Head Boat Explained: Your Guide to Shared Fishing Charters

Thomas Krik

Written by

Thomas Krik

Marc Lowe


Marc Lowe

what is a head boat

Welcome aboard as we explore and give insights on the question: What is a head boat? FYI, it’s a large vessel commercially hired by anglers for fishing expeditions. Typically, these boats charge individuals by the head or per person.

Through these enriching journeys, enthusiasts can engage in recreational fishing, absorb picturesque seascapes, and foster communal bonds. So, fasten your life jackets as we delve deeper into the enticing realm of head boats!

What Does Head Boat Mean in Fishing?


1. The term head boat and its meaning

The name head boat originates from the phrase “per head,” referring to the charging system where rates are defined per person. As a public vessel, its fee is relatively cheap, usually ranging from $20 to $65 per angler.

Known as party boats, these large water vessels can accommodate 20–80 people and are primarily used for commercial or recreational fishing.

2. A little bit of history

Head boats have a long history dating back to the early 20th century. With the advent of motorized boats, these vessels provided opportunities for those who couldn’t afford personal vessels to relish their favorite pastime activity.

The unique pricing strategy made deep-sea fishing expeditions widely accessible and affordable to all enthusiastic anglers.

3. How does a head boat operate?

To go on a head boat trip, you first need to purchase a single ticket (individually or by group). Since the boat is specifically designed for large gatherings, it’s ideal for corporate fishing expeditions or anglers who enjoy fishing in a community.

Moreover, head boats are often equipped with advanced fishing equipment and facilities, including tackle, bait, and fish finders. With the guidance of experienced crew members, you’ll have a much higher chance of a successful catch.

Plus, amenities (like restrooms and a galley with food and drink options) ensure a comfortable and successful journey for all anglers.

4. Targeted species and locations for head boat fishing

The geographical location of head boats usually determines the species of fish targeted. Based on seasonal and regional factors, these vessels can venture either nearshore or offshore. However, most often go deep-sea fishing.

The activity may target a diverse range of larger bottom-dwelling fish residing in wrecks, artificial reefs, and rock formations. On the trip, the boat will anchor or stop at various prime fishing locales, bolstering everyone’s prospects of a triumphant catch.

If you’re lucky, a party boat fishing excursion can enrich your freezer with various delicious fish like grouper, flounder, snapper, amberjack, striped bass, and many more.


In conclusion, head boats are a unique way to enjoy angling even if you don’t have your own boat. They offer a cost-effective and efficient fishing experience, accommodating large, diverse groups and providing state-of-the-art equipment and expertise.

We hope our post about “What Is a Head Boat” sheds light on your questions about this type of fishing adventure. Whether you’re seeking fresh catch for supper or merely enjoying the euphoria of the catch, expect to reel in a variety of fish and memories to treasure.

Happy head boating!

Rate this post