What You Need To Know Before Renting A Fishing Boat

Fishing is an activity that everyone loves. There are many different types of fish to catch and the scenery on a boat is unbeatable. However, before you rent a fishing boat make sure you know what to expect!

If you’re looking to get out on the water and enjoy a day of fishing, but don’t know where to start, we’ve got your back. Here’s what you need to know before fishing boat rentals: 

  • What type of fish are in the area? 
  • Do I have all the gear necessary for my safety?
  • How much does it cost per hour or half day rental?
  • Is the fuel price included?
  • Is there an additional charge for bait/tackle/saltwater license?
fishing boat rentals

Boat size:

Boats come in all different shapes and sizes. The main thing to keep in mind is how much room you will have to work with when fishing.

If you are bringing a lot of gear, multiple people along or are simply tall, then you may want to consider an option with more deck space or an additional front deck.

Boat Handling:

Rental boats come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are easier to maneuver than others. If you have never driven a boat before, take the opportunity to get out on the water and practice.

If you aren’t sure what type of boat would be best for your experience level or comfort then ask a dealership staff member.

They are typically friendly and more than happy to assist you in making sure you have a great day out on the water.

Catch limits:

Catch limit

Be sure to ask about the daily or hourly catch limit for an area before loading up your gear. Some places impose limits while others don’t.

Make sure you know what is allowed before casting out, to ensure you don’t lose out on an opportunity to catch dinner.

Bait & Tackle:

Many dealerships offer free bait with the rental of a boat, others might only provide the basic bits and pieces. Check online or call up local retailers ahead of time to be sure that you have everything ready for your trip out into the wild blue yonder.

Many dealerships also offer tackle rentals alongside the vessel rental. This is a great option for beginners. You will get all equipment and gear for a small fee. So to speak and see how you like it before investing in anything of your own.

Most dealerships also carry the basics like rods, reels and lures. So if you want to purchase any additional accessories be sure to ask about what they have available for sale before making your final decision.

Overall experience:

Most people who rent boats are looking for a good time on the water. If there are any kinks in the day you might have to deal with a disgruntled customer. It is important to go above and beyond for your customers, so put in a little effort to ensure they have a good time on the water.

Boat location:

You will find fishing boat rentals at marinas, lakes, and bays all over the country.

Some dealerships also enable renters to make reservations online through a third party such as kayak.com or Craigslist. Also inquire about where you can collect and return your rental as well as any drop-off choices

Payment Methods:

Make a reservation with the personnel at a dealership or marina near you in order to get the best rate. This will ensure that you have a pleasurable day on the water without any problems, kinks, or surprises along the way.

Boat equipment and amenities 

Fish finder

Depending on the dealership and model of boat you opt for, you will be able to use any number of features that come standard with your rental.

Make sure that you ask about what is included in your package so that everything is clear. Some common amenities include: live bait tanks, fish finders, VHF radios and GPS units.

There are a lot of bells and whistles that come with the best fishing boats for sale, so be sure to inquire about what you’ll need to have a successful trip.

Boat Rental Tips:

• Inquire before you take out any vessel rental if it is allowed in your region. There may be restrictions during certain times, seasons, or areas of the country.

• If you are new to boating, rent a boat that simple to operate. A basic fishing boat will take the pressure off if any problems arise.

• Ask how many people the boat can hold in total and what types of people so that you are aware of the load capacity before attempting to take on any passengers.

• Be sure to get your hands on a map of the area ahead of time. This can be especially helpful if you’re in an unfamiliar body of water and might not know where to fish or how to steer yourself in the right direction.

What to bring with you when renting a fishing boat

Other than the boat itself, you will want to make sure that you have everything you need to enjoy your day out on the water. This includes things like sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses and of course snacks so be sure to pack some food along with you. If you are fishing then bring an assortment of lures or live bait as well. Also keep an eye out for any helpful equipment like floodlights for night fishing.

How to find the best deal on a fishing boat rentals

Figuring out what you want is the first step in finding the right price.

If you only need something simple then that will bring down your total cost. Whereas more amenities, accessories and extra space will make the price go up.

Inquire about the options that are available for you before setting a rental rate or choosing what type of boat to get.

Many dealers will require a deposit before going out on the water. Make sure you ask about this when speaking to a representative.

Most dealers will not hold a deposit over a week. So if you plan on renting a boat every weekend take that into consideration when arranging for your deposit.

Fishing License

In South Louisiana most rental vessels are gas powered. They have limited range under power alone. This means that you will have to refuel before going on an all-day fishing trip. Bring cash with you when renting a boat so your primary vessel’s fuel tank doesn’t run dry while out on the water.

In South Louisiana fishing licenses are required for all saltwater or coastal anglers over the age of 16 from March 1 until November 30. Make sure to bring your saltwater license if you have one. Don’t pay for fine, cost for a one day saltwater license can be as much as $25.00 or more.

Additional Charge:

If there is going to be an additional charge for anything, ask about it upfront. Not only will this make you financially prepared it will also save time from having to have a heated discussion with the dealership staff.

Boats require maintenance and upkeep just like any piece of equipment. So try your best not to be surprised by additional fees. Some dealerships offer discounts if you bring the boat back without damage or clean/waxed, others might charge a fee for any sort of “wear and tear” they deem as acceptable for a used vessel.

Some dealerships offer free ice with your rental to keep your catch fresh, others will charge you an additional fee. Be sure to ask about what’s included in the price. So there aren’t any surprises when it comes time to pay the bill after a successful day of fishing.


When it comes to fishing boat rentals and fishing boat for sale, it’s hard to know how much you should pay or what kind of deal you can get.

Asking the right questions will help ensure you get a great deal on exactly what you need.

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