FAQs – Fishing in Tampa Bay, FL

I’ve never been on a fishing charter before, how should I get started?

Captain John loves to share his passion for fishing and catching with beginners, so don’t hesitate join us for a fun-filled day on the water no matter what your level of expertise is. Explore our different fishing excursions – flats, inshore or offshore fishing – to help decide which fishing trip is best for you. Then, read our fishing trip checklist page so you can be prepared for your day on the water.

Be sure to call and ask us all your questions before booking your trip. You can even speak with Capt. John for expert advice and tips.

Do I need a fishing license to fish on a charter boat?

No. When you book a fishing trip with Captain John O’Hanlon Fishing Expeditions, we will procure the appropriate fishing license or permit and have them onboard when you arrive.

How do I know if the boat is available for the dates I want?

If you book a fishing excursion a week or so ahead of your desired date, we are almost always able to make our boat or a similar affiliate boat available for your trip. The sooner you schedule your trip, the more likely we can make sure you get the dates you want. To make your reservation, call Capt. John at 727-871-1851. Our office is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

What is your cancellation policy for fishing excursions?

You can avoid any cancellation fees by canceling your trip with 48 hours (2 days) notice. After that we will charge a $100 administrative fee for all cancellations. If the captain cancels your trip due to safety issues (weather or mechanical) you will receive a 100 percent refund.

What should I bring with me on the boat?

Be sure to bring food, drinks, your camera, a hat and sun block. We have a cooler on board to keep your food and drinks cold. You might also want keep a small cooler in your car for the day’s catch. We will clean and bag your fish for you, but you will need a place to keep your fillets on your drive home.

Is the boat safe for me and my family?

Yes, your Capt. John is federally licensed by the United States Coast Guard to take passengers out. The captain will brief you at the beginning of the trip about where to find life jackets, throwables and the fire extinguishers in the unlikely event of an emergency. In the event that conditions are unsafe for our passengers, we will cancel the trip and give you a full refund.

Where is the dock or Marina?

When you book a trip with Captain John O’Hanlon Fishing Expeditions, we will send you an e-mail with directions to your charter.

What are the best fish to eat?

Trout, Redfish, Sea Bass, Snapper, Grouper, Spanish Mackerel and Cobia all make tasty table fare. After we clean and fillet your catch for you, we will even explain how to best prepare the fish. Many of our anglers prefer catch and release. Please tell us your preference before we depart from the dock.

How much gratuity do I give the captain?

We like to think of it like a restaurant. If you see the captain is working hard for you and you are treated well, 15-20 percent is standard.

Why do fishing charters cost so much?

Maintaining and operating safe, properly rigged fishing boats is expensive. We do all we can to keep our costs down while still retaining the best value for your money. That is why the fishing license and cleaning and filleting the catch is included in the price of every charter at Captain John O’Hanlon Fishing Expeditions. You will find that the excitement of the charter and catching fish is well worth the experience.