As an avid angler I enjoy fishing whenever I get the opportunity. Fortunately, I have access to a boat so I can head out whenever I want as long as the weather is conducive. However, for those who don’t own a boat, consider renting especially if you don’t want to deal with the headache of ownership. If you’re planning to rent a fishing boat, it is essential to know 6 important tips to make your trip more successful. 

If You Own Fishing Gear Bring Your Own

It is important to understand that you cannot rely on a boat rental company to have fishing tackle on hand.

More times than not, a boat rental agency does not stock fishing gear to be either included with the rental or as an add on fee. 

Additionally, if fishing equipment is available, the quality of the gear will be in question. The last thing you want to do is arrive at the rental and inspect the gear only to realize its in poor condition. Seized fishing reels, old line, and dull hooks are not a recipe for success. 

For this reason, it is best to bring personally owned fishing equipment on a rental. Importantly, you’ll know exactly where you stand as far as maintenance is concerned. However, don’t forget the tackle bag with all of the terminal tackle. 

Purchase A Fishing License Before You Get To The Boat

Unlike fishing charters, the fishing boat rental will not include a fishing license. With that being said, it is imperative to obtain a license to remain compliant with the state’s laws. 

Furthermore, avoid waiting until you’re ready to depart the dock on the rental. If you wait, you’ll be wasting valuable time as the clock is ticking closer to when the vessel must be returned. 

Most if not all states will allow you to purchase a fishing license online. I suggest buying the license a day ahead of time but setting the fishing date for the day of the rental. 

Read Fishing Reports Ahead Of Time

Similar to preparing and packing fishing gear, being prepared ahead of time includes knowing where the fish are and what they are eating. 

With that said, weekly and monthly fishing reports are available online. I recommend reading a fishing report a few days before your scheduled rental date. 

Knowing where the fish are biting and what they are eating will allow you to better plan. Planning increases your chances of catching fish. 

Being prepared in advance allows you to pick up the correct bait, find fishing spots on a chart, and know the best technique to attract a bite. 

Ask The Boat Rental Company For Fishing Tips

Often, employees of boat rental companies are avid boaters. For this reason they are likely to have local knowledge when it comes to fishing and boating. 

As you are preparing the fishing boat rental paperwork, don’t hesitate to ask for fishing tips. Often, the company will have a fishing map that highlights productive fishing areas. Alternatively, the GPS may be pre loaded locations to cast a line. 

Remember, an insider tip from a local who is on the water regularly can turn what would be a slow day of fishing into non stop action. 

Bring Along A Fishing Regulations Guide

The last thing you want is to deal with law enforcement because you failed to bring along a fishing regulations guide. 

Remember, fish kept that are out of season, are too small, or too large means serious punishment if you’re caught. 

Before you head out on the water, pick up a fishing regulations guide. Another option is to search your location in eRegulations. eRegulations can be accessed while you’re out on the water as long as you have cell phone service. 

Undoubtedly, if you’re not into eating fish, it is always a good idea to practice catch and release. 

Be Smart

It is imperative to be smart when you’re operating a rental boat or any boat for that matter. Here are a couple of things to consider when renting a fishing boat. 

Watch The Time

To avoid additional fees, it is imperative to return the fishing boat rental on time. Remember, when you’re far from the dock, you’ll need to plan travel time accordingly. Rough seas, rain, or fog can seriously impact standard operating speed thus pushing your arrival time back. 

Ensure to include a buffer. Alternatively, fish a couple of spots close to the dock to make sure you’re back when the boat is due in. 

Don’t Race

Look, you don’t have any reason to pin the throttle when you’re out on the water. This is especially the case if you’re an inexperienced boater. 

High speeds means less time to react when it comes to avoiding an object a or a boat. Not only does it help prevent collisions but gives you time to react to a situation. For example, ensuring that you’re remaining within a marked channel or avoiding a shallow area where you can run aground.

The next time you rent a fishing boat, don’t be in a hurry. Remain in control to avoid costly damage or injuries. 

Take Advantage Of Fishing Boat Rentals

Any chance you can take to get out on the water and cast a line is well worth it. Rather than paying for and maintaining a vessel, consider renting a fishing boat on an occasional basis. Lastly, when you’re planning your trip, remember to take into consideration these 6 tips.