To reserve your very own Chesapeake Bay fishing charter, there are a number of options that must be considered. Before reserving your Chesapeake Bay fishing charter, you must be able to get a group together as most charter boats price their trips based on a minimum of six or more passengers due to the inherently high overhead that is associated with operating a charter boat. Chesapeake Bay fishing charter boats typically charge a flat rate for up to six passengers, and then a discount rate for each passenger after six. In addition to that, the captain will have someone helping him, known in the charter boat business as the first mate. The first mate typically takes care of the tackle, baiting hooks, removing fish, keeping the boat clean, and other related tasks. It is customary to tip the first mate at least 15% of the charter cost. For these reasons, it is important to have enough people in your charter to absorb the total cost.
Another important consideration is the best time of year to go fishing. This, of course, depends on a number of factors, such as when you and your friends can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the type of fishing that you want to do, as well as type of fish that you want to catch. In Maryland, the season usually begins on the third Saturday of April. If you want to catch big Chesapeake Bay striped bass, also known as stripers or rockfish, the best time of year to reserve your Chesapeake Bay fishing charter is in April, the first half of May, the second half of November, or the first half of December. The striped bass during these times of year are generally 28" in length or more. Trolling is the only method of fishing employed during these times of the season.
In the summer months of June, July, and August, striped bass, bluefish, croakers, and Spanish mackerel are caught in the Chesapeake Bay. Trolling, chumming, bottom fishing and fishing with live bait, also known as live-lining, with light tackle and spinning reels are the fishing methods principally used. The striped bass are usually smaller during this time period, ranging between 18 and 28 inches in length, but you can keep two per person as opposed to the spring season, when you can only keep one per person. In September and October, the bluefish, striped bass, and Spanish mackerel are still around, while the croakers are making their exit from the Chesapeake Bay. Keep in mind that most Chesapeake Bay fishing charters are reserved weeks or sometimes months in advance, especially on weekends, so once you decide on a date, you need to reserve it quickly. Also, remember that most captains require a deposit toward the total cost of the charter in order to reserve the date. These deposits are usually non-refundable, but may be applied to another date in the event that inclement weather prevents the charter from happening.
Once you have determined how many people you can get together for a Chesapeake Bay fishing charter, and what time of year that you want to go, you'll need to decide what charter boat company you want to do business with. The websites of many different Chesapeake Bay fishing charter boat companies can be found on the internet, on popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. These websites will tell you about the charter boat captains and their boats, as well as the types of fishing that they do, in addition to their prices and policies. Most of them also include pictures of the boat and what you can expect to catch if you go fishing with them. These websites will usually provide a phone number or an e-mail address by which you can get in contact with a charter boat captain to inquire further about fishing on their boat.
The boat that you fish on is also a very important factor in determining the quality of your Chesapeake Bay fishing charter. When talking to a charter boat captain, ask if his boat is Coast Guard-certified to carry more than six passengers. Boats that carry more than six passengers must go through intensive inspections by the U.S. Coast Guard. These inspections verify that the hull of the boat is stable and structurally sound, that the bilge pumps, engines, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment are all functioning properly, and that proper first aid equipment and life jackets are on board in the event that they are needed. The inspection also determines the competency of the captain to an extent, with regard to keeping up to date with all of the latest Coast Guard rules and regulations. If you reserve a Chesapeake Bay fishing charter on a Coast Guard-certified vessel, you can rest assured that you will be on a safe boat.
A Chesapeake Bay fishing charter can be a very fun option for those who like spending their free time outdoors and enjoy reeling in some nice fish. By getting together a group of these people, deciding on the best time of year to go, and selecting a charter boat and captain appropriate for the occasion will contribute to making your Chesapeake Bay fishing charter a success!
I am Capt. Dave Schauber, a professional Chesapeake Bay charter boat captain who offers Maryland fishing charters on the Chesapeake Bay, fishing the Chesapeake Bay for striped bass, also known as rockfish or stripers, bluefish, croakers, and more! I have a 52-foot long boat that is certified by the Coast Guard to carry up to 41 paid passengers. I also have a Coast Guard award-winning safety record. For more information about me and my boat, please visit http://www.sawyercharters.com
You can also visit my blog at http://chesapeakebayfishing.blogspot.com for fishing reports, pictures, and the other latest happenings on the Chesapeake Bay!
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