booking fishing trip in advance

Booking a Fishing Trip in Advance: Why is it Important?

Planning a trip properly and preparing well in advance are key and here are reasons why booking your trip in advance is as important as the fishing itself.

Let’s all admit it, fishing is more important than work and in the ideal world, we would love to be out on the water 90% of the time. But we can’t fish in awesome destinations like Vanuatu without making some moolah and we have to consider work priorities before booking a week long fishing trip in paradise.

In our 25th year in business, we’ve gained the knowledge and experience required to provide you with the best fishing experience possible. And with that knowledge, we can tailor your fishing trip to suit your needs to the dot.

1 Dates and Availability

Some of us worked hard enough to earn the right to block off dates from work in a whim, but others are not so lucky. Usually, work holidays must be applied for at least 6 months in advance and in other countries more time is required for a valid holiday leave application. Communication with your charter operator is key in this part of the planning phase.

Make sure you communicate with your charter operator before you submit your vacation leave application to ensure you have a spot available on your preferred set of dates. Looking at dates at least 6 months to a year beforehand is ideal. Anything less than 5 months is sketchy and you might miss the target completely. 12 months advanced preparation is ideal as you can plan intensively and perfect your trip itinerary from start to finish.

2 Finances / Trip Expenses

This might seem too obvious, but you would want to have enough dough saved up to readily pay for your trip deposits immediately to confirm your spots. I have a lot of friends who’ve missed the opportunity to secure their “perfect” set of dates due to the inability to pay their deposits in short notice. Only a 25% deposit is required to confirm a trip with us but deposit rates differ among charter operators (most charge 50% upfront). Planning your trip in advance, you should consider the financial aspect of the trip to be priority. You won’t only need to save up for the trip itself, but you’d also have travel expenses to pull your wallet out for.

Hotels, taxis, excess baggage fees, snacks and all sorts of other small expenses add up and you’d want to have more than enough for a trouble-free trip.

Paying for your deposits a year in advance can provide you with ample time to save up for added travel expenses, additional fishing tackle and your trip balance.

3 Flights and Accommodations

Probably the most frustrating part of the fishing trip in general is booking your flights. Depending on the destination you wish to fish, getting your flights right is of utmost importance. I have stories about missed trips due to wrong flight times that could fill a book and you wouldn’t want to be part of that novel of mine. This is why planning your trip in advance is so crucial.

You’ve selected your available dates and you’re ready to send your deposits in, but before you wire the money, talk to your favorite travel agency or check out your favorite flight app for available flights to and from the destination. Don’t look only at prices of the flights but ensure you have available flights on the dates and times that your charter operator requires you to arrive. Double-check, triple-check and then quadruple check the dates and times before entering your credit card details. If possible, send a screenshot of the flight itinerary to your guide or charter operator before you swipe your card, to ensure you have the right dates and times.

I can’t stress the importance of correct flights more, but to add to the importance, advance planning and flights bookings allows you to tailor your trip to your needs. If you want an extra day Japan or Singapore before your trip to shop for additional fishing gear, you can go for it. Want a few days to chill out and relax after the long-haul fishing trip? Make sure you book your flights accordingly.

Planning your trip in advance, you should consider the financial aspect of the trip to be priority.

4 Visa Requirements

Plenty of countries allow their residents to travel around the world but there are some countries that require visas to be applied for in advance in order to enter the country. If you are unsure if you are allowed to enter a specific country to go for a fish, communicate with your charter operator to make sure you have the correct information. Travel agencies usually have this sorted but if you book your flights yourself, ensure you have the correct visa information.

Applying for short-term entry visas aren’t too hard but they do take time, depending on the destination. Third world destinations take much longer to produce required visas, so the more reason you need to plan your trip in advance.

Here in Vanuatu, we have a list of countries that require a visitor visa to enter.

5 Waiting List

If your preferred dates have been filled up already, do not fret. Although rare, last minute cancellations do happen and if it does, requesting to be placed in a waiting list will help you out. Notify your charter operator that you would like to be placed in a waiting list so they can inform you immediately if a spot becomes available.

6 Species Wish List

Another reason why you need to book in advance is the targeted species you are after. Different species have different behavioral patterns and selecting dates based on the best times to catch your species hit list will provide you with the best chances of success. Don’t hesitate to discuss your targets with your guide or charter operator so the best dates can be offered to you.

We have broken down the fishing seasons into three groups when Vanuatu fishing:

January – April

This is the Vanuatu fishing season for Monster GT, Dogtooth Tuna, Big Yellowfin Tuna and Blue Marlin. Sea conditions are generally calm as we’re outside the trade wind season. Day temperatures are warm around 30 degrees most days with high humidity. During this time you can expect a combination of sunny days with tropical showers most afternoons. There is a chance of the odd tropical cyclone during this time of year, although plenty of advance warning is available. Time to travel for extreme big fish in calm waters.

May – August

During this time anglers get to target the widest variety of species. From Giant Trevally, Dogtooth Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, and Wahoo. Day temperatures are a comfortable 26-28 degrees most days, with low/moderate humidity. South East trade winds appear during the winter months averaging 10-20 knots with moderate seas. Time to travel if you’re after a wider variety of species.

September – December

Spring is spawning season and generally when all species become more active and feed more aggressively. Again a wide variety of species are available at this time including Giant Trevally, Dogtooth Tuna and Blue Marlin. Sailfish, Mahi Mahi and wahoo taper off during December where the yellowfin tuna start to become larger. Day temperatures are a comfortable 26-30 degrees most days, with low/moderate humidity. South East trade winds ease between October- December with light-moderate seas.

Getting first dibs on guides and dates are just some of the reasons why to book in advance, and I hope you’ve read through all of the reasons above and consider planning your trip as early as 12 months beforehand to get the most out of your fishing trip.

Don’t hesitate to talk to us to help you plan your Vanuatu fishing holiday. We’ll give you all the details you need for an excellent time out on the water!

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Booking a Fishing Trip in Advance: Why is it Important?

John is originally from the Philippines. John has extensive guiding experience throughout Asia and...Learn more

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