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-   -   Mexican Gulf - Venice, LA Charter Review - 42 Freeman (https://www.thehulltruth.com/sportfishing-charters-forum/1035305-mexican-gulf-venice-la-charter-review-42-freeman.html)

Troutchaser21 09-09-2019 12:55 PM

Mexican Gulf - Venice, LA Charter Review - 42 Freeman
 
We booked a trip a few months in advance for the first weekend of September to fish on Richard Draper’s new dual row seating boat. I got a call the week of saying that it was no longer available for reasons that were hard to believe. Regardless we got put on a newer 42 so wasn’t a big deal although it was disappointing because half the reason we booked the trip was to experience the dual row seating as we are considering building a freeman. We headed out Friday morning at around 6am to go find some bait and afterwards tuna. The first thing that happened was my 65-year-old dad was sitting in the helm chair next to the captain and the 22-year-old deckhand tapped him on the shoulder and without words motioned him to the back of the boat. Yes, this may be standard that the deckhands ride next to the captains to discuss the plan for the day or whatever but is a pretty cocky thing to say to a client. A simple explanation that it is “his office everyday” or something would have done just fine if he really wanted the seat. We got on some tuna and as the captain was setting the hook on one, I asked, does it feel like a good one? The captain replied with a raised voice, “I don’t know, what the F*** kind of question is that” and threw his hands up in disgust motioning for me to take the rod as he stormed off back to the helm of the boat. I shrugged it off and thought, no big deal but that was weird, and proceeded to bite my tongue. A little bit later we were swordfish and having a casual discussion about the boat. I asked which stereo package the boat had, and he told me all about how it was a custom package Billy Freeman did for him and how crazy loud it was with over 18 speaker and subs. I asked multiple times if we could hear this 20 something thousand-dollar stereo, but I was ignored. If I was to brag about my stereo, or simply inform someone of how crazy loud it is I would certainly expect someone to ask if we could turn it up lol. I tried several times and every time was pretty much ignored. A few hours later we were back tuna fishing, I had a rod in the rear of the cockpit on the starboard side of the boat in a rod holder. The captain came up behind me and threw his bait out and was standing close to me, so I asked, "Want me to move over" and he replied no you are fine. A few moments passed and he had the rod over my head and seemed to be struggling because of me so as I caught on to the fact that I should move he bumped into me and said "just get out of the way" with frustration. Again, cannot imagine having that kind of an attitude with a client. Later on that day we got back to the dock and were pumping gas before we had closed out our bill. We only caught 1 small tuna that the deckhand cleaned and I asked them both if we could have a few scoops of ice for the road. The 42 Freeman's coffin box was nearly full of ice, they both separately answered that they needed it to ice down for the next day’s charter. The captain then suggested that I get a bag from the marina and he could add it to our bill. At this point I was pretty mind blown with his attitude, after a $3,000 fishing trip he couldn't spare me 3-4 scoops of ice? Pretty pathetic if you ask me. After a few minutes of what felt like bartering the captain sort of said “I guess you can grab a few scoops” or something along those lines. It seems the attention they get from having a fleet of new Freemans swarming the docks and a fully booked charter calendar has really gotten to their heads. It is a shame because back in 2014 or so we fished with Mexican Gulf and didn’t have a single thing to complain about and was a great experience, the captain was friendly and accommodating which is what I expect on a charter. I am never one to write a bad review like this, but after sleeping on it for a few days, I couldn't let it go. Not the best way to represent Freeman as this captain seems to be instrumental in Freeman's program, marketing and sea-trialing boats for them. It certainly left a bad taste in our mouths.

pooldoo73 09-09-2019 01:06 PM

No reason to hide the boat you were on. I can't imagine any of the captains having this kind of attitude. Each boat has a name, which one was it.
At least one of the boats is at the mechanic shop right now, I saw it there Sunday.

wdkerek 09-09-2019 01:16 PM

Full disclosure, I haven't chartered down there in years...............but, I know and knew a few of those "tuna boys" back in the day when the " marvel" guy was becoming the self appointed tuna guru.

They ALL can kill fish. Very good fisherman. But many go through a cult of their own personality for a time. I once had a client square off with Peace on the boat at the Mars rig. We had quite a sobering ride back. No punches were thrown, but my client was not impressed with the rail side manners of the guys that day and he made it crystal clear.

I always enjoyed the banter of guys like Brett Falterman on the Kraken, but he was always a gentlemen on the ride out and back.

txtightline 09-09-2019 01:46 PM

A challenge many of us know all too well is growing and sustaining a business, and the reputation and experience that goes with it, while empowering and entrusting employees/etc. IMO what you experienced is exactly that.

Customer satisfaction is a bit easier when tuna jump in the boat.....unfortunately that hasn't really been the program in Venice for a while and it wears on the captains and crew for sure. When things get tough is when the real colors come out.

Kenner21 09-09-2019 02:04 PM

Man that sounds like a good time, and for the low low price of 3K I can fish Cabo for 3 days and if I'm getting cursed at I'll have no idea

Re-Bait 09-09-2019 03:07 PM


Originally Posted by Kenner21 (Post 12913231)
Man that sounds like a good time, and for the low low price of 3K I can fish Cabo for 3 days and if I'm getting cursed at I'll have no idea


I can teach them to you!!

Anyhoo at least tell us about how the boat performed!!

Troutchaser21 09-09-2019 03:33 PM


Originally Posted by Re-Bait (Post 12913474)
I can teach them to you!!

Anyhoo at least tell us about how the boat performed!!

The boat was unbelievable. Truly the best fishing platform I have experienced. Only 2’ seas but the landing was as soft as it gets. The cat ride takes some getting used to as your body wants to lean the opposite way. But overall it’s a great machine, very economical for that size boat too.

Gmack 09-09-2019 04:20 PM

I wouldn't say a charter captain's attitude in Louisiana is a bad representation of Freeman. Freeman only sells boats doesn't run the charter company.

Although I don't Bluewater fish much by all accounts tuna fishing is really hit or miss the last couple of years. Although every picture I see on IG of Venice captains is boat loads of huge tuna. I really wish they would date the photos. Might be posting photos over and over again.

Crazy it cost $3k for a day trip sweating your ass off on an open boat in the NGOM. Seems one could just about take an entire vacation somewhere tropical for not much more.

baker2605 09-09-2019 04:33 PM

Does Special Ed still out fish their fleet in his old contender?

old hat 09-09-2019 04:49 PM

Cross that off my bucket list! For $3k and that kind of attitude....I’ll pass.

I’d rather go to Oregon inlet for world class fishing only 30-40 miles out and Carolina hospitality.

N2theblue 09-09-2019 04:52 PM


Originally Posted by Gmack (Post 12913690)
I wouldn't say a charter captain's attitude in Louisiana is a bad representation of Freeman. Freeman only sells boats doesn't run the charter company.

This. This was a somewhat misleading thread title, it was a charter review not a boat review.

Stuff like this is why I have no desire to go to Venice nowadays, especially since I'm an easy drive to Oregon Inlet. A shorter ride, on a sportfisher, for a grand less money, with at least as good fishing? Easy decision.


Wavehight 09-09-2019 05:04 PM

First off, That sucks you didn't have a good trip. This isn't an attack on the OP.

Me and some friends went down to venice last year and chartered MGFC for two days. Day one was with Capt. Draper and day two was with Capt. Colin Byrd. The fishing wasn't great, but both captains were friendly and personable as were the mates. I got along with Captain Draper and found him to be a nice guy and very relatable. Badass gear, top notch boat, and we had our shots at fish. They worked for it. Maybe he was having a bad day or there is more to the story. None of us know as we weren't there, and again, this isn't talking shit about the OP nor am I defending the charter.

I am posting this bc these threads tend to turn into witch hunts by people who have zero experience with the subject matter and that isn't fair. I know MGFC has their calendar full and they don't need my endorsement.

Troutchaser21 09-09-2019 05:05 PM

[QUOTE=N2theblue;12913802]This. This was a somewhat misleading thread title, it was a charter review not a boat review.

Which is why I put it under “Sportfishing and Charters” instead of “The Boating Forum”.

Troutchaser21 09-09-2019 05:18 PM


Originally Posted by Wavehight (Post 12913864)
First off, That sucks you didn't have a good trip. This isn't an attack on the OP.

Me and some friends went down to venice last year and chartered MGFC for two days. Day one was with Capt. Draper and day two was with Capt. Colin Byrd. The fishing wasn't great, but both captains were friendly and personable as were the mates. I got along with Captain Draper and found him to be a nice guy and very relatable. Badass gear, top notch boat, and we had our shots at fish. They worked for it. Maybe he was having a bad day or there is more to the story. None of us know as we weren't there, and again, this isn't talking shit about the OP nor am I defending the charter.

I am posting this bc these threads tend to turn into witch hunts by people who have zero experience with the subject matter and that isn't fair. I know MGFC has their calendar full and they don't need my endorsement.

All I can say is I have no reason whatsoever to make up some story about having a bad experience to make a charter business look bad. And it doesn’t take “experience with the subject matter” to know you shouldn’t be treated that way as a client.. I am simply sharing my honest experience and realize that The Mexican Gulf has a good business and probably couldn't care less about 1 guys experience out of how ever many hundreds they fish a year.

Wavehight 09-09-2019 05:51 PM

I never said you made anything up. I think I made that clear in my post. I was just sharing my experience. It sucks you spent that much money and weren't satisfied. That has to leave a bad taste in your mouth. I know it would if that were me.

ed d 09-09-2019 06:01 PM


Originally Posted by N2theblue (Post 12913802)
This. This was a somewhat misleading thread title, it was a charter review not a boat review.

Stuff like this is why I have no desire to go to Venice nowadays, especially since I'm an easy drive to Oregon Inlet. A shorter ride, on a sportfisher, for a grand less money, with at least as good fishing? Easy decision.

Nice . My cousin and uncle , who's getting older but loves fishing ask me about a trip . I thought about it then said " uncle how about we go to one of the birth places of off shore fishing ".

LagoonAkin 09-09-2019 07:05 PM

Considering building a Freemen AND complaining about spending $3K on a 'less than perfect' charter trip. I love this site :grin:

:tht_rulez:

thomasj1107 09-09-2019 11:03 PM


Originally Posted by LagoonAkin (Post 12914300)
Considering building a Freemen AND complaining about spending $3K on a 'less than perfect' charter trip. I love this site :grin:

:tht_rulez:

3k or 3$... the point is it’s no way to act to a customer if it’s true. You wouldn’t take that from someone serving you a burger at McDonald’s, so you wouldn’t appreciate it from a guy you just handed 3k too. Freeman build or no freeman build

tbaxl 09-10-2019 04:15 AM


Originally Posted by LagoonAkin (Post 12914300)
Considering building a Freemen AND complaining about spending $3K on a 'less than perfect' charter trip. I love this site :grin:

:tht_rulez:

Maybe a good return on his investment is why he can afford a Freeman.

Rod27 09-10-2019 04:15 AM

if the mate tells me to move, the first thing im saying is **** off, which is what you or your dad should have said. A 65 y/o man earns the right to sit wherever the **** he wants. Plenty of seats so why would he tell your dad to move? And he told him to move to the back of the boat? No way.

Vantaredoc 09-10-2019 04:33 AM


Originally Posted by Rod27 (Post 12914792)
if the mate tells me to move, the first thing im saying is **** off, which is what you or your dad should have said. A 65 y/o man earns the right to sit wherever the **** he wants. Plenty of seats so why would he tell your dad to move? And he told him to move to the back of the boat? No way.

Exactly! I'm glad to hear you say that! This is why I overpaid for my own boat and spend more than I should to go out when I want and take the grand kids and not have to listen to someone being bitchy or bossy with an arrogant attitude...and if she does, we all just ignore her and turn the radio up..:grin:

AlreadyThere 09-10-2019 04:54 AM

Went on a charter out of Bud n Mary's years ago. I caught a back country grand slam and my buddy a slam. All told we caught more fish than I think I've ever caught in a day of a large variety including a saw tooth.

By noon I asked the captain who's paying who today which at least bought us an hour in peace. We were ridiculed and barked at on such a regular basis we asked to go home two hours early and I'd never fish with this captain again.

Been there OP and totally agree

Gottarpon 09-10-2019 05:33 AM

I fished with Voodoo out of Venice and Sidebet out of Biloxi Both class act super nice guys happy to have us on board. Biloxi was cool because you can access the same fishing grounds and stay in a much nicer area with other things to do.

hamma job 09-10-2019 05:59 AM

I would bring it up with the management of MGFC first. They are the epitome of a first class operation and this sounds like behavior they would care not to represent. I know almost all of their captains on a personal level and could not imagine any of them acting in this manner. Top shelf captains and human beings all around.

hedgemere225 09-10-2019 06:13 AM

Did you tip the captain or mate?

Rod27 09-10-2019 06:25 AM


Originally Posted by Vantaredoc (Post 12914830)
Exactly! I'm glad to hear you say that! This is why I overpaid for my own boat and spend more than I should to go out when I want and take the grand kids and not have to listen to someone being bitchy or bossy with an arrogant attitude...and if she does, we all just ignore her and turn the radio up..:grin:

which is what almost anybody would do. It’s very odd that nobody on this charter thought to say that. It’s just a weird story. I can’t believe that a mate would even do that. This story makes no sense.

5tmorris 09-10-2019 06:25 AM

Next time try Eddie Burger or Mike Pittman!

alligatorgar 09-10-2019 06:26 AM

Mexican gulf fishing

di** move.


The old guy going out fishing with his son and you send him to the back of the bus. To cheap to ice the guys “one” 1 small tuna down for the trip home? Bull dogging the client? Guess those freeman monthly payments come easy.

alligatorgar 09-10-2019 06:34 AM


Originally Posted by hamma job (Post 12915064)
I would bring it up with the management of MGFC first. They are the epitome of a first class operation and this sounds like behavior they would care not to represent. I know almost all of their captains on a personal level and could not imagine any of them acting in this manner. Top shelf captains and human beings all around.

not from what I’ve just read..... simple sh** screwed up. That mate and captain sound spoiled.... maybe they need to be moved to the 21’ bayliner and fish the wagon wheel.

What burns me up is I always talk up for Venice la fishing and the Venice charter fleet. I go out of my way to guide noobs and tourist to the Venice charter fleet. To read this is disheartening. Things so simple to make a charter first rate squandered over silly sh**.

pooldoo73 09-10-2019 06:37 AM

We could all pick this guy apart and the captain also if we really wanted too. And that's with only getting one side of the story. We all have bed days. I fish in Venice a lot and see things that are just unbelieveable from some in the charter fleet and from the googans. It's unfortunate for the industry when someone walks away from a charter feeling let down. Everyone here knows there is another side to the story, but it doesn't matter at this point.


I know the ice issue is more important than anything else, but at Venice Marina you can get 40 lbs. of shaved ice for $6.50.

Vantaredoc 09-10-2019 06:52 AM


Originally Posted by pooldoo73 (Post 12915216)
We could all pick this guy apart and the captain also if we really wanted too. And that's with only getting one side of the story. We all have bed days. I fish in Venice a lot and see things that are just unbelieveable from some in the charter fleet and from the googans. It's unfortunate for the industry when someone walks away from a charter feeling let down. Everyone here knows there is another side to the story, but it doesn't matter at this point.


I know the ice issue is more important than anything else, but at Venice Marina you can get 40 lbs. of shaved ice for $6.50.

Then the captain should have sent the mate up with $6.50 to bring back some ice! It sounds to me like they need lessons on how to treat a customer which will also reflect the tip they receive! I go out of my way on 98 degree days or pouring rain and help folks hook up their tow cars or trailers out of courtesy and because I rely on repeat customers...that's just me :thumbsup:

Rod27 09-10-2019 06:54 AM


Originally Posted by Vantaredoc (Post 12915274)
Then the captain should have sent the mate up with $6.50 to bring back some ice! It sounds to me like they need lessons on how to treat a customer which will also reflect the tip they receive! I go out of my way on 98 degree days or pouring rain and help folks hook up their tow cars or trailers out of courtesy and because I rely on repeat customers...that's just me :thumbsup:

or this all could be fake news

Troutchaser21 09-10-2019 07:01 AM

If anyone has doubts about my story please feel free to PM me and I will send you my cell phone number and I will tell you the whole story. I fish out of Galveston, TX and can assure you am no goonigan/newbie fisherman.

Vantaredoc 09-10-2019 07:02 AM


Originally Posted by Rod27 (Post 12915284)


or this all could be fake news

Your are correct, it is very possible. But, I have noticed a trend on here since joining. It seems that damn near every person that posts a thread on an issue with charters or certain boat brands or certain mechanics/repair centers they get called out as either a liar or shit stirrer. I decided a while back to not even post the experience I had with a local dealer that could possibly be beneficial to someone shopping for the boat I purchased as I don't feel like being called a liar when I as well as the salesman knows full well what transpired. It's funny, if I fart upwind the whole world knows about it, but how dare I voice my bad situations. As I said, certain subjects here seem sacred and a person just should not even bring it up...IMHO..

Rod27 09-10-2019 07:25 AM


Originally Posted by Vantaredoc (Post 12915312)
Your are correct, it is very possible. But, I have noticed a trend on here since joining. It seems that damn near every person that posts a thread on an issue with charters or certain boat brands or certain mechanics/repair centers they get called out as either a liar or shit stirrer. I decided a while back to not even post the experience I had with a local dealer that could possibly be beneficial to someone shopping for the boat I purchased as I don't feel like being called a liar when I as well as the salesman knows full well what transpired. It's funny, if I fart upwind the whole world knows about it, but how dare I voice my bad situations. As I said, certain subjects here seem sacred and a person just should not even bring it up...IMHO..

I agree that’s possible. But I’m only talking about this story. It doesn’t make sense. Not one person on the charter thought that it was inappropriate for the mate to tell the oldest guy in the group to go sit in the back? And if it’s my dad I’m offering him my seat after I tell the mate o go **** himself.

Rod27 09-10-2019 07:32 AM

And no I’m not interested in any p.m. exchange because I’m too busy. I’ll just leave it at that.

Stir_It_Up 09-10-2019 07:53 AM

I know the OP and I know the “old man”... his father... they are both some of the nicest people you will meet and they know their way around a boat. And who would want to start the day on a charter by chewing out the captain and deckhand. They didn’t want to start the day out on a bad note by pissing off the captain and deck hand.

RollTideRob 09-10-2019 07:59 AM


Originally Posted by Rod27 (Post 12915460)
And no I’m not interested in any p.m. exchange because I’m too busy. I’ll just leave it at that.

Too busy to PM and discuss details, but has almost 10,000 posts on a boating forum website and spent 10 minutes reading a review of a charter and the ensuing commentary, just to add a couple of posts that have zero merit... LOL!! God bless THT.

ed d 09-10-2019 08:10 AM

They went into it excited looking for a special experience with his dad and got blindsided and tried to make the best of it . First with the boat bait and switch then with his dad's seating then with the unfriendly intimidating capt and his ego trip . I can see eating some crap for his dad's sake hoping it would get better but never did . Sounds like the anatomy of a trip gone wrong . I think I could have made it to when the capt was fishing over top of me then blown a gasket then the capt would have thrown his little boy temper tantrum wa wa wa and headed for home - but do you want to your father to see that . Kicking an old man out of his seat , classy . Ooo I'm a capt at MG and drive my super dooper boat into the gulf and catch fishy fishy ... get over yourself , your not curing cancer . If I'm gonna pay 3K for abuse she's gonna be young ...

... there's always 2 sides though , maybe the op and his party refused to wear clothes or something .

Troutchaser21 09-10-2019 08:28 AM


Originally Posted by ed d (Post 12915593)
They went into it excited looking for a special experience with his dad and got blindsided and tried to make the best of it . First with the boat bait and switch then with his dad's seating then with the unfriendly intimidating capt and his ego trip . I can see eating some crap for his dad's sake hoping it would get better but never did . Sounds like the anatomy of a trip gone wrong . I think I could have made it to when the capt was fishing over top of me then blown a gasket then the capt would have thrown his little boy temper tantrum wa wa wa and headed for home - but do you want to your father to see that . Kicking an old man out of his seat , classy . Ooo I'm a capt at MG and drive my super dooper boat into the gulf and catch fishy fishy ... get over yourself , your not curing cancer . If I'm gonna pay 3K for abuse she's gonna be young ...

... there's always 2 sides though , maybe the op and his party refused to wear clothes or something .

now we are on the right track folks. 😂


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