Fishing Vacation Questions to Ask Before You Book

By Debbie Hanson

Jun 24, 2016

Planning a fishing vacation with your family? Ask these important questions before you book your trip. Make sure your fishing trip is the best it can be!

Are you in the process of planning a family fishing vacation? If so, you will want to be sure to ask a few important questions before you book your trip. When you ask the right questions and consider the answers in your planning process, your chances of catching fish and having an enjoyable experience will go way up.

Fishing Vacation Questions

• When is the best time to go fishing at this vacation destination? It's always a good idea to ask the local fishing lodge, resort or guide when the best time of year is for fishing, and then plan your vacation accordingly. They should be able to advise you as far as when you'll have your best chance at catching fish considering the location, weather, and species.

• If you plan to take a fishing vacation at a lodge or resort, are there package rates available that include guided fishing trips? If so, it might simplify your trip and help make it even more economical.

• Is a deposit required to secure your spot on the boat or with the guide? Most charter captains, fishing guides, lodges, and resorts will require a deposit to secure your reservation. This is especially true during busy fishing vacation seasons, so be sure to ask and write down any important confirmation numbers or details.

• Do you want to fish with a large group of anglers or would you prefer to have a more personal experience? You can go out on a large head boat or party boat that holds a large number of anglers or book a private charter to fish with just your family or friends. 

• Does the fishing guide or resort offer a "rain check" option if the weather doesn’t allow for catching fish? While you can't control Mother Nature, you can be informed about what your options are in the event she doesn't want to cooperate with your vacation schedule.

• Are the fishing guides or charter captains licensed? Most state laws specify that charter captains or fishing guides must have a license in order to carry paying customers. 

• How many years of experience do the fishing guides or charter captains have? The more experienced the guides are, the better educated they are about the area and seasonal fishing patterns.

• How long do you want to spend on the water each day? If you plan to do some family fishing with young children or elderly members, it would be a good idea to limit your fishing time to just a few hours at a time.

• Are there certain amenities that you need or want to have available? If you book a charter on an inshore flats boat, for example, you probably won't have immediate access to a bathroom. If you aren't sure whether or not the boat or resort has the amenities you are looking for, always ask so there are no surprises or disappointments later.

• Where should you meet your guide or captain the morning of your fishing trip? At your hotel, cabin, or the dock? Be sure to get the specifics so that you don't waste valuable fishing time.

• Can you bring your own rod and reel? If you have a favorite rod and reel that you like to use, be sure to ask the guide or captain if it will be suitable.

• Can you keep and eat the fish you catch on your trip? Don't forget to ask about the bag limits and fishing regulations. Make sure you are informed and know which fishing rules apply to the area before you go.

Once you have asked these important questions about your fishing vacation, you can brush up on your fish species identification and find out which baits or lures work best.

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.