These 5 Things Can Make or Break Your Fishing Vacation

By Debbie Hanson

Jul 15, 2016

Wondering which situations can either make or break your fishing vacation experience? Make your family fishing trip the very best it can be with these 5 suggestions.

You want your fishing vacation to be the best experience it can possibly be. With busy work and school schedules, it may be one of the few times that the whole family is able to get together and unwind on the water. If you're wondering what sorts of things can either make or break your fishing vacation experience, consider each of these suggestions as you go through the planning process.

1. Advanced research. Advanced research means asking friends and other knowledgeable anglers for recommendations. Read online reviews as you narrow down your options and call or email to ask about the expected conditions during the time of year in which you plan to travel. Learning about the best seasons and considering the tides in coastal fishing vacation spots is important.

2. Mother Nature. You can't predict Mother Nature, but you can take proactive measures. You may want to consider purchasing trip insurance that covers cancelled flights and lost luggage or fishing gear. Also, plan to arrive at your vacation destination with a full day to spare before your scheduled fishing trip. Whether fishing with a guide or in a new area on your own, remember that flights and transfers can change with little to no notice.

3. Fishing gear and tackle. Think about the type of fishing gear or tackle that you are accustomed to using and your level of experience. If you want to take a fly fishing trip to Florida to target bonefish, ask about the type of fishing gear that will be furnished (or if you will be required to bring your own) and what level of experience will be required in order to have a chance at catching a fish. Consider the weather conditions as well since varying conditions may require you to bring additional gear, such as a rain jacket or extra layers of clothing.

4. Have a back-up plan and the ability to be flexible if the weather doesn't cooperate or if a lack of expected fish species occurs. This means being flexible enough to change your day of offshore fishing plans to a day of fishing inshore. Or, it may mean bringing along lures that will work for a few different fish species in case the particular species you were hoping to catch isn't as active as you had hoped.

5. Surprises. As you prepare for your fishing vacation, ask about customary tipping procedures at the resort or lodge and with the guides or captains that you plan to fish with. Also, be sure to inquire about any relevant fishing licenses, permits, or regulations that you may need or should be aware of. 

If you consider these things as you plan your fishing vacation, you will be much better prepared. Just don't forget to check the state fishing license requirements and regulations for the destination you intend to visit. 
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.