As the country starts to thaw after a long, cold winter, people look forward to getting outside again. Spending time on the water is one of the best ways to soak up the warm sun and nothing says summer like a day of fishing! But how do you find and catch “the big one?” Many people choose to hire a professional guide or captain to help them catch that special fish that leads to lots of future “fish tales.”
The Southeast is home to more types of fishing opportunities and charter boat captains than any other area of the United States. When you make the decision to go out on the water, you need to do some homework in advance. Federally permitted captains are committed to making sure you have a fun, safe day on the water. All federal permits require safety equipment and inspections by government agencies like the U.S. Coast Guard. Success for a for-hire charter captain is really dependent on providing great experiences for their customers with the hopes of return business and positive word of mouth.
Unfortunately, not everyone plays by the rules. NOAA Fisheries has noticed a rising trend in complaints of businesses operating illegally and using unpermitted charter boats in federal waters.
READ MORE at fisheries.noaa.gov