Planning a charter trip

Discussion in 'Fishing' started by Capttrae, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Capttrae

    Capttrae 12 pointer

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    Apr 2, 2012
    theres threads on here every year asking about charter boat fishing, I’m laying in my rack and bored so I thought I’d try to help some.
    Of course first thing to do is get your group together and dates settled, next decision to make is what kind of fishing do you want to do, also at you wanting to catch some fish to carry home or just enjoy some fishing and maybe a fresh caught meal, inshore (reds, specks, sheepshead and other fish depending on where you are) bottom fishing (snapper, grouper, etc) offshore sport fishing (marlin, tuna, etc).
    Next step after you’ve decided what you want to fish for, start your search for boats that offer that type of fishing. Call them and talk to them, get some details. Do they get tired of getting calls? Yes of course, I used to absolutely hate it, just got in, got a shower, ate supper tryin to relax and the phone starts ringing, but it’s just part of the job.
    After you’ve selected the boat think about everything, for instance when I was still fishing we supplied tackle, license, frozen and some live bait that we caught in traps at the dock. If the clients wanted live cigar minnows or herring we could (a) either stop and waste an hour catching bait which cuts into yalls fishing time or (B) the clients ante up $5-10 each stop by the bait boat, get a good shot of bait and go on fishing. We really didn’t care what the clients decided. We got paid for the whole trip regardless wether it took an hour to catch bait or stop by the bait boat.
    Here’s a quick break down
    Trip - 12hr bottom trip w/ 8 ppl 1800
    Tip should be around 15-20% of trip cost
    So that’s $360@ 20%
    Live bait say $80
    That brings a total of $2240
    Total cost per person is $280
    Now for a quick list of to dos
    1) be on time
    2) if you have them wear shoes with light colored soles (remember we spend all year taking care of these boat)
    3) be courteous
    4) it won’t hurt to offer a drink or a sandwich if you have extra ( I only took my clitents up on the offer twice in 10 years)
    5) LISTEN!!!!
    Don’ts
    1) be a prick ( your not special the boat ran yesterday, and will run tommorow, your a quickly fading memory as quick as you step off the boat) you don’t want to be remembered, if you are it’s one if 3 things a) your a prick b) you were awesome c) you have a smoking hot daughter
    2) act like you know how to fish- you don’t.
    3) tell the deckhand you know how to fish you’ve been going twice a year for 20 years. All that means to a deckhand is you’ve been maybe 40 times in your life maybe. He’s been that many times in the last month
    4) get in the deckhands way, 99% of the time he’ll be polite and ask you to move
    5) trash the boat
    6) puke inside (take your sick ass outside and hurl in the water don’t nobody want to clean up your breakfast)
    7) show up drunk or get hammered while your out there. If you want to have a beer or 2, smoke a joint etc that’s fine just keep it in moderation .
    8) bring 15,000 coolers or one that a) leaks or b) has wheels your only going to be out there a day. 1 75qt yeti will suffice
    9) be a prick
    Now feel free to ask questions, your there to have fun and we want y’all to have fun, catch some fish and hopefully go home and tell everybody how much fun you had (that brings business) most of your answers should be given in the orientation.
    Now here’s how a charter should run- the deckhand will get there an hour or better before the trip. When you get there he should have all his poles out so he’s not in your way while your trying to get settled. He should have a water hose running right at the stern so you can wash the soles of your shoes off, it’s just water it won’t hurt you. He should have the bow untied, engines at idle so when you step on he can turn the spring and stern lines loose. At this point don’t try to engage him in conversation, he don’t have time. He should start chopping bait shortly after untieing. Don’t take it personal if for the first hour he don’t say much. After leaving the bait boat he should put out a high speed trolling lure. About 30-45 mins out from the first stop he should pull you inside and give you an in-depth orentation on how to use the reel, show you how to hook on a piece of bait, how deep to fish, what to feel for waiting for a bite, what to do when you get a bite and then what to do with the fish when it gets to the top. Basically don’t swing your fish in the boat for several reasons 1) it increases tangled
    2) you’ve got a 10-12iz lead flying around3) it increases chance for injury to you, the deckhand and everybody else on the back deck.
    Hope this helps answer some questions
    Trae
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
    bearleft, Snareman2, xbokilla and 4 others like this.
  2. Capttrae

    Capttrae 12 pointer

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    Apr 2, 2012
    Couple more donts.
    1) tell the crew how you fished the “snapper banks” they don’t exist regardless of what you’ve heard, you are fishing private wrecks/structure that the Capt either found or put out or your fishing natural hard bottom or a hickey
    2) tall about the “triggerfish beds” there again non existatant, there’s triggers on the wrecks and hard bottom
    3) talk about how they are going to call the commercial boats- they aren’t
     
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  3. luvtohunt

    luvtohunt 8 pointer

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    Sep 1, 2011
    Eubank, Ky
    Hey man I got a couple questions. I have never been off shore fishing at all so I am a total newbie. I have been on a couple of those inshore catfish, ladyfish, sea trout deals and kinda felt cheated so I'm a bit skeptical. I wouldn't probably have 8 guys with me on any trip, at most maybe 4. Are there smaller guys out there that do similar things on a smaller rig or would we just have to pony up and pay say double each? I'd love to check a tuna fishing trip off my bucket list at some point in the next 3-5 years. Also if I was planning a Tuna trip, is there a certain time of year that I would need to go. I know there are seasons on some fish and runs just like with many other fish. Thanks man in advance for any info you can give me.
     
  4. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

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    Jun 28, 2012
    So Cap tell me. During the slower season (now) if a guy takes me out for 4.5-5 hours, just me, for $300 is that a pretty good deal? He charters but has taken me 1 on 1 last two summers.
     
  5. Capttrae

    Capttrae 12 pointer

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    Apr 2, 2012
    If you can find a 4 hour for that take it. When I quit fishing full time our 4 hour trips were 600
     
  6. Capttrae

    Capttrae 12 pointer

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    Venice Louisiana during the fall if the year.
     
  7. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

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    Thanks. He’s taken me out for that the last two summers. I haven’t scheduled yet but might for one day next week. I usually tip him 20% so $360. I’m not picky about what I catch just like to gain knowledge. Usually we’ll “play” some. Try to catch a big grouper or some Cudas. Then we’ll put some eating fish in the boat. Figure I can splurge and treat myself once per summer.
     
    Capttrae likes this.
  8. Smokin9mm

    Smokin9mm 6 pointer

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    Dec 3, 2014
    Lexington
    Great advice! If you are looking to go to the Florida Panhandle, check out Pensacola Fishing Forum. Ive been a member on there for awhile and plenty of charter captains post there. Also plenty of private guys just looking for a crew to go out with all the time, most just ask for a split in gas and bait. Check it out
     
    Capttrae likes this.
  9. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

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    Well if you know any South Floridians willing to do that let me know. I’ve been coming down for years but don’t really know any “fishermen”. Know a person or two that will boat on occasion but not fish. Also, agree that Caps advice was great.
     
  10. Smokin9mm

    Smokin9mm 6 pointer

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    Dec 3, 2014
    Lexington
    Another good place to check out is the Florida Sportsman Forums, Im a member there as well. That place is nice because they break it down by region, North, South Panhandle etc. Always guys looking for a crew on there.
     
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  11. Smokin9mm

    Smokin9mm 6 pointer

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    Dec 3, 2014
    Lexington
    If you were in North FL (Jax) or the Pensacola/Navarre area I could most def find you a ride. Dont know anyone in SoFL. I try not to go down past Clearwater if I dont have to haha
     
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  12. Capttrae

    Capttrae 12 pointer

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    Might want to try Tampa Bay Fishing Club on Facebook there’s folks on there posting when they need extra ppl
     
  13. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

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    Thanks for the info. I’m generally, Sarasota and below. I’m not picky about my area but wife has family that owns in Sarasota and Naples areas so I can’t say no to staying for free!
     
    Capttrae likes this.
  14. 257Wmag

    257Wmag Spike

    83
    16
    Oct 7, 2015
    NC
    If anybody is ever looking to charter out of NC let me know I can point you in the right direction. Fished recreationally out of Morehead City for many years and now fish out of Oregon Inlet from time to time.
     
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