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Inshore Charter Question

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Old 10-09-2018, 03:23 PM
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Default Inshore Charter Question

I follow a bunch of charter Captains on Facebook and Instagram. I like seeing the catches and their pictures. On some of them (inshore only), they post pictures with taglines like “Done by 9am and back to the dock” or “Caught them early and back by 830am” or something similar. They will show a picture of a redfish limit or two or a limit of trout. Now, to be clear, these are charters in south Louisiana and are NOT half day charters. These charters average $600 to $800 depending on the amount of people. In the comments, folks sometimes ask why didn’t you fish for something else or play catch or release and the Captains respond to the tune of they are not wasting their time doing that. I can see if someone requested to go in early, but that does not seem to be the case.



To me, I would be pissed if I paid $700 for an inshore charter and we fished for 3 hours. If we limit out on reds, we better be chasing trout, sheepshead, flounder, catfish or something. I have been on two inshore charters and a few offshore ones. On both inshore ones, we did not come in until 3pm or so. The Captains worked their tails off finding stuff for us to catch. On one, nothing was biting at all and my FIL really wanted to fight some fish. So we went to the jetties and he battled huge black drum for a couple hours and had a blast.



Is this practice of quitting that early normal for inshore charters?
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:04 PM
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Don't know how it works in Louisiana. Never fished there.
Thinks it's more of a client's personal choice (that limits out) when they want to stop fishing.
Weather, illness, starting time & targeted species will also add to shorten trips..
IMHO......ICM
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:06 PM
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I would think the charter is for x hours whether or not you catch fish... if they don't catch a limit do they stay out more than x hrs? To my knowledge and experience it is not a practice here in Central Florida.
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:09 PM
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Not the case here unless we a get a sword too big for the hold and we want to keep it. That being said I bet it’s Usually previously discussed with your operator, but I would assume it’s a good way to ensure you are getting maximum effort from the guide and expediting the absolute best fishing he can find.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:23 PM
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I fished with Capt Jody Donewar out of Empire LA a couple years ago with a couple friends who were in New Orleans on vacation. They were staying in a hotel and I was in my camper with very little refrigerator/freezer space. They had no space. We told Capt Jody I only wanted one redfish and they wanted none as keeping fish was not a priority. We fished from 6:00 till 1:00 and had to dodge a thunderstorm to get back to teh marina or we would have stayed the entire 8 hours. It was catch and release all day. We did keep a couple of trout and a second red for his mate
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:36 PM
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Doesn’t happen in SW La unless the clients ask to come in early. Typically our trips are 8 hours but if I get on fish the last hour we are staying until someone yells uncle. Three weeks ago I had 3 that were part of a large group that were told to be in for 11:30. I didn’t find fish until 10:30 so they called the boss and we fished until noon. Now, if we limit on a species early it’s off to wreak mayhem on another.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cwhite6 View Post
I follow a bunch of charter Captains on Facebook and Instagram. I like seeing the catches and their pictures. On some of them (inshore only), they post pictures with taglines like “Done by 9am and back to the dock” or “Caught them early and back by 830am” or something similar. They will show a picture of a redfish limit or two or a limit of trout. Now, to be clear, these are charters in south Louisiana and are NOT half day charters. These charters average $600 to $800 depending on the amount of people. In the comments, folks sometimes ask why didn’t you fish for something else or play catch or release and the Captains respond to the tune of they are not wasting their time doing that. I can see if someone requested to go in early, but that does not seem to be the case.



To me, I would be pissed if I paid $700 for an inshore charter and we fished for 3 hours. If we limit out on reds, we better be chasing trout, sheepshead, flounder, catfish or something. I have been on two inshore charters and a few offshore ones. On both inshore ones, we did not come in until 3pm or so. The Captains worked their tails off finding stuff for us to catch. On one, nothing was biting at all and my FIL really wanted to fight some fish. So we went to the jetties and he battled huge black drum for a couple hours and had a blast.



Is this practice of quitting that early normal for inshore charters?
No and I call BS.
F Florida. I'm moving to Louisiana.

I could see it now. Redfish and Snook are closed to harvest in my area until May of next year due to Red Tide. 4 trout per person and say reel them up boys. We going home.

I may have made the comment of we had our limit early but would never dream of not fishing the agreed time of the trip.
Whats their limit if they book a catch and release trip? Guide gonna tell them they have released a limit of fish and time to go?

That's some crazy shit right there.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
No and I call BS.
F Florida. I'm moving to Louisiana.

I could see it now. Redfish and Snook are closed to harvest in my area until May of next year due to Red Tide. 4 trout per person and say reel them up boys. We going home.

I may have made the comment of we had our limit early but would never dream of not fishing the agreed time of the trip.
Whats their limit if they book a catch and release trip? Guide gonna tell them they have released a limit of fish and time to go?

That's some crazy shit right there.
I assure you it is not BS. I have seen it multiple times. Kinda obvious when the trip was that day and they are posting the updates before noon on the same day.
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by cwhite6 View Post
I assure you it is not BS. I have seen it multiple times. Kinda obvious when the trip was that day and they are posting the updates before noon on the same day.
Here in NC after Hurricane Flo & inshore commercial netting, we might have to work harder to find fish.
So charters stay out longer & may not always come back with their limit.
Most guides I follow on Facebook, the smart ones that catch fish. Delay posting until after the trip, more likely at the end of day.
Guides here also do a lot of catch & release, trophy trips for over slot & non-edible species. ....... ICM
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cwhite6 View Post


I assure you it is not BS. I have seen it multiple times. Kinda obvious when the trip was that day and they are posting the updates before noon on the same day.
I'm not saying it ain't happening I'm saying it's BS that the guide would pull such BS.
Not calling BS on your statement at all.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:50 AM
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There are a lot of "NASCAR" captains on the Chesapeake Bay too. They race back to the dock and it is actually bragging rights out of some harbors to see who can get back the fastest. I dont think it is good for the industry and hear complaints for passengers about it regularly on my boat (especially during our trophy season when there is a 1 fish per person creel). Some will claim it is conservation noting a release mortality to C&R fishing. However I believe it is more about saving $$ and bragging how quick you are done to other captains. There are plenty of sights to see on the Chesapeake to show clients (light houses, creek tours of bay front mansions, city harbor tours, etc.) if they were truly opposed to catch and release but wanted to continue to entertain their parties for time they booked. Charter fishing or guiding is about recreation and entertainment, not purely about the harvest of fish. If that were the case, passengers could save a ton of $ at the seafood market.
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Last edited by iFishMD; 10-10-2018 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by iFishMD View Post
There are a lot of "NASCAR" captains on the Chesapeake Bay too. They race back to the dock and it is actually bragging rights out of some harbors to see who can get back the fastest. I dont think it is good for the industry and hear complaints for passengers about it regularly on my boat (especially during our trophy season when there is a 1 fish per person creel). Some will claim it is conservation noting a release mortality to C&R fishing. However I believe it is more about saving $$ and bragging how quick you are done to other captains. There are plenty of sights to see on the Chesapeake to show clients (light houses, creek tours of bay front mansions, city harbor tours, etc.) if they were truly opposed to catch and release but wanted to continue to entertain their parties for time they booked. Charter fishing or guiding is about recreation and entertainment, not purely about the harvest of fish. If that were the case, passengers could save a ton of $ at the seafood market.
And having just read this post I would book with him (or her) based on that philosophy alone. Do right by your clients and prosper...
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:20 AM
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Be curious to see how these guys advertise their trips.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:31 AM
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Let me see, we caught our limit and these fish are sitting in our box.

Here is a great idea -- lets keep fishing and toss them back since we are over the limit. Half of those we throw back will probably die, but what the heck, we are having fun catching them.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:48 AM
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I am a retired FL charter captain and out standard trip was a four hour charter. Did't matter if we caught 1 fish or 100, we stayed out for at least four hours. In addition, I always netted live bait before the start of the charter unlike some captains that take part of the charter time to catch bait. I figure some guy is not paying $400 to watch me throw a cast net. And finally I never heard of $600 - $800 for an inshore charter where fuel burn is minimal. 30 mile offshore trip yes but never that much for inshore.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tarpononecharter View Post
I am a retired FL charter captain and out standard trip was a four hour charter. Did't matter if we caught 1 fish or 100, we stayed out for at least four hours. In addition, I always netted live bait before the start of the charter unlike some captains that take part of the charter time to catch bait. I figure some guy is not paying $400 to watch me throw a cast net. And finally I never heard of $600 - $800 for an inshore charter where fuel burn is minimal. 30 mile offshore trip yes but never that much for inshore.
Our inshore trips run between $500-$600 depending on number of clients. Very few can get the upper end and that usually includes lodging and meals.
Heck, i don't even know what the lodge i fish for charges, they are one of the largest on the gulf coast. They ran 29 boats last saturday and 20 sunday.
We pick up our bait prior to clients in the morning, ice boat, fetch water and often times will make 20+ mile runs hunting fish.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by tarpononecharter View Post
I am a retired FL charter captain and out standard trip was a four hour charter. Did't matter if we caught 1 fish or 100, we stayed out for at least four hours. In addition, I always netted live bait before the start of the charter unlike some captains that take part of the charter time to catch bait. I figure some guy is not paying $400 to watch me throw a cast net. And finally I never heard of $600 - $800 for an inshore charter where fuel burn is minimal. 30 mile offshore trip yes but never that much for inshore.
Look up the guides in Venice and Grand Isle, LA. Go to their websites and look at the prices. Remember, I said between those amounts depending on number of people. I just looked up one. Their rates are $600 for two people and $700 for three and $800 for four. They also charge you more if they use live bait.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaJay View Post
Let me see, we caught our limit and these fish are sitting in our box.

Here is a great idea -- lets keep fishing and toss them back since we are over the limit. Half of those we throw back will probably die, but what the heck, we are having fun catching them.
Look at it this way. I pay you $700 to bring me and my two daughters fishing. We catch 15 reds in two to three hours. That is easily done sometimes where I fish. You gonna call the trip off now? You are in good conscience going to expect me to pay you tht much money for 3 hours? I don’t think so. There are plenty other things to do and species to chase.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaJay View Post
Let me see, we caught our limit and these fish are sitting in our box.

Here is a great idea -- lets keep fishing and toss them back since we are over the limit. Half of those we throw back will probably die, but what the heck, we are having fun catching them.

Hmmm what fishery are you talking about that has such a high release mortality hook and line fishing? For striped bass, the primary fish targeted in our region, I know the scientifically used release mortality rate is 8%-9% for management and that includes bait fishing with J hooks. Release mortality is also accounted for in the species' management plan. A responsible capt can take measures to ensure a low mortality rate too. Moving to artificial lures or using tools like in-line circle hooks GREATLY reduce release mortality. Plus a professional capt can demonstrate good release practices (fish handling, using de-hooking tools, etc.)
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaJay View Post
Let me see, we caught our limit and these fish are sitting in our box.

Here is a great idea -- lets keep fishing and toss them back since we are over the limit. Half of those we throw back will probably die, but what the heck, we are having fun catching them.
I don't know where you get a 50% mortality rate but it is not even close for fish that are released in good condition. If you don't like fishing, don't fish. Its that simple.

Originally Posted by cwhite6
Look up the guides in Venice and Grand Isle, LA. Go to their websites and look at the prices. Remember, I said between those amounts depending on number of people. I just looked up one. Their rates are $600 for two people and $700 for three and $800 for four. They also charge you more if they use live bait.


Charter trips in Venice always seem expensive as hell to me compared to other places. For offshore, MGFC starts at $1800+fuel. At Pirate's Cove, NC, Sea Toy is the most expensive boat in the fleet at $2300. Burning 200+ gallons of gas at~$3 a gallon puts them around the same price, MGFC a little higher. If gas is higher than that the difference is even more dramatic. The difference is Sea Toy is a 57 ft Spencer and you are riding in comfort. But at least the MGFC price includes fish cleaning.
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