In my day to day business I take guests of every kind and every experience level out on the water in a medium sized boat to play in every type of weather and sea condition. I know how to prepare, but do you? I have too many customers show up for a fishing trip with giant cups of coffee and nice clothes. Don’t do that!! The following information will help you prepare specifically for some of the many types of trips I commonly offer to beginners and families. It is a great idea to share this link to ALL of your guests so they too can be properly prepared. It is not my intention to cook and dehydrate you in the sun, beat you up in the waves or make you sea sick. I am in the fun business, so here’s how to prepare for fun!
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Please arrive early to allow time to find parking, locate me at the fuel dock, move your bags onto the boat, apply sunscreen and make last minute bathroom breaks and round up the kids. It is a busy dock and we need to minimize our time at the dock, especially in the morning.
Don’t show up looking like a tourist. Your skin(and mine) burns in our subtropical sun and the solution is all in the clothing ($60 total) that protects you from the sun. Captain Hooks Marina and virtually every business that offers trips on the water sells the right clothing to make your day comfortable. This is more important seasonally in the Summer months, but spend the money and get yourself 1 long sleeve shirt of SPF quick drying material and a Buff to cover your neck/ears. Apply sunscreen BEFORE you get on my boat. It is greasy and gets everywhere when you do it on my boat. We get dirty on my boat to some degree catching fish, so expect to get some blood on your clothes (whatever you decide to wear). Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. The price you pay for a sunburn and an uncomfortable day on the water is infinitely higher than that of a shirt or the effort it takes to prepare properly. On board there is a large shaded top and an iced cooler with complimentary waters and drinks to share. I recommend you bring a small cooler of your favorite drinks and small snacks in PLASTIC containers. Do not bring GLASS on board. There is room for dry storage on board for your belongings(cell phones and cameras go on dash board for easy access), but please bring the minimum needed for your trip. A gallon size Zip-Lock bag is great insurance for anything that can’t get wet. Anybody in your group that has no ocean boating experience or any inclination to motion sickness needs to take motion sickness medications in 2 cycles before the trip. Showing up hungover, flu/cold sick, exhausted from travel and such is a bad idea. I don’t want you on board if you are sick, as it will cost me and others their trips too if you get me sick. I run tons of trips in the flu/cold season, so be socially responsible and don’t show up with a virus I can’t fight because we will share too many surfaces for me to not get your illness. There is a freshwater marine head/bathroom on board for the ladies. Boys, you miss so you can miss all over off the back of the boat. It’s easy to pee off my boat. Plan accordingly. A 40 ounce coffee is a terrible way to start the trip for every reason. Think about what you are doing on your trip.
We will be meeting at a very busy public marina with very little dock space. It is good to be a little early. It is great if you are on time. DO NOT BE LATE! There will be many people waiting for me to move my boat and I will be waiting on you. I don’t like to be in that position to start my day.
DO NOT BRING:
This list is small, but is always growing. Do not bring a bad attitude, fighting kids and family disputes for obvious reasons. I want to have fun too. No GLASS containers that can break, no personal GPS devices and nothing that stains my boat or clogs my drains like blueberries, concentrated drink mixes, chew/dip, brand new unwashed red or navy blue clothing, sunflower seeds, nuts and anything related to the end result of my excessive cleaning up, unclogging, bleaching and waxing to clean my boat after your trip. A giant coffee isn’t a good way to start either; what you bring is going to spill or come out of you. My boat is my office and you should treat it like it is your new car. It needs to last longer than your trip, so please be respectful with common sense.
Sun prep, clothing prep, meds prep, drinks and snacks. I offer several kinds of fishing trips, but not every trip may be right for your group. Reef/Bayside and shark trips are easy, but please do not book an offshore trip if members of your party have no experience or ability to be in sustained 3-5ft seas 30 miles offshore all day. Start with a smaller trip and work up to an offshore trip to build experience and understanding of your party’s ability. Please ask specific questions for your group and communicate well with me to ensure we have a clear picture of your trip. Don’t forget to check in 48 hours before your trip.
Sun prep, clothing prep and meds prep. Double check every set of mask/snorkel/fins if you bring your equipment. I have never had a trip where all of my customer’s equipment has worked. Never ever. Your sunblock will wash off quickly, so buy a SPF rated long sleeve rash guard to keep the sun and jellyfish off of your skin. Full sun protection, extra drinks, underwater camera, towels and foam noodles are a good idea. DO NOT BRING A BRAND NEW MASK! It needs special preparation before it is used the first time(Google it), otherwise it is useless. Men, shave to prevent your mask from leaking. ANY in the water trip where water temperatures are below 80 degrees, you will want an appropriately matched dive skin/wetsuit to keep you warm and comfortable. Some people are heartier than others. I am not hearty! If you are getting in/out of the water often, a wetsuit will make all of the difference. Generally speaking, November through April is wetsuit territory.
Sun prep, clothing prep and meds prep. This trip is freediving only. No SCUBA. Double check and water check all dive equipment and spear gear twice before your trip!! These trips involve tons of preparation on your behalf. Your preparation pays off and I can tell every time on game day. You are making critical decisions on harvesting marine life in a marine sanctuary. This resource is heavily pressured and your mistakes cost everybody the health and future of this resource. It is the responsibility of EVERYBODY PARTICIPATING TO KNOW THE RULES/REGULATIONS/SPECIES IDENTIFICATION of anything you intend to harvest. Never is it acceptable to shoot a fish you do not know the regulations on it. Never show up without watching 1 hour of YouTube videos of lobstering or spearfishing on my channel https://www.youtube.com/user/kjgophish (this is mandatory!!) 2018 laws have changed significantly and have made spearfishing much more difficult. Know these changes and all the laws that apply to what you are doing. Men, shave your face to prevent mask leaks. Bring your own gloves.
You and I are the ambassador’s and protectors of this resource and it is a privilege to be able to do what we are legally allowed. Do your homework, do your homework and do more of your homework!! This is not a bought experience and you are not allowed to shoot or harvest anything you are not certain is within your legal limit!!! The laws here apply to everybody, so don’t book a trip with me if you show up unprepared for what you are about to do!
I am lucky to have this fun and diverse and unique business that is growing rapidly. I built and designed this business from scratch to provide you a safe, fun and affordable way to access the best activities on the water here in my home waters. I’m not a business man, a lawyer, a family therapist or the answer many issues/problems some customers bring into my world on a boat in the ocean. I’m looking for anybody that wants to have a good time. I am an ambassador to the best of what we have to offer here in Marathon Florida and the surrounding waters. Leave your problems behind, pick the trip that works for your party, prepare properly and leave the rest to me. My goal is to outfit you in a custom trip with the love, skill and attention to detail that gives you such a personally satisfying experience that you return as a repeat customer. Please be a good customer. PLEASE make me aware of special needs or unique issues to your party. Maybe your kid is a little hard to work with. I would like to know so I can mentally prepare for an above average challenge. My worst customer pays for something, expects everything and prepares for nothing. Don’t be that person. There is value to all that we do in life. You are investing in me for a day, so please protect your investment in me by preparing for your trip in an an environment that is not common to you. When you do, we all end the day with a Florida Keys Reel Adventure that leads to another. That’s how this works in my world!