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This summer, I hope to treat my dad and myself to a saltwater fishing trip. Only problem is, I know nothing about saltwater fish

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  • This summer, I hope to treat my dad and myself to a saltwater fishing trip. Only problem is, I know nothing about saltwater fish

    This summer, I hope to treat my dad and myself to a saltwater fishing trip. Only problem is, I know nothing about saltwater fishing! What should we do? Flats, deepsea, inshore? Should we go flyfishing? Any recommended charters on the Mississippi Gulf Coast? Any and all advice would be awesome!

  • #2
    To fish the gulf coast with little knowledge of the waters and what fish you want to catch, I would suggest a head boat (party boat that just charges by the head) which works the reefs. Most of the head boat captains supply all the bait and tackle you will need and will put you on what species of fish that is currently hitting. Of course you can charter a good off shore or inshore captain and boat if the idea of a head boat does not flip your switch. Red Snapper season this year is so short and the numbers which can be caught so limited that if you do catch one it will most likely have to be released. But there are a number of fish like triggerfish, grouper, scamp, and amberjack that are still good to fish for on the reefs. King mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Wahoo, Bonito, and Dolphin are best caught trolling so a charter boat would be your best bet for them. If you want to use your own bait and tackle, redfish, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, mackeral, bluefish, and flounder are good to fish for from piers such as the one at the Alabama State Park. Inshore charters mostly target redfish and specks out of the local bays. Most of the Pompano I have caught have been while surf fishing off the beaches close to Fort Morgan. So it all boils down to what you really want to do.


    • #3
      Want a "once in a life time" trip?
      Consider Kodiak, Alaska!
      Halibut, king and silver salmon, grey and ling cod, rock fish and awesome scenery!
      Pricey, but not outrageously so. I've "po' boyed" it up twice. About four grand a head will "turn key" a trip. That include airline tickets, motel, charter, tips and some souvenirs! Don't dare leave without at least two or three pounds of locally smoked salmon!!


      • #4
        P.S. - I set back $3500, cut some corners and had $300 cash when I landed at DFW! I made it home with 100# of absolutely delicious fish. BTW! The 4K will take care of processing too!


        • #5
          Kona at the big island of Hawaii is my favorite salt water location. When you leave the Kona boat yard your immediately in a thousand feet of dark blue water. You can catch Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and my favorites the Blue, Stripped or Black marlin.
          Good Luck!


          • #6
            Gary D.
            Got any (general) idea what a Kona, HI fishing trip would cost? Sounds like fun!


            • #7
              Great advice as usual from Santa. All three types of fishing offer great opportunities for good tasting fish and lots of fun. Here are my thoughts:

              1. Offshore trolling: The most expensive ($700-$1000 Charter or more). You might burn 120 gallons of fuel. Also the most exciting. Most of the fish swim at about 40 mph and some of them may exceed 50 pounds. This is the most exciting in my opinion and gives you an opportunity to experience real deep sea fishing with fish that can really stretch a line. I mean they MOVE. I also enjoy just watching those baits skim the surface and rigging/keeping them in the right position to succeed.

              2. Head boat: This is the most economical ($40-$80 each) and a little like the experience at Disneyland. A whole bunch of people laughing and enjoying their opportunity to just have FUN. You see a lot of great tasting fish caught but will have to throw many back because of limits. There may be snags and tangles with your neighbor but if you can accept that as part of the challenge, it should not bother you. It is still challenging to get one to bite and to get them up to the boat but the main factor in success is the boat captain who knows just were the reef is and can keep the boat in position. There can be bad days but you and your dad should expect to get a half dozen 5-10 pound fish or so each. If you go during snapper season, you will get some of the best eating fish known to mankind.

              3. Flats fishing: Medium price and the one that gives the angler the most opportunity to affect the outcome. You have to be able to cast or fly fish for some of the most exciting fishing. However, you can also be quite successful by simply soaking a shrimp. Your captain will put you on fish. If you can target tarpon, you will experience line stretching too.

              If you have the time, I'd recommend the all-day charters because they get out to better fishing grounds and they give you enough time that you will likely catch some good fish for nominal additional cost.

              I personally think that for a first timer, the head boats give you the highest bang for your buck. You get to see lots of action and it won't break the bank. My personal favorite is the offshore trolling but I REALLY like to hear those drags squeal and I like to hook up with fish that can pull me out of the boat if I'm not careful. Flats fishing is the best if you are a fly fisherman or a casting artist, plus it typically has almost as much action as the head boats.

              Watch the weather though. You can fish inshore in anything but you and your dad are likely to turn green offshore if the wind is above 10 knots. Use google to find charters in your destination city or give a couple of the sporting goods stores a call.


              • #8
                Bubba, it always good to go with a few fishing buddies to share the expenses.
                1. Round trip airline ticket
                2. A place to stay for a week to ten days
                3. Paying the boat charter for a day
                4. A rented vehicle to get you around.
                5. Meals and drinks
                6. Evening entertainment like a Hawaiian luau.
                Last time I went I spend five grand. They have package deals. Check with a travel agent.
                Make your boat charter reservations months before you go.
                Aloha and Good luck!


                • #9
                  Great answers guys thanks! Any specific charters that you know of and recommend? Also, this Hawaii talk has got me interested for a future trip. Mmhhh....


                  • #10

                    For Kodiak, I'd suggest Magnum Charters.


                    Knowledgeable captain, superb crew.


                    • #11
                      Hawaii is great. I've gone on several charters out of Oahu and caught several marlin, wahoo, etc. I always walk the pier at Oahu after the charter boats leave the dock. I ask the captains I see still at the dock if they have a charter. If they say no, I ask if fishing is any good. They always say yes so I ask them if they are good at finding fish. They always say yes. Then I ask them if they would be interested in keeping the fish we catch as long as I pay for the gas.

                      I figure that 400 pounds or more of marlin, tuna, etc. will bring them from $10-$15 per pound and they are the only ones who can sell it to the the commercial industry in Hawaii and they are all licensed to sell. If they are as good as they say they are, they should be able to make about $1000 or more with a good outing as long as they know how to catch fish. Those that say no, usually aren't very good at finding fish and I don't want to go on them anyway. I don't mind sharing the risk and reward and most captains I go with invite me to call them next time I'm in Hawaii for the same deal.


                      • #12
                        I like to go inshore fishing on the Gulf Coast. You spend less time riding and more time fishing. You can catch trout, redfish, flounder, and some bonus fish with relative ease. A charter for two is in the 450-500 range. Check out A Team Charters out of Dauphin Island, AL. For a true trip of a lifetime try bonefishing in the Bahamas. My wife and I did it this past summer. I can't reccomend a guide because i was to happy with ours.


                        • #13

                          Start out on a half day offshore and go from there




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