Ask any experienced fisherman out there where to find the best fishing in the Gulf, and sure enough, he’ll mention Galveston. Well-known for its variety of fishing grounds, which include bays, jetties, flats, and blue water, Galveston is home to a vast array of fish, from bottom feeders to schoolfish to predators like sailfish and shark.

There’s no doubt that it’s easy to have a great time out on a Galveston fishing charter, but the more you know about the species of fish you’re after, the grounds you’d like to fish, and the type of experience you want to have, the more a good charter operation can help give you the best fishing trip possible. So let’s look at some of your options in picking your next Galveston fishing charter trip to help you make the right choice.

Picking the Fishing Ground for the Species You Want to Fish

Galveston, Texas, as mentioned, is home to a huge diversity of fishing grounds, so make sure you know how far out you want to fish before booking your next charter trip. For shallower fishing, you can check out the bay side of Galveston Island.  The areas around Galveston Island State Park and Pelican Island, for example, host red drum, flounder, trout, shark and redfish.  You can also head deeper out to fish off oil platforms, wrecks, and artificial reefs for snapper, amberjack and kingfish. Head even further out and you can find the big deep-sea fish like billfish, sailfish, tuna or even tilefish if that’s what you’re after! Just remember to factor in the time out and back to your fishing grounds, and stock up on drinks and snacks accordingly!

Picking the Right Boat for Your Needs

Once you’re set on the fish you want to fish for, you’ll want to decide what vessel and party size you want. Don’t make the rookie error of mistaking the lowest rate for the best deal. Remember that a charter trip is as much about the service you can expect from captain and crew, as it is about the boat and equipment itself. So look for a boat built for, and a crew knowledgeable about, fishing. Things like well-maintained rods and reels, sturdy rod sockets, built-in fish boxes, and fish finders, for instance, are the mark of a real fishing vessel. Also, you’ll want to be sure the boat’s got powerful enough engines to cut the chop, and that it’s up to snuff on all safety equipment and regulations.

Finally, make sure you give some thought to the party size you want on your boat. Some boats offer party charters, where you go out with a boatload of other anglers, but this sort of trip obviously won’t give you the intimacy and attention of a private charter. Even though the latter are significantly more expensive, booking one means that it’ll just be you and your buddies out on the boat with its small crew dedicated to helping you find and reel in the big ones. But if you can’t afford a private charter boat all to yourself, you can think about a shared expense trip, in which you split the cost with another small party or couple, thus benefiting from affordability and intimacy all in one package.

So think over what, where, and with whom you want to fish, and book your next Galveston fishing charter trip today!