For both locals and visitors, Georgia, South Carolina, and North offer excellent fishing on lakes, inland coastal areas, and offshore in the Atlantic ocean. Many of us don’t own a boat or even any tackle. That’s no problem at all. Charter fishing captains and crew are readily available to book for funfilled family fishing excursions. The question always exists: how do you select a good charter captain?

This answer can be complicated to answer because numerous vital factors go into making this decision. First, you need to decide what type of fish you are looking target while considering the daily cost. 

Cost considerations when selecting a charter:

One of the most significant factors in deciding what boat to charter is based simply on the cost.

  1. What is your budget? Keep in mind; most charters can take up to six guests. The cost can be divided amongst each other. 
  2. Once you determine the budget, this will help you narrow down what type of fishing charter fits your max expenditure.

Once you have determined your price range, explore cost options over the phone and internet for charter boats available in your area.

How Do Boat Charter Captains Set Their Pricing?

  1. Most charters are full eight-hour trips or half-day four-hour trips.
  2. Long-range ventures offshore have enormous amounts of fuel burn, thus increasing the cost of the trip.
  3. Deepwater is found extremely far off the coast of each of the three states, so run time can be long.
  4. The amount of crew needed. Most crew members, in addition to the captain, are paid a daily rate. Inshore guides don’t need the extra hand. 
  5. What comes with the charter, lunch? Drinks? Live bait? Dead Bait? 
  6. For the most part, you will not need to factor in additional costs for fishing licenses; the boat typically covers all its guests. 

What is the price range of fishing charters in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina?

This really comes down to the type of fish you are targeting; expenses vary greatly:

  1. Lakes in these three state are typically between $400 and $500 for a full day charter.
  2. Coastal inshore rates are adjusted by the number of passengers and hours fished. Generally speaking, costs are most often around $400-$600. 
  3. Offshore charters have two categories; one is nearshore bottom fishing or long-range trolling in the Gulf Stream. 
  4. Get ready to break out the wallet for the offshore trips. The prices can be as low as $750 for nearshore bottom fishing and top $2,000 for trolling all day in the gulf stream.

The last thing you want to do is be caught off guard when you’re at the dock ready to head out, and you realize that drinks and food are not included.

How to prepare for heading out on a charter for the day:

  1. Consult the captain to determine what exactly is included in addition to them taking you fishing.
  2. Pack a lunch if necessary; you don’t want to feel uncomfortable all day.
  3. Bring along plenty of drinks to remain hydrated if not already included. Although, if you prefer a particular beverage, make sure not to leave it behind in addition to what is supplied. 
  4. You will be exposed to extreme amounts of UV rays. Bring along sunscreen, even if it’s provided, to be sure they don’t run out. Sunburns are painful and avoidable. 

While many will be on vacation enjoying time away from work, you don’t want to spoil someone else’s trip.

What To Do To Prepare For A Fishing Charter?

  1. Don’t indulge in too many adult beverages. It won’t be a pretty sight when the sun beats down, and the waves are rolling.  
  2. If you know that you are prone to seasickness, avoid going on the charter fishing trip. The necessity of heading back in will cost you and your family or friends a lot of money!

Once the trip is complete and everyone has had a great time on the water catching fish, remember that for the most part, it’s not as simple as stepping in the car and heading home. 

What you should do before heading back home from the trip:

  1. Most charters will fillet the fish and bag them for you. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Yes, but remember to bring along a cooler to transport the delicious fillets on ice all the way home. 
  2. For charters with additional crew beyond the captain, consider what they do in a day. First, they are on a daily rate and are early to arrive and prepare. Second, they are in the cockpit, helping you throughout by baiting and handling the catch. Lastly, they clean the boat. Add up the hours. It’s a long day. Be sure to add a tip!
  3. For fishing trips with only captains, remember they are acting the role of a mate and captain. Throw them a little extra. 


The next time you’re on vacation or are simply looking to head offshore locally, consider these thoughts on how to select an excellent charter fishing experience. If you or your family are not avid fishermen, it may be cheaper to pay a captain once a year than to buy the necessary gear. You can select the type of fishing you would like to focus on based on budget, have a great shot at catching them, and likely walk away with a bag full of fish without having to bait a hook or clean the boat. Give it a try one time before jumping head over heels into fishing gear.