How to Choose the Best Fishing Charter in St. Petersburg, Florida

How to Choose the Best Fishing Charter in St. Petersburg, Florida

Table of Contents

Choose the best fishing charter in St. Petersburg, Florida that will tailor a private charter to meet your individual needs. It will be the trip of a lifetime! Bucket list material? Don’t make the mistake of not doing some research on the options available. There are many to choose from, and like anything else, some do not turn out so good. Doing a bit of research before your booking can be the difference between a dream day out and a trip you would like to forget.

Tips for Choosing the Best Fishing Charter in St. Petersburg, Florida

1. Only Use an Experienced, Licensed Captain

  • Choose a fishing charter in St. Petersburg with a Captain who has spent decades on the water.
  • Ensure you speak directly with the Captain to review all the options and design a trip to your specifications.
  • An experienced fishing charter Captain will know the best hotspots to target specific fish species, whether it is an inshore, nearshore, or offshore trip.
  • They’ll also be able to make your experience extra special, with fun facts and advice during the trip.
  • An expert Captain will be ideal for guiding beginners or helping experienced anglers get their dream catch.
  • Only use a fully licensed and permitted St. Petersburg fishing charter.
  • Some people make the mistake of going on unlicensed fishing charters, which means they’re fishing illegally! That can also lead to a terrible, unprofessional experience.
  • If you’re fishing on a legitimate, licensed fishing charter like YACHTFISH Fishing Charters, then you don’t need to get any license or permit for anyone in your party.
  • They’ll know how to make all skill levels and ages comfortable and have the best day out on the water – from kids to experts!
  • YACHTFISH Fishing Charters recently celebrated its 20th year in business!

2. Always Use Private Boat Charters

  • The best fishing charters in St. Petersburg, Florida offer private boats.
  • These boats will be private for just you and your party.
  • You’ll escape the common downside of “headboat” charters, where the boat is anchored up all day and overcrowded with up to 50 tourists.
  • The Captain’s focus will be on you and maximizing your experience.
  • YACHTFISH Fishing Charters provides private bookings for all types of trips and does not require an upfront deposit to book your trip!

3. State-of-the-art Boats and Fishing Equipment

  • Don’t settle for anything less than a world-class vessel for your fishing charter.
  • Look for a fishing charter company with multiple boats geared toward any type of fishing.
  • It’s a common mistake to only look for bigger-sized boats. Bigger is not always better. Size depends on the type of fish being targeted and the location to be fished.
  • The fishing equipment must be top-of-the-line with several different options available, depending on the type of fish being targeted.
  • YACHTFISH Fishing Charters boasts a fleet of state-of-the-art boats with a 32-foot SeaVee Center Console which is great for offshore fishing and three Avenger center console boats that focus on inshore and nearshore fishing. These vessels are the perfect blend of comfort and performance for targeting all types of fish.

4. Checking Reviews is Critical

  • The best fishing charters in St. Petersburg, Florida should have at least a 4.5+ star rating for their reviews and usually have over 200 Google reviews.
  • Have a browse, so you can see what people say about their experiences.
  • Check out the photos!
  • View YACHTFISH Fishing Charters reviews here.

5. Choose The Location Wisely

  • Location is important, especially for inshore fishing, as you’ll be staying close to the coast (whereas for offshore fishing, you’ll be traveling farther).
  • For example, departing from St. Pete Beach or St. Petersburg is great for staying close to incredibly vibrant mangroves, wrecks, and beaches year-round.
  • YACHTFISH Fishing Charters depart from St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Tampa, and Clearwater.

6. Choose Your Experience

  • There are different types of fishing charter trips available. Pick the best one suited to meet your needs.
  • If you’re unsure and have any questions, ask the charter Captain when booking the trip. This is very important to get a feel for the Captain!
  • Offshore Fishing Charters:
    • These areas are also known as Deep-Sea Fishing.
    • You’ll head miles out into the Gulf of Mexico to seek giant, trophy-sized fish!
    • These are all-day trips that push you to your limits, but reward you with an incredible day of variety and action.
  • Inshore Fishing Charters:
    • These areas are also known as nearshore fishing.
    • This is a very popular experience.
    • There is less travel time and you’ll stay near the beaches and mangroves to experience heart-pounding fights with Florida’s top game fish.

Read Related: The Ultimate Guide to Shark Fishing Charters in St Pete Beach

7. Look for Freedom of Flexibility

  • Use a fishing charter that gives you the freedom to choose your experience.
  • For example, if you have kids you might want to limit how long your trip is.
  • Or maybe you want to target a specific fish species, or try a new technique!
  • Which trip will you choose, an inshore or offshore charter?

Read Related: 10 Reasons to Go Fishing with Your Kids This Summer in Florida

8. The Lowest Price is Not Best in The Fishing Industry

  • Don’t assume the lowest price is the best deal when choosing the best fishing charter in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Some Fishing charters run lower-priced fishing trips with no liability insurance, minimal experience, or licenses – putting you and your trip at risk.
  • A legitimate fishing charter will have a reasonable price with great equipment, safety gear, experience, and licenses. Your party will not have to purchase any licenses.
  • Beware of fishing brokers that advertise charter trips from numerous fishing charters. The charters not only have to pay the broker for the lead but are often part-time charter “Captains” or startups with minimal experience. And the brokers charge a deposit upfront! YACHTFISH does not charge any upfront deposit.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

9. Book in Advance for your Private Fishing Charter

  • Our final piece of advice is to book your St. Petersburg fishing charter in advance!
  • The industry is very competitive, with tourists and locals keen to book the private fishing charters months in advance. Remember that YACHTFISH will not charge a deposit for your trip!
  • This is especially true around summer and the holiday season.

Book The Best Fishing Charter in St. Petersburg, Florida


If you’d like to book the best fishing charter in St. Petersburg, Florida, then look no further than YACHTFISH Fishing Charters. With over 250 Google reviews and a 4.9 rating, you will not be disappointed!

YACHTFISH Fishing Charters has enjoyed over 20 years of experience in St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Tampa, and Clearwater while guaranteeing you a catch every time! We welcome all ages and all skill levels, from young novices to experienced anglers.

CALL or TEXT: YACHTFISH CHARTERS (727) 433-4200 to book a private fishing charter in St. Petersburg today! Or BOOK NOW at

YACHTFISH will provide an unforgettable experience second to none with Fishing Charters departing daily from St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Tampa, and Clearwater.

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About the Author...
Matt Douglas

Matt Douglas

Captain Matt Douglas is the founder of YACHTFISH and is a licensed United States Coast Guard 100 ton Master Captain. Captain Matt grew up on the waters of Tampa Bay and lived and worked in Costa Rica for over 11 years. He has extensive experience in Central America, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Florida. Captain Matt is a tournament-winning captain who has an intense passion for boating, fishing and creating life time memories for his Clients. These passions, combined with his experience, were the catalysts for YACHTFISH. Captain Matt is laser-focused on what he enjoys the most, and knows the best, in Tampa Bay and Costa Rica.
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from our happy Guests

We had such a great time with these guys. Captain Nick and Captain Scott we spent two day inshore fishing with. Both of them are great guys and we had a blast fishing with them. We went off shore with Captian Pat and Sam, these two guys kept us busy... read more
Jake Vagher Avatar
Captain Jon was knowledgable and caught so many fish we couldn't keep track including this huge shark. Highly recommend Yacht Fish!
Emily Taylor Avatar
Had an epic time on the water with Captain Scott. He took great care of our group, constantly found good spots for us, and made sure we were safe and having fun. Mostly fished sharks and bass and were able to catch a great sunset on the way in 10/10... read more
Drake Hougo Avatar
Although we didn’t catch many fish it was a really great day on the water with captain Johnny and first mate Cooper. Thanks for keeping our spirits up in challenging conditions. I’d highly recommend YAGHTFISH.
Joe Spratt Avatar
The St. Petersburg Fishing Charter team was friendly, knowledgeable, and committed to providing top-notch service. It was a pleasure to work with a company that puts such a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction.
sheldon sneed Avatar
We booked a trip very last min and they were able to accommodate us with minimal effort! The day out was great fun, the guys were polite and fun and they know their stuff when it comes to finding the fish. Some great fish and better memories! Hands down YACHTFISH... read more
Karen Murphy Avatar
What an amazing experience! We caught fish the entire trip with Captain Scott! He’s extremely knowledgable of all the different species. We are down from Indiana for family vacation and will definitely be booking again in the future!
Enrique Moreno Avatar
Booked a trip with Yachtfish and fished with captain Scott. Captain Scott was super awesome with our family and kept us on fish the whole trip. Can’t wait to do it again!
Kaitlyn Richins Avatar
Captain Scott was great! Got us on the fish.
Thomas Talbert Avatar
Great Day on water with Scott Edwards with Yachtfish group…very professional…Fun…and Productive!
Henry Lawson Avatar