carry your fish home in.
What Type of Charter do You Need?

If you are new to fishing or have never been on a chartered fishing trip then you will need to decide what type of fishing you want to do. Once you know the fish or place then you can pick your charter.
What type of fishing are you interested on?

Offshore Sportfishing, Wreck and Reef Fishing

Big Game offshore or deep sea sportfishing tripsOffshore Sportfishing - Usually means fishing for tuna, wahoo, marlin, and the many other bluewater big game species. In some places offshore fishing is just called sportfishing because places like Hawaii or Mexico have big game sportfishing just a mile or two off the beach so you aren't really "offshore". To experienced anglers the term "Offshore" usually means fishing at least 20 or 30 miles off the beach and in many regions up too 90 or 100 miles off the beach.
Wreck and Reef Fishing - Some charters do wreck and reef fishing for certain bottom fish like sea bass, tautog, or other deep water bottom dwellers. When you wreck or reef fish the Captain usually finds the rough bottom, where the wreck is, by looking at his electronic gear. Once he finds the wreck he will anchor up and all the anglers will fish their lines straight down to the bottom - hopefully on the old wreck. For those that don't know a wreck can be anything from old subway cars to old concrete that was dumped in the ocean to create a man-made reef to sunken WWII ships, subs, or fishing trawlers.

Inshore Fishing, Bay and Flats Fishing

Inshore fishing for Snook or Speckled trout.Inshore chartered or guided fishing trips usually refers to fishing that takes place in a local bay, nearby river, or local water basin. Examples would include Tampa Bay, Indian River Lagoon, or the Chesapeake Bay and anglers would fish for the local species that could range from cold water cod fishing in the north to warm water snook or speckled trout fishing in the south. Florida is well known for it's shallow water or "flats fishing" where anglers use light tackle like fly rods, small spinners, and bait casters. Inshore or near shore charters usually carry less than 6 people and many times is just the guide and one or two guests. For those not ready to spend upwards of 2000 dollars for a large sportfishing trip then an inshore guided light tackle trip may be the ticket.

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