What do you want on a Party Boat

Discussion in '360 Degrees Lounge' started by BretABaker, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    Lots of talk lately about whats good/bad/ugly about certain boats and operations and what could be done differently. I just wanted to throw ideas out there - since it's in everyones best interest that the boats we have down here flourish and continue to remain in business for years to come.

    My thoughts:

    1) clean fish for free. yes, free. That is NOT too much to ask by any means. The tip covers that service IMO. EDIT - TX law prohibits cleaning on boats, unfortunately. I don't want my tuna baking in the sun for pictures, nor should I have to pay $0.35/lb for fish cleaning after paying the full price of the trip.

    2) Rental Gear. Many boats have this for snapper and bottom fish....and many of these setups could be used for tuna. An old 6/0 with 80lb and a boat rod will do the job. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say it's rather annoying to watch someone fight a 40lb tuna with 6lbs of drag for 2 hours on 20lb test.

    3) Set a formula for fuel. People have been asking "why a fuel surcharge when fuel is relatively cheap now". Boats should make it a public thing, something like: "Our prices are set assuming $3.50 per gallon. When fuel is above that, customers will pay the difference for 100 gallons of fuel (per person)". That's just a made up amount - but there should be something that holds everyone accountable and isn't debateable.

    4) REFUNDS. 1 month with NO refund? Seems a bit cheap to me....maybe within one month you won't get a deposit back (I think the deposit is $250 on 52 hour trips). Many boats I've gone on had this policy, and they've been in business a long time.

    5) More, shorter trips. I've already discussed this, but if you want to see offshore fishing flourish - people will need to get into it slower, both $$ wise and time. 52 hours is a long time to be out there if you've never done it before. 24 hours is much easier for most people to justify. I love the 52 hour trips like a lot of you guys here, I just think more overnighters for tuna will attract new people. In reality - you're always going to catch SOMETHING, even if it's just a bunch of blackfin. That'd be enough for a lot of people to want to come back out.

    That's all I can think of right now. The Texas offshore fishery is excellent and produces some awesome catches and opportunities (if it didn't i wouldnt have moved here), but operations can and should be improved in order to offer the best product to people so the business will continue.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

    1,440
    9
    Lots of talk lately about whats good/bad/ugly about certain boats and operations and what could be done differently. I just wanted to throw ideas out there - since it's in everyones best interest that the boats we have down here flourish and continue to remain in business for years to come.

    My thoughts:

    1) clean fish for free. yes, free. That is NOT too much to ask by any means. The tip covers that service IMO. The fish should be cleaned while the boat is coming in - not after youre on land. I don't want my tuna baking in the sun for pictures, nor should I have to pay $0.35/lb for fish cleaning after paying the full price of the trip.

    It will be nice to have our fish clean, but not all customer gives 15%+ tips to the mate and by law you can't clean your fish in the boat. Deck hand might want 25% tips to clean all of our fish, jmo

    2) Rental Gear. Many boats have this for snapper and bottom fish....and many of these setups could be used for tuna. An old 6/0 with 80lb and a boat rod will do the job. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say it's rather annoying to watch someone fight a 40lb tuna with 6lbs of drag for 2 hours on 20lb test.
    Well said

    3) Set a formula for fuel. People have been asking "why a fuel surcharge when fuel is relatively cheap now". Boats should make it a public thing, something like: "Our prices are set assuming $3.50 per gallon. When fuel is above that, customers will pay the difference for 100 gallons of fuel (per person)". That's just a made up amount - but there should be something that holds everyone accountable and isn't debateable.

    4) REFUNDS. 1 month with NO refund? Seems a bit cheap to me....maybe within one month you won't get a deposit back (I think the deposit is $250 on 52 hour trips). Many boats I've gone on had this policy, and they've been in business a long time.

    5) More, shorter trips. I've already discussed this, but if you want to see offshore fishing flourish - people will need to get into it slower, both $$ wise and time. 52 hours is a long time to be out there if you've never done it before. 24 hours is much easier for most people to justify. I love the 52 hour trips like a lot of you guys here, I just think more overnighters for tuna will attract new people. In reality - you're always going to catch SOMETHING, even if it's just a bunch of blackfin. That'd be enough for a lot of people to want to come back out.

    That's all I can think of right now. The Texas offshore fishery is excellent and produces some awesome catches and opportunities (if it didn't i wouldnt have moved here), but operations can and should be improved in order to offer the best product to people so the business will continue.

    Thoughts?
     

  3. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    TJ - I definitely feel the mates' pain on tips so I see what you're saying. I guess that'd be an additional risk. They could charge (a cheaper) fare on the boat for cleaning as well. $10 per tuna, $2 grouper or whatever.

    I just saw what you wrote.........they cannot be cleaned on the boat? That's a Texas law?!?!?! If so that's completely retarded. Yes I know what they're trying to accomplish but come on. Watching my fish bake in the sun while people are snapping photos of bled, shriveled tuna is a horrible feeling.

    another problem with light gear is that a lot of times the guy loses his one shot at a yellowfin, which is discouraging. the old cheap setups might not be shiny and fancy but they'll catch fish.
     
  4. lite-liner

    lite-liner troll enforcement Staff Member

    6,035
    1,949
    Bret- Good subject.
    100% agreed on all points except #5.
    For example:
    Big E is the fastest, most advanced large party boat on the Tx coast.
    25 knots cruise in ideal seas is still 6.5-7 hrs to BV/Nansen.
    the problem is, Ironically, the texas coast itself. It is entirely too far to
    blue water/floaters for a 24-36hr. to amount to anything more than a 1/2 day
    fishable time. Nobody will want to pay the bucks for that kind of trip.
    I beleive if the trips were more affordable to a larger base, there would be much more participation.
    The solution to this problem in my opinion is smaller, faster boats & smaller
    parties, say around 15-20, like in Fourchon, La. & Port A. also, better communication w/ the shrimping fleet will get anglers on entry level pelagics closer-in, thus less fuel= higher margin on a per-trip basis.
    I think in comparison to the long-range sport fleets on the east/west coasts, the Tx. Fleet is in it's infancy and could probably learn a lot as a whole by conferring/mimicking their models as far as communication, cust. service, and profitability.
    More, smaller, faster boats is the answer to point #5, in my opinion.

    -Brian
     
  5. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    hey brian....the big e goes as fast as several boats up north. canyon trips i've done have gone anywhere from 60-150 miles for an overnighter. the 150 mile trip (point pleasant to baltimore/washington canyon) was in 6+ footers (week before thanksgiving so nice and cold too, lol) and it took abt 8 hours bc we couldn't motor that fast in crappy seas. We got out around midnight and fished until about 9AM and headed back in. That was a very extreme trip and it was because it was late in the season and the only shot at anything but bluefin was way south.

    oh, the boat is very similar to the big e in terms of size. 120ft, metal boat.

    True the fishing time isn't super long, but the Big E is the absolute perfect boat for that. But you're right - smaller faster boats would definitely do the trick.
     
  6. Formula4Fish

    Formula4Fish Senior Member

    153
    0
    Bret,

    From Texas Parks and Wildlife
    TPWD: General Fishing Rules for Fresh and Salt Waters

    It is unlawful to possess a finfish of any species taken from public water, except broadbill swordfish, shark, or king mackerel that has the head or tail removed until such person finally lands the catch on the mainland, a peninsula, or barrier island not including jetties or piers and does not transport the catch by boat. Broadbill swordfish, shark, and king mackerel may have the head or tail removed but the carcass must remain intact - the fish may not be filleted
     
  7. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    Thanks, Dick.

    I still feel that's lame. I get they're trying to prevent people from catching 5 yellows or whatever per person then just steaking them out and pretending they got 3 bigger ones....but nonetheless it seems silly.

    I used to love walking off the boats with a bag of steaks in hand, getting into the car and being gone in 10 min :)
     
  8. SpecialK

    SpecialK Super Moderator

    1,569
    18
    Lots of talk lately about whats good/bad/ugly about certain boats and operations and what could be done differently. I just wanted to throw ideas out there - since it's in everyones best interest that the boats we have down here flourish and continue to remain in business for years to come.

    My thoughts:

    1) clean fish for free. yes, free. That is NOT too much to ask by any means. The tip covers that service IMO. The fish should be cleaned while the boat is coming in - not after youre on land. I don't want my tuna baking in the sun for pictures, nor should I have to pay $0.35/lb for fish cleaning after paying the full price of the trip.

    I don't think they can clean on the boat, but fish cleaning should be included. I clean my own fish typically to avoid the charges.

    2) Rental Gear. Many boats have this for snapper and bottom fish....and many of these setups could be used for tuna. An old 6/0 with 80lb and a boat rod will do the job. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say it's rather annoying to watch someone fight a 40lb tuna with 6lbs of drag for 2 hours on 20lb test.

    Agreed!

    3) Set a formula for fuel. People have been asking "why a fuel surcharge when fuel is relatively cheap now". Boats should make it a public thing, something like: "Our prices are set assuming $3.50 per gallon. When fuel is above that, customers will pay the difference for 100 gallons of fuel (per person)". That's just a made up amount - but there should be something that holds everyone accountable and isn't debateable.

    I think that DSH has a fomula like this. They have offered to show me a reciept before just for make a remark about how expensive fuel is. I think that they have been charging the same trip rate since gass was $1.99 a gallon or somthing close. Then, based on what the cost per gallon is over that $1.99 they spread it out.
    I think it just needs to be posted for all to see. That way noone feels like price gouging is an issue.

    4) REFUNDS. 1 month with NO refund? Seems a bit cheap to me....maybe within one month you won't get a deposit back (I think the deposit is $250 on 52 hour trips). Many boats I've gone on had this policy, and they've been in business a long time.

    Maybe 2 weeks. I can see both sides here

    5) More, shorter trips. I've already discussed this, but if you want to see offshore fishing flourish - people will need to get into it slower, both $$ wise and time. 52 hours is a long time to be out there if you've never done it before. 24 hours is much easier for most people to justify. I love the 52 hour trips like a lot of you guys here, I just think more overnighters for tuna will attract new people. In reality - you're always going to catch SOMETHING, even if it's just a bunch of blackfin. That'd be enough for a lot of people to want to come back out.

    I definately think shorter trips could be fun. DD runs a 36 hour to the floaters and back. Problem is 12 hours out and 12 hours back sucks. Big E could do this at much faster crusing speeds and make it a 24 hours trip. 6 Hrs out would not be that bad as I can sleep very well on boats:)

    That's all I can think of right now. The Texas offshore fishery is excellent and produces some awesome catches and opportunities (if it didn't i wouldnt have moved here), but operations can and should be improved in order to offer the best product to people so the business will continue.

    Thoughts?

    One thing that some of the companies really need is a freshwater shower for long trips. Even if it is a cold shower. I want to clean up at least on the way in... The wet wipes help but seriously...
     
  9. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    Ha...I thought I was going to use the Big E's showers but I ended up not. I was too lazy and tired from casting all night. yeah gross I know.

    Though we did a 4-day on the Viking out of Montauk last Sept...no showers there either!! Felt pretty gross after the 4 days, haha. Short trips are nice last-minute options. You leave the dock Friday/Sat afternoon and come back within 24 hours and likely have at least 1 yellowfin to show for it and surely a mess of blackfin.

    You're saying 2 weeks out you get 0 refund? Or 2 weeks out you can't get the deposit back?

    I didn't know the DSH had a formula or whatever. Being transparent just makes everyone happy and stops arguments in their tracks. Charter capts def need to do this.
     
  10. Snagged

    Snagged Senior Member

    1,373
    5
    Lots of talk lately about whats good/bad/ugly about certain boats and operations and what could be done differently. I just wanted to throw ideas out there - since it's in everyones best interest that the boats we have down here flourish and continue to remain in business for years to come.

    My thoughts:

    1) clean fish for free. yes, free. That is NOT too much to ask by any means. The tip covers that service IMO. The fish should be cleaned while the boat is coming in - not after youre on land. I don't want my tuna baking in the sun for pictures, nor should I have to pay $0.35/lb for fish cleaning after paying the full price of the trip.

    2) Rental Gear. Many boats have this for snapper and bottom fish....and many of these setups could be used for tuna. An old 6/0 with 80lb and a boat rod will do the job. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say it's rather annoying to watch someone fight a 40lb tuna with 6lbs of drag for 2 hours on 20lb test.
    The boats do have free loaner and rental gear.
    3) Set a formula for fuel. People have been asking "why a fuel surcharge when fuel is relatively cheap now". Boats should make it a public thing, something like: "Our prices are set assuming $3.50 per gallon. When fuel is above that, customers will pay the difference for 100 gallons of fuel (per person)". That's just a made up amount - but there should be something that holds everyone accountable and isn't debateable.

    4) REFUNDS. 1 month with NO refund? Seems a bit cheap to me....maybe within one month you won't get a deposit back (I think the deposit is $250 on 52 hour trips). Many boats I've gone on had this policy, and they've been in business a long time.

    5) More, shorter trips. I've already discussed this, but if you want to see offshore fishing flourish - people will need to get into it slower, both $$ wise and time. 52 hours is a long time to be out there if you've never done it before. 24 hours is much easier for most people to justify. I love the 52 hour trips like a lot of you guys here, I just think more overnighters for tuna will attract new people. In reality - you're always going to catch SOMETHING, even if it's just a bunch of blackfin. That'd be enough for a lot of people to want to come back out.
    Distance is the deciding factor, 130 miles to the floaters makes a day trip a joke.
    That's all I can think of right now. The Texas offshore fishery is excellent and produces some awesome catches and opportunities (if it didn't i wouldnt have moved here), but operations can and should be improved in order to offer the best product to people so the business will continue.

    Thoughts?
    .
     
  11. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    which boats do? The Port A boats? I do not think the Big E has rental gear for tuna, but really had no need to ask about it so i dont know.

    again....if a boat can do 24 knots, 130 miles is a 5 hour run.

    Right now all the boats in port A are doing overnighters. But bc of the speed it takes them 30-36 hours. Nothing to do abt it there, just unfortunate that they can't do 20-25 knots.
     
  12. SpecialK

    SpecialK Super Moderator

    1,569
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    I was saying 2 weeks you should still get a refund. In reality you should be able to get all your money back if they can fill your spot. I doubt they do that though.

    I have only been on one boat and used the showers. I would definately do it more often as it keeps me from dragging a$$ when I get back on shore...

    Maybe a stop and swim policy just to rinse...yeah right... :)
     
  13. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    Maybe a stop and swim policy just to rinse...yeah right... :)

    haha yeah really:p

    On a positive note - the boats I've been on here have chunked quite well so kudos there. It helps when you can catch a billion blackfin to chunk with!
     
  14. lite-liner

    lite-liner troll enforcement Staff Member

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    The big E is good for that because of the speed. I could not imagine the mayhem that would ensue as a result of 40+ anglers that just paid $700+
    to get their fish in just 9 hrs. but it could happen if there was a dedicated communication network, of sorts, between the platforms, crewboats, commercial and sport fleets, and such.
    Time is the costliest factor on a trip like that. on the other hand, The big E is PERFECT for true long-range, 3-14 day type trips like the SD fleet.
    Shorten the annual trip list to about 6-8 trips per year, and focus on that
    w/ the big boats, all while keeping the "smaller" 65-80' boats focused on the
    120mile, 36-52 hr. trips.
    Obviously, there would need to be a lot of sucesses, thus bringing more boats on the scene, and this is NEVER gonna happen unless the general economy, and more to the point, NMFS "issues" are vastly improved.
     
  15. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    yeah....well, the 30-hour trips should cost much less than $700 i would hope...but maybe i'm wrong ;)

    I think if somehow they can find the monster yellows then doing 5+ day trips would be a good thing. If you're just gonna catch 60-110lbs tuna on average then normal trips are fine, but if they target the tuna you see off of venice from time to time then that'd be awesome!
     
  16. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    does anyone have any interest in trolling much on 52-hour trips during the day as opposed to bottom fishing?

    (I don't, but thats bc i hate trolling)
     
  17. lite-liner

    lite-liner troll enforcement Staff Member

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    It's a good way to pass the time and pump everyone up while setting up for the evening. Had fun w/ it on the Gulf Eagle for about an hour waiting for dark.
    Otherwise, I'd rather be casting or jigging.
    -B
     
  18. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    man we did it all day on the viking for 3 days or so. the bigeye had already left so we had very little action. i think they saw one marlin come up but got nothing other than a few tuna. trolling for 13 hours meant a lot of sleep for me :)

    20 rods out with 2 rotations meant a monster cluster-F as well.

    cool thing is they might be able to stick some wahoo on the troll which is always exciting.
     
  19. lite-liner

    lite-liner troll enforcement Staff Member

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    Yeah, my last trolling experience wasnt very fun. Some guy gypped me out of my first wahoo!:rolleyes: