Five questions to ask your catfishing guide before the trip

Before you start out any cat fishing trip there are 5 questions you need to ask your guide. Don’t make assumptions because you will find that there is a wide spectrum of differences of what can be offered in terms of these expeditions. Some of them have everything you can think of and others are very minimal.

What is Included?

You always want to know what is included in your charter. There is going to be a limited amount of space so you don’t want to bring anything you don’t need. Find out if they have the tackle and bait or if you need to take your own. Find out if there will be food and drinks or if you need to bring your own.

What are the regulations for the fishing in that area? You need to know any size limits, maximum amount of fish that you can get, and even if there are catch and release policies that may apply. If you do catch some fish that you want to keep how will they be stored? There may be coolers on the boat for you but in many instances you have to bring them along yourself filled with ice.

What is the Agenda?

You need to have a good idea of what the day is going to be like when you go out on a catfish charter. What time of day will you start out and where are you going to meet? Sometimes they will pick you up at your accommodations and other times you are responsible for working out the transportation details on your own.

Find out where you will be headed and what time you will be coming back. That will allow you to tell others where you plan to spend the day. It also gives you a chance to plan some other activities for the rest of the day if you would like to. Ask about where you will be taken to find fish and what types of fish you can expect in that area.

You need to find out what the plans will be for meals. Do you need to enjoy your breakfast before you get to the boat, take it with you, or will it be served? The same is true for lunch as you will likely still be on the boat at that time.

The more you know about what the day will hold for you in terms of the cat fishing charter the better prepared you can be for it. Make sure you check the weather too so you have sunscreen, a jacket, and even a raincoat with you in case you need them.


You do want to take the time to find out what guarantees are offered. If you have to pay a deposit you want to find out if you get it back if you can’t show up. Sometimes they will do so if there is a time frame such as up to 48 hours. Other times the deposit is non refundable but they will allow you to reschedule.

What happens if there is a problem with the charter or there is a storm? Do they guarantee that you will catch a certain number of fish? All of the guarantees that are offered should be extended in writing too so that there is no question about them later on.


Refunds are rare when it comes to catfish charters. However, there may be times when the captain can’t show up or they fail to show up. There could be water restrictions, weather problems, or other dilemmas that just make it impossible for the trip to continue as planned.


You definitely want to find out what is offered though in terms of overall safety. Some of the older charters may not look like they are going to hold up out there. Always find out what inspections have been done and when they last occurred. Find out how many people will be on the boat and that there is enough life jackets for all of them.

You should also be told where the life jackets are and first aid kit in case any one needs the help. There should be a radio on board too that allows for help to be called in the event that there is an issue. You will want to find out what experience the captain has in using the boat in rough weather and how long they have been operating a boat.

If you feel that the captain is under the influence of drugs or alcohol it isn’t recommended that you get on board. It can be a disappointment if you end up not getting to take your charter but your own safety is much more important than any fish that are out there so be alert.

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