Business Overview

Many people enjoy fishing, but few people have the boats, tackle and knowledge to go fishing far from shore. Fishing charter businesses take people on fishing trips that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience. These trips may range from going into swamps to venturing far offshore. Customers are usually allowed to keep any fish that they catch (assuming the fish are legal to keep).

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who is passionate about fishing and enjoys sharing that passion with other people may be well-suited for running a fishing charter business. Customers expect fishing charter captains to be knowledge about and have a love for fishing, and sharing that knowledge and love helps ensure customers have a great time.

What happens during a typical day at a fishing charter business?

A charter business owner begins their day by getting fuel, bait and ice. While getting these supplies, captains often discuss the current weather and fishing conditions with other fishing charter captains and the marina owner. (Ice is used to keep fish fresh. In some setups, fish can be kept in water tanks that are built into a boat, and ice isn’t necessary.)

Customers usually meet the captain at the marina. Everyone boards the boat, and the captain explains any pertinent safety information and the day’s plan. While fishing, the captain helps customers bait their lines, use proper technique and reel in fish.

Once back at the dock, the fish are cleaned and the boat is wiped down for the next day. This may be done by the captain or an employee.

What is the target market?

A fishing charter business’ ideal client is someone who likes fishing and has discretionary income. Such a person is likely interested in a fishing charter, and they can afford to go on one.

How does a fishing charter business make money?

A fishing charter business makes money by charging customers who want to go on fishing trips. Trips may last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Most charters, however, are either half-day or full-day trips.

What is the growth potential for a fishing charter business?

Most fishing charter businesses operate out of a single location, because captains need to have an in-depth knowledge of the waters they fish. Operating in different regions -- even if on the same body of water -- reduces how much a captain will know about the fishing in each region.

Businesses may operate multiple boats out of a single harbor, though. A fishing charter business in Port Canaveral, Florida, for example, has two boats.