Q. Do we need a fishing permit?
A. Open Waters has what is called a blanket license. This license covers every one that is fishing on board our vessel. However if you are going to fish on the beach or some other places you will need a license for that.
Q. How many people can you take on a fishing charter?
A. Open Waters is US Coast Guard licensed to take along six passengers.
Q. Is your rates per person or boat?
A. Our rates is for the entire party, not per person. Per person rates are available for makeup charters which can be scheduled through Teach's Lair Marina.
Q. What do we need to bring to the boat with us on our OBX charter fishing trip?
A. Food, beverages, lotion sunscreen only (please no spray sunscreen due to impact on marine environment), sunglasses (polarized lenses if possible), cameras and plenty of film. You may want to bring along a small cooler to take your beverages on the boat. Please keep your larger coolers in your vehicle to take your catch home. Your captain will provide all the necessary bait and tackle.
Q. I already have six anglers in my group, may I bring an observer along as an extra person?
A. No, US Coast Guard regulations limit the maximum number of passengers to no more than 6 people whether they are fishing or not. However for groups larger than 6 people we can offer to split a larger group on more than one boat. Please call us for additional options.
Q. Will you guarantee that we'll catch fish?
A. Our Captain and Mate are trained professionals. Sport fishing is not their hobby, it is their chosen profession. While we constantly produce fine catches in fishing there are never any guarantees. However, the waters off the Carolina coast are famous for their bountiful catches and we will do our very best for every charter.
Q. Can we keep the fish we catch?
A. Yes, you will be able to keep all edible fish that comply with the legal size and creel limits.
Q. Are fish cleaning services available?
A. Yes, experienced fish cleaners are available to clean and bag your catch upon your return to the dock. They will clean your fish for a reasonable fee.
Q. What if I can't make it to the marina in time for my trip?
A. Your deposit is non-refundable unless the Captain calls off the trip for reasons of weather or safety. You are required to show up at the appointed time in order to discuss either receiving a refund or rescheduling.
Q. What is a customary tip for the Mate?
A. Mates are the hardest working person on a fishing charter and they depend on your tips to augment their income. In NC it is customary to tip your mate 20%. Please always inform the Captain of your opinion of the services provided.
Q. What does the boat provide?
A. We provide all licenses, ice, fishing tackle and bait. Please feel free to bring along a favorite rod, reel or lure if you prefer but it is not necessary.
Q. What times do you leave and return to the dock?
A. Open Waters leaves the dock at or just before first light so the departure time depends on the time of year. Please check with the captain when making the reservation about when to arrive. Plan to return to the dock around 5:00 PM in the afternoon.
Q. What should we bring along to eat and drink?
A. Customers should bring along a small cooler with previously prepared food like for example sandwiches, fruit, crackers, cookies, chips, etc. Fancy spreads are normally extremely difficult to manage at sea. Quick and simple is the better choice. Note: Crackers and Gingerale are said to help an upset stomach so if there is any doubt bring some.
Q. Am I allowed to bring along alcoholic beverages?
A. Federal and Maritime Laws require that we can allow only a reasonable amount of canned beer (no glass bottles, hard liquor, or wine). Important; if a party member becomes intoxicated, as determined by the captain, for the safety of everyone on our boat, we are required to return to the dock without any refunds. We take your safety very seriously.
Q. Should I wear special clothing for my trip?
A. The Gulf Stream is a very unique environment. You can leave the dock in freezing conditions and when you get to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream realize that you are overdressed. We recommend that you wear layered clothing that you can take off or put on so that you can stay comfortable.
Q. Should I wear special shoes for my trip?
A. A wet boat deck can get extremely slippery! For your safety we recommend that you wear non-slip boating style shoes but athletic shoes or sneakers will work. Please do not wear black soled shoes because the marks they leave on fiberglass are very hard to remove.
Q. Can I keep a trophy fish to have it mounted?
A. Years ago many trophies including billfish were kept and mounted by a taxidermist but over the last several years fiberglass reproductions have become the way to go. If you would like to recreate your released trophy, please let us know and we can take pictures and measurements for you and then recommend a place to have the reproduction made. They are actually much more attractive and will last much longer. There is nothing to compare to the satisfaction of releasing a trophy fish.