Read below for the most commonly asked questions we have gotten over the years. We think these questions and answers will help you in preparing for your fishing charter!
Which boat and trip type should I book?
Captain Greg created an informative video that goes through our various boats and trip types. You can find that video here.
What should I bring?
We suggest that customers bring drinks, lunch, snacks, sunscreen, fishing clothes, hats, boat shoes, beach and hand towels, sunglasses and zip lock bags if you want to take fillets back with you.
What is provided?
Everything you need for saltwater fishing. Rod, reels, bait, tackle, ice, and fishing license. Fish cleaning and great service with a great attitude.
What and why should I tip the captain?
The crew work for a daily wage and tips just like waiters and waitresses. Tips are discretionary; however, it is customary to tip the crew 20% for good service.
Is the price of the charter for each person or for the whole group?
The price listed on our prices page is for your entire group. You can have up to 6 people in your group. This is a private charter, therefore we do not group you with other people. It will only be your group on the boat with the captain.
Can I have more than 6 people?
No, the max we can take is 6 passengers, whether they are fishing or not. This is not our rule, it is how the U.S. Coast Guard licenses private charters. Most private charters operate under this type of licensing. If you have more than 6 people, you can charter more than one boat. If you have a large group and need help organizing multiple boats, please give us a call and we can help you get it all organized!
We only have a couple of people, can we share a charter with another group?
We have tried to arrange split charters in the past and 90% of the time, they did not work out. With split charters, you always have the risk of the other party canceling last minute and ruining your plans. You also have the chance of being paired with a group that has different goals and idea of fun than you. And, you might run into a situation where the other group is fighting a fish of a lifetime for a couple of hours and you get to sit and watch. Since we have encountered these situations while running split trips, we have decided to focus only on private charters. This allows us to provide you the best service that we can to make it an experience of a lifetime! Feel free to book a private charter even by yourself, that means that you get to catch ALL of the fish.
We are coming to the Orlando area, is Port Canaveral too far to drive?
Not at all, we are centrally located on Florida’s east coast. We are the closest choice for deep sea fishing near Orlando. Depending on where in Orlando you are staying, the drive is around 45 min to 1 hour.
We are located close to Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach, Cocoa, Merritt Island, Sebastian, Titusville, Daytona, Melbourne, Orlando, Kissimmee, and the Disney/Universal Studios area.
Why should we choose Sea Leveler Sport Fishing Charters?
The main reason we feel you should give us a chance is that we LOVE to fish. The second reason is that fishing is what we do full time. We don’t have side jobs and we didn’t wait until we retired to make fishing our career. The only way to make deep sea fishing your full time job is to have the capability to fish everyday the ocean conditions are safe. Since we are not booked with charters 365 days a year, we supplement our income by rod and reel commercial fishing. This pretty much gives our customers a guarantee that we know where and what the best bite is on any given day. Very few of our competitors can make this claim.
Thirdly, we understand that it is very important to be customer friendly. We love to see people enjoy their fishing trips with us and we are great with kids and people that have never fished before. We give instruction and encouragement while out on the water. This is why we have so many repeat customers and great reviews. You can see our reviews on our reviews page. In many cases, our customers become our friends and call or e-mail us on a regular basis to talk about fishing as well as to set up future trips.
Fourth, we feel we are the best. This is a bold statement but we truly feel nobody provides a better charter fishing experience. We look forward to the opportunity to prove this statement.
Will there be a Captain and a deck hand?
Usually you will have a Captain but no deck hand. Our boats are set up with auto-pilots and laid out in a manner that the Captain is able to drive the boat and provide excellent service with the fishing. Our Captains are very good at catering to various levels of expertise from beginners that have never held a rod to avid fishermen. Many of our customers have commented that they really enjoyed this style better because they get to be more hands on.
If you would like to request a deck hand, you may do so, but there will be an additional charge of $75 as our charters are priced based on expense. Sometimes, our Captains will choose to have a deck hand or will be training our future captains. If that happens on your charter, there will be no added expense.
We have young kids, is deep sea fishing something they can do? What trip would be best?
We absolutely love taking families with kids fishing. Nothing is quite as exciting or fulfilling for a captain than to help a young kid catch their first trophy and provide a lifetime of love for the ocean.
When bringing younger children we want to be able to give them the best chance of having an enjoyable day. We make sure the marine forecast is calling for mild to calm seas. If the seas are too rough, you can opt for one of our port trips. Unfortunately, motion sickness can happen with deep sea fishing and it is not very fun for parents to watch their little ones feel so miserable. In our experience, many kids actually deal with motion sickness better than adults do.
You also want to be flexible on what to fish for when bringing kids. If fishing for the big trophy fish is slow we opt to set the kids up with smaller rigs so they can drop down and get instant action from sea bass, snapper, trigger fish, grunts, etc.
Most parents think a full day trip is to long for their kids. In all actuality, the parents always wear out before the kids. It’s just like a day at the theme parks, the kids get tired and fall asleep and the parents get a break.
Prepare a lot of snack foods and drinks for the kids. Nintendo DS, books, and small toys are great for the ride out and back in. Our shark fishing trips are also a great option for kids because the distance to travel to the fishing grounds is very short.
Why are the shark fishing trips only $500 compared to the Full and Half Day rate?
Our shark fishing rates are less because the fishing grounds are much closer than with a typical half or full day fishing trip. We offer shark fishing trips year round. We have a good variety of sharks close to the shoals and beaches off Cape Canaveral / Cocoa Beach. We mostly catch sharks and bottom rays on shark trips but on occasion, we do get tarpon, red fish, or king mackerel. We regularly catch sharks along with a wide variety of other sport fish on our day trips as well.
Shark fishing sounds fun, do you always catch sharks?
Shark fishing actually is one of our most hit and miss styles of fishing. When the sharks are biting, the trips are absolutely awesome and everyone loves it. Sharks, however, can be sensitive to changes like water temperature, weather patterns, and factors that we cannot see or predict. They can literally be on fire one night and slow the next night. We fish between the shoal and the shore because that is where the big sharks are. There isn’t a whole lot else to catch in that area besides bait fish and the occasional red drum, tarpon, or ray. We can setup small tackle rods so that our customers can catch small bait fish while we wait for the sharks to bite. Usually adults prefer to sit and relax, while kids love catching and seeing the bait fish. With all of that said, on average, we catch 5 nice sharks per trip. We also have an average of 80% success rate throughout the year. That means that while 80% of the trips work out really well, 20% do not.
Are we guaranteed to catch fish?
We guarantee that we will try very hard, but fishing is fishing and we cannot control all the factors that the ocean provides. With that said, our Captains are very good and usually if they aren’t catching fish, no one is. We publish our success rates for each trip type by month on our reports page. We are a family owned business and we strive to be completely honest with our customers. We truly want everyone to have a great experience and we promise that we will always strive to provide that!
Do we get to choose what kind of fish we target?
You can request to fish for certain species and we will try very hard to catch what you want. It is, however, always a better idea to let the captain take you to fish for what is hot at the time. We like to catch everything and love to hear the drag scream and see the rods bend. Every fish is awesome in our opinion!
Some people have a fish on their “bucket list”. If this is the case, please call us so that we can discuss the likeliness of catching that particular fish during the time you are planning a charter.
Some people only want fish they can eat and that is okay. You may keep any fish that falls within the legal limits. Legal limits have gotten much stricter in the past few years. Just remember fishing is fun and if your only goal is to fill up your freezer, you may be better off spending your money at the fish market.
We have compiled our last 3 years of catch data into an easy to read infographic that will show you how prominent certain species are throughout the year. You can also see our reports page to see what we have caught in the past during the month you are planning your trip. Overall when you leave it up to the captain you usually end up with good action and a few fresh fish for dinner.
Do you always catch fish?
On every trip full day or half day, we usually catch a good number of nice fish. We don’t get skunked very often, but it does happen… that is why it is called fishing and not catching. Our captains usually fish every day (weather permitting), so we have a good idea at where the best possible place to catch fish is. Since we our full-time captains, we are always talking to each other about where the best fishing is that day. When you contact us about a fishing trip, we will honestly tell you what the fishing has been like and what you can expect to catch. Please feel free to go thru our past daily catch reports on our reports page and see what we have caught over the past couple of years. We post our daily catch whether it was good or bad. We are very proud of how good we are at finding and catching fish. We feel that we provide our customers with the best possible chance at a great fishing trip.
Is there a difference in the type of fish we can catch on half or full days?
On half days, we typically troll between 8 and 15 miles. When we troll in these areas, our primary species is king mackerel. Certain times of year, we also get mahi and cobia. There is always a chance at sailfish or wahoo, although these are more of a trophy catch and we don’t get them all the time. We also catch a good number of fun action fish such as barracuda, bonito, and sharks. We can also do a style of fishing called chicken-rigging to target snapper, triggerfish, and sea bass. While chicken-rigging is a lot of fun, the fish tend to be smaller. Also, we cannot keep red snapper at all or sea bass under 12 inches.
On full days, we have time to go as far as 30 miles if needed to target fish. This opens up some other options such as bottom fishing for amberjack and grouper or trolling in the gulf stream for mahi. Many times on full days, we still fish between 8 and 15 miles because that is where the best action is. Also on full days, we have time to try a couple of different styles of fishing if need be.
Does a half-day trip provide enough time to catch fish?
The answer is most of the time, yes. Since we fish everyday ocean conditions allow us to go, we usually know right where the fish are. On half days, we typically travel between 8 and 15 miles to the fishing grounds. This means that riding time will be between 45 min and an hour and a half depending on how far we go and which boat you booked. Most half days will enjoy about 3 hours of fishing time.
We typically start off by going to where we were catching fish the previous day. Most of the time this works out great, however, every now and then conditions do change over night. When conditions change, we can usually make a quick move or two and be right back on the fish. Every once in a while, we can run into problems on half days when the best fishing is very far out. When this happens, the ride eats up a lot of time. Then if the fish don’t cooperate on the first few areas, we quickly find ourselves under a time crunch. These are the days that a full day does make all the difference in the world.
Most of the time, however, our captains are very good at predicting where to catch the fish and can lead customers to fish on half day charters. We publish our success rates for each trip type by month on our reports page. You can also see what each trip caught as a comparison.
Will we have live bait?
We always provide the best bait for the fishing style that is providing the most action at the time. Some times that means live bait, some times that means dead bait, some times that means artificial bait. If we need live bait, the Captain will stop to either throw a cast net, or to catch them on a bait rod. This usually takes 30 minutes or less but on difficult days it can take longer. Most of the live bait we use cannot be purchased so it is necessary to catch it the day of the trip. Most of the bait only stays lively for 5 or 6 hours so we cannot catch it ahead of time. The reason we have to catch bait during your charter is that the bait needs to be as fresh and lively as possible. Old and nearly dead bait does not catch fish as well as lively bait. Yes the bait catching process does count on your fishing time. Most people enjoy it and bait fishing or looking for bait often provides us with opportunity to catch bigger fish that are eating the bait. If you don’t like the idea of taking time to catch bait during your trip please give us a call and we will let you know the best months to fish with dead bait.
How far will we go out?
On average we fish about 18 miles out. However it varies greatly especially in the summer months. In the summer when conditions are right we can have great fishing less than a half a mile off the beach. Less travel equals more fishing time. Days and weeks after we have had very large seas or tropical storm activity we sometimes need to travel up to 40 miles. If you are requesting to target a specific species, that will determine the distance we have to travel as well.
Do you go out to the Gulf Stream?
Yes, we will go to the Gulf Stream when it is the right time of year. We usually go there when we are in pursuit of dolphin, wahoo, and sail fish from March thru July. Usually, there is no reason to go to the stream because the warm waters offshore of Cape Canaveral provide a stunning amount of action. Gulf Stream fishing is more important further north or if you fish Florida’s West Coast. Basically, we go to the stream when the fishing requires it, or if our customers want to target a specific species that is more prominent in the Gulf Stream, but most of the time the best fishing is not at the stream.