January 2022 Update

January 13th, 2022

Welcome to a new year and a ton of changes and new opportunities. Season is here and in full swing with tons of visiting vacationers taking advantage of all we have to offer. We have had almost no winter, so we are jamming with everybody seeking refuge from the grips of winter. That’s good because I am ready!

The big news on my side is the boat has gone through a massive upgrade to give me more opportunities to be more efficient on many of my trips. I have installed a tower and new electronics to give me a higher perspective for spotting fish and greater ability to capitalize on situations I may have missed. This does not apply to all trips, but gives me another advantage on certain trips with certain customers. The boat has more shade, storage and somehow has a better balance to it for handling. Win, win and win! For now, my rates will remain unchanged from my 2020 rates. I will be creating new systems of operations, but customer cooperation will dictate the direction my business goes. My intent is to not take you out of the experience by hiring a mate. My business is unique by offering a team building experience that provides a greater reward through learning and working together for a successful outcome. I want to keep it that way.

The blue counter shade dampens reflection and makes the boat cooler

Before I get into activities reports, a few bits of info reality info. I’ve had all my shots/booster, but I got (omi-covid early december. I’m good, but boat upgrade and illness cost me all of my december charters. Do not come aboard sick to any degree. I don’t care with what, just don’t get me sick. I can’t afford being sick. My last charter was a French group. 1 guest sneezed alllllll over every part of my boat. The sun highlighted the snot and particulate spraying everywhere. No. Just no. That is not a situation I can be in. I understand you want to have all members on board for your scheduled trip, but you have a responsibility to me to not put me out of business for a week and cancel dozens of scheduled trips. Just remove all sick people from coming on your trip because it is the proper thing to do.

Fishing: we are well above average temperatures for this “winter” season. Winter fish and patterns have only come through on small pushes that coincide with passing fronts. Day to day it has been very warm. The deep reef has been producing large yellowtail snapper, jacks and mackerel.

Yellowtails and Yellow Jacks

Grouper and hogfish are closed, but we are catching them.

Big Hogfish!!

The shallow patch reefs are a little slower than normal right now (Jan 11). I expect that to pick up rapidly when we get a few significant cold fronts push through this next week. We have been getting a good variety of fish on the patches, but mostly smaller fish and closed season fish. It’s always a good choice for families and beginners. The action and pace helps with the learning curve. On the bayside the fishing had been good. Plenty of mangrove snapper, mackerels, jacks and sharks. The new tower will open up florida pompano trips, which are super fun and fast paced. Angler participation and basic fishing skills are a must for this.

When you find the pompano, it’s game on!!!

Snorkeling has been really good. We have had a higher than average blue water days and water temperatures right at 75 degrees. That’s really good for this time of year! The warmer than normal situation has been good for snorkeling over all. That will change, but it’s good for now. Captain Hooks has a new stock of wetsuits available for rental and a minimal price. Just show up early to allow for the fitting process.

One other important change for 2022 is all outside the boat activities will not be covered by my insurance. For 13 years I paid a premium to cover my guests in the water. The market has changed. My policy holder and most of the insurance industry will not insure customers in the water. Going forward if you wish to get in the water, you will be signing some paperwork to release me of liability. It is just the way it is now.

Gratuity: I hate to talk about money, but that is how I exist. It is important to me. The cost of everything has gone way up for me into 2022. My rates have not gone up. I’ll take the loss for now. My rates pay my bills and allow me to survive. I’m not getting rich. I can’t afford to buy a house here. I take my tips and re-invest that money into the boat which averages out to $50K a year. I’m building my business before I take profitability for my personal gain. New electronics $30K, new engines $50K, new tower $50K. Mostly tip money and some of my survival money pays for that. I work my ass off to earn my tips. Don’t tip me if your trip sucks!! If I didn’t earn it then I didn’t earn it. Specifically, my foreign guests will have a more precarious reality. My foreign customers know how tips work in America. I need help to not price you out of a charter experience. Reach out to me if my schedule is booked. I may bump somebody from France to accommodate your trip.

Thanks so much for reading this! I’m looking forward to all the new adventures coming in 2022!! The updated boat is going to be great for all of us.

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