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Charter boats at public boat ramps

Old 06-29-2018, 06:44 AM
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Default Charter boats at public boat ramps

I've been noticing lately more and more six pack and under fishing charters using the public boat ramps to conduct their business. The problem isn't the launching and loading of their boats. It's the taking of a ramp space or the static load/unload space next to the ramp to conduct the charter business. Cleaning fish while the clients stand their with all their gear impeding the use of the ramp for others. I never noticed this before last year. For example, this past week on Tuesday and Wednesday I was launching with my daughter and friends for a day at the sandbars. Two of the four ramps were occupied by active charters cleaning fish and talking shop with customers so there was no doubt what was going on and it just confirmed my observations.

I mentioned this to a friend at the inlet who rents a dock and pays to run an up front charter business from that location. He immediately knew what I was talking about and seemed pissed. He mentioned the fact that he has a legit licensed business with all that it costs and these guys were likely not even licensed business wise or Captained to operate their vessels in that way. I just listened and said maybe you should make the effort to find out. Then I was off to enjoy my day.

As a life long Floridian and waterman I don't have a personal beef with doing what you like to make a living on the water. Although launching /loading for any purpose is fine with me it's the in your face use of a public facility to conduct a for profit business as it interferes with the public use of that facility.

What say the THT braintrust?
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:55 AM
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I pay to operate right next door to the biggest Public Ramp in Pasco county.
I do however launch my flats boat daily at the public ramp and then drive the boat around to the marina and pick up my customers. We all have to pay to park and launch.

If the guides are backing it up any worse than the rest of the public then maybe an issue. As for using the ramp and the customers parking in the non trailer area it is no different than you launching and have your friends come and park in their car. My customers are the general Public and so am I when it comes to using the ramp.

I don't care who you are if your dicking around doing what ever and blocking anything for your convinence or business your an A hole.

Also remember many of the trailer boat guides are legitimate operators and chose to be able to be mobile as to fish various locations.
I launch from different places all the time. Maybe Tampa Bay, Hudson, Tarpon Springs and so on. Some private and some public ramps. Pay to use them all but try to stay out of the way like everyone should. You wouldn't know if I was a guide or just some guy meeting up and fishing with some buddies.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
I pay to operate right next door to the biggest Public Ramp in Pasco county.
I do however launch my flats boat daily at the public ramp and then drive the boat around to the marina and pick up my customers. We all have to pay to park and launch.

If the guides are backing it up any worse than the rest of the public then maybe an issue. As for using the ramp and the customers parking in the non trailer area it is no different than you launching and have your friends come and park in their car. My customers are the general Public and so am I when it comes to using the ramp.

I don't care who you are if your dicking around doing what ever and blocking anything for your convinence or business your an A hole.

Also remember many of the trailer boat guides are legitimate operators and chose to be able to be mobile as to fish various locations.
I launch from different places all the time. Maybe Tampa Bay, Hudson, Tarpon Springs and so on. Some private and some public ramps. Pay to use them all but try to stay out of the way like everyone should. You wouldn't know if I was a guide or just some guy meeting up and fishing with some buddies.
pretty level headed response

treat the ramp hogs like the idiots they are no matter their business or non-business activities....they are most likely paying to use the ramp and to park like everyone else, but like everyone else load up, use the ramp, MOVE ON and if not either tell them they are in the way or let the appropriate authorities know that ramps are being hogged no matter commercial users or recreational
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:02 AM
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In many areas there are no private ramps. The majority of Charter captains I’ve seem that trailer are inshore/near shore guys, and don’t operate out of a static location. Launch ramp changes fine to time based on the customer, targeted species, and season. This makes operating out of a single location or specific marina impossible. For instance in Charleston, good luck finding a private launch ramp.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:18 AM
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I don’t know where the OP is located in FL, but we used to have the same issue in WPB with some of the local fishing and dive charters. They were not trailer charters, they just docked their boat at a private or unsuitable space for customers and would pick up/drop off customers at the nearest ramp. I know because I used one of them once at Phil Foster Park and was amazed at what they did. I signed up for a dive and they said we pick up and drop off at Phil Foster.....be there 30 minutes before scheduled departure time. Sure enough, I get there at 7:30 for a 8 am departure and there are two guys waiting there with dive gear....a few others showed up in the next couple of minutes and one of the ones that was there first said “the boat will be here in a few minutes”. Sure enough, a few minutes later, he said there it is and pointed to a boat in the distance. The boat idled up, docked on the finger pier and started having customers sign waivers and loading their gear. Came back in at 12:30 to drop us off and pick up the afternoon group that was waiting to go out at 1. The customers had to find a parking spot and pay for it, but the boat just pulled up, loaded, unloaded and used the public ramp for their convenience and went back to their remote docking location at the end of the day. When you have 6 divers with gear, tanks, etc waiting and then 6 divers with gear, tanks, etc unloading, it got really crowded and the boat operator acted like they owned the ramp and had a screw the public, I need to make money attitude.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
I don't care who you are if your dicking around doing what ever and blocking anything for your convinence or business your an A hole. Also remember many of the trailer boat guides are legitimate operators and chose to be able to be mobile as to fish various locations.


So long as you behave like the Russian Capt. Pikep Andropov, there's no beef. Been there, done that. Fish cleaning ... I don't think so.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:53 AM
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I hear your not a legitimate guide until you wrap your boat. Is this true?
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:02 AM
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All good points!, I don't have a beef with any of them but expect the common courtesy afforded anyone at the ramp. The ramp in question is the Port Orange Bridge on the Causeway. It's a free ramp.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Pez Vela View Post


So long as you behave like the Russian Capt. Pikep Andropov, there's no beef. Been there, done that. Fish cleaning ... I don't think so.
I used to get to sit on the beach a few times a year with those guys, Ray and Tom, in Dennis MA. Talk about some witty mu’err effers...
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:26 PM
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Just back in to the ramp space you need and ask if they will move their boat. Happens everyday. IF not,, now we have a problem!!

Last edited by deckape; 06-29-2018 at 01:27 PM. Reason: spellin
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Diverboy View Post
I don’t know where the OP is located in FL, but we used to have the same issue in WPB with some of the local fishing and dive charters. They were not trailer charters, they just docked their boat at a private or unsuitable space for customers and would pick up/drop off customers at the nearest ramp. I know because I used one of them once at Phil Foster Park and was amazed at what they did. I signed up for a dive and they said we pick up and drop off at Phil Foster.....be there 30 minutes before scheduled departure time. Sure enough, I get there at 7:30 for a 8 am departure and there are two guys waiting there with dive gear....a few others showed up in the next couple of minutes and one of the ones that was there first said “the boat will be here in a few minutes”. Sure enough, a few minutes later, he said there it is and pointed to a boat in the distance. The boat idled up, docked on the finger pier and started having customers sign waivers and loading their gear. Came back in at 12:30 to drop us off and pick up the afternoon group that was waiting to go out at 1. The customers had to find a parking spot and pay for it, but the boat just pulled up, loaded, unloaded and used the public ramp for their convenience and went back to their remote docking location at the end of the day. When you have 6 divers with gear, tanks, etc waiting and then 6 divers with gear, tanks, etc unloading, it got really crowded and the boat operator acted like they owned the ramp and had a screw the public, I need to make money attitude.
If the customers had a boat would it be any different? If the ramp is free then they should get the hell out of there but if the customers are paying to park then the dock is being paid for. I can see both side but maybe the municipality should make commercial boats who intend to use public ramp buy a permit. Not right to use a ramp that is payed by tax payer funds to earn a living. Might be crazy but even a yoga class in a park shouldn't be allowed if it's a "for profit".
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ole_blue View Post
If the customers had a boat would it be any different? If the ramp is free then they should get the hell out of there but if the customers are paying to park then the dock is being paid for. I can see both side but maybe the municipality should make commercial boats who intend to use public ramp buy a permit. Not right to use a ramp that is payed by tax payer funds to earn a living. Might be crazy but even a yoga class in a park shouldn't be allowed if it's a "for profit".
so Charter operations should not be allowed at all if they operate trailered boats and are in areas with no private alternative?
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:26 PM
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I could care less if they use the ramp. It’s when they use the courtesy docks for over an hour at a time that gets annoying.
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:26 PM
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I live in a canal community, and the "village" passed an ordinance that these homes could no longer be used as the parking and loading spot for charter customers, unless the charters would agree to be taxed at the Hotel rates (about 10% of revenues)
Not sure how many of the captains are actually paying that, but now to be legal, the captains are picking up their charter customers at the already overcrowded marinas, increasing parking demand and tempers.
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:12 PM
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Call the county !
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ole_blue View Post
If the customers had a boat would it be any different? If the ramp is free then they should get the hell out of there but if the customers are paying to park then the dock is being paid for. I can see both side but maybe the municipality should make commercial boats who intend to use public ramp buy a permit. Not right to use a ramp that is payed by tax payer funds to earn a living. Might be crazy but even a yoga class in a park shouldn't be allowed if it's a "for profit".
a bit off topic, but I have to tell it....I was wasting brain power watching some show about the things that cheap people will do to save money.....one of the people was a woman that liked yoga, but did not want to pay for it

she used bubble wrap as a yoga mat and she would go tot he local park and wait until a yoga class there started and then stand like 10 yards away and follow along and then get up and run away just before the end

the part that made me have to tell this is the show talked to the yogie about her and how he felt about it and he said "well the class is offered by the parks department and free to anyone that signs up through them so I am not sure why she does not just join up with us for the whole time"

the idiot was so cheap and stupid she was trying to take advantage of something that was FREE and that she could get for free and was probably actually covering with a few pennies of her taxes.....I will say this though if it had been a for profit class I would have still laughed at her a bit, but I would have supported her right to stand a bit back and follow along as often as she wanted
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:25 PM
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Fishing guides, kayak rentals, stand up boards rentals ECT using public ramps to run their business are leaches of society sucking the blood of tax paying citizens.

Last edited by bikem; 06-29-2018 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bikem View Post
Fishing guides, kayak rentals, stand up boards rentals ECT using public ramps to run their business are leaches of society sucking the blood of tax paying citizens.
Your a dick and I'm a tax paying citizen.
I take tax paying citizens fishing of which their taxes pay for said ramp. "Look it Up"

I suppose my truck and trailer should not be on the roads you travel because I'm getting paid. I suppose your ass goes to work for free to clog up the same streets I have to drive on dick head!

Stay off the public roads unless your a soccer mom, A hole. Never do anything that makes you a dime on my public highway.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by lazyboi1212 View Post
I hear your not a legitimate guide until you wrap your boat. Is this true?
Ask Nate!
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:26 PM
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If the guides are being not courteous, let them know nicely. If they refuse to move or give you lip, call FWC and give them their FL numbers and tell them you believe they might be operating an unregistered and unlicensed charterboat along with any other relevant info and that they are operating out of said ramp....Courtesy goes both ways. I guarantee some of these jerks will not be legal..
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