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Saving $ on Charters??

Old 02-07-2019, 07:17 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by tarpononecharter View Post
IMO being a charter captain is the most overrated and under appreciated job in the world.
I often say I have the best career in the world... for me. There isnít anything Iíd rather be doing, but itís sure not for everybody. I see lots of people who love fishing and think that making it their job would be a dream come true. If they make it through the first year, their perspective has often changed to a nightmare. There is a huge difference between ďgoing fishingĒ and running a charter, and while you can try to imagine the difference itís not until youíve really had the experience for a good amount of time that youíll truly understand it. I truly love it.

Back to Hawgstalkerís question: Yes, you can save some money on a charter. Heck, Iím 2 hours down the road from you and would be glad to take you out. But before we even talk about price, Iíd want to really understand what experience youíre looking for. A ďcharterĒ in South Carolina could be a range of trips that are all very very different: Are you looking to learn how to fish the flats for redfish in the winter? Bottom fishing the snapper banks for a box of meat? High speed troll for wahoo? Live bait for cobia at the reefs in spring? Catch Spanish non-stop in the summer? Catch and release a huge shark? Reel in some huge bull red drum in the fall? Deep drop out past the ledge? Catch dozens of trout off a shell bank? Drop fiddlers for sheepshead? Troll for kings? Curse at cudas? Do you hate sharpnose sharks with a passion? But I digress...

These are some examples I just spilled out in a matter of a couple of minutes. And every single one of them requires a specific technique and tackle, the right location, bait, time of year (even time of month, day, and tide), and a good dose of luck to get the results youíre planning for. Oh yeah, and remember itís fishing so some days we go out with the goal of doing one thing and the weather doesnít cooperate, or we get sidetracked because we found a school of such-and-such on the way that gave us a day of a lifetime. ďGo with the flow,Ē right?

Yep, I can save you a couple bucks. Iím glad to actually. Perhaps itís off season (right now) when I get to catch up on THT. Itís the best week of the winter, pushing 80 degrees and the ocean is ridiculously calm. But my last trip was Tuesday and my next one is tomorrow. Thatís 2 days on land that I would have rather been showing how you can wear yourself out catching Black Sea bass, or better yet we should be at the ledge right now with some wahoo already in the box, and knowing we still have all day to fish because weíll be able to run back at 45+mph because the seas are so calm!

If youíre willing to go with 24hrs notice (or less) and have a relationship with a local captain, youíll definitely get hooked up. When we get these perfect weather days and know the bite is on, Iíve got a list of locals Iíll call on and try to put a trip together. This however requires being really flexible and available, and not all jobs allow for it. (And a captain isnít going to call you 10 times and get 10 ďI canít make itĒs and keep on calling.). But I know guys who have certain days off and Iíll call them when I know they have a shot at going, and they usually will.

But if you just want to book a traditional charter, Iím glad to work within a budget. My trip on Tuesday was a family who had a particular budget in mind, and I created the trip I thought would be the best match for them, both fishing wise and budget wise. My offshore trips run on an ďhourly + fuelĒ basis, and I was able to stretch the time a bit (because I was having as much fun as they were and enjoying the perfect conditions), and I kept the fuel burn as low as possible by running in my 30-33mph sweet spot @ 2mpg. Yes, we could have saved some travel time by going 45-50mph on such a calm day (and I like to run fast!) but we only ran 20 miles into the ocean and the budget was more important and there was no hurry.

This kind of budget choice makes a big $ impact on something like a Gulf Stream trip. If Iím running 150 miles round trip and itís a calm day, we can do that in 2.5 hours (~30mph) or 1.7 hours (each way). On the round trip, thatís a difference of almost 2 hours saved by burning twice as much fuel. At current fuel prices ($3.50 at the dock on Tuesday, 100 gallon discount rate) thatís $525 more in fuel to ďsaveĒ 1.7 hours. This might seem a bit elaborate, but this is the type of calculation I do all the time, even on a shorter trip, so that we can balance the best experience within a budget. Some people would prefer to get there as fast as possible and the extra fuel burn is inconsequential. This approach also helps me keep prices lower overall, because the price more closely corresponds to my expenses. Doesnít make sense to me to charge the same price for a full day trip where we fish reefs in the 20 mile range as a full day trip where we run all the way to the ledge and back and high speed troll for wahoo while we are there. And if someone just wants to work the flats all day, thatís not anywhere near the price (and expense) as a Gulf Stream trip, so rates are totally different. Likewise, if what you really want is to learn how to troll for wahoo and I take you across the creek to catch redfish, then we are both literally up the creek and Iíve really screwed up. Thatís why I devote so much time to answering my own phone calls and/or calling to speak with clients personally, because I want to make sure we are all on the same page.

I think I got a bit long-winded there but as you can see thereís lots that goes in to the ďcostĒ of a charter. Others have already mentioned some of the other important parts like bait and tackle. Iím among the crew that believes we should provide the absolutely best gear for our clients. There are plenty of excellent charter captains out there who catch a ton of fish, have really happy clients, but get by with the same average gear year after year. Itís just a different approach. The fish doesnít know who made your rod or whether that reel looks like it just got fished off the bottom on the last trip, so I guess thereís that!

OP, Iíd be glad to chat any time Iím not on the water. I wonít twist your arm to drive a couple hours here, either. There are some great charter captains in Charleston that might not be active on THT but I can point you in the right direction. Feel free to call anytime.

A Live One is offline  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:43 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by A Live One View Post


I often say I have the best career in the world... for me. There isnít anything Iíd rather be doing, but itís sure not for everybody. I see lots of people who love fishing and think that making it their job would be a dream come true. If they make it through the first year, their perspective has often changed to a nightmare. There is a huge difference between ďgoing fishingĒ and running a charter, and while you can try to imagine the difference itís not until youíve really had the experience for a good amount of time that youíll truly understand it. I truly love it.

Back to Hawgstalkerís question: Yes, you can save some money on a charter. Heck, Iím 2 hours down the road from you and would be glad to take you out. But before we even talk about price, Iíd want to really understand what experience youíre looking for. A ďcharterĒ in South Carolina could be a range of trips that are all very very different: Are you looking to learn how to fish the flats for redfish in the winter? Bottom fishing the snapper banks for a box of meat? High speed troll for wahoo? Live bait for cobia at the reefs in spring? Catch Spanish non-stop in the summer? Catch and release a huge shark? Reel in some huge bull red drum in the fall? Deep drop out past the ledge? Catch dozens of trout off a shell bank? Drop fiddlers for sheepshead? Troll for kings? Curse at cudas? Do you hate sharpnose sharks with a passion? But I digress...

These are some examples I just spilled out in a matter of a couple of minutes. And every single one of them requires a specific technique and tackle, the right location, bait, time of year (even time of month, day, and tide), and a good dose of luck to get the results youíre planning for. Oh yeah, and remember itís fishing so some days we go out with the goal of doing one thing and the weather doesnít cooperate, or we get sidetracked because we found a school of such-and-such on the way that gave us a day of a lifetime. ďGo with the flow,Ē right?

Yep, I can save you a couple bucks. Iím glad to actually. Perhaps itís off season (right now) when I get to catch up on THT. Itís the best week of the winter, pushing 80 degrees and the ocean is ridiculously calm. But my last trip was Tuesday and my next one is tomorrow. Thatís 2 days on land that I would have rather been showing how you can wear yourself out catching Black Sea bass, or better yet we should be at the ledge right now with some wahoo already in the box, and knowing we still have all day to fish because weíll be able to run back at 45+mph because the seas are so calm!

If youíre willing to go with 24hrs notice (or less) and have a relationship with a local captain, youíll definitely get hooked up. When we get these perfect weather days and know the bite is on, Iíve got a list of locals Iíll call on and try to put a trip together. This however requires being really flexible and available, and not all jobs allow for it. (And a captain isnít going to call you 10 times and get 10 ďI canít make itĒs and keep on calling.). But I know guys who have certain days off and Iíll call them when I know they have a shot at going, and they usually will.

But if you just want to book a traditional charter, Iím glad to work within a budget. My trip on Tuesday was a family who had a particular budget in mind, and I created the trip I thought would be the best match for them, both fishing wise and budget wise. My offshore trips run on an ďhourly + fuelĒ basis, and I was able to stretch the time a bit (because I was having as much fun as they were and enjoying the perfect conditions), and I kept the fuel burn as low as possible by running in my 30-33mph sweet spot @ 2mpg. Yes, we could have saved some travel time by going 45-50mph on such a calm day (and I like to run fast!) but we only ran 20 miles into the ocean and the budget was more important and there was no hurry.

This kind of budget choice makes a big $ impact on something like a Gulf Stream trip. If Iím running 150 miles round trip and itís a calm day, we can do that in 2.5 hours (~30mph) or 1.7 hours (each way). On the round trip, thatís a difference of almost 2 hours saved by burning twice as much fuel. At current fuel prices ($3.50 at the dock on Tuesday, 100 gallon discount rate) thatís $525 more in fuel to ďsaveĒ 1.7 hours. This might seem a bit elaborate, but this is the type of calculation I do all the time, even on a shorter trip, so that we can balance the best experience within a budget. Some people would prefer to get there as fast as possible and the extra fuel burn is inconsequential. This approach also helps me keep prices lower overall, because the price more closely corresponds to my expenses. Doesnít make sense to me to charge the same price for a full day trip where we fish reefs in the 20 mile range as a full day trip where we run all the way to the ledge and back and high speed troll for wahoo while we are there. And if someone just wants to work the flats all day, thatís not anywhere near the price (and expense) as a Gulf Stream trip, so rates are totally different. Likewise, if what you really want is to learn how to troll for wahoo and I take you across the creek to catch redfish, then we are both literally up the creek and Iíve really screwed up. Thatís why I devote so much time to answering my own phone calls and/or calling to speak with clients personally, because I want to make sure we are all on the same page.

I think I got a bit long-winded there but as you can see thereís lots that goes in to the ďcostĒ of a charter. Others have already mentioned some of the other important parts like bait and tackle. Iím among the crew that believes we should provide the absolutely best gear for our clients. There are plenty of excellent charter captains out there who catch a ton of fish, have really happy clients, but get by with the same average gear year after year. Itís just a different approach. The fish doesnít know who made your rod or whether that reel looks like it just got fished off the bottom on the last trip, so I guess thereís that!

OP, Iíd be glad to chat any time Iím not on the water. I wonít twist your arm to drive a couple hours here, either. There are some great charter captains in Charleston that might not be active on THT but I can point you in the right direction. Feel free to call anytime.

Now this a guy I would fish with.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:26 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Andros26 View Post
Now this a guy I would fish with.
Yep, and I'm a charter captain.
MichStMako likes this.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:34 PM
  #24  
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MiRodzilla just earned my business if im ever in the Hilton Head/Parris Island area. I wish I could mate for him.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:34 AM
  #25  
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Ever seen a career waitress or waiter? By the end, they are worn down.

Chartering can be similar. Sun, conditions, grind. Hats off to the best of them. The best get lots of cash up front, but that's no health benefits, pension, savings, etc. on top of the boat gear maintenance and living in a state of total exhaustion. No Sunday bbqs, no seeing kids tball games on Saturday, missing kids's school stuff. Take a day off? Often having tough daily decisions to sail or not.... Best part is own boss or no college debt..... The best do ok to well. The rest get tired of it often and move on. Others do it as a side job so they can handle the grind better.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:40 AM
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The bigger the boat the more it costs. So charter a small boat.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:40 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by FishHarder View Post
Want to save money on charters...get some friends together and split the costs...you can get the cost in half with one other guy...cut it by 2/3s by getting two other guys...cut by 75% getting three other guys.

FYI....you read a guide got "a" bad review... dude it's "a" bad review. Find 5 out of 5 are bad...well, then you have a pattern Find the busiest guide...you probably found one the best...If you go to a restaurant at 7 o'clock on a Saturday night and they aren't busy..you can bet the food sucks. And yes we all have the one place where we get that one thing that we like at a shit restaurant..so lets not get into a argument over a general point.
Sorry, I think my post got lost in context. I mentioned this bad post to re-affirm one users firsts posts about "bad tenants". I was agreeing that online ratings can't be taken as the be all tell all. Thank you though for the input. At this point I am 100% a firm believer and supporter of the local guides and captains. If by asking for a way to cut costs will at all hurt the local charters captains and their livelihood, I am not about it. I look forward to contributing to their business in the near future!
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:41 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by cheesewithout View Post
Ever seen a career waitress or waiter? By the end, they are worn down.

Chartering can be similar. Sun, conditions, grind. Hats off to the best of them. The best get lots of cash up front, but that's no health benefits, pension, savings, etc. on top of the boat gear maintenance and living in a state of total exhaustion. No Sunday bbqs, no seeing kids tball games on Saturday, missing kids's school stuff. Take a day off? Often having tough daily decisions to sail or not.... Best part is own boss or no college debt..... The best do ok to well. The rest get tired of it often and move on. Others do it as a side job so they can handle the grind better.
Ocasio Cortez is doing just fine......
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:37 AM
  #29  
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Darsizzle, thank you for your explanation re " charters and the oil spill". Interesting, I never heard of that before. Thank you.

hawgstalkers, Ocasio Cortez might want to take away your boat and allow everyone to fish it for free. And you and I pay for their fuel and bait.
Just my thought.
Capt. Billy/ Right Stuff
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:20 PM
  #30  
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I am a capt I own a fishing charter company, Your best bet is to have a capt out on your boat to bring you to the fish if thats not an option you can always come to the North East I do charters where you can bring all of your own stuff, not be bothered and you don't pay for bait, tackle and fishing equipment www.premieryachtservice.com
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