Keys to Planning a Fishing Trip (Part 1)

Planning a chartered or guided fishing trip can seem like a daunting task given the number of choices out there.  It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process though.  We think the best way to start is by asking yourself three questions that cover all the basics to consider when planning a trip: type of trip, species, location, experience, and cost.

1. Is this a vacation where we fish or a fishing vacation?

2. What do I want to catch?

3. How much is this fish worth?

Is this a vacation where we fish or a fishing vacation?

Example trip No. 1:  Disney World

The kids have been hounding you for a Disney trip, and the wife likes the idea of a few days in a first-class Orlando resort. The little ones are set to be surprised with a Christmas morning flight to Florida, and you just happened to budget an extra day to chase world class largemouth on Lake Okeechobee — the three-hour drive south that, you’ve heard, is more than worth it.

Example trip No. 2:  The Keys Slam

Since discovering Great Granddad’s cane fly rods — or A River Runs Through It — you’ve mastered your local trout stream. You’ve perfected your cast, have a closet full of Orvis schwag, and spent more time at the fly shop than with your family on Sundays. You’ve spent hours poring over the Internet, researching trips, guides and outfitters. You’ve decided to try your hand at the legendary Keys Slam: permit, tarpon, and bonefish in a single day. The money is saved. The boss has given you the green light. All that’s left is picking that one perfect guide.

Both of these examples are Florida fishing trips, but the spirit couldn’t be more different. One is a vacation that happens to include a day of fishing. The other is a real deal fishing vacation. The vast majority of recreational fishermen, believe it or not, fit into Example No. 1 — whether it’s a family vacation, work conference, or unexpected trip near a good body of water. Thinking about your trip in these simple terms will better help you plan a successful trip.

So, what do I want to catch? Stay tuned for part two…

Want to get a jump on the rest of the crew?  Click Here and head over to Fin & Field to download our guide to planning and booking a fishing trip.

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