An Overloaded Fishing Boat Adversely Affects the Outcome of A Fishing Trip

How many anglers allowed on board a Cocoa Beach Fishing Charter or Port Canaveral Charter Fishing Trip

Shallow water fishing for redfish or other species requires specialized equipment and vessels built to practically fish 1 thru 3 anglers depending on their size and weight. As with all private charter fishing boats in the United States, we hold a Coast Guard OUPV or “Six Pack” license. This license only allows us to take up to six customers on the boat legally.  If you are looking for a party larger than six you need to look for a Port Canaveral charter fishing party boat “head boat”. These party boats often take fifty or more customers.

What Is a Shallow Water “Flats Boat”?

how many anglersMany saltwater game fish are caught in less than three feet of water and often less than a foot. To pursue these favorite sports fish, many boat manufacturers develop small skiffs that can operate and float in extremely shallow water. These vessels are light, quiet and are made to push around. Using a long composite pole for maximum stealth and quietness so as not to spook fish in the shallows. Many quality gamefish have learned electric motor hum and avoid the sound of an approaching boat using one altogether. Imagine how difficult it could be for a fishing guide to propel a boat, anglers and extra equipment around with a push-pole, imagine the difficulty when it’s four or five anglers, and the vessel is scraping the bottom of the lagoon with the additional weight. It turns a possible performance Cocoa Beach fishing charter into a low-performance journey in a hurry.

A Visual Explanation of How Many Anglers can Practically Fish in a Shallow Water Skiff or Bay Boat

How Many Anglers Does Lagooner Fishing Guides Take on their Boats?

Flats Fishing Boat (18-foot Action Craft)
We typically take up to three anglers on this watercraft and try to communicate the disadvantages of having additional passengers as illustrated in the photographs on the left. As you can see in the photos, after two customers, the Guide often struggles with what to do with the additional guest on the forward casting platform. This boat works great for a Cocoa Beach fishing charter.

Tower or Bay Boat (24-foot Action Craft-Coastal Bay)
In addition to our 18 foot Flats Boat, we have a 24 foot Tower Boat that can comfortably fit up to four passengers on a calm day. During our summer months, we take Port Canaveral charter fishing trips in the ocean where this craft is an excellent addition to our arsenal of Saltwater Fishing Vessels. It’s perfect for fast-paced fishing along the beach looking for tarpon and schools of jacks, snook or redfish. When the water is clean the tower with full controls, allow the guide to put you on cobra and other sight fished ocean running species.

How to turn a High-Performance Fishing Trip into JUST another Day of Fishing.

Overload the boat with too many passengers and fishing equipment making it impractical for anglers to move around the interior freely is the surest way to doom a day of fishing from the start.

Sight fishing requires an angler to stand on the bow and look attentively for gamefish. There’s often room for two fishermen if they cooperate while taking turns casting and looking. However, more than two on the bow of the boat often becomes awkward for both angler(s) and guide. A Cocoa Beach fishing charter in shallow water can be the best fishing experience for a fisherman as it challenges their fishing abilities while scanning for fish and casting to signs of feeding or swimming fish. East Central Florida is famous for its shallow water fishing on the Indian, Banana and Mosquito Lagoons.

When taking children on a Cocoa Beach fishing charter, depending on their age and attention spans, consider limiting the fishing trip to a half day or 4-5 hour trip. You know your child better than anyone, but be honest with yourself and always try and give your child a positive experience where they remember a great morning on the water rather than a grueling day of hard fishing for eight or nine hours.

One of my fondest letters received from a young angler after a half day fishing with his father reminded me of how children’s expectations are often different.

“I wanted to thank you for a great day of fishing on the Indian River with my dad and me. The 18-pound redfish was the biggest fish that I have ever caught, but my favorite part of the day was picking the bait up from your net.”
– A ten-year-old angler

I chuckled when I read this… the redfish was just gravy on his fishing adventure, he had more fun playing with the bait than catching the biggest fish of his life.

It’s our job to meet the expectations of our anglers, doing this requires preparation and years of practice which can still be a challenging endeavor. If you’re looking for a high-performance fishing trip while visiting Florida, call Lagooner fishing guides and invite a friend or two.

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