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Mexican Gulf - Venice, LA Charter Review - 42 Freeman

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Mexican Gulf - Venice, LA Charter Review - 42 Freeman

Old 09-09-2019, 12:55 PM
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Default 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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:06 PM
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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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:16 PM
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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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:46 PM
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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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:04 PM
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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
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Kenner21 View Post
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!!
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Re-Bait View Post
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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:20 PM
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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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:33 PM
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Does Special Ed still out fish their fleet in his old contender?
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:49 PM
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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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Gmack View Post
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.

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Old 09-09-2019, 05:04 PM
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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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:05 PM
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[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”.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Wavehight View Post
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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:51 PM
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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.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by N2theblue View Post
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 ".
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:05 PM
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Considering building a Freemen AND complaining about spending $3K on a 'less than perfect' charter trip. I love this site

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Old 09-09-2019, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by LagoonAkin View Post
Considering building a Freemen AND complaining about spending $3K on a 'less than perfect' charter trip. I love this site

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
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by LagoonAkin View Post
Considering building a Freemen AND complaining about spending $3K on a 'less than perfect' charter trip. I love this site

Maybe a good return on his investment is why he can afford a Freeman.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:15 AM
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if the mate tells me to move, the first thing im saying is fuck off, which is what you or your dad should have said. A 65 y/o man earns the right to sit wherever the fuck 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.
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