What to Pack for a Charter Fishing Trip
Jun 13, 2019 | 4 minute read Comments
50
Reading Time: 4 minutes

We know the story. You’ve saved your vacation dates, booked your flight and are about to go on the trip of a lifetime. You’ve chosen a superb, fully equipped fishing charter and are all set to land the fish of your dreams. Your plane leaves tomorrow and it couldn’t reach its destination soon enough.

There’s just one tiny glitch. You still haven’t packed. And you have no idea what you need to bring.

Here’s our guide to what every angler should take with them when they go to fish overseas.

what to pack for a charter fishing trip: a yellowfin tuna

Clothing

Wherever you’re traveling to, it’s important to bring plenty of layers if you’re planning to go out on the open water. Even the warmest destinations can experience large drops in temperature offshore. If you’re leaving the dock at 5:30 am you can’t rely on the sun to keep you warm from the start. At the same time, you’re not going to have a lot of shade out there so you need to make sure can take off outer layers if you need to.

  • Windbreaker. This will protect you from spray and keep you warm on early morning starts.
  • Shorts if you’re going somewhere tropical; long pants if not.
  • Light weight shirt. Wearing a shirt will protect your arms and shoulders from sunburn. Linen is perfect for keeping the heat away from your skin.
  • Light colored clothing. This reflects the sun to keep you cool in hot weather.
  • Gloves. These will keep your hands protected from sun burn, bad weather and line cuts.
  • Non-skid rubber soled shoes. Sneakers are perfect – flip flops aren’t recommended!

Weather Protection

If you’re planning to go somewhere tropical you have probably already thought about packing sunblock. But heck, the sun even shines in Scotland sometimes! You don’t want to have to choose between having to hide in the cabin away from all the fishing action and getting a bronzing like a satsuma and skin that feels like it’s been rubbed with glass.

A lack of shade plus the ocean’s reflective glare can provide a very uncomfortable and unsafe experience if you’re not protected. At the same time, conditions can change very quickly out at sea and unexpected downpours can turn a fishing charter into a nightmare for unprepared anglers.

  • Sunscreen. Make sure to get one that protects from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Lip balm. Lip balm with sun protection will stop your lips getting chapped out on the water.
  • Hat. Hats with brims provide shade and decrease the risk of sun stroke.
  • Polarized sunglasses. These will cut through the glare on the water to give you a better view of your target fish.
  • Waterproof jacket and rain pants. These are essential if you come across bad weather when you’re out at sea.

Pharmaceuticals

Foreign pharmacies can be unnerving, especially when there’s a language barrier. At the same time, when you’re in another country you can never rely on being able to find the same medicines that are usually available over the counter at home. It’s easier and safer to bring any medical equipment you think you might need on your trip with you.

  • Seasickness medication. If you’re prone to seasickness stock up on over the counter remedies before you leave. Bonine® and Dramamine® are particularly effective but should be taken a couple of hours in advance of the trip. It’s always best to avoid combining anti nausea remedies with coffee. Avoid having too much to drink the night before if you want to have a puke-free trip!
  • Bug spray. This is an essential wherever you’re traveling to. Where there’s water, there are bugs, so come prepared!
  • Small first aid kitCome equipped with band aids and antiseptic cream. This should be included on the boat but it’s easier for everyone if you bring your own means of dealing with minor cuts and grazes.
  • Hand sanitizer and wet wipes. No one wants to eat a sandwich when their hands are covered in fish slime.

Storage

Just the same as if you were going on a fishing trip in your home town, you need to bring a variety of bags and containers on a foreign fishing charter. This lets you bring your stuff on board without worrying that it will be damaged by sea salt and spray.

  • Backpack. Serious anglers might benefit from a specialist fishing backpack that you can take on the plane as hand luggage. Alternatively, any sturdy bag will usually do the job. Just don’t pack your supplies for the day in your brand new Gucci handbag.
  • Collapsible cooler. This can easily fit into your hold luggage and will keep any food and drink you want to take on board with you fresh and cool. A double zip lock bag filled with ice from your hotel is a smart alternative to bringing gel ice on the plane.
  • Drinking bottle. Keeping water or an energy drink in a sports bottle will keep you hydrated and you won’t have to worry about leaks or spills.
  • Waterproof bag. It’s a good idea to bring a small waterproof zip lock bag for your electronic items and important documents such as your passport and fishing license.

Other Essentials

  • Camera. A camera or smartphone is essential for you to record your trophy catch. Consider investing in a chest harness to record the thrill of a fight without having to let go of the rod to use the controls.
  • Hand towel. Fishing can get messy!
  • Swimsuit. You never know, the fishing might get slow and then you could want to take a dip or go snorkeling.
  • For serious anglers: If you don’t want to leave home without your favorite rod and reel check out our post on traveling with fishing gear.

Fishing charter holiday

Anything Else?

What can’t you live without when you go fishing abroad? Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments section below.

If you haven’t booked your fishing charter holiday yet, now’s the time to browse FishingBooker for the world’s largest collection of fishing charters and book the trip of a lifetime!

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Comments (50)
  • Jo Thelin

    Apr 18, 2016

    Where would I be able to be added on to a crew, since it’s one person going? A safe trip/destination is a must.

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  • Kylie Dotts

    Jun 20, 2017

    I like how you said that you can’t always rely on being able to find the medicine you need if you are in another country. Having the right pharmaceuticals when going on a deep sea fishing trip could be especially important if you are going with people who don’t have their sea legs and get sick easily. It would be better to be prepared beforehand than have to worry about it in the moment.

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  • Alexandria Martinez

    Aug 24, 2017

    My fiance and I might join his family on a little fishing charter that they host every third Saturday during the summer. We aren’t seasoned experts like his family and aren’t sure what to bring on the trip. I like your advice to bring a collapsible cooler to hold cold drinks and fun snacks for the long day. It would have been pretty miserable if we never read this input, thanks!

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  • Ridley Fitzgerald

    Aug 25, 2017

    It’s good to know what to pack for a charter fishing trip. My wife and I both love to fish, and we’ve decided to try one of these trips out. I didn’t even think about bringing our swimsuits, but going snorkeling would be awesome!

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  • Linda Clancey

    Oct 24, 2017

    Hi. we are booked on your fishing trip on Sat. 28th October 2017. Can we please have one Vegetarian lunch. Cheers.

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      Cat

      Oct 24, 2017

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for your comment. I will pass your message on to our customer service team. Enjoy your trip!

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  • William Dansey

    Mar 13, 2018

    We are booked for a half day on Friday the 16th. Is it possible to go out from 9-2 instead of 7 am? Thank you!

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      Stefan

      Mar 15, 2018

      Hi, William,

      I have forwarded your question to my colleagues from the customer support team. They will get back to you soon.

      Also, if you have any other questions, feel free to reach out at [email protected].

      Tight lines and hope you get some nice fish,
      Stefan

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  • Robert Kordus

    Mar 18, 2018

    I would like to go for redfish

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      Stefan

      Mar 20, 2018

      Hi, Robert.

      Thanks for reading our blog.
      When would you like to go fishing for Redfish and where?

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  • andre russo

    Mar 21, 2018

    We will be a party of four adults and one 10-year-old boy, my grandson. My wife has requested an inshore fishing trip so if at all possible hope to stay close in and not out in the offshore ocean. Hope to see you on April 5th in the AM and will be ready to catch the BIG ONE. Have a great day.

    Regards, Andre Russo

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      Stefan

      Mar 22, 2018

      Hi, Andre,

      Thanks for reaching out and reading our blog.
      I have forwarded your question to my teammates from the customer service and they will get in touch with the captain about your trip.
      If you have any other questions, feel free to write to [email protected].

      Have a nice trip,
      Stefan

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      Stefan

      Mar 22, 2018

      Hi, Andre,

      We got in touch with the captain – inshore it is!
      Have a nice day,
      Stefan

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  • Laurie

    Mar 24, 2018

    The weather for Tuesday morning, March 27, says gusty winds in the morning (20mph). How will that affect our trip…especially the potential of seasickness? Thank you.

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      Stefan

      Mar 26, 2018

      Hi, Laurie,

      My teammates from the customer service have reached out to the captain and have sent you an email, just check your inbox 🙂

      Hope you have a nice trip,
      Stefan

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  • Mohamed

    Mar 28, 2018

    Do we need a fishing licence for 5 hour bay fishing?

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      Stefan

      Mar 28, 2018

      Hi, Mohamed,

      According to the fishing regulations in Victoria, you’re required to have a fishing license.

      However, there are some cases exempt from this regulation, so it’s best to first check here if you or some of your fellow anglers are exempt from this rule. For example, children under 18 and anglers over 80 years of age don’t need a fishing license.

      You can purchase the license online here.

      Hope this helps,
      Stefan

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  • kevin smith

    Mar 29, 2018

    Do we need to have fishing license or can we get one there?

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      Stefan

      Mar 29, 2018

      Hi, Kevin,

      There are several options, depending on what suits you the best.

      You can choose to purchase the license online or do so over the phone (small extra fees apply in that case, and you can find the phone numbers here).
      Another option is to pay a visit to one of the local agents authorized to sell the license (here is a list with contact info).

      Hope this helps,
      Stefan

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  • Byron Hatfield

    Apr 16, 2018

    Is it a major problem adding addition personnel to you charter? If not, how far in advance would I need to make the change?

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    • Reply icon

      Stefan

      Apr 19, 2018

      Hi, Byron,

      Most of the time, adding more people is generally not a problem if you are booking a private charter.
      However, it’s best to inform the captain as soon as possible so that they can prepare everything in advance.
      You can reach our customer service at +1-888-395-2564 and they will help you out with setting up everything.

      Tight lines,
      Stefan

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  • Rosie Beckett

    May 14, 2018

    My family is going on a fishing charter this summer with our two children and this will be our first time, so I am glad that I found this article! I love that you say to bring a waterproof jacket and rain pants because we want to be as comfortable as possible if there is bad weather during the trip. Also, I think bug spray is extremely important, and we will make sure to bring that.

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  • Diane Limmer

    Jun 13, 2018

    Just wondering. Do we need to bring our own drinks and food?

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      Stefan

      Jun 16, 2018

      Hi, Diane,

      I’ve just checked your booking.
      Yes, you should pack some snacks and beverages as they are not included in the trip price.
      Not sure if you have already purchased a fishing license, but in case you haven’t – you can buy it on the boat.

      Have a nice trip and plenty of Salmon,
      Stefan

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  • Elsa Anderson

    Jun 16, 2018

    Good thing you reminded me of bringing waterproof jackets and pants in case it rains in the middle of the sea while fishing. My family and I are looking forward to a charter trip fishing next week because this is going to be our first time doing this. We certainly have no idea about fishing and good thing these services are available online to book so we can get some tips and walkthrough how to get started.

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  • Elizabeth Forister

    Jul 24, 2018

    HI! We are coming on Monday, July 30th and there are 7 of us. We are staying at Sans Souci condos in Pensacola Beach, FL. I am estimating the time of travel to get to your place will be around an hour drive time. Depending on traffic and such, I am just praying it doesn’t take us any longer than an hour. Getting up that early on vacation will be a challenge (lol) but it will be worth it to go deep sea fishing with you guys!!! If we are a bit late, by chance… please don’t leave without us!!!!! See you on the 30th!!! Can’t wait!

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  • Maureen O'Rourke

    Jul 27, 2018

    I have a charter trip booked for Wednesday August 1st with my 23 year old son and two nephews (ages 15 & 12). We are traveling from downtown New Orleans – how much time should I allow to reach you and what is the actual physical address I need to put in my GPS? Also, do I need to bring any additional snacks or drinks? Thank you!

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      Stefan

      Jul 30, 2018

      Hi, Maureen, thanks for writing.

      It’s best you check this directly with the captain. Once you open his profile, scroll down and hit the ‘Contact Captain’ button. The captain will let you know where exactly to meet and he can also advise you on how long it takes from downtown New Orleans to his boat. Snacks and drinks are provided.
      In case you need anything else, feel free to reach out to my colleagues from customer support at +1-888-395-2564.

      P.S. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen along and drink plenty of water.
      Have a nice one! Hope you catch some impressive fish.

      Tight lines,
      Stefan

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  • sera cline

    Jul 30, 2018

    If storms are predicted, we would like to book for another day, is that acceptable? We will be there all week. We will have 2 youngins (17 yrs old) who have never been on a boat and don’t know what they will act like in rough waters.

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      Stefan

      Aug 8, 2018

      Hi, Walt.

      Thanks for reading the blog.

      It’s best you reach out to the captain and ask him about available dates and the weather forecast. He’ll know when he can take you out and if it is possible to fish another day.

      If you need any help, you can get in touch with my colleagues from the Customer Happiness team at +1-888-395-2564.

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  • Sandy P

    Aug 13, 2018

    If you catch a lot of fish is there a way to have it frozen and shipped home?

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    • Reply icon

      Stefan

      Aug 29, 2018

      Hi, Sandy,

      Thanks for reading the blog and sorry for the late reply.

      Some charter captains do provide the service of freezing and shipping your catch home.

      It’s always best you check this directly with the captain.

      Hope this helps.

      Tight lines,
      Stefan

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  • yachting weather

    Dec 6, 2018

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    A number of them are rife with spelling issxues and I in finding it very
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    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Dec 19, 2018

      Hello there,

      Thank you for reading the blog.

      We do appreciate your feedback and will be sure to double check the posts for any typos.

      All the best from FishingBooker!

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  • Daphne Gilpin

    Mar 11, 2019

    Thanks for the tip to bring a waterproof bag with us so we can easily keep our electronics or important documents dry. My husband and I want to go on a fishing charter trip soon, so I’ve been looking online for tips to help us prepare. I don’t think I would have remembered to bring a waterproof bag, so I’m really glad you shared that advice!

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      Sean

      Mar 18, 2019

      Hello Daphne,

      Thank you for reading the blog.

      Absolutely, the smallest thing can make a big difference. I’m glad to hear that the waterproof bag tip was helpful.

      I hope you and your husband will have a great time!

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  • Tyler Johnson

    Mar 20, 2019

    It’s good to know the right stuff to bring on a fishing charter. I didn’t know that there was medication for seasickness. I do tend to get a bit seasick, so that would be useful. It’s also good to know that you shouldn’t combine it with coffee. I’ll have to look into getting some before I leave on my trip.

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      Sean

      Mar 22, 2019

      Hello Taylor,

      Thank you for reading the blog, I’m glad you found the information useful.

      Taking seasickness medication is a small precaution, but it can really save your day.

      Have fun on your trip!

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  • Adrian Jones

    Mar 29, 2019

    I like how you mentioned in detail what you need to pack along for a fishing trip–especially if it’s going to be up in the great white northern regions of Alaska! Obviously, the weather is going to be really cold there, so it’s highly advised to pack along some winter-weather clothing along with thermal underwear in order to keep yourself warm while you’re fishing for your dinner out in the frigid, chilly air. While I haven’t gone on any fishing trips yet, it’s actually a good idea to pack warm clothing if you know you’ll be fishing in a really cold part of the world.

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    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Apr 8, 2019

      Hello Adrian,

      Thanks for reading!

      Absolutely, warm clothes are essential when fishing in that kind of cold.

      When you’re suited up and comfortable, there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying your reel action.

      Tight lines!

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  • Nathan Carter

    Apr 17, 2019

    I like that you suggest taking light colored clothing to reflect sunlight off of you. My family and I are planning a trip up to Montana this summer, and we want to get some fishing guides to take us out for a day on the water. I will keep this in mind during the planning process.

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      Sean

      Apr 18, 2019

      Hello Nathan,

      Thank you for reading, I’m glad you found it useful.

      Please feel free to check out our guide for Montana. If you need any assistance in picking a charter, you can contact our Customer Service.

      Tight lines!

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  • Taylor Bishop

    May 8, 2019

    Thanks for explaining what you should bring to a fishing trip. You mentioned that it’s important to try to have polarized sunglasses so you don’t see the glare on the water and see the fish better. This sounds really useful if you’re planning on catching a specific kind of fish.

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      Sean

      May 12, 2019

      Hi Taylor,

      Thanks for reading.

      For sure, having polarized lenses can be the difference between a full cooler and striking out.

      Have a good one!

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  • Doug Largent

    May 11, 2019

    I always take a antibiotic with me when traveling out of the country. Also any other medical supplies that will be hard to get. The water or food sometimes causes some issues. Just a thought.

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    • Reply icon

      Sean

      May 12, 2019

      Hi Doug,

      Thanks for reading.

      Antibiotics can often be hard to come by when you’re abroad, so that’s a very good point.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Have a good one!

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  • Dave Anderson

    May 22, 2019

    That is a good piece of advice that I should pack a small first aid kit. Maybe it would be good to find one if I were going to go on a charter boat. These are some things I am going to have to look into getting sometime soon.

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    • Reply icon

      Albert

      May 23, 2019

      Hi Dave,

      Absolutely – better safe than sorry!

      Do you have any advice of your own on what to bring on a charter?

      Tight lines!

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  • Mike

    Jun 18, 2019

    Something many anglers forget is to bring an empty cooler/container that they can use to take their catch/fish/fillets with them when they leave at the end of the trip. Whilst the charter will usually provide plastic bags of sum sort it is advisable to bring a pack of large zip lock bags for this too.

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      Sean

      Jun 18, 2019

      Hey Mike,

      That’s a great point, thanks for sharing!

      Tight lines!

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