Charter Fishing Laws

Charterboat Laws

Operating a Charter Fishing operation requires more than just a captain and a boat. The Captain must hold a current USCG license with homeland security TWIC card. He must be enrolled in a random drug testing program, and carry a current first aid card.

The boat must meet USCG - UPV standards (for 6 or less guest). There are many additional safety items required on a charter boat than a recreational boat. Trash and pollution place-cards are required onboard, as well as an emergency plan. Coast Pilot, Tide Charts and Light List for the waters operated are required onboard. Type 1 PFD's with a whistle, lightened reflective tape are required for everyone on board. A life-ring is also required. This and the PFD's are required to include either the boats name or registration numbers. Though inspections are not required, it is best if it is done to ensure compliance. A state fishing license must be provided for all guest fishing on the boat. Federal (NOAA) Fishing Permits are required if the boat will engage in any fishing activity past state lines (3 miles Atlantic - 9 miles Gulf).

Although VHF's nor GPS locators are not required, they should be considered as a very important safety equipment that should be on every boat.

Properly licensed Captains and charter operations spend a good deal of money to be so, and will not mind showing these required licenses and permits. If a charter operator will not show you these, then it may be best to look elsewhere.

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