Booking a fishing trip is a great way to spend some time on the water and get in on the action. If you haven’t been on many guided fishing trips, it’s hard to know if the price is reasonable or what you should even expect to spend. To help you get a better idea of the general pricing for a variety of trips, we have broken it down into the most common fishing trip categories. As a reminder, be prepared to tip your guide or crew at the end of the trip as well.
Inshore fishing trips have shorter travel times and lighter gear, which helps keep costs down relative to offshore trips. The two biggest factors that determine how much an inshore trip will cost are the boat and the location. Specialized trips can also change the cost significantly, with a five-hour inshore kayak trip starting at $175, while an overnight surf fishing trip for sharks starts at $1,000.
Most inshore trips consist of fishing bays, flats, and jetties in a boat that can typically take three to four passengers. These trips usually cost between $350 and $700, but depending on the area, boat, and tackle, costs can be higher or lower.
Nearshore fishing is a bit more ambiguous than inshore and offshore fishing, because the distances can vary dramatically depending on where you plan to fish. In places like Cabo and Hawaii, nearshore waters are hard to define because the water gets deep very quickly. Destinations like Tampa, however, may have miles of water that are technically nearshore.
With shorter travel times than offshore fishing but longer than inshore, the initial cost starts a little higher at around $600. Depending on the target species and type of fish you plan to target, a nearshore trip can run at $1,000 or more. Trolling burns more fuel than bottom fishing or drifting, so be sure to keep these things in mind when looking at price.
Heading offshore to go bottom fishing for snapper, grouper, and amberjack requires a bigger boat and usually longer travel times, both of which increase the cost. These longer travel times make the minimum duration of the trip bump up to around six hours. With common trips lasting six to 12 hours while using heavy tackle and bigger boats, the average trip will cost around $800 and $1,500.
Booking a charter to take you trolling offshore can cost as little as $600 in areas with easy access to deeper water, while in other places that have to cover ground to find the deep water where the giants live will cost significantly more. For most of these trips, large boats, exceptionally strong tackle, and longer durations mean that most trips start around $1,000 and go up from there. Offshore fishing also has multi-day trips that cover tons of water, but these long trips also cost a fair amount more.
The cost of a fishing charter will vary from place to place, because just like every other business, work is based on supply and demand. Another variable is the natural geography that puts prime fishing spots closer or further from shore, impacting fuel cost and trip length. Hopefully, this information will help you choose the best charter for you. If you’re looking for your next adventure, you can check out our fishing trips here.