Why Choose a Private Fishing Charter Over a Tampa Bay Party Boat

When you’re going on a fishing trip in Tampa Bay, one of the first things that come to mind is what type of fishing charter to hire or join. Different services come to mind, but the two most common ones are party boats and private fishing charters.

So, which one is the best to choose? You’ve probably heard more people, particularly seasoned anglers, recommending that you pay a bit more for private fishing charters than party boats. But why choose a private fishing charter over a Tampa Bay party boat?


Why Choose a Private Fishing Charter Over a Tampa Bay Party Boat

We’ll be talking about the different factors to consider as you choose between a private fishing charter and Tampa Bay party boat so you can make your decision! We don’t want to force anyone to choose something over the other, as it will all depend on your personal preferences and budget, among other factors.

Private Fishing Charter Over a Tampa Bay Party Boat

The Experience

We only recommend party boat fishing for first-timers, families with young children learning to fish, and people who want to explore the Gulf of Mexico. It isn’t best for sports fishing style adventures and those who prefer to be around fewer people with specific fish species in mind.

Private charters are definitely not like party boats; you can’t expect an entire party to come along. As the name suggests, you have everything to yourself and a group of people you invited, may it be family or friends. You’ve got the exclusivity, and you’ll get to see why private fishing charters are considered the cream of the crop in fishing excursions.

Private fishing charters are suitable for anyone with a budget. It’s pricier than party boats, but you get more privacy, exclusivity, and the choice of where to go. That said, we recommend expert and seasoned anglers hire private fishing charters to get more of a customized experience.

Communicate with the captain about your chosen fishing experience and what species you’d like to catch, and he will create a plan based on your preferences. You can’t do that in a party boat, as you’ll need to follow a set route made for everyone. Moreover, you’ll get full priority with the captain and crew whenever you need assistance with fishing equipment or reeling in huge monsters!


The Fishing Types

With private charters, you can choose among numerous fishing excursions; the sky’s the limit! Whether you want to go bottom fishing, trolling, or sight fishing, you can let the captain know what you prefer. You’ll receive a personalized experience and recommendations based on the fish in season, the day’s specific conditions, and the private charter’s length.

Note that the shorter the trip, the smaller the fishing variety you get. But if you opt for trips over 12 hours long, you can expect big sports fishing adventures. Overnight charters are best suited for targeting big fish like dolphins, marlins, sailfish, and the like.

As for party boats, it’s important to note that you’ll be fishing with up to 100 different people. These charters are known to target bottom fishing wrecks and reefs, usually sticking to the same set of locations each trip. When you’re in a party boat, expect to target groupers, snappers, and other bottom fishing species in season.

It’s rare to find party boats offering 12-hour or overnight excursions, but you can sign up for 3-hour to 6-hour trips where you can catch various fish. Just like in any fishing trip, you never know what you’ll get!

Private Fishing Charter Over a Tampa Bay Party Boat 

Number of People

Party boats would carry the most people among any other charter, though it depends on what the coast guard approves. Smaller party boats would carry about 40 people at most, while you can find larger vessels carrying over 100 people.

If you plan on joining a party boat, we recommend asking the minimum headcount required. Usually, party boats will reach closer to maximum capacity come summer, while it’s closer to minimum capacity come colder months.

Private fishing charters will have far fewer people per trip! Actually, it’s up to you and the captain because you can go on a solo trip, though this will be pricey. Some private charters can fit up to a maximum of six people, while you can find others approved for over 20 passengers by the Coast Guard.

Note that the more people there will be in a private charter, the higher the price becomes. However, that also means that the price per person lessens.


The Cost

As you probably assume, private charters are way pricier than party boats, and that’s true. But you have to take into account the fact that you will receive excellent service and privacy from private charters, which you can’t receive from party boats.

That said, party boats are reasonably cheap and also worth the price, though you’ll have to deal with crowds and fishing with strangers, which may not be for everyone. Party boats cost about $10-15 per hour per person, depending on the fishing season and charter.

As for private fishing charters, it can cost upwards of $200 per person, about $210-250 for six people in an 8-hour private charter. A bit expensive but definitely worth it with the advantages and services offered.

Private Fishing Charter Over a Tampa Bay Party Boat

Wrapping It Up

Again, there is no better fishing charter as it will depend on what you want and need. While party boats are a fine choice if you’re a first-timer, with children, or on a budget, we can see why people recommend private fishing charters. Each has its pros and cons, so weigh them before committing to one service.

Once you have chosen what kind of fishing charter you prefer, contact us now and learn about what services we can offer you.

Private Fishing Charter Over a Tampa Bay Party Boat
Private Fishing Charter Over a Tampa Bay Party Boat


2 + 11 =

Contact Destin Florida Fishing Charters