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Fishing Advice

How much does deep sea fishing cost?

Written by Capt. Noah on Friday, 06 July 2012. Posted in Fishing Advice

695 dolphin

Compared to many other tourist and recreation activities, deep sea fishing is a fairly affordable activity. Prices for private deep sea fishing charters in Florida vary depending on location, time of year, boat availability and other factors.

At their cheapest, prices for a 4 hour fishing trip on a typical charter fishing boat in Florida start at around $500 and go up to around $800, depending on boat and location. On top of this, it is customary to tip the crew 15% - 20% for good service. Also, on some charters the captain will recommend the use of live bait, the cost of which will be passed through to the customer.

All this might sound a bit pricey, but consider that on most private charters you can bring up to six people along for the trip, so divided amongst a group, the trip is very affordable. The fun and excitement of deep sea fishing is worth every penny and unlike most tourist activities, fishing can pay dividends in the form of delicious fresh fish you can cook up at home or have a local restaurant prepare for big savings and even bigger satisfaction.

How Deep is Deep Sea Fishing

Written by Capt. Noah on Thursday, 05 July 2012. Posted in Fishing Advice


As the name implies, Deep Sea Fishing is in the “deep sea” but the word deep is vague and subjective and there’s no definitive answer. Think about it, the “deep” end of most pools is 6 to 8 feet! James Cameron went thousands of feet below the surface, and that’s deep to him.

Jokes aside, Florida deep sea fishing generally implies that you are fishing at any depth in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico. This could be a reef at 30 feet, a wreck at 200 feet, or on a drop off into a thousand feet or more. By contrast, in shore fishing is usually on lakes, bays, and rivers, which tend to be, but are not always, shallower than the depths in the Ocean or Gulf.

The depth at which you fish will depend largely on what fish are being targeted, inside information the captain has to where the fish are biting, or just trial and error. Most deep sea fishing in Florida is in less than 500 feet of water.

How to prepare for deep sea fishing

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 04 July 2012. Posted in Fishing Advice


My friend who is a marine shared a saying they have in the military that I love to quote. It's called the 7 Ps and it goes like this:

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Deep sea fishing is a fun and enjoyable activity and generally doesn’t require much special preparation, but there are some good things you can do before hand and bring on the trip with you so that you are best prepared.

For starters, make sure you get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water the day before the trip. Fishing can be a physical activity and the Florida heat, even in the winter months can contribute to dehydration and exhaustion.

If you are prone to seasickness, hydration and rest is even more important, and it’s a good idea to pick up some Bonine or similar anti-motion sickness pill and take it the night before the trip. You should also consider getting a prescription for a seasick patch, which usually is applied the day before.

On the trip, bring plenty of water (some boats supply it, but most don’t) and other food, drinks, and snacks. In addition, sunscreen is essential no matter where or when you’ll be fishing. The most common mistake my passengers make is assuming that if it’s cloudy they won’t get sunburned. Big mistake!

For clothing, you should bring a few layers, including a waterproof jacket in case there is rain or splash. It’s a good idea to call the Captain the day before the trip to find out what weather is expected so you have the appropriate clothes.

Most crew members work for tips, so plan the gratuity ahead of time and bring cash. 15% - 20% of the price of the charter is the customary gratuity for good service. Exceptional service can be rewarded with a higher tip and subpar service can be discounted.

Like with any small business, Captains of fishing charters preferred to be paid in cash to avoid costly credit card fees. In certain areas, such as Destin, it is common for the boats to charge a credit card processing fee of around 5%. Check on this ahead of time and you could save yourself $25 – $50 on most tips, by paying in cash. Even with the best rewards cards, your rebate and miles are not worth that much!

Are Fishing Charters Safe?

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 04 July 2012. Posted in Fishing Advice

Are Fishing Charters Safe?

Fishing charters in Florida and the United States are generally a very safe activity thanks in large due to strict United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulations that govern fishing charter boats. One important thing to ask any fishing charter operator is whether their boats meet Coast Guard regulations and whether their captains are USCG licensed. If the answer to either of these questions is no then the operation is almost certainly operating illegally and you should look elsewhere for a trip. Sadly, there are quite a few unscrupulous, non compliant charter operators so it’s good to get a recommendation from a friend or a service such as ours.

Most fishing charter boats are considered “uninspected vessels”. This is simply a classification based primarily on size and doesn’t mean they are unsafe. In fact, the Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies regularly board and perform surprise inspections of these vessels, so the word “uninspected” is quite misleading. There are extensive safety regulations in place for uninspected vessels, particularly with regard to fire extinguishers, life jackets, flotation devices, and other safety requirement that is required aboard the vessel.

Some larger fishing boats do have inspected classification. The best way to tell is whether the boat is able to take more than six passengers, as all fishing boats that take more than six passengers must be inspected. Again, if you’re considering going with more than six people, it is important to ask the operator if their vessel is “USCG inspected”.

With regard to captains licenses, the most common license for a fishing charter operator is called an OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels) often referred to as a “six pack”. Some captains have higher level licenses called a “Master” that allows the captain to operate larger vessels as well as inspected vessels. Training and testing is very similar for both the OUPV and the Master, so you can feel at ease that a captain with either license is extremely experienced and capable.

With regard to risks, any on-water activity has risks. The risk of falling overboard, while unlikely, is the most significant and those who are not strong swimmers (and even those who are) should consider wearing a life jacket while on board any boat. Life jackets are imperative for children and are required by law for children under 12 in most states, including Florida. Your Captain should have an extensive stock of life jackets on board, but if you’re bringing smaller children, you should speak with the captain ahead of time to make sure he has a life jacket on board that will be appropriate for the age and weight of the child.

Fishing line and fishing hooks are sharp and handing line with your bare hands presents the risk of being cut. If you are not experienced handling fishing line, leave that up to the captain or the mate. If you do handle the line yourself, bring a pair of gloves to prevent the line from cutting you.

So now that I’ve scared you with falling overboard and getting cut by line and hooks, let me share with you the two most common “injuries” on a fishing charter that are also the most overlooked and also the easiest to prevent: dehydration and sun burn.

Fishing is a physical activity and in Florida the heat and humidity cause you to perspire quicker than you may be used to. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, or after your trip. If you are drinking soda and alcohol, be sure to mix in water as well, as both of these are diuretics and will cause you to dehydrate more quickly.

Even on cloudy days, the ultraviolet rays from the Florida sun can cause sunburn. Regardless of weather conditions and time of year, apply sunscreen liberally multiple times throughout the trip. Since there’s a good chance you’ll be sweating, be sure to use a waterproof sunscreen that will stay on even when you perspire.

So there you have it, the low down on fishing charter safety. If you have any questions, drop us an e-Mail and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Best Deep Sea Fishing Miami

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 20 June 2012. Posted in Fishing Reports, Tourist Info, Fishing Advice


If you're looking for the best deep sea fishing Miami has to offer you can get caught up searching for the closest boats to your hotel on Google and  trying to sort through the (mostly phoney) reviews. Or, you can try our fishing concierge service out. We know all the best boats and can match you with a boat that is the best fit for you. Looking for a great day on the water with kids - we've got a perfect boat and captain for that. Looking to impress clients - we've got one there too.

You will pay no fees for our Miami fishing charter concierge service and better yet, you will book at local, boat direct prices. In fact, we guarantee that you will always get the best price on any boat in our Miami fishing boat fleet when you book through us.

One thing to keep in mind when you are looking for Miami deep sea fishing is that even if you find a boat close to your hotel, that boat may not be conveniently located to Haulover Inlet or Government Cut, the two ocean inlets in the Miami area. That means that even if you save a little time getting to the boat, it's going to take quite a bit longer to get out to sea. Especially on our half day charters that extra half hour in and out, could easily add up to 25% or more of your time. Since even fast boats go slower than cars, we highly recommend you plan your Miami fishing trip with a boat located near the inlet. Needless to say, all the boats in our fleet are located very close to the inlets. In fact, our primary Miami fishing is located directly at the inlet. Can't get much better than that!

Beyond location, you should consider the type of experience you want. Some people are looking for a no frills hardcore fishing experience, others would like something comfortable but economical, and especially in Miami, some people just want a luxury fishing charter on a top of the line fishing yacht. It can be hard to discern which is which on a website, which is why whether your Miami fishing charter through us, or with someone else, it's always a good idea to explain exactly what you're looking for so you're not disappointed.

Good luck with your Miami deep sea fishing experience. If you're interested in getting a free quote from us, fill out the form on the right side of this page, or click get a quote at the top of the page. We'll do everything we can to plan your dream fishing trip, exceed your expectations and save you money.

Does larger bait catch larger fish?

Written by Capt. Noah on Saturday, 09 June 2012. Posted in Fishing Advice

In the traditional fishing view, using larger bait means you'll catch larger fish. It's pretty simple, right? A smaller fish won't go after a larger bait and therefore using a larger bait means larger fish will go after it.

But when you start trying to distinguish between large and larger fish, it's not so simple. The larger bait catches larger fish myth is true up to a point. When I fish, I spend a lot of time trolling with pre-rigged, frozen ballyhoo. I've caught sailfish on ballyhoo, but I've also caught small dolphin. I've heard stories of friends catching grouper on nothing but small jigs, and I can't tell you the number of times I've been skunked fishing for the same bad boys with live bait or expensive lures.

So yes, using larger bait will help to target larger fish, but the axiom that larger bait means you'll catch larger fish, is shortsighted in that plenty of large fish will go after smaller bait.

VIP Fishing Charters arranges awesome fishing trips throughout Florida. Check out our Palm Beach Fishing Charters if you're looking to catch some big fish.

What's the best time to catch sharks?

Written by Capt. Noah on Saturday, 09 June 2012. Posted in Fishing Advice

Shark fishing near Miami, FL

I can't tell you the number of times I've been asked, what's the best time of day to catch a shark. In fact, we get a lot of calls from many anglers who want to go shark fishing at night. It's true, sharks do feed at night, but they also feed in the morning, in the middle of the day, in the afternoon... catch my drift?

My opinion, and one shared by many of our captains, is that sharks feed all the time. They are expert hunters and they are always on the move. If something triggers one of their senses, particularly their sense of smell, these monsters are going to feed.

Many large predators operate this way. And it's based out of necessity. Something that large needs a lot of energy to operate and it's aim is to use as little energy as possible in the process. If a shark senses an easy meal, it's going to eat.

Another factor to consider is your own satisfaction. Would you rather catch a shark in the day time when you have a chance of seeing it swim around stalking the bait, or at night when it's just part of the black darkness around you? I'll take daytime.

VIP Fishing Charters operates shark fishing charters in Miami and throughout Florida.

What to wear on a fishing charter

Written by Capt. Noah on Thursday, 03 May 2012. Posted in Fishing Advice

We frequently get asked the question "what should I wear on a fishing charter?" Like most things, there's not one answer.  But, as they say in the miltary, proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance (the 7 Ps).

The factors that should go into helping make up your decision are:

  • Where is my fishing charter taking place?
  • What is the weather forecasted to be?
  • Do I get cold easily?

In general, Florida fishing is very comfortable year round. We always recommend bringing an extra layer with you (windbreaker, sweatshirt) in case it's a cooler than normal day out on the water. It's better to be overprepared than under prepared.

All of our deep sea fishing charters include a captain and mate. The mate is there to do the dirty work but it's still possible that your clothes may get wet or dirty, so we recommend wearing clothing that you wouldn't be devistated if it got wet or got stained.

Here's a quick guide we put together for what to wear on a fishing charter:

South Florida Central Florida North Florida
Spring Shorts, Short or Long Sleeve T-Shirt Jeans, Short or Long Sleeve T-Shirt Jeans, Long Sleeve T-shirt
Summer Shorts, T-Shirt (Long sleeve T if sensitive to sun). Bring rain gear. Shorts, T-Shirt (Long sleeve T if sensitive to sun). Bring rain gear. Shorts, T-Shirt (Long sleeve T if sensitive to sun). Bring rain gear.
Winter Jeans and cargo pants and long sleeve T-Shirt Jeans and cargo pants and long sleeve T-Shirt Jeans and cargo pants and long sleeve T-Shirt
Fall Shorts, Short or Long Sleeve T-Shirt. Bring rain gear. Jeans, Short or Long Sleeve T-Shirt Jeans, Long Sleeve T-shirt







Start checking the marine forecast the day before your trip to see what the conditions are expected to be like. You can always call us or call the captain to find out what the weather is expected to be and what you should wear.

Here is a link to the NOAA Marine Forecasts

Boca Inlet Bridge Information

Written by Capt. Noah on Wednesday, 02 November 2011. Posted in Miscellaneous, Tourist Info, Fishing Advice

I keep my Hydra-Sports center console near Boca Inlet and I get a number of requests for information on the Boca Inlet bridge. So here it is...


The Boca Raton Inlet Bridge connects A1A over Boca Raton inlet. The bridge opens on demand for all vessel traffic that requires an opening. You can reach all Palm Beach County bridges on VHF Channel 09. The bridge is believed to offer 23 ft clearance at low tide, but please confirm clearances on the sign board when approaching.

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