For the Trip of a Lifetime
Frequently Asked Questions
You’re booked and ready to go, so now what? Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions as well as what we recommend you pack for your trip. Also, there are some other attractions listed below in our area that you may enjoy!
A bad sunburn can ruin a vacation, or at the least make it extremely uncomfortable. Our Captains wear long, light pants, and long sleeve shirts with hats and tons of sunscreen. We recommend the same if you are not used to our strong Florida sunlight. Sunglasses are a must, preferably polarized, to help protect your eyes from the sun and the reflective rays coming off the water. Our Captains wear Costa Del Mar, as they are tailor-made for the anglers and outdoorsmen. And of course, you’ll want to bring a camera to capture all the memories you’ll be making.
What should I bring?
Taking into consideration the length of your trip, you should bring any food or beverages you would prefer. A cooler with ice and water will already be on the boat and at your disposal. Sunblock, hat, camera and a rain jacket are always recommended.
Can we keep what we catch?
Most of our Captains prefer catch and release, however as long as the fish is of legal length, in season, and the species population is in good standing, they will normally allow you to take a few home for dinner. At the end of your charter the Captain will gladly filet and bag your catch for you. If you know that you would like to catch and keep, please discuss it with your Captain prior to the trip.
Should we purchase a fishing license before the trip?
No, all our Captains are licensed through the National Coast Guard, as well as the state of Florida. Their license covers everyone on the boat.
Does the boat have a bathroom on it?
No, none of our vessels are equipped with an onboard bathroom. Our Captains do have alternate methods for women passengers and if needed they are usually not far from a public facility.
What is included in the cost of the trip?
A guide, licensing, quality fishing equipment, bait and lures, a boat, and a cooler with ice and water are included in the cost of the trip.
Do you only pick up at Burnt Store Marina?
No, we are able to pick up at other locations that include Pineland Marina, Placida, Boca Grande Guide Docks, Millers Marina and Tarpon Lodge. If you are renting a house with accessible docking, we will gladly retrieve you from there depending on its location. Please discuss this with us during the booking process.
What if there is bad weather?
Our Captains monitor the weather very closely. If it appears that there will thunderstorms with lightning or high winds (small craft advisory are issued for winds over 25 knots) then the trip will be cancelled and rescheduled. It is up to our Captains discretion to call a trip due to unfavorable weather conditions. If you are unable to reschedule a trip that cancelled due to weather, you will be refunded your full deposit.
What should I wear?
A bad sunburn can ruin a vacation, or at the least make it extremely uncomfortable. Our Captains wear long, light pants, and long sleeve shirts with hats and tons of sunscreen. We recommend the same if you are not used to our strong Florida sunlight. Sunglasses are a must, preferably polarized, to help protect your eyes from the sun and the reflective rays coming off the water. Our Captains wear Costa Del Mar, as they are tailor made for the anglers and outdoorsman.
When should I book my trip?
The sooner the better! Our guides are in high demand, especially for tarpon season (May-July). Some start booking a year in advance, so as soon as you have dates in mind please contact us. We understand that it’s not always easy to book that far in advance so your welcome to contact us at any time to find out our availability.
I've never done this type of fishing before!
Not a problem! We welcome all levels of anglers. Our knowledgeable Captains are more than happy to assist you in any way they can. Whether it’s fighting a tarpon, or reeling in a trophy redfish, our Captains will be there to help and coach you every step of the way.
Can I bring alcohol?
As long as those consuming it are of the legal age, you are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages. If you have the option between bottles and cans, please bring cans, as they are safer to deal with on the boat. We do ask that you please be responsible in its consumption and conduct yourself in a safe and respectful manner. Our Captains reserve the right to stop the charter and return to the dock if clients become unruly, or belligerent at which point the full cost of the charter will be due.
Can young children come?
Yes, we specialize in trips of a lifetime, which many of clients prefer to create with their family. Children are more than welcome to accompany their parents, given that they are well behaved, and that parents provide them with their own coast guard approved PFD if they are age 6 or under. It’s always exciting for us to help create the memory of a child’s first catch!
Should we tip our captain?
Tips are customary for Captains, and are always appreciated. However they are never expected. It is up to your discretion to determine how hard the Captain worked to ensure a memorable trip. 15% – 20% is common.
If you have a couple of days off the water and would like to see what Punta Gorda has to offer, we recommend checking out the local shops and restaurants at Fisherman’s Village. Its quaint and Florida-style atmosphere is something the whole family will enjoy.
Paddleboarding and Kayaking are popular along our flats and estuaries. We recommend using Southwest Florida Paddlesports (http://shop.floridapaddlesports.com/ ). It’s a great workout and allows you to experience the most pristine Charlotte Harbor areas at their calmest.
If you enjoy a nice glass of wine with great food and a romantic atmosphere, we recommend Trabue (http://www.trabuerestaurant.com/) in downtown Punta Gorda. We love the mussels and roasts. Be sure to ask to be seated outside if it’s a nice evening, as you’ll be surrounded by sparkling lights and on most nights a lovely guitarist.
Laishley Crabhouse offers delicious seafood, sushi, and American cuisine, combined with a prime waterfront location and impressive interior design which result in a one-of-a-kind dining experience for the whole family. This is one of our favorite restaurants and we highly recommend them to any visitors to our area.
101 Harborside Ave
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
EXPLORE PUNTA GORDA
Black Pearl Cast Nets were designed with the vision to supply fishermen with top-notch quality cast nets that are designed to open larger to their fullest measurement potential, sink faster, and be stronger.
Smugglers Enterprises is a local corporation, which was started and still maintained by Punta Gorda natives. They not only offer a variety of restaurants and catering services, but more importantly, they support the community and bring locals and visitors together through their many events throughout the year. Laishley Crabhouse is a great example of the quality service provided and maintained by this unique company. For information on any upcoming events, please click the photo to the left to be directed to their website.
Five Star Realty was founded by a married couple of Charlotte high school graduates in 1981. They continue to employ high-quality realtors with a vast knowledge of the Charlotte County area. Our beautiful town is ever-growing and expanding. With that in mind, we always refer anyone looking to buy, rent, or invest in the real estate industry to our friends over at Five Star Realty.
Laishley Marine offers a wide selection of rods, reels, nautical gifts, and apparel for the avid angler. With helpful, knowledgeable employees to answer any questions you may have regarding lures, tackle, as well as a repair department to help fix any issues you may be experiencing with your own equipment, Laishley Marine is a one-stop-shop for all your boating needs.