pura vida charters
 
Articles about fishing

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:

I've never done this before, how should I get started?

Does the boat have a bathroom on it?

Do I need a fishing license to fish on a charter boat?

What should I bring with me on the boat?

Is the boat safe for me and my entire family?

Does the boat still go fishing on rainy days?

Why are sportfishing boats limited to six people?

What is the best number of people to take fishing with me?

Fishing Related Questions:

What are the chances of a successful charter?

What happens if we don't catch ANY fish?

Do you do trolling or bottom fishing?

We want to catch a BIG / lots of fish. What do you recommend?

How much travel time, non-fishing time, is there?

What kind of bait do you use?

Do you catch and release?

I want to mount my catch. Can I do that?

What happens to the fish I catch?

What are the best fish to eat?

Booking Questions:

How do I know if the boat is available for the date I want?

Is it possible to make a reservation when I get to Clearwater?

What is your cancellation policy?

How can I check the status of my reservation?

Location Questions:

Where is the dock or marina?

What time do we need to be at the dock?

Costing Questions:

How much should I expect to spend?

How much gratuity do I give the crew?

Why do fishing charters cost so much?

I've never done this before, how should I get started?
Ask us any questions you like. We are always willing to help you with choosing the right charter. To get a feel for the latest fishing conditions, ask to speak with the captain. He will give you valuable information about what's biting and the weather conditions at sea.

Does the boat have a bathroom on it?
Yes. There is a private bathroom in the cabin of our boat.

Do I need a fishing license to fish on a charter boat?
No. The boat is completely equipped with all the proper licensing for you to fish.

What should I bring with me on the boat?
You don't need much! Consider bringing food, drinks, your camera, a hat, and sun block. Our boat is equipped with a cooler just for your food and drinks. Also, consider a small cooler to keep in your vehicle until the end of the trip. We will clean and bag your fish but you will need a place to put your fish fillets to take them home.

Is the boat safe for me and my entire family?
YES. The captain is federally licensed by the United States Coast Guard to take passengers out 100 miles from shore. Also, our boat has many redundant safety features. For communications we are equipped with a VHF radio, a cell phone, and a independent satellite phone. The captain will brief your group at the beginning of the trip about where to find life jackets, throwables, fire extinguishers, and the most important safety feature a boat can have, the EPIRB. This unit will instantly send a distress signal via satellites to the Coast Guard if the boat sinks or the crew sets it off due to eminent danger. Don't worry we've never had to execute an emergency plan beyond a drill! Our safety record stands at 100%. You can enjoy our trips knowing that we are safe and secure at sea, that's the professional difference.

Does the boat still go fishing on rainy days?
Our boat is designed to keep you dry and safe. If there is a chance to avoid rain offshore or if you simply don't care, we will fish on rainy days. Usually the fish bite is surprisingly very strong on rainy days! If you are in doubt of the weather always call the captain before you decide to cancel your trip.

Why are sportfishing boats limited to six people?
The law is mandated by the United States Coast Guard. We have no control over the six paying passenger law. Unfortunately, if you show up with more than six passengers for a single boat charter, we will not be able to accommodate your entire group. We do offer multi-boat charters if you have a large group. We would be glad to set up two or more boats to take your group offshore.

What is the best number of people to take fishing with me?
We don't make a recommendation on this, it's up to you. We can easily accommodate six anglers however you may prefer to fish with a smaller group. We don't care if you want to fish with a full boat or by yourself, the boat is yours for the trip.

What are the chances of a successful charter?
Extremely high! We guarantee fish or your trip is free. Our boat has yet to come home empty handed. The captain has extensive knowledge of the Gulf of Mexico. He wants to make your trip the best fishing excursion you have ever experienced. Depending on the conditions of the sea, atmosphere, and fish, we will discuss with you the options that would be the most productive. There are many different types of fishing and we can do more than one in a single trip.

What happens if we don't catch ANY fish?
You don't owe us a penny, plain and simple.

Do you do trolling or bottom fishing?
When you charter the boat you decide. We normally recommend what type of fishing is most productive. During the spring and fall we recommend both but during the winter we recommend only bottom fishing. During the summer there is a possibility to troll for pelagic fish but we mainly bottom fish. However, the decision is yours.

We want to catch a BIG / lots of fish. What do you recommend?
First, ask the captain if it is possible to catch the species/size/quantity you desire. He will make the best recommendation to obtain your goal. Keep in mind that the farther offshore you go, the bigger the fish are. This means that you may have to charter the boat for a full day or longer to catch HUGE fish.

How much travel time, non-fishing time, is there?
The travel time depends on your trip. For the four hour trip the travel time is only 30 minutes or so to the fishing grounds. For the 8, 10, and 12 hour trips the travel time is in the range of 1 to 3 hours respectively to the fishing grounds. Even with 6 hours to fish, the 10 hour charter catch is typically around 200lbs. of keeper fish.

What kind of bait do you use?
We use Sardines, Mackerel, Squid, Round Scad, Pinfish, Grunts, and Blue Runners to name a few live and dead bait. The bait that we use depends on the type of fishing you choose and the time of year. We use Sardines the most often both live and dead.

Do you catch and release?
Game fish which are not very tasteful like Shark are released. Also, there are many limitations on the length of fish to be kept and therefore they are also released. If you would like to have all the fish caught on your trip released, please request this. Similarly, if you only want to keep enough fish for a single or few meals let us know. The captain will be glad to fulfill your request.

I want to mount my catch. Can I do that?
Yes. We prefer to use Lee's Taxidermy. Lee is a local taxidermist known all over Florida for his mounting skills. The rate to have a fish mounted is $13 per inch. Your catch can be transported to the taxidermist free of charge. Please let us know if you would like to target a mountable fish.

What happens to the fish I catch?
Edible fish are stored on ice in a cooler till the end of the trip. The crew will gladly fillet and skin your catch for no additional charge. The fillets are then placed in gallon sized bags for easy handling. If you do not plan to take fish home, we will release all the fish you catch. We strongly recommend that you take some of your catch to a local restaurant and have them prepare it for you. It is a one time opportunity to eat such a fresh catch that YOU caught. Your crew can make recommendations on where to take your fish. Typically, the cost per person to have fish prepared is $6-$8.

What are the best fish to eat?
The best fish for your dinner will be Grouper, Snapper, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, and Amberjack. Any of these fish make for an unforgettable dinner.

How do I know if the boat is available for the date I want?
If you call to reserve several days or more in advance, we almost always can make arrangements for our boat or a similar affiliate boat. The sooner you make your booking the better we can make sure that you get the date you want. We will make every effort possible to respond to all emails within 24 hours. Phone reservations are available from 6 AM to 10 PM EST every day.

Is it possible to make a reservation when I get to Clearwater?
We recommend that make your reservation as far in advance as possible so that you are sure to get a boat. During the high season from November to July there are many times we have no space available 2-3 days in advance. To make your reservation in Clearwater call 727-459-1769 or abroad call 1-877-FISH-FLA (1-877-347-4352)

What is your cancellation policy?
You can cancel any trip 72 hours in advance and pay no fee. All trips cancelled between 72 and 24 hours in advance are charged a 5% administrative processing fee. If you fail to show up for a fishing charter, your deposit will not be returned. If the captain cancels the trip, you will receive a complete refund.

How can I check the status of my reservation?
Simply give us a call at 727-459-1769 or 877-347-4352. We are also available via email at Capt Joe@OffshoreCharterNet.com

Where is the dock or marina?
When you reserve you will be given a map with directions to the pickup location for your group. All of our pickup locations are close to Clearwater, St Petersburg, Tampa, and Madeira Beach. We will work to choose the best pickup location for your group.

What time do we need to be at the dock?
When you reserve you will be given a departure time. Typically the boat departs at 6AM in the summer months and 7AM in the winter months. Afternoon trips leave at1-2 PM. We can make arrangements to leave at whatever time you desire.

How much should I expect to spend?
The price of your trip depends on the length of the trip. All of our posted fishing rates reflect the all inclusive price of your trip. However, the rate does not include a tip for your crew (15%) or food and drinks for your party.

How much gratuity do I give the crew?
We like to think of it like a restaurant. If you see that the crew is working hard and you are treated well, 15%-20% is standard.

Why do fishing charters cost so much?
Maintaining and operating a safe, properly rigged quality fishing boat is expensive. Fuel costs are no help either. There are many more costs that one never sees on a fishing charter. For example charter insurance, dock fees, crew costs, boat maintenance, and many other factors are involved much like any other line of business. The actual charter is what we think of as the final product of all our efforts. This is why we take pride in our guests having such great trips. You get what you pay for in charter boats, we strive to keep our costs down to give you the best value in the area. Overall, the excitement of chartering and actually catching many fish is well worth the expense.

 
 

Pura Vida Charters
5000 92nd St. N Slip #1
St. Petersburg, FL 33708
727-459-1769
captgreg@offshorecharternet.com

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