Fuel Surcharges For Fishing Charters

Fuel Surcharges Fuel Surcharges May Affect You On Your Next Fishing Charter

March 7 2022 – We are seeing the highest fuel prices ever here that have been sprung on us in less than two weeks time. Some Key West fishing charters may resort to charging fuel surcharges for fishing charters. We are hoping this may be a helpful guide to understand them and make sure they do not catch you broad side.

As anyone can imagine a fishing charter companies largest single expense is fuel. When that price jumps by a good bit, like it has this last week, charter business owners will make (sometimes sudden) adjustments to their rate structure or tack on a fuel surcharge.

Here are some possible options clients may see.

Rate Plus Fuel

Even when the cost of fuel is manageable this can be a norm. This is where the business charter fishing business or fishing guide has Promoted their rate to a base line of what they need to get paid to offer a charter… Then…. in addition.. charge for the fuel burned on the day. This will be understood when the trip is booked. However — I have seen in some cases where charter operators have installed this practice after a fuel cost increase. In some isolated cases.. without telling their already booked clients.

This practice is commonly used for the longer range center console boats with multiple outboards and accurate monitoring electronics. This practice will probably become more popular.

In this case often the fuel burn number is unknown until the trip is completely over. In most cases based on the desire of the client and the captains understanding of where he needs to go to facilitate them.. The estimate of gallons burned can be made prior. Thats way the client can put in a budget for the guide to stick with based off of options available for that amount of fuel. I used to do this with one of my boats back in 08 09′ and it worked out well for my long runs reef fishing to the Dry Tortugas my anglers were delighted when I was within 2-3 gallons of fuel over 100 gallons.

Monitoring fuel burn these days is easy and can be very accurate on our newer outboard powered boats. Accuracy within +- .01.

  • Pro For Customer
    • This can be a great way to go as the fishing guide will not be constrained by his budget for fishing and distances run to catch good fish..
  • Con For Customer
    • Some of the captains tend to be a little harder on the throttle when its someone else’s tab..
  • Pro For The Charter
    • They know what they will be taking home at the end of the day.. plus tip.
  • Con for the Charter
    • Anglers sometimes tip on the charter amount not including fuel.
    • Angler sometimes think the fuel cost is the tip….
  • Pro Tips
    • Communicate with your guide. Go over the options and possibilities..

Deep sea fishing out of Key West, Florida on Board the “INXS” a 47ft Viking Sportfishing yacht where luxury meets fishing. Air conditioned with all the amenities of a Resort right on board.
Call 1-305-292-7212

Key West Deep Sea Fishing

Deep Sea fishing out of Key West, Florida on board the “INXS” a 47 Ft Viking sport fishing yacht with all the amenities of a Resort right on board with air conditioning, full kitchen and very well kept salon house.
Tournament rigged and ready every day for your private charter party of 6 persons or less. We are happy to have you go out with us and it shows. No Fuel Surcharges or add ons…. We promise.
Call For More information 1-305-292-7212


Viking 47 Convertible
The “InXS” A Viking 47 Convertible Deep Sea Fishing Boat Key West, Florida

Fuel Surcharge

Some charters will be tacking on a fuel surcharge due to the sudden inflation of fuel prices gouging into their profit margins. This is generally done after an advanced booking has been made at a fixed rate. The surprise of a 2.00 increase in fuel can really hurt those that are running on a skinny margin. Not a great way to go, however running a charter and not getting paid sucks too. So here are some right and wrong ways that we see it in the charter fishing industry.

  • If the charter is feeling the pain and needs to institute this practice It’s good business to let customers know as soon as possible. There will be a fuel surcharge on their scheduled trip and exactly how much. We are thinking at least 14 days is a good bit of notice with an option for the customer to cancel if this is not acceptable to them.
  • It’s bad business to spring it on the customer inside the cancelation period or worse yet when billing occurs at the end of the charter.
  • Surcharges can be very miss-understood and probably the least like-able scenario.

Customer Empathy

It is rare but I have seen it. When fuel prices suddenly surge I have had many of my regular customers email or call me and ask me if a little extra might be good for the rising cost in fuel. On the day while fishing I have had anglers offer me a “c” note for the extra fuel cost in addition my tip.

  • IF you feel compelled to do this.. Good For you…. Here are a couple tips.
    • Ask questions.. find out what the extra cost of fuel is due to the increase. To see how bad the charter is getting dinged.
    • Spell out what you are offering in extra for fuel as well as what is for tip.. You never know who is picking up the tab for the fuel (might be an owner) and that money will go toward it helping the organization and the guide will know what is his tip.

In Closing Here Are Some Solid Pieces Of Advise..

  • ALWAYS… speak to a real person when booking a private fishing charter.. If that is not an option.. Move along.
  • Make sure to communicate with the fishing charter or representative completely going over all billing details.
    • Get a confirmation that spells out exactly the billing details dates and location.
    • Do Not Forget to ask if there is any extra charges

Hope That Helps Navigate Booking a Charter In These Times
We Can Help
Call Us 1-305-292-7212
Text Us 1-786-847-3808

We are a local charter company that specializes in all aspects of fishing in Key West. We OnLY work with people in person on the phone to insure the best service.

About Capt. Steven Lamp
Dr Catcher Is - Capt. Steven Lamp - Owner of Dream Catcher Charters is a veteran Key West fishing guide for flats fishing, deep sea fishing, wrecks and reef fishing, and fly fishing. An expert waterman and licensed captain since 1986. A Veteran of the United States Coast Guard Heavy Weather Search and Rescue, I.G.F.A. Certified Captain and Standing regional board member of The Florida Fishing Guides Association