Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How To Book A Fishing Charter: How To Choose The Right Charter Boat: Preparing For Your Fishing Charter

By working out as many details as possible, you will avoid misunderstandings. Here are the questions you should ask the captain or booking agent:

  • How much is the charter and what is expected for a crew tip? (15 to 20 percent is customary)
  • What are the policies for deposits and cancellations?
  • What is included in the charter rate? (food, beverages, fishing licenses, bait, etc.)
  • How has the fishing been recently or what's biting during the time of year when you want to go?
  • What time should you arrive for the charter? What time do you return to the dock? How long does it take to get to the fishing grounds?
  • What kind of tackle is provided? Do you need to bring your own?
  • What type of safety gear do they carry? Is there an EPIRB? What type of electronics and communication equipment is on board?
  • Who keeps the fish that are caught during your trip. Can you hook your own fish?
Fishing half day charters: 
If a half day is all the time you have or if you are limited by budget than it's got to be a half day. Because every day of fishing is a new adventure, the more time you are out there fishing will generally produce a more desirable catch.

Picking the cheapest boat:
Everyone wants a good deal, but choosing a charter boat based on price is almost always a bad idea. A low price could mean several things: The boat isn't properly maintained; the tackle isn't properly maintained; the boat is small; the crew is working for less money; the captain doesn't do this full time; or a host of other things and few of them good. Remember, 'sometimes you get what you pay for'!

Picking the right boat:
The best thing you can do is go to the charter dock, speak to several captains and take a good look at the boat and the tackle they have to offer. If you can't see the boat in person then ask a lot of questions. You should at least feel comfortable speaking to the captain on the phone.

Setting unrealistic expectations: 
Be realistic with your expectations, this is fishing! Be open to suggestions from an experienced pro at the helm and you can avoid a lot of disappointment at the end of the trip.

Prepare for a day offshore: 
You may be fishing with people who swear they never get seasick but all of a sudden they are over the side. If there's any doubt, always ask your charter companions to use a seasick prevention pill at least an hour before departure, or for breakfast they should have doughnuts or bananas because they taste pretty much the same coming up!
Don't forget a hat, sunscreen, polarized sunglasses and a camera. If the charter doesn't include food or drinks be sure to bring your own. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

A New Adventure Every Day

Every day that I go out fishing I feel lucky. Some days are better than others. You can't go out every time and catch spectacular fish. I always try my best for the customers and for me, but fishing is fishing. One day you catch some nice sized Dolphin and the next you catch Bonitos, Jacks, Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel!                  

Monday, October 22, 2012

October's Adventures

October's fishing has been a mixed bag. Early in the month we were catching Dolphin and Tunas. On one good day we caught this beautiful Sailfish while we were trolling for dolphin and tuna. It was the anglers 'dream come true'. You know how 'elephants eat peanuts', this Sailfish ate a half ounce feather!

Sport fishing yesterday was more difficult. We caught a nice Spanish mackerel, lost a good sized Dolphin at the boat, another hit and spit and we had a couple misses on the deep lure.
Every day is a new adventure!

Friday, October 19, 2012

September Heat

It was hot in September and the charter business was slow. We fished and had some fun. Most of the fish we caught were within 3 miles of shore.

We caught some nice Blackfin Tunas, some very large Bonitos, did I say Bonitos, a lot of Bonitos and a few Kingfish.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Good Summertime Fishing

July and August has brought us mostly calm and warm days. We've been able to catch Dolphin, plenty of Bonito and a few Wahoo.
Most of the Dolphin we were catching in July were at least 5 mile offshore. We saw some nice sized fish in some of the schools, but there was an abundance of small ones, too small to keep. The size minimum is 20 inches, measured from the head to the fork in the tail.

Years ago I would see some fishermen get into a school of small Dolphin and throw a net on them. There are still some people who kill babies!

August brought us more and more small Dolphin. We were finding them a little further offshore. The action was real good but too many had to go back in the water to get bigger.
Bonitos, Bonitos and more Bonitos just 2 miles from shore. All you want, come and get 'em!

To sum it up, we had some pretty good fun filled days.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

From Bonitos to Dolphin

 We had to wait until summer to get our springtime run of Dolphin!
We caught so many Bonitos in May. It seemed like no matter which way we went or what we put out, we caught Bonitos, Bonitos and more Bonitos. Don't get me wrong, they are a great fighting fish and some people eat them, but where were the Dolphin?

Finally, it took a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico   to bring us stormy days and schools of Dolphin!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A New First Mate

After ten years of fishing with the same first mate I find myself trying to teach a new first mate how to be better at his job! 
Charlie fished with me for a long time. He took care of the boat, he was great with the customers, we were friends (more like father & son at times). We had a lot of fun fishing together. Now, Captain Charlie has landed a great job in the Virgin Islands. He is captaining a new 43' Cabo with twin 800 hp Manns for a 'world record holding lady' that's looking for more world record fish. Good luck Charlie and have fun!
Alex has been fishing with me for a short time and is learning how to take care of my boat and how to fish on my boat (we'll be working on that for a while). I like him and I think in time it will get to be more and more fun. He's great with the customers, they leave with a smile!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Springtime Fishing

The warm weather came early this year. We've been catching Dolphin, Kingfish just started biting and the Wahoo fishing aboard "Old Hat" has been extremely good!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"A New Knife"

My new Bubba Blade

 I received a surprise in the mail. It was a knife! Not just any knife, it had this handle that looked like a hunting knife and a dive knife, the blade was razor sharp and the sides of the blade were coated with something dark. I didn't order it, so I went online to find out some information. It's a high carbon steel, Teflon coated blade.
A couple days later I called a friend in Alabama, suspecting he was the one that sent the knife and he answered the phone "Did you get something in the mail?". He thought it was something I could use! 

So far I've filleted 3 fish, a Dolphin, a Wahoo and a Blackfin Tuna. 
Here's the report: The Bubba Blade is extremely sharp (I'm not sure yet when I'll need to sharpen it). This one has a flexible blade (great for what I do most). Skinning fish seems to be easier (maybe the Teflon blade makes it slide easier).
Next report; when it's time to sharpen it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weather Stays Mild

 Even though the weather has stayed mild and the fishing is different than it usually is this time of year, some of the catches are pretty good!

It may take longer to find the fish but when you do, your patients pays off!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mild February

February gave us some unusual winter weather. Hardly any cold fronts passed through. We had some unusually calm days fishing in South Florida's beautiful waters, along with some of the usual rough stuff we expect in the winter. In the beginning of the month the Kingfish vanished and some nice Dolphin showed up. We caught a few Sailfish during the month, but not the numbers we've been seeing the last few years.

I believe the weather has a lot to do with the lack of Sailfish. Normally the cold front pushes through, the wind clocks around S-SW-W-NW-N-NE, and while it's blowing out of the northeast and the Gulf Stream is moving rapidly to the north the Sailfish are migrating to the south.
This last month we had too many days when the Gulf Stream edge was way offshore, there was no current inshore, the Gulf Stream was running slow, or on some days the current was running to the south until you got 6 or 7 miles offshore. All of this affects fishing!

One calm day we caught this big Barracuda while live baiting for Sailfish.(a circle hook & mono leader)

Toward the end of the month the Kingfish showed up again. We caught some big ones.

Hopefully the weather will become a little more normal and our fishing in Miami will become a little more normal. 
The last big run of Sailfish was a month ago, I'm ready for it to happen again, now!    

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kingfish, Kingfish and more Kingfish
The cold fronts stopped coming. The Sailfish stopped coming. But the Kingfish have returned. For more than a week all we can catch is Kingfish. I'm glad they're here but I would like to see a little more variety.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Record Sailfish Catch in Palm Beach

The West Palm Beach Fishing Club recorded 1,174 sailfish releases among 46 boats fishing the three day 75th annual Silver Sailfish Derby! Get ready, they're heading our way.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Just like Clockwork

It happens almost every time. The cold front passes through then the Sailfish start passing through. 
We took a lady angler from Australia (Karen) sailfishing. She had caught Striped Marlin, Black Marlin and Blue Marlin. But for the past ten years, she had never caught a Sailfish! 
The weather was perfect, but the western edge of the Gulf Stream wasn't. I was hoping for a distinctive blue/green edge but instead, there was a gradual color change. I trolled south until the color got a little better and then found a slight current rip in 265' of water. We put the kite up and the baits out and after a short wait we had 2 Sailfish on. Karen fished standing up and her friend Jennifer fished from the chair. The fish cooperated. They were each on different sides of the boat. Jennifer's fish came to the boat first, but took a long run after seeing us. Finally, Karen's sailfish came to the side of the boat. We brought it in to take out the hook and record video of Karen and her first Sailfish. Jennifer's fish was stubborn but eventually posed for a quick photo. 

We put the kite back up in the sky, the live baits back in the water and started all over again. We waited a while until a Sailfish ate one of the baits, then it charged the boat, leaping and looking menacing, heading straight for the cockpit with 2 lady anglers terrified. I pulled the boat ahead quickly, before the fish could jump in. The fish shook his head and spit the hook. An adrenaline rush for everyone on board. A little while later we hooked up #4 Sailfish. This one was Karen's second Sailfish catch & release. We also caught a Dolphin and jumped off another Sailfish before the day was over. Everyone had a great time, all the fish were released unharmed except for the Dolphin which became a delicious meal.