So I have my timeline set out to pull my boat out of service. The dates have been removed from my schedule you see, but November 29-December 10th the boat will be scheduled for my tower install. I say this because I keep my word. I’m there for you no matter what. I’m trusting 3 businesses to complete a job. There might be a little wiggle room for check in opportunities. If there is any delay or snag, there may be open dates. Call and ask. I do have a 24′ bay boat for close to shore trips.
I realize I will be getting more traffic for my December clients looking to book Christmas week. That is a week or so that I will be busier than words can describe. I will be maxed out. I suggest you go on the path of easy vs. “I want to go lobstering, snorkeling, fishing and the sandbar with 6 people in 4 hours.” No and no. I will be working dark to dark for weeks, so let’s focus on fun things within reason. These days, my customers tend to more commonly be unrealistic, unprepared and underskilled for what we are set to do. There are many ways to mitigate these situations. Every decision requires some thought and preparation. Let me explain…
It does not matter what we plan to do. The weather and conditions dictate what we can do, what you can handle and what we can do together with success. I can operate in nearly any condition. For your trip, THE WEAKEST LINK IN YOUR PARTY WILL DECIDE THE ENTIRE TRIP. I made this clear, right? I do not set anybody up for failure or to have a bad or difficult experience with me. I have been doing this long enough, I almost instantly know when you set me up to fail. Actually, failing to invest in your trip is how we fail. The weather is changing. Often the forecast is wrong. If you only prepare for perfect weather in November and December, you failed out of the gate. Recently I had some guests show up inappropriately dressed and unprepared. They looked around how everybody else was dressed at the marina and they quickly realized that they are the odd balls. There was no thought put into their trip other than showing up. No. Don’t do that. You have to think about what you are doing. You are venturing into many unpredictable scenarios dictated by weather and conditions. Bring a layer of clothes to adjust. Bring some towels. Or visit my “Trip Tips” page to help you prepare properly.
I am a teacher. Your group is all students. Everybody learns differently at different paces. I have a system designed to teach anybody what I need to have happen to make it work with a short learning curve. Hiring me to take you fishing or any activity I offer is not a solution to success. I’m not a bought experience. I am an earned experience. I have 2 or 3 step systems for most of what I do. I have lots of inexperienced guests learn my system in 15 minutes. That is my realistic goal with everybody. I have many guests that are not connecting the dots from step one to step 2 three hours into a half day charter. That’s a problem. My trips are progressive. If you don’t get off of step 1, we do not advance to step 2. I have 3-7 of those trips a month. Your trip is a learning experience. Each group is a fresh page to draw our adventure for whatever we are doing. I execute my performance of anything I offer at a high level. I expect my guests to be average or neutral at a standard. I have a “Notes” section in my booking system to allow you to tell me what sets your trip apart from an average trip. That helps me prepare for your group. I know what you want to do. I know what your intentions are. Your expectations should be equal to your preparation, experience and knowledge. I say this because I am offering you a real adventure. You are really doing the activity. I am there to partner with you through every aspect of the experience. That is the appeal of what I offer to you. Many, many local charters are the total operation of your success. You sit on your ass and stare at whatever until it’s your moment.. The captain and mate fish and hand you the rod to finish turning the reel handle a few times and the mate seals the deal. Your participation was 10% in that catch. Every angler is different, but I coach you to be in the 98%-100% range. My goal is your confident independence. That is the reward of the whole process. You earn it. It happens every day on my boat. Fishing is a life and death fight. Our bigger fish are smart and strong and experienced. What will never work is matching an inexperienced customer with an experienced fish. Somebody wins the lottery somewhere every day, but you should not expect to win the lottery if you know nothing about fishing or how fishing tackle works.
I use light tackle in most applications. Many reasons. What does light tackle mean? Whatever we are targeting to catch can and will break the line. Why not use stronger line? Many reasons, but our water is typically very, very clear. If I use heaver(stronger) line, the fish see it and what was a fish producing scenario just turned into a no way jose zero bite situation. Heavy line might as well be a grenade or a neon sign saying “TOURIST ON OTHER END.” It wont work most times. For me to have you to find success, I have to be smarter, use lighter line, smaller hooks and pay closer attention to details. That is the recipe for success. I teach you this. I tell you the whole game as if I am arming you with ALL of the information I want and need to know to do what you are doing. I review tackle. The rod and reel operations. How to fight the fish. I tell how you should do it and how it needs to happen. Ok. It might be a lot of info for some. I do a demonstration. I start with a demonstration. I show you how to do it because words don’t cover subtle components. If I can’t easily do it, I 100% don’t expect you to do it. 90% of the time, I nail it like it is scripted. My technique is an easy pattern. I call it “factory work.” It’s just a matter of executing an operation. Like shooting a free throw in basketball. There is a format. Step to the free throw line. Dribble the ball to feel the weight. Hold the ball like you prefer to hold it. Push the ball to arch your shot. It goes in or it doesn’t. My system is similar, but easier. The differences are many. Fighting a fish on light tackle is the space from when the basketball leaves your hand to where it meets the rim/hoop. In basketball, that’s 20 feet or so. In fishing, you’re looking at 30-100ft. In general excitement, I watch customers do the exact opposite of every word of instruction that is coming out of my mouth to help them in technique to land the fish.
If you want to have greater success and less failure, look into building your knowledge base. Have some point of understanding for me to build off. What do you want from your charter from me? Great success is what I would answer for you. How long does it take to pour or build a foundation? My answer is longer than the amount of time you have with me under ideal conditions. All of my trips are successful. I have more 4th quarter victories that were all customer struggles until 2 things happen in this order. My customer gets so exhausted from working against themselves, that naturally, the correct technique came to be necessary to complete the catch. Literally, sometimes I have to let people work themselves into complete exhaustion doing something very simple and easy until there is no other choice than to do it the right way. Next option is for me to stop saying the same ignored instructions and let you get realize that your way isn’t working. I will get you back on track to conform to the instruction of the technique that will work.
FIGHTING A FISH:
Most people have no clue as to how to fight a fish. A great opportunity….so much excitement…….it becomes an out of body experience for many. Stop. You just found yourself unprepared in the moment you need to be hyper aware of details. Most times people do not even hear my voice. Checked out, gone, on a different level somewhere else. We are all different and react differently in what I guess you could call an intense or stressful performance situation. We would all do it differently if we did NOT know what to do. If you listen, I will coach you properly through it. This is chaos if you know nothing about everything you are doing. Especially if you are in your special place that tunes everything out. It happens a lot. I expect you not to know what to do. I expect you to listen. The tackle has limitations. Your skill sets have limitations. A big fish will test both of those and you have to understand that there is a balance. Easiest answer….You Tube. On my trips, my customers commonly catch tons of quality sized fish. 98% of the fish of a lifetime that are hooked are lost on my trips. Not because of light tackle. It is only because I have a rod in the hand of a customer that has an excellent opportunity that is a complete mismatch for what it takes to make a 50/50 scenario work in their favor. A 50/50 shot is a best case scenario for an opportunity at a fish of a lifetime. A 2% success rate is my reality for what I can not control. If it maters to you, know what you are doing. Know basic rod handling skills. The internet has a thousand percent more information than you can digest if you care to prepare and have higher than average expectations for your trip with me. Very simple formula. I’m very happy with the results my trips produce 90% of the time. I always look to produce better results. I want to help you be awesome. When you do good, I look good as a business. I also realize that this is your experience. When your world meets my world there is chemistry.
Most of the above was written for a smaller portion of my customer base and not the majority of my guests that have wildly successful trips with ease. I experience a level of frustration sometimes when I am on a trip where my customers are stuck on step 1 in a high quality high volume fishery they are failing their way through and want to do something else that requires more skill sets and knowledge with less opportunities. It’s opposite multiplied by opposite of anything realistic and capable of producing a positive outcome. It’s a little silly. By filling out my “Notes” section of your reservation properly, I can actively manage your trip given the information I know. I have booked enough trips in my career to know how to match up trips to what you tell me. The inquiries I get that are not a match for me get sent to the next best operator I know to. The end result is satisfied customers that may repeat a trip next year here and our economy charter industry stays strong. I’m invested in everybody’s success.
So, normal business operations are excellent. Fishing has been really solid on the reef for snapper and assorted species. I have not had any recent snorkeling trips. Water has been pretty clear even through some rough weather. Water temperatures in the snorkeling areas have been in the mid to upper 70’s. There have been some moon jellyfish blooms. We are definitely into wetsuit temperatures now. Captain Hooks Marina rents wetsuits at a reasonable rate. Lobster trips are done for the year. Water is getting cooler, so make sure you are aware. Certainly it changes after hard cold fronts, but you can easily search it on most common weather reporting sites or any NOAA site that is operational. This is the best one for marathon ocean conditions.
I have kept this blog heavy on the topic of preparation. Tonight I booked a very last minute charter for tomorrow afternoon, following my morning half day charter. You can do that. I am usually prepared for this, but it turns a 6 hour day into an an 11 hour day instantly. It is part of my business to do that. It changes all of my logistics. It also puts me in the understanding that I know that my last minute bookings are putting me in a position of managing from behind for that trip. Chasing what you don’t know. I have a ton of patience. I am a professional. I know how to run my circus. A better day for me is having 2 smaller carnivals than 2 giant shit show circuses. Sometimes I have stretches of circus after circus that is my life from dark to dark day to day. That is a grind. There is nothing fun about that existence. That is reality sometimes in the tourism industry. Best way for us to have the best experience…….invest in your trip similar to what I have invested into your experience. We have a speed dating type of relationship when you book an experience with me. You be you and I’ll be me. You want this to go well? Be prepared. I have a great operation. I’m in a top ranked destination for travel, fishing and in/on the water activities. Let’s make this awesome. It is a win win when we have the right formula.
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