That is a great question and one of the many reasons we designed The Online Fisherman.
First off - Lack of personal resources ($) does put one at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to fishing as the tackle equipment costs money, shrimp or squid for bait cost money and if you would like to have the advantages a boat offers, of course it costs a decent amount of $ to buy and then maintain one's own boat. Many on our site who want a boat but can't afford one save up and buy a used fishing kayak which costs a lot less than a boat but still gets you out on the water.
As far as private Charter captains offering discounted services, keep in mind that a Captain usually spends at least $150 or more in gas, bait and preparation time before a client even steps foot on his boat. So charging less than the standard $300-$400 for a full day of guided fishing would make it impossible for a fishing expert to even make enough money to survive.
That said, if you have a rod and reel and something live, dead or artificial to use for bait - then you can fish assuming you can get to the water. There are many resources that we at The Online Fisherman offer fisherpeople of all levels of skill and income which can be helpful in your quest to catch fish - whether for sport, food or both.
A few of the resources we offer someone who does not have a boat and can't afford a guide include:
- The opportunity to meet other fishermen with boats in our forums who are looking for fishing partners. Their only request is you kick in a few dollars for fuel and bait.
- We write, talk about and provide detailed maps for places that you can catch more fish from shore, piers, docks, bridges, parks and more. All land based. Check out the "fishy spot maps" under the 'Where to Fish section'
- Watch for seminars and free events in the Tampa Bay area where experts teach willing students how to become better at catching (and where to catch) various species of fish. We usually give away fishy "stuff" at these events as well. Contact me personally for my seminar schedule (I hold a lot of them) at my email below.
- The Online Fisherman provides the best How To Fish, When To Fish, Where to fish articles, stories and stories which change daily.
- Check "party" or "Head" boats. One of our very favorites is the one operated by the Hubbard Family at Hubbards Marina. They offer a wide range of trips - from a few hours to overnight - that fit almost any budget.
There is no other fishing publication in any format that even comes close to the up to the minute information we offer our readers for just typing in the correct URL. I have one question for you, what area do you fish in?
Thank you for your question and for being part of The Online Fisherman, where you count more than the fish.