Tonight wraps up a few days of wind following some great conditions that has carried us through the mid part of March into the tail end of Spring Break. Oh, Spring Break…..I have so much to say and I will try to focus on the positives.
We saw a mid March gale wind event that FINALLY blew some clear blue water across the reef into our inshore waters. It was like the toilet flushed and we just saw a ton of new fish and the cleanest, clearest water we have seen in 6 months or more. What a relief!! I finally got a few sets of customers into the water recently to enjoy absolute crystal clear waters with visibility over 70ft. That is just about as good as it gets!! Going forward there is going to be some ups and downs in the conditions until we get past the waning spring cold fronts. I do expect to see more good days in the water for those interested in booking in the water trips. Remember, these trips are a bit of a gamble and bad visibility within good conditions means we will still go out, but may turn the trip into a shorter rod and reel fishing trip catering to the closest activity of your choosing that can be successful for the goal of getting on the water and having a good time.
I would never expect you to understand, but I offer multiple activities to groups that sometimes book multiple days. Many times I hit it out of the park with insanely successful trips where my customers opt to cancel their next trip because we did it all and it was epic on day 1. I’m seeing a pattern and I will be adjusting accordingly because this behavior is extremely toxic to the success to my business. I don’t ever intend to earn money I didn’t work for, but is seems people are pretty open to walking away from a $100 deposit because of whatever reason justifies hanging me out to dry last minute. I don’t have a policy that charges you full trip cost for cancellations within 7 days of your scheduled trip, like most captains do. I planned a small rate increase to more closely match my competition for the beginning of 2017, but held off because my operating costs hadn’t gone up significantly. I was counting on a small return in my investment in my customers and trips in the form of a simple online review of my business, which didn’t pan out at all. My competition has invested heavily in advertising this year and I forced to add more value to my trips to cover the additional cost of advertising. The days of organic pay it forward with an online review has died for reasons I will never understand. If you left an online review for my business before 3/26/17, you will get 20% of your next charter with me if you send me a link to your review and proof of your ID or that you wrote it with your booking info. That is my thank you for the day I gave you a great trip at a great price and put my business card in your hand and asked you for a review and you listened. I started this business to provide the highest quality trips for budget minded families to showcase the best the keys has to offer. There is a 100 fishing guides on this island and my ranking is slipping because I put my reputation in the hands of my customers and there was silence. Really? Very much so! Google Ads got the other guys to the top. It had nothing to do with offering successful custom trips. They just paid to ping the search engines and got the bigger part of the market share. I can’t be a dummy anymore, so I have to evolve to survive. I did everything to prevent this rate increase from becoming reality.
Going forward, April is an awesome month for just about any kind of adventure. I already have a strong month on the books and expect it to fill up similar to March. Tarpon, Permit, Snapper, Sharks and Tuna will all be big players this month with many others to provide action and great table fare. All you have to do is book a trip, communicate with me, prepare and show up. Everything else works out fine because I manage all of the other details. Here’s some pictures of people that booked a trip, communicated with me, prepared and showed up and it worked out really well. It’s 8:50pm and I can’t get in touch with my customers for tomorrow. I’m working on fixing this problem right now because it’s happening way to much lately.
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