Offshore fishing charters offer a unique experience that even the most seasoned anglers don’t get to experience. Leaving the inlet and entering the open makes you feel as though you are entering another world. Offshore waters are a place that requires experienced captains and crew to not only locate fish but to operate the vessel safely. Tipping is necessary after a day of fishing with a charter vessel, but just what should you tip offshore fishing crews.

What Kind Of Fish Can Be Caught On An Offshore Fishing Charter

Fishing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia’s offshore waters can be divided into bottom fishing and blue water trolling. Here is a guide to identify saltwater fish.

Bottom Fishing

The southeast has excellent bottom fishing grounds for many different fish species. The type of fish that can be caught is highly dependent on how far offshore the fishing location is. Typically the longer the run, the larger the fish and increase in the likelihood of seeing more prized variations.

Nearshore catches can include sharks, sheepshead, mackerel, and flounder. As you move farther from the coast, you enter the snapper banks. On the snapper banks, grouper, red snapper, other snapper varieties, and cobia are the primary catches for charter fishing boats.


Beyond the snapper banks is the edge of the continental shelf, which many consider deep sea fishing in blue water.

Offshore trolling in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina is productive for catching many billfish, including blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish. Beyond billfish, some tuna species include yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, skipjack tuna, and bluefin tuna. Other typical catches are dolphin fish and wahoo.

How Do You Find An Offshore Charter Captain

Finding offshore fishing charter boats can be done in numerous ways. The first recommendation would be to ask around. Word of mouth is your best bet. Stop in at local marinas or ask friends.

The second method is to utilize the internet. Search offshore fishing charters near me and look over the list that pulls up. Read the reviews and see what other charter guests had to say about their experience.

Lastly, many offshore boats utilize the same marina. Visit the marina at the time that half-day charters come to an end and return to the slip. See which boat performs the best and book it.

How Expensive Is An Offshore Fishing Charter

An offshore fishing trip is expensive. Expect to pay between $800 and $1,600 for a single day. The primary reason for the high cost when compared to inshore fishing trips is the time invested. With deep water far from shore, the run time is long before you even drop a line in the water.

On top of time, the fishing rods and reels are expensive, exceptional amounts of fuel are burned, and the boats are a large investment because of their size compared to inshore boats.

Should a Captain Be Tipped On Top Of The Rate

No, a captain should not be tipped on top of the charter rate. However, this does not mean that a tip should be avoided altogether.

Who Should Be Tipped On An Offshore Fishing Charter

The mate or mates should be tipped on an offshore fishing charter.

Why Should An Offshore Fishing Charter Mate Receive A Tip

There are many reasons why mates on an offshore charter should receive a tip in addition to the charter fee.

Daily Rate

Most mates do not receive daily pay from the captain. Mates work for tip money, and as a result, they will make zero dollars for the day without tips.

Before And After The Charter

Don’t believe that a mate steps onto the boat and everything is ready or walks off as soon as the vessel is secured to the dock. Preparation takes place before and after the trip.

Before The Offshore Fishing Charter

Before the charter guests arrive, the mate crew is lugging ice down the dock to fill the coolers, rigging baits, preparing the fishing gear, making sure all the comforts such as interior spaces or bathrooms are ready for guest’s needs.

After The Offshore Fishing Charter

This is when the work begins. Remember, offshore boats are not small by any means. The salt must be removed from top to bottom. Yes, that means climbing to the top of the tower and cleaning from that point to the waterline. This task takes hours.

The rods and reels must also be free of salt before stowing them away. The toilets must be cleaned, all of the garbage removed, and the fish boxes scrubbed.

How Much Should The Mate Be Tipped

The general rule of thumb is that a 20% tip should be added on top of the fishing trip charter fee. The mate has to perform to earn a twenty percent tip and not just sleep in the corner while you’re out fishing.

When you factor in a 20% tip on top of the charter fee, it becomes a costly day, but it may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The captain and mate work will work closely together, but the mate will do the grunt work of running lines back, rigging baits, handling fish, keeping the music going, and many more tasks.

Remember To Tip The Fishing Charter Mate

Fishing crews rely heavily on reputation. Therefore, they want to produce day in and day out. Obviously, fishing is fishing and some days are just slow. Keep in mind that charter fishermen are out on the water almost daily. As a result, they know where fish are moving, so the likelihood of being successful increases. No matter what, charter crews work hard for their guests, and the mates deserve a tip.