Deep sea fishing charters can be expensive. A private charter can run anywhere from $800 to $2000 or more depending on the trip length, the boat, and the specific nature of the trip. If you are a single person looking to get out on the water, these rates may be prohibitive. However, split or shared fishing charters exist at a much more affordable per person rate of around $200 – $350 per person plus tip.
What Is A Split Charter?
So what is a split or shared charter? It is a deep sea fishing charter where solo anglers pay for a seat on a boat rather than for the entire charter, and are matched up with other anglers. These charters accommodate a max of six passengers. The fishing experience is what we call captain’s choice, so you may be trolling the blue water for a more traditional deep sea charter experience, looking for species like dolphin (mahi-mahi), sailfish, tuna, etc. or, you may be trolling over the reef for barracuda, snappers, jacks, etc. If you are looking to fish for a specific species, this is not the trip for you. The captain’s main goal on these trips is action, so they are going to go where ever they think the bite will be more active.
On a split or shared deep sea fishing charter, the fishing is done in a round robin type setting. What that means is that as the boat trolls baits waiting for a fish to strike, the anglers are waiting. Once a fish strikes, Angler One will fight the fish. Depending on what is being targeted, the other lines might be brought in until the angler is done fighting the fish or they may be left out for the potential of multiple hookups, at which time when the next fish strikes, Angler Two would have a chance to fight a fish. If it is a slow day of fishing, some anglers may not get any rod time. If it is a great day of fishing, every angler may get multiple shots at fighting a fish.
Logistics Of Shared Deep Sea Fishing Charters
As you could probably guess, it would not be prudent for a captain to take out only one or two people on a split charter, as he would not be making enough money to even cover his expenses for the day, so at least four anglers are needed to make a trip of it. The good thing about the captains here in Key West that offer split or shared charters is this: the captains work together and pool their people if they do not have enough people in their own group to try and make a go of it. So, that means if Captain A has only one or two anglers on his books for a particular day, and Captain B has four anglers on his books for that same day, Captain A’s anglers may end up getting out with Captain B instead. However, if Capt. B has six anglers already and Capt. C is booked up, then Capt. A will need to cancel your charter.
How To Book a Split Charter?
To set up a split or shared charter, ring my office at 305-292-7212. I will try and get you paired up with other anglers looking to get out on the water on the same day as you. For best results we suggest calling about 3-4 days in advance. Calling too far in advance will probably get you bumped for a private charter, as there are no guarantees that the captain will have a few more people looking to go on that same day and a private charter is guaranteed, while waiting until the last minute leaves you open to the possibility that the captains offering these charters will be sold out.
At the end of your split charter, the edible fish that you opted to keep, the mate will filet it for you back at the dock and many of the local restaurants will cook your catch for you. You can find a list of some of our favorite restaurants that offers this service HERE.
Contact me direct and I am happy to help you get set up on a Split fishing charter in Key West.