You booked the trip. Cleared your calendar. Even had trouble focusing at work just thinking about hooking into a monster fish and bragging about it later. But before we pull out of the marina, there are a few things to keep in mind—things that can make all the difference on your charter.
Yes, you need one. Even when booking a charter fishing trip with a guide. Thankfully, it can easily be purchased from the dock before we pull out. Learn more here
You’ll be burning calories throughout the day, so start it off right with a good breakfast. Ellzey Food Mart (985-534-2391) is located five minutes from our lodge on the way to the marina. This deli has a fantastic cook who will fix you a variety of breakfast sandwiches and, with a quick call, she’ll have your order ready when you arrive. Ellzey’s is also a great option for getting gas and additional snacks/beverages. And like any gas station in Louisiana, they sell liquor. God Bless America.
With the number of fish you’ll be catching, you’re going to work up an appetite so pack accordingly. After years of trial and error, here’s what we recommend you bring:
Pringles. The solid container eliminates chips from getting crushed, wet or flying around the bow of the boat. We suggest BBQ or Cheddar Cheese…
Fruit. Easy, healthy and Mom would approve.
Hawaiin Rolls With Lunch Meat. Who doesn’t love these soft, fluffy rolls with just the right touch of sweetness? Perfect for making small deli sliders and you can even reuse the box/bag for storage.
Gatorade. A must. Even during those chilly days you’re going to work up a sweat pulling so many fish into the boat. You must stay hydrated.
Bottled Water. Another mandatory. “Water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink” isn’t just part of a poem or Iron Maiden song. It’s reality so pack plenty of it to rehydrate.
Beer. Definitely needed for the ride back in after the fish are on ice, your arms are sore and the sun is setting. Remember that dehydration and alcohol don’t like each other, so be careful.
Restaurant options are somewhat limited in the area but there are a few options to consider. Remember each marina has a bar & grill. While Captain Blake is cleaning your catch, these can be nice options to grab a quick bite or drink but their hours of operation vary (and usually aren’t open long after dinner). Please check times as they frequently change. Other dinner options include:
Black Velvet Oyster Bar and Grill. 105 Everard Lane, Buras, LA
One of the best local restaurants around. Their gumbo has won awards, their Po-Boys are huge and the Seafood-Stuffed Baked Potato is a fan favorite. 3.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp
China Sea Restaurant. 111 Cran Drive Suite C, Buras, LA
Pretty good Chinese restaurant in the middle of Cajun country if you’re looking for a little variety. The Sweet & Sour Chicken/Crab Rangoon combination is worth the stop. Very good customer service and they’ll even give you the remote to the TV if you’d like. 3.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp.
Lucky Ryan. 109 Rodi Lane, Buras, LA
Funny name for a Vietnamese restaurant in the middle of the bayou, but their cuisine is nothing to laugh at. This little restaurant offers a loaded menu, prompt service and floors so clean you could eat off them (but we don’t recommend it). A great little family operation. 5 out of 5 stars on Yelp.
We provide the boat, the rods/reels, the bait and the expertise. Everything else is up to you.
Sunblock. It’s a big sun and you’ll be fishing directly underneath it. That’s why we recommend sunscreen with a SPF 30 rating or more that protects against both UVB and UVA rays. Be ready to apply it several times during the day. You want to remember this trip for the fish, not the 2rd degree burns you got during it.
Bug spray (inshore). It’s Louisiana, where locals swear gnats and mosquitos were invented. If the wind isn’t blowing and you don’t have bug spray, prepare to be bugged (literally).
Hat. Should almost be required along with a license. A good hat will protect your eyes and face from excess sunlight as well as prevent sunburn on your neck.
Sunglasses. Polarized if possible. A good set of sunglasses will protect your eyes and polarized ones will cut the glare coming off the water. You’ll be able to fish much easier, much quicker and you’ll look cool doing it.
Pullover, sweatshirt or jacket. Mornings and evenings can get chilly on the water. Even during the summer months. Plan accordingly.
Rain jacket or rain gear. Weather patterns can change and play havoc with even the best-laid plans. The best time to be on the water is during a drop in the barometric pressure; while that impending storm front might cause an angler without rain gear some discomfort, it can also make the fish bite like crazy. Be ready.
Sandals or Boat Shoes. We’re fishing, so we’re going to get a little wet. Wear something designed to dry quickly and provide a solid grip on a wet boat deck. If you’re wearing shoes, they need to be of the non-skid rubber soled variety.
Bandana or Fishing Rag. Prepare to get fish slime on your hands when holding your catch for that picture. That’s why it’s a good idea to bring a bandana, towel or rag to clean up with afterwards. A small bottle of hand sanitizer wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Motion Sickness Remedy. Just in case, because it happens to the best of us. Especially on those long, offshore runs 25 miles off the coast. We personally recommend Dramamine (the pill), Sea-Band (the wristband) or MQ (the patch placed behind the ear).
Personal Dry Bag. Not required but recommended. These lightweight dry sacks have fully taped seams and a roll-top closure that provides reliable waterproof protection for your wallet, phone, keys and anything else you don’t want to get wet.
Things to Keep in Mind
This is your trip. You hired us and that’s something we never forget. Whether this is your first time booking a chartered trip or something you’ve done for 25 years, your satisfaction is our priority. Communication is key, so please feel free to let Captain Blake know how he can make your trip a better one. Keep in mind that fishing does require patience and sometimes the fish don’t cooperate, but it’s usually just a matter of time until reels start screaming.
Make sure your phone is completely charged. While there’s no wireless service in the Gulf (unless we’re fishing next to an oil platform), you’ll want to take plenty of pictures and video of your catch. Especially during the epic fight it put up. One free tip? Switching your phone into AIRPLANE MODE will save battery life.
Going offshore? Prepare to relax for a while. It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to reach the prime fishing grounds (depending on the season/time of day). That’s why we have marine-grade bean bags to recline on. Fish move based on many factors and we move with them. And our SiriusXM Marine Radio has over 150 channels of commercial-free music plus live sports play-by-play, which adds just the right mood heading to and from the hot spots. Just let DJ Blake know your preference.
Don’t bring any valuables that you cannot afford to lose. Captain Blake has a small dry bag that can be used to store personal items such as phones, wallets or keys. However, we are not responsible for any personal items that may fly off the boat, get wet or suffer any other form of damage.
Communicate your travel plans to Captain Blake. It happens more than you think—we hit a school of fish on our way back to the dock and, locked in the moment of intense battle with a trophy fish, flights are eventually missed. That’s why we suggest setting a time you must be back at the marina in order to avoid flying standby, canceling dinner reservations in New Orleans or breaking other commitments. Most of our clients budget extra time for a quick shower before heading to the airport because they work up a solid sweat pulling in so many fish.
We’ll handle the cleanup later. After arriving back at the dock, please check to make sure you have all your belongings. Then it’s off to the marina bar for a celebratory drink while we handle everything else. Please do not feel obligated to help clean up the boat. That’s our job and we’re happy to do it.
We’ll also clean your fish. We will prepare your fish for transit back home free of charge. If you want to ship your fish back home, we can help with that too. The Venice Marina will vacuum-seal your catch, pack it on ice and ship it to your residence. Additional charges will apply (you’ll actually be paying the marina to perform this service).
So what about tipping? Most captains receive a 10% – 20% tip. $200 is common for an offshore charter and $100 is typical for an inshore trip.