As strongly as I can word my website to create awareness, I am not reaching a significant percentage of my customers. As I have stated in my last 3 months of blogs, do not book an afternoon half day reef fishing trip. It’s too hot. My morning trip customers are melting into non-functioning hot messes in 2 hours, so what’s going to happen if you book an afternoon trip? You are destroying me. I have to work in that heat all day every day and you might realistically last an hour or so. Our water temperatures are in the high 80’s, air temps in the 90’s , heat index well over 100 degrees daily. The fish are just as hot as you, so expect very little when you go against my word. I’m losing 5pounds a day in water weight. Don’t be surprised if I cancel your afternoon trip.
In the interest of having a good, enjoyable trip, you need to prepare your guests for your charter with me. If you are booking the trip, you are responsible for making sure the people joining you on your trip are fully aware of this information you are reading. Your trip revolves around everything going well and your group being normal. Here’s why I am mentioning this. I’m 12 trips in a row of really nice conditions where somebody is throwing up in an hour or so of leaving the dock. That’s not fun for me. That’s a liability and I change your trip once this happens. What we were supposed to do goes to what I think you might be able to do to finish the trip.
Everything is lobster, lobster, lobster and lobster right now. I was not super optimistic about this season opener. We have had a ton of record hot and calm weather. Bad weather moves lobster around. We have not had that at all. I gathered those that dove the bridge areas did reasonably well for mini season. I avoided the masses and dove traditional lobster holes further out in the bay and my charter guests got 8 keepers for 30 holes. In a 4 hour trip, your group might be able to dive 10-15 holes, so that was my reality. I can put you in the bridge channels if conditions are appropriate, but you will absolutely have to work your ass off in current and often less visibility. Do not expect to do that with your kids. I promise you, if you cheat any of my requirements for participation, reality and success will be not on your side. I do not want to be a part of your struggle. For many years, my lobster trips were fun and productive. This year more than ever, the resource is stretched among much more human and environmental pressure. My lobster trips are more of a lobstering experience now. It is a fantastic experience if you are prepared and meet the minimal requirements. I say and have worded everything about my lobstering info on my website specifically to prevent everything that tends to keep happening. Kindness, understanding and compromise has always been my management of these trips and screwed up situations I get placed in. The only solution I see moving forward is to have lobster trips paid in full before we leave the dock. That would solve my issues that keep arising from not knowing how to lobster dive on a lobster diving charter and we can go back to the dock anytime you want. Please thoroughly review my lobstering info before making a reservation. Please make sure ALL OF YOUR GROUP IS 100% PREPARED. I have canceled about 13 lobster trips per customer red flag notes to me based on how nobody meets any requirements. No, I’m super not interested in that. Please don’t. I’m not interested in inheriting all of your problems for the sake of trying something you are not invested in. I can’t even explain the volume of silliness that is coming at me daily.
Fishing, snorkeling and sandbar trips have been great. Early starts to reef fishing has made excellent catches of snapper. After the next full moon this month, fishing will fall off significantly. The snapper will spawn 1 last time and hit the road for cooler waters. Fish will still be on the reef, but it will not be as glorious as now.
Offshore fishing has been really solid as well. Dolphin have been plentiful…..as of 4 days ago. As I write this, there has been a 4 day void, which can change tomorrow. If there is weeds and bait, the dolphin will be there. The blackfin tuna bite has been solid at the humps 27 miles offshore. EARLY is the key. Leave the dock no later than 7am kinda trip. Start with tuna, limit out, fish our way back for dolphin and maybe deep drop for grouper and tile fish if the conditions are right and season is open. It’s been a proven winning plan for weeks now. Sharks have been bad, so you have to bring real skills and strength.
I want to finish with a summary of explanations. Last year was super difficult for every reason. I had $70K in covid cancellations and my bail out was around $5K. I didn’t raise my rates. The boat got new engines and tons of upgrades. Coming out of covid I have been through heck of a ride with the most challenging groups day to day to make my living. I only make money and have a business if I work…..a lot. I do that. I’m pretty flexible. I have a ton of patience. It is very common for me to work 3 weeks straight sunrise to sunset without a day off. A day off is a boat maintenance day so I can do it again for 3 more weeks. That’s my normal life. Your cooperation is essential. Your degree of compliance and preparation is the difference if I like my day, can tolerate my day or absolutely hate my day.. I’m doing fun things. I have a fun business. I am in the fun business. I dedicate my life to run my business well. Your obligation is to be a good to a great guest. All of you. Not just the person reading this or booking the trip. I can and will fine tune my way into a solution to the issues and problems I keep having. Not at all want I want to do. You want me to have fun on your trip. It goes both ways. This year will dictate the direction my business model goes in the future. Easiest thing to do is raise my rates and hire a babysitter to back seat you to your adventure. That’s what everybody else does. The past month I have been fishing close quarters among other charter operators and what I see blows my mind. Captain and mate are fishing. Family is all sitting down picking their noses and staring off in different directions. Captain and mate are fishing, hook a fish and call client to finish reeling in fish that is half way in. That is not fishing. That is 100% not at all what my business does, advertises or offers. You book a charter with me because you are willing to learn and earn your way through an experience that you choose based on what your group can do and wants to do. I believe most people have the ability to easily do what I offer with some work. I am light years from a bought experience that you just show up for and everything magically works. The ocean does not operate that way, nor do I. Whatever degree you and your entire group prepares and invests in your experience will directly reflect your end result of what you do, what you catch, how the trip flows and how you feel when you walk away from your experience. I will be out of business if I don’t evolve with my clients. My business is a great niche operation. I’m really against changing my business to serve the masses and general public. Please work with me to make it feel like we are invested in each other’s success. That is the entire reality of what we are doing. I see it as a 50/50 relationship. An organic flowing trip with chemistry is a beautiful work of art. I am a professional at calculating and creating an experience that is worth coming back again for again and again. I can only do what I do and be me if I have your cooperation. I have just finished checking in my customers for the next several days. Tomorrow being the opening of regular lobster season. Every lobstering group has had a major struggle of every kind that is entirely preventable.
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