For decades the Outer Banks has been known as a fishing haven with so many options — surf fishing, pier fishing, and even charter boat fishing. There are many types of charter trips on the Outer Banks to pick from; it can be hard to know what kind is right for you. This article will help you book the best Outer Banks Charter for you and your family to make great memories, and catch some fish.
What Does Your Group Need To Be Comfortable?
This is a question that has no universal ‘right’ answer, but rather an answer that is very ‘right’ for your unique group. For example, elderly people need to comfortable and have shade, while children need to move around. The ‘right’ answer for your group is to choose a charter where everyone will have a good time.
Does Anyone Have Special Needs?
Special needs is a broad topic that covers everything from seasickness to sunburns to panicking if you can’t see land and a whole host of other issues as well. Sometimes, soundside or inshore charters work best, sometimes only a real ocean charter will do, and sometimes a dolphin tour, eco tour or pontoon boat is just the ticket.
The Bathroom Situation
No one likes talking about this one. I get it. But you’re going to be on this boat for at least half a day or longer, so it must be addressed. Larger commercial boats that go out in the ocean have a bathroom like an airplane bathroom; cramped, but private. However, many smaller outboard boats only have a seat cushion you pull up where the ‘head’ is under it. This works for some people, but not so well for others. If it matters to you, ask before you book.
What Do You Want To Catch?
What you want to catch also plays a part in the type of Outer Banks charter you book. For example, if you want to catch billfish, they are only in the gulf, so the decision of the type of charter you rent has been made for you. However, you can also catch tuna, croaker, stripers, flounders, crabs and many others. Ask the boat you’re thinking about chartering about the type of fish you’re planning to catch.
Is A Private Charter A Must?
When people think of charters, they often think of private ones. However, make up charters are also a thing. This is where a boat captain collects the names of a bunch of singles or couples who want to fish but not rent a whole boat. Then, when the captain has enough people, they let all the makeup people know so they can go out together.
Another option for a non-private charter is a head boat. This is a rather large sound-going boat that holds about 100 people. Yes, you’re all competing for fish, but you will catch some anyway. The big advantages of head boats are the price, the lack of waves (since they don’t go in the ocean,) the normal bathroom and a lounge area to go in if it gets too hot or uncomfortable. It’s a great family-friendly option.
How Long Do You Want To Spend on The Water?
Charter boat trips come in three lengths; whole day, half day and two hours. A two hour tour boat only represents a small number of the boats, and they are sound boats, so you’ll most likely spend either a whole day or half day on the water. Sometimes you can dictate how long the charter is, but many times, your destination will dictate it. For example, going gulf fishing takes a whole day. Decide on how long your group can stand to be on a boat before you book.
Do You Really Want To Catch Fish Or Do You Just Want A Day On The Water?
Do you really want to catch fish or just enjoy a day on the water? It’s possible to charter a pontoon boat with the purpose of just spending a day on the water and not catching fish. Pontoon boats can take you exploring nature, swimming, and tubing and drop you off at hard-to-get-to islands. And yes, they can catch fish and crabs too. There are even private sunset cruises.
To Sum Up
When it comes to booking a charter on the Outer Banks, there are certainly a lot of choices. None of the choices are ‘bad’, but not all the choices are right for your family. Keeping these considerations in mind will help you make the best choice for you and for family so they can look back to this day and think about what a wonderful day it was.
Be sure to check out our Explore the Shore Program for discounts on activities including Charter Boat Fishing from local boats.