How Much Does it Cost to go Deep Sea Fishing in FL [PCB, Destin, Key West & More]
April 1st 2021
A vacation to Florida will typically mean family fun in the sun, fabulous beaches and scenic views, and fishing for keepers aboard a deep sea fishing charter! Florida is known far and wide for boasting some of the best fishing in the country, and has even been nicknamed the “Fishing Capital of the World,” granting anglers access to the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean, and the Florida Keys. From bottom fishing for the coveted red snapper in Panama City Beach, to fishing over shipwrecks for giant grouper and barracuda in Key West, there are plenty of ways to have an unforgettable fishing experience in Florida!
Not only is fishing one of the top things to do in Florida, it’s also a billion dollar industry, which means there are plenty of options for all ages, interests, skill levels, and budgets. So, how much does it cost to go deep sea fishing in FL, you ask? Well, the cost simply depends on where you go, and the type of charter you decide to book. Keep reading and discover everything you need to know about deep sea fishing in Florida including the top destinations, the different types of charters, how much they cost, what’s biting, and more, and make your next trip to the Sunshine State fintastic!
Table of Contents
- Why Go Deep Sea Fishing in Florida?
- What to Expect when Deep Sea Fishing in Florida
- Party Boat Fishing and Semi-Private Charters
- Private Deep Sea Fishing Charters
- Most Popular Destinations for Deep Sea Fishing in Florida
- Panama City Beach, Florida
- Destin, Florida
- Key West, Florida
- How Much Does it Cost to go Deep Sea Fishing in Florida?
Why Go Deep Sea Fishing in Florida?
Deep sea fishing in FL is also a great way to catch spectacular scenic views and sunsets
Deep sea fishing in Florida is a bucket-list experience filled with excitement and adventure, and ample opportunities to catch some gargantuan fish. Anglers travel from far and wide to cast a line in the “Fishing Capital of the World,” and it’s easy to see why! Florida is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Florida Keys, and each area has its own unique ecosystem, teeming with an array of fantastic fish species and other marine life.
Another reason to go fishing in Florida, is that there are plenty of deep sea fishing charters to choose from to get you out on the water and catching keepers in no time! Fishing charters are the best way to get the true deep sea fishing experience, and are a great way to reconnect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors. Private charters offer an even more intimate setting, and are not only a great way to create memories and bond with your favorite people, but are also one one of top activities in Florida without large crowds!
Booking a deep sea fishing charter in Florida is also the best way to increase your chances of catching fish. Local and knowledgeable captains know where all of the best fishing spots are, and exactly how to get there. This also takes the stress out of navigating unknown waters, and can possibly save you some time, and money, in the process. Rest assured, no matter where you drop your line in Florida, you’re sure to reel an unforgettable experience!
What to Expect when Deep Sea Fishing in Florida
Angler embarking on a deep sea fishing trip in FL
Deep sea fishing refers to any type of fishing that takes place in depths of over 100 feet, and is sometimes referred to as offshore fishing. The fishing techniques utilized will vary depending on your location, and the species of fish you are targeting. With that being said, bottom fishing and trolling are two of the most popular deep sea fishing techniques in Florida.
Bottom fishing is a popular style of fishing that targets marine life swimming close to the sea floor. When utilizing this technique, anglers will let their baited hook drop until it reaches the bottom, give the reel a few spins, and wait for the fish to start biting! Popular species of fish to target when bottom fishing include:
- And MORE!
Trolling is another style of fishing that essentially drags baited hooks through the water behind a moving boat. Multiple lines can be in the water at once, and once you see the tip of the fishing rod begin to lightly bounce, it’s time to start reeling! Trolling is truly an adrenaline rush, and is a great way to catch prized fish species like the following:
- Spanish Mackerel
- King Mackerel
- Blackfin Tuna
- And MORE!
Another fun feature of deep sea fishing charters in Florida, is that they come equipped with everything you need for a successful day of fishing. Your bait, tackle, and Florida fishing license are included in the price, and many charters will even fillet your catch at the end of the day for you for a nominal fee. Just be sure to bring along the essentials like water, snacks, sunscreen, and sunglasses, as well as a camera so you can take some pictures and show off your massive haul!
Deep sea fishing charters in Florida come in all shapes and sizes to target different species, and accommodate varying skill levels and budgets. So, how much does it cost to go deep sea fishing in FL? Well, it ranges in price depending on which fishing charter you choose. Discover the different types of Florida fishing charters below, and find the perfect fit for you and your group.
Party Boat Fishing and Semi-Private Charters
Group of anglers aboard a party boat fishing charter in Destin, FL
How much does it cost to go deep sea fishing in FL? In order to answer that question, let’s first discuss party boat fishing! Party boat fishing is the most affordable option when it comes to offshore fishing, because it’s a shared trip, where multiple parties will board the same boat for a common cruise. Party boat fishing charters can hold, on average, anywhere from 40-70 passengers, depending on the size of the boat.
Semi-private fishing charters are similar to party boats, as they are also shared fishing trips, but generally hold less people and cost a bit more. Guests will typically fish with about 10-15 other passengers, which means more fish, less wait, and a more intimate and personal experience. Semi-private fishing charters and party boat fishing charters will normally charge per person, not by the hour, and are fun for family reunions, bachelor parties, and larger groups in general.
Private Deep Sea Fishing Charters
Private fishing charter in Panama City Beach heading towards deeper waters
Private fishing charters are probably the most popular option when it comes to deep sea fishing in FL, as they are customizable, creating an intimate and personal experience tailored to you and your fishing crew! Private charters allow you to fish at your own pace, target a specific species, and offer a range of options when it comes to durations and departure times. Not only that, with less people on board, the captain and his deckhand can quickly respond and be attentive to your needs, while also serving as a guide and instructor.
Most Popular Destinations for Deep Sea Fishing in Florida
Now that you know why fishing in Florida should be at the top of your vacation checklist, what to expect when deep sea fishing, and the different types of charters available, it’s time to consider location. From the picturesque panhandle, all the way down to the Southernmost Point of Florida, there are plenty of fantastic fishing hot spots to choose from. So, how much does it cost to go deep sea fishing in FL? Let’s first break it down by destination...
Panama City Beach, Florida
Angler reeling in his catch aboard a deep sea fishing charter in Panama City Beach, FL
Deep sea fishing is a way of life in Panama City Beach, Florida, and is an angler’s bream, or dream, I should say, with easy access to the glistening waters of the Gulf of Mexico, an abundance of artificial reefs, and tons of tasty fish to target. Whether you’re looking to battle your very own version of Jaws, or are wanting to bring home a fresh-caught dinner for the family, there’s a Panama City Beach deep sea fishing charter for that! Speaking of dinner, below are a few of the top species of fish to catch and eat when deep sea fishing in Panama City Beach:
- Red Snapper
And that’s just to name a few! Other popular species you may catch here include cobia, blackfin tuna, king mackerel, and mahi-mahi. Many Panama City Beach deep sea fishing charters will fillet your catch for you, as well, so you can cook up your freshly caught fish for dinner in the comfort of your own condo or hotel.
If you didn’t bring your chef’s hat with you on vacation, that’s okay! “Hook and Cook” restaurants, like J. Michael’s “The Original” and the Treasure Island Seafood Market, for example, are among the top Panama City Beach attractions for anglers, as they will cook your catch for you, and serve it up with some savory sides for a small fee.
Pictured above is a private deep sea fishing charter in Destin, making its way to the Gulf of Mexico
Destin is known as, “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” and is definitely a bucket-list destination when it comes to deep sea fishing in Florida. Destin is home to Florida’s largest fishing fleet, as well as the famous annual Destin Fishing Rodeo, and offers party boats, semi-private charters, and private charters for all ages, skill levels, preferred target species, and budgets. Anglers travel from far and wide to see for themselves just how lucky this once tiny fishing village can truly be!
And it’s not just all about luck, either! Destin’s position along the Gulf gets you to deep water fast, as the spot where the continental shelf plunges to unbelievable depth, is only about 25 miles away from shore. This means you’ll be hooking keepers and yelling, “FISH ON!” in practically no time. Destin fishing charters are truly an essential part of any Emerald Coast vacation, and are sure to leave you with plenty of fish tales, and memories that will last a lifetime.
Key West, Florida
Massive barracuda caught while deep sea fishing in Key West, FL
Fishing in Key West is legendary, and allows visitors to enjoy the best of both worlds, with access to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean. This means that anglers will be able to reel in gobs of gargantuan grouper, marlin, tuna, wahoo, sailfish, mahi-mahi, and other prized trophy fish. Party boat fishing, shared fishing charters, and private deep sea fishing charters are abundant here, and are all great ways to have the fishing experience of a lifetime!
If you’re looking for deep sea fishing in Key West that’s sure to get you hooked, consider booking your charter during one of the many annual fishing tournaments that take place in Key West throughout the year. Fishing tournaments are a fun and exciting way to get out on the water, while enjoying some friendly competition. Below are a few popular fishing tournaments in Key West, FL:
How Much Does it Cost to go Deep Sea Fishing in Florida?
Scenic views as seen from a deep sea fishing charter in FL
How much does it cost to go deep sea fishing in Florida? The average cost is as follows, and is based on the averages of the top three fishing destinations in the state:
- Deep sea fishing aboard a party boat fishing charter in Florida will typically cost anywhere from $65.00 to $105.00 per person. These prices will vary from charter to charter, depending on the size of the boat and the length of the trip.
- Semi-private deep sea fishing charters cost, on average, anywhere from $125.00 to $275.00. The cost is per person, and will vary depending on the trip’s duration.
- Private deep sea fishing charters in Florida will cost anywhere from $150.00 to $225.00 per hour, not per person, and will usually require a 4-6 hour minimum.
From the cost-efficient party boat, to luxurious private charters with all of the bells and whistles, Florida offers plenty of ways to experience deep sea fishing in the “Fishing Capital of the World,” no matter your budget. Visit TripShock for everything you need to know about deep sea fishing in Florida, including the best rates on fantastic fishing charters, and other incredible things to do!
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