Charter Fishing Trips

5 Charter Fishing Trips That Show the Featured Variety of American Fisheries

These five charter fishing trips will make your time on the water into a really good memory.

We'll always laud the professional outdoorsmen and women that serve as hunting and fishing guides, provide outfitter services, and take on the role of charter captains. They're the ones who make it their life's work to show the best of the great outdoors to everyone. I've had the time of my life and really learned some things by hiring one of these angling pros during an outdoor excursion, many of the type I may never had been able to have on my own.

That's why helping guide you in your search for a great charter fishing trip became the basis for this article. The captains of these vessels learned a long time ago that they had a knack for finding fish, hooking up with them, and then landing and releasing them to fight another day. And now, they simply want to share that experience with everyone while making some money while they're at it.

In other words, it's a great way to ensure you'll be in the best position to find success.

Let's shed some light on the greatest of the wide-ranging charter fishing trips you can take across the U.S. Charter boat fishing isn't just a boat with 50 other folks dangling some bait over the side. It's a great opportunity for learning the species targeted, why they matter, and how you can make the most of your time fishing for them.

Great Lakes for Salmon and Trout

Virtually any of the five Great Lakes could be claimed as having some of the best freshwater fishing in North America. The best part is that fishing charters start in the early spring around April and continue to catch size and numbers throughout the summer months. That means a Great Lakes fishing charter is great idea for the whole family.

Captains of these Great Lakes fishing boats usually have great amenities such as places to sit and relax (or even lie down), a galley to serve food and drinks, and one of the most important things to have for long trips out on the water: restroom facilities.

These charters routinely log big catches of a variety of species including King salmon, coho salmon, lake trout, steelhead, brown trout, and Atlantic salmon.

St. Lawrence River for a Variety

The charter captains on the mighty St. Lawrence River have a unique perspective on guided fishing excursions as they can all at once have access to large and smallmouth bass, perch, panfish, fat river walleyes, and monster muskellunge, many times on the same trip.

These captains are a part of a community that keeps an eye on the fishing report and fully understands the waterway. Some charters will allow customers to fish inside of Canadian waters, but those anglers must purchase a Canadian sportfishing license.

One of the best parts of this river system is that it is so vast, running from the mouth at the Tibbets Point Lighthouse to well past where the river is fully in Canadian territory. These charters are well suited to guide fishing enthusiasts all over the river, and even out onto Lake Ontario for the best in freshwater fishing.

Offshore Fishing Charter Fishing Opportunities

Tarpon Charter in the Florida Keys

Studies have shown that in the spring and fall, large schools of tarpon follow migrating mullet swimming up and down both Florida coasts, especially in and around the Florida Keys. The best seasons are relative to location, but in most areas these fish can be targeted year round in the Sunshine State, and the best way to do that is by hiring a well-reviewed guide.

Depending on your fishing prowess, tarpon can be had by live bait fishing, plug casting, or even by flyfishermen who have seen it all. You could find yourself fishing strategic points or pole along sand bars and outer flats edges, to sitting under one of the many bridges where these fish hang out to escape the sun and find forage.

One thing that you will find is that having a knowledgable guide will put you on a big fish before you can start to daydream about it.

Yellowfin Tuna in Venice Louisiana

For a real deep sea fishing trip, head to Louisiana and try your luck with one of the many tuna charters. The yellowfin fishing in this part of the world is as good as it gets, and it's year round.

Since tuna are a fast swimming sportfish that move in schools that can be seen from the surface, they can be easily found by a good charter captain and his crew. Yellowfin in this region typically average between 40 and 60 pounds and sometimes come to the boat much bigger than that.

North East Striped Bass Fishing

The striped bass fishing off a place like Montauk, the fabled Long Island point, is the stuff of legend. Massachusetts is home to plenty of great striper fishing, and don't forget tiny Rhode Island and the fishing opportunities it offers. This is a great area and species to find a charter for because when the right season comes, the shallows get so full of fish that there's barely room for them all. Even shore fishermen can get in on the action.

Unlike deep sea fishing excursions, it's something that even a novice can enjoy. Veteran anglers can battle stripers until their arms fall off, and beginners can feel the thrill of casting into a seething school and hooking up with the first striped bass of their lives.

The Charter Fishing Experience

Sportfishing charters came about as a way for those interested in doing some fishing to eliminate some barriers of entry. No boat, no experience, no gear? No problem! A fishing adventure can now be had by anyone with the time and money.

Private charter captains, or at least the one's I've been around, are very inviting and welcoming to everyone and anyone who has the desire to go for a full day or a half day fishing trip without the hassle of doing it all themselves. And they'll gladly pay for it.

Generally speaking, you will still need a fishing license to book your trip, and an idea of what it is you would like to target can help the guide make a plan.

Ocean fishermen can go after great fishing species like snapper, grouper, amberjack, wahoo, barracuda, and sailfish while the freshwater crowd can have a nearshore excursion for pike, bass, muskie, walleye, trout, salmon, and everything else that swims in the waters where they would like to go.

Full day trips or shorter multi-hour trips on the fishing grounds of your choice can give you the ultimate experience, and a reason to go back time and time again.

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