What makes a great fishing boat captain

Did you know that one of the top factors that clients consider when choosing a fishing charter is the captain? It makes perfect sense since the clients will be heading out to the deep blue ocean and they will be depending on the captain’s knowledge and experience to safely take them to the best fishing spots. The captain and his passengers will be spending several hours together on the boat so the skipper’s personality, attitude, and ability to take care of his customers’ needs would definitely contribute to their satisfaction with the service.

sergio sussarey

At this point, you might be wondering, what are the qualities that make a great skipper? Here is a list of traits that many customers look for in a captain.


The captain is the person-in-charge of the boat and it’s his job to navigate the vessel and bring anglers to the prime areas where the fish are biting. A full-time captain who has spent a minimum of five years angling on the same waters is privy to the fishing hotspots and familiar with water conditions and fishing seasons. He is likely more capable of predicting the waters and fish behavior compared to someone who only takes the role during weekends because he has other jobs during weekdays.

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A full-time skipper is also more dependable when it comes to handling challenges at sea that require greater skill in maneuvering the boat like when the sea gets a little rough. The weather could turn against you when you are out on the ocean, that’s why it’s good to have a person that you can trust with your life at the helm.  

Thus, a skipper with more years of experience is a great asset in ensuring that the anglers get a more productive and enjoyable fishing experience.

Angling knowledge and skills


captain andrea
Fishing has been a tradition in Captain Andrea Giardina’s Sicilian family for three generations. His grandfather first took him fishing when he was a kid and taught him all kinds of fishing techniques including catching octopus barehanded. Captain Andrea has been fishing ever since and is now sharing his fishing expertise to his customers. You can visit his website at FishingItaly.com and Sicily Fishing.

A great captain is also a passionate fisherman and he is well-versed with the different kinds of lures and baits that are best to use on different species. Years spent on the water have given the skipper ample knowledge of what the fish eats, their migratory patterns, and reactions to the slightest temperature changes.

With a number of years under his belt and a long string of trial and error, a seasoned skipper has witnessed and experienced different battles at sea and he is the best person to ask for angling tips and techniques.

Should there be a beginner on board, a perceptive skipper would gladly fill in the novice with the important basics and recommended techniques before casting any lines to boost their striking odds. When it comes to seasoned anglers, he could help them take on more challenging species to test their fishing abilities.

Social skills

Going on an angling adventure is not just about catching fish but it’s also about the overall experience. It goes without saying that many customers appreciate a captain who is cheerful and makes you feel right at home. It’s a bonus to have someone who is funny and easy to talk to.

jim ross

Imagine spending four to eight hours in a confined space with someone is too serious, uptight, or worse doesn’t even smile and communicate. Although it’s not the primary role of the skipper to entertain his passengers, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who enjoys sharing his passion and engages with the people on board?

Joseph, a novice fisherman said that he will never forget his first angling experience in the waters of Cabo. He booked a fishing charter with his wife and friends and they all happened to be beginners. Their captain was very patient and accommodating to them. He didn’t mind answering their mountain of questions and he was always full of enthusiasm as he taught them the ropes.

“There was never a dull moment at sea because our captain loved cracking jokes. Our captain was an amazing cheerleader! Whenever one of us lost a catch, he would encourage us to try again until we landed one successfully,” Joseph said.

Compassion is another admirable trait of a great captain. As you may well know, seasickness is a challenge for most people who travel on boats. He may recommend home remedies and over-the-counter medications before the trip but clients may still experience seasickness during the actual trip. A compassionate skipper would take time to say comforting words and offer that person anything that could help ease the discomfort. It can be as simple as a glass of water or a bag of ice but the client will likely appreciate the gesture of concern.

Experience supersedes the catch

It’s normal for customers to ask what they can expect to catch during the trip. Some anglers may have certain species that they want to target. A discerning skipper who knows the waters and the fishing seasons very well can suggest a list of possible catches without making any promises. Instead of giving guarantees, the captain should focus more on giving the client the best fishing experience regardless of the catch.

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