How to Avoid the “Bait and Switch” Tactics
So I just finished up a nice weekend with a couple of new groups of clients and repeat clients. All the clients were great which was awesome! But I am going to share one particular story from the weekend about Bruce and his 14 year old son Ben. I keep a close eye on the weather. Like I have said numerous times before we have to fish the conditions mother nature gives us. And I have learned over the course of the years that I just need to be very up front and honest about the sea conditions and the type of fishing I can do when the seas are rough. If the client is not on board with my fishing plan or hesitant about it - I let them cancel the charter if they want. I do not believe in forcing someone into fishing with me by holding a deposit or having them show up at the dock expecting to go outside the reef….. then take them to shallow water fishing instead without getting their approval to do so. I see this happen a lot with bay boat charters…... “Oh sorry can’t get you outside the reef so we are running 50 miles to target trout and redfish, but wait you were expecting a reef or offshore trip?”
Online Booking Agencies
Why You Should Not Use a online booking agency when it Comes to Booking a Fishing Charter
I don’t believe in the bait and switch tactics. In saying that---- you have to be careful when booking charters. I would not recommend using any type of general online booking agency. There are many that are jumping on the band wagon to make money off a Charter Fishermans hard work. They take a big percentage off the top and some don’t pay the captain for almost 2 months. I know because we have looked into it and it was shocking- 25% and then I would not get paid for almost 2 months. Please call the captain directly. Another reason is you should talk to the captain directly in order to make the best decision for what you want to do and if you book online who knows what you will get. In general he will appreciate the conversation and the direct booking and give you a great trip.
The Seakeeper Provides the Ultimate Patch Reef Fishing Experience
So last Saturday we had a strong front pushing through the Florida Keys. I had 14 year old Ben and his dad Bruce that flew into the fish with me for the weekend. The conditions were ugly, but they both fished with me last August right after the Seakeeper 2 was installed. I told them this time around I felt it was best we fished the near shore patch reefs and we utilized Good Karma’s reef weapon, the Seakeeper 2. Our Seakeeper 2 eliminates 96 percent of the “boat roll”. I told them Yellowtail fishing outside the reef was not necessary as we would get bigger fish in 10-15 ft of water with the predicted conditions. I don’t think they believed me but they trusted me as a guide. When I get clients like Ben and Bruce they usually get rewarded with big fish.
My clients are raving about the Seakeeper! If you want to hear what they are saying about their experience, then check our Trip Advisor Page, Good Karma Sportfishing on Trip Advisor
Yellowtail fishing is a lot fun, but you can only fish 1 line at a time to be successful and to be honest you don’t get much variety with your catch. So when it’s rough on the reef you can get knocked around pretty good, unless you have a Seakeeper. I have found that I am getting my hook set with accuracy and staying put since the installation of the Seakeeper, just another bonus.
Occasionally you will get couple Muttons and maybe Grouper when you target Yellowtail but it is winter and grouper season is closed so no sense fishing for them. 90% of my clients want variety and want to cast. It is in our nature to want to “cast” a rod as fisherman. In the winter months I can give them the variety they wish to target and let them cast and set the hook using ultra light gear when fishing the patch reefs. Not to mention it is damn right comfortable fishing the patch reefs with our new Seakeeper.
My first scheduled day with Ben and Bruce we were in 4 ft seas,10 ft of water with a 20 mph easterly breeze. It was rough. I took my time getting out to the patch I wanted to fish. The Seakeeper works very well while underway and while at anchor getting us to and from spots with ease on rougher days in shallow water within the reef(10-30ft). Prior to the Seakeeper my clients and were beat up just trying to get to the fishing spot before starting our day, not any more! Our Seakeeper 2 gyroscopic stabilization eliminates 96% of the "rocking and rolling" of our Florida Keys charter boat, we now have an awesome stable platform thanks to the Seakeeper! Ben and Bruce were quickly reminded about how well the Seakeeper worked when 2-53 ft boats pinched us and tried to push us off anchor. The boat did not move, we all laughed and waved at the boats as they passed us by. I just wave and smile. In 6 hours we went through 18 dozen shrimp and caught Mutton Snappers up to the 15 lbs and w/ a bonus African Pompano, not to mention we caught several large Yellowtail (laughing) up to 20 inches. Fish some guys were targeting on the reef in 65 ft and I had them chummed up in 10 ft of water. We were actually throwing back the Yellowtails. Great day! Ben and Bruce were flexible and listened and I taught them the technique. Once they caught on they started catching them. That’s the key! I was still able to get them out fishing and we caught quality fish within 2 miles from land.
How to fish the Patch Reefs
How to Customize your smaller boat for handling all types of weather and sea conditions so you can fish comfortably like Good Karma Sportfishing.
Along with the the Seakeeper Good Karma is equipped to handle the elements. I work hard to provide my clients with the best so they can fish comfortably in all types of conditions.
Custom Spray Shields
Monday we had a front move through. It was windy and a little chilly. Over the years I have re-invested earnings into the Good Karma and fishing tackle. I want my clients to have the best and to be as comfortable s I want them to have a great experience. When I started the Good Karma she was a “bare bones boat”. My first major investment was an auto-pilot, then a windlass anchor then the “Spray Shields”. One of the best investments was the Spray Shields, they save the day (laughing). The shields keep the wind and rain off my clients as well as me! Fishing the patch reefs with spray shields is a luxury, its freaking awesome. It took me many charters but as soon as we had enough money saved we purchased the spray shields. We live in the Florida Keys so it rains a lot- on and off and sometimes out of nowhere. The Spray Shields protect myself and clients and have kept us dry fishing in all sorts of conditions.
Marine Boat Flooring and the Truth about Keeping it Clean
Is SeaDeck Hard to Clean?
Good Karma is also decked out with SeaDeck Boat Flooring. When decks of boats without Seadeck get wet and dirty they get slippery, and if you don’t have sea legs this can be a major problem and not fun for the client at all. I don’t care how big the boat is, you still need to stand up and fish. Our Seadeck flooring keeps you locked in place…..Combine a Seakeeper with Seadeck and you got a one hell of a reef fishing machine. I am not recommending you just look at just at SeaDeck, there are many options on the market today that good or just as good at SeaDeck boat flooring. SeaDeck the company does not sponsor me, Xact Customs at Tavernier Creek Marina has been cutting and installing my marine deck flooring for years now. For information on costs and installation of marine boat deck flooring visit https://xactcustoms.com/ for how to clean SeaDeck marine flooring secrets and tips stay tuned to a future podcast. I will revel my secrets for keeping my SeaDeck clean. Don’t believe what you see on YouTube from the influencers when it comes to cleaning SeaDeck, remember they are paid to say stuff, I am not(laughing). It is not easy to keep the deck of marine flooring clean, by any means. It took a couple years to figure it but I did. So stay tuned.
Open Deck Fishing Platform
The fishing platform of the Good Karma is custom. We worked hard on the design over time until we got right. The fishing platform itself has a lot of room for a 23ft boat. It will be hard to find a boat like mine with as much room as I have. It was designed to allow anglers to freely move around the cockpit. More fishing space. It actually has more room in the back that most 27-29ft boats. And high gunnels. A lot of boats don’t have high gunnels. High gunnels provide safety, comfort and are easy to lean against and reel that big fish in! And then finally last year I put a removable custom bench seat in that 2 people can sit on when moving from spot to spot.
I want my clients to enjoy the fishing experience and capitalize on hooking and catching the fish when the bite is on and not have to worry about falling overboard on having to stay planted on a cooler or bench seat for the fear of falling over board.
Patch Reef Fishing Continued
So back to my story- On Monday the front plowed through. We had a strong North wind, but no problem. I told them the patches would be even better and they were. We filled the bag with large Mutton Snappers again and caught plenty big Yellowtails, Porgies, Mackerels and released several Hogfish as the season is closed. Another fun day on the patch reefs fishing in nasty weather that you basically forgot about while you were fishing because the Good Karmas Fishing Machine Weapons fight against the elements to protect you. I can’t control the fishing but I can give the ultimate in comfort for smaller boat fishing.
What a great couple days! Ben and Bruce re-booked again for August already and I am looking forward to having them back.
Over time I will be adding more fishing tips and secrets to the show notes from previous episodes. This week I will be working How to Patch Reef fish-Episode 21. Check back frequently for updated information.
Thanks for listening! And as always please let me know if you have any questions. You can email me at email@example.com. I am going to be doing a Q & A podcast so definitely email me.
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I aim to provide you with fishing tips and information so you can make the best out of your time fishing. Thanks for listening! And remember anytime your fishing It’s All Good!