What to Expect on Your Fishing Charter Experience out of Cape Canaveral, Florida
Many people call us asking what they can expect on a fishing charter. Capt Greg has written a description below describing a typical charter day.
On normal fishing charter, we will leave the dock promptly at 7a.m. and this is where your adventure begins. Afternoon half days will leave around noon or shortly after. We will make the short 5 minute idle through Port Canaveral inlet to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. On the way out we have a good chance of seeing a massive cruise ship pass by or the opportunity to wave to our nation’s heroes standing on top of an incoming submarine.
Once we clear the jetty we will get our first real taste of the fresh salt air and wonderful smell of the clean ocean breeze. Your captain will take a quick scan of Cocoa Beach looking for the slight star flicker of bait fish or the bomb brigade of pelicans hitting the water at full speed. He will position the boat to cast a 12ft net on top of the school of bait and somehow this mess of a net piled on his arms and shoulder will turn into a perfectly round disc over the water. You think to yourself “that’s pretty cool”. When he lifts the net that is now loaded with more bait fish than you have ever seen in one place you think “wow, the bait is bigger than most of the fish we catch back home.”
Now armed with the freshest live bait that can be obtained, the captain points the boat in an easterly direction and you are now well on your way to pick a fight with a variety of the Atlantic Ocean’s top predators and most awe inspiring sport fish. On any given half day fishing charter we can find fish from less than a mile out, up to about 20 miles out depending on where all the conditions meet to create the magical fish catching solution. On full days we are not bound by time restraints and have the option to go further if that’s where we think the better fishing will be. On your ride out we typically see dolphins playing in the wake of the boat and often see large logger head and leather back sea turtles. On occasion you will even see whales and sharks.
At about 9 miles out something truly magical happens that will officially put you in vacation mode. The cell phones no longer work and I swear I can almost see the burden of the electronic leash disappear as the people turn the power off and the smile comes across their face. On average, we fish about 14 miles out on half day fishing charters. On full days we typically start in the same area unless the full day game plan is having us hone in on a different species of fish further out. You can feel the excitement in the air as the roar of the diesel engine silences when your captain makes your arrival to the fishing grounds.
The most common and productive style of fishing is what we call live bait trolling. Your captain will hook the live bait on the first rod and let it back while explaining what to do when the fish bites and how to properly fight the fish. You and your group will listen enthusiastically but it doesn’t matter because the 2nd bait he is letting back just got smoked by a nice king mackerel. Everyone has just lost their minds at the sight of a 25 pound fish jumping 12ft into the air and the first angler up will remember nothing of the instructions. He or she will just reel on the handle as fast as they can like they are rolling down the car window after 25 cent burrito night.
With any luck, the live bait trolling will be fast and furious the entire trip. We run 3 rods at a time and your group will take turns fighting fish. We mostly catch king mackerel, cobia, barracuda, bonito, sharks, jack crevalle and some dolphin fish on half days. We do get the occasional sail fish, black fin tuna, wahoo, or tarpon. This is the style of fishing we usually do on half day trips. On full day trips we also like to live bait troll unless one type of fish is dominant and we want to try for some variety by switching up locations and or fishing styles.
Full day trips will allow time for getting to really deep water if needed to bottom fish for amber jack, grouper & snapper, or to the Gulf Stream to target dolphin fish, sail fish, and wahoo. If customers want to try and target specific fish we can also do that but when it is left up to the captains we always try for the best action.
About an hour before our scheduled end time, we will start making our way back to Port Canaveral. We will help you off the boat and take the fish to the brag board and hang them up so you can get some great pictures. You will also get rock star attention as a crowd gathers to oooh & ahh over your catch. After pictures, we will fillet whatever fish you want to keep. If you want fresh fish for lunch or dinner, you can take the fillets next door to the Grill’s Restaurant and they will cook them up for the freshest, tastiest fish you have ever had.
As you are making your way back to Cocoa Beach, Orlando, Daytona Beach or Melbourne, you will all keep replaying the best moments of the day or laughing at the one of the many funny moments that happen while on the ocean.