The first of the 2019 Captain of the Year sanctioned tournaments in the Contender Florida Division kick off next week:
Good luck to all the captains and crews fishing these tournaments.
We’re rigged and ready to see who comes out on top!
The first of the 2019 Captain of the Year sanctioned tournaments in the Contender Florida Division kick off next week:
Good luck to all the captains and crews fishing these tournaments.
We’re rigged and ready to see who comes out on top!
By Elliott Stark
Although you have to be pretty dedicated to fishing to buy and run a bluewater charter boat, there are some people whose desire to make a sportfishing career happen goes the extra mile. Captain Chris Kubik is one of those people. Having grown up in Atlanta, Kubik travelled to the Outer Banks in the summers as a child. When he was 16, he saved up enough to charter a boat. After catching a white marlin, he was hooked.
Growing up Kubik would read anything about fishing he could get his hands on – magazines, fishing reports, you name it. “I read a story about a guy who wanted to fish and headed to the dock to start handing out ice until he got a job fishing…So that’s what I did,” Kubik recalls.
“I loaded up my Honda Accord and headed to Oregon Inlet. I drove overnight from Atlanta, it took about nine hours. I got there early and slept in my car for an hour and I started handing out ice. I got a job on an inshore boat about three weeks later and started picking up freelance offshore trips from there,” he says.
Kubik rented a place to sleep while waiting for his fishing dreams to materialize. Does this sound like an awesome thing to do? “It definitely was not awesome. It was terrible. I rented a piece of crap trailer – it was the most God-awful place you could imagine. It was rented by the week, if that tells you anything. There was a house on some land with a bunch of trailers on the property. It was a bunch of crackheads and me. I was afraid to unload my stuff out of my car because they might have stolen it,” Kubik says.
Kubik worked on the inshore boat over the summer and soon made friends with a mate who had an extra room where he stayed. His living conditions improved and Kubik has never looked back. “Fin Gaddy had an opening,” Chris recalls. An owner/operator, Gaddy runs the Qualifier, a 54-foot Mann, out of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. “I knew the mate who was leaving and Fin let me freelance for a couple of days. I’m not sure why he hired me because to be honest at the time I was not very good… I guess he thought he could teach me and he did.”
Kubik would fish with Gaddy for ten years. Fin provides a bit of perspective on what makes Kubik such a force on the water. “He just has a competitive spirit about him. When I first met him, he’d only fished a little bit offshore. He was such a genuinely nice and sincere person that it almost made me uncomfortable,” Gaddy says with a bit of a laugh. Soon after hiring Kubik, Gaddy and the Qualifier headed to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. “He’d never caught a sailfish. After two days he’d caught 58. It was sort of a trial by fire. Chris got to learn in the right places. It was his dream to come here and fish and he made it happen.”
“Fin taught me everything I know about marlin fishing – teasers, dredges, maneuvering on fish. Attention to detail was the biggest thing – the importance of keeping everything perfect… knots, connections, everything. He is very meticulous in that regard,” Kubik recalls. “If he wanted to teach me to rig something on our day off, he would pull out five or six mackerel and show me how to do it. A lot of guys won’t do that because they don’t want to waste the bait.”
“When I left the Qualifier, I started mating on the Point Runner. I would run it when Capt. Danny Wadsworth (owner/operator) needed a day off. I worked there for three years and bought it last year,” says Kubik. The Point Runner is a 60-foot Guthrie powered by c12.9 Cats. Kubik’s operation is based out of the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. Kubik follows in one of sportfishing’s greatest traditions – the North Carolina owner/operator charterman.
When asked about the lessons he has learned along the way, Kubik provides some wise perspective. “Spend time learning before you think about moving up,” he says. Advice to young guys breaking into the industry? “Don’t feel like you deserve anything… because you don’t. These days it seems like there is a lot of entitlement. All the young kids want to be paid to ride out. Don’t be afraid to start on the bottom and work your way up. If you work hard and are motivated, you’ll succeed in fishing. If you look around at tournaments, most guys pull the same thing. But if you pay attention to detail, you can stand out.”
You can find Captain Chris Kubik and the Point Runner available for charter out of Oregon Inlet most of the year. In the winter time, Kubik runs a private boat – the Sea Hag, a 61-foot Blackwell – in Florida and Isla Mujeres. If you’d like to book a trip with Captain Chris Kubik, send him a note at Chris@pointrunner.com
or visit www.pointrunner.com.
Captain Brett Alty’s 50’ custom charter boat Mistress is at it again. Upon arrival back at Fraser Island at the end of September Mistress tagged 32 marlin within just 7 days and 3hrs of fishing! As Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees catcher was as famous for his baseball skills as for mixing metaphors, once said “ This is déjà vu all over again.”
As was reported earlier in In The Bite E-News Mistress enjoyed outstanding success at Fraser last year as well, tagging 104 in just 42 days during the period late August to late Nov. Mistress fished through early December before returning to the Gold Coast for some much needed maintenance. All told from August through December 2017, the Mistress tagged 128 marlin in 48 days of fishing. An astounding average of 2.7 fish per boat day!
We were on our lonesome for the entire period from August to October, but in November we were joined by three motherships and 10 gameboats all sharing the most commonly used anchorage at Rooneys Point. Among them the Gold Coast boats Caboom, Special K, and French Look 111, plus the charter boat Kekoa. Word of the outstanding fishing had spread quickly.
In late February, Mistress returned to Fraser and fished another 44 days. During this period currents weren’t ideal and weather patterns dictated that most fishing was done around the New Moon. We generally don’t find the best Moon Phase optimal; rather the week before and after the Full seems preferable.
Nevertheless Mistress managed another 71 tags to bring the total for the year ended 30 June to 199. As we were hoping for a nice round and memorable number –like 200—the 199 was a bit disappointing. How close were we to the magic 200? On the last day of the fishing year we developed the dreaded “Rubber Hook “ syndrome, going one for five for the day. Damn. The 199 marlin tagged were comprised of 150 blue marlin, 30 little blacks and 19 assorted heavy tackle blacks and stripes. That’s world class fishing by any measure. During this period we were frequently accompanied by Dave McMaster a light tackle specialist on Poledancer and we had some memorable social nights.
Then, just to cap it all off, Mistress won the Hervey Bay Gamefish Club tournament fishing against a fleet of 40 odd boats. This time fishing heavy tackle with 9 blues in the 2 ½ days of fishing. We also won this tournament in 2015 catching 15 little blacks on light tackle, and were second on a countback in 2016 to the well performed Sunshine Coast Privateer Kamikaze.
Frazer Island Background
There are some interesting aspects to the fishery at Fraser. The blues and stripes strike very aggressively. With the stripes there was none of the usual Tap—Tap— Tap. The majority just climbed on like a Blue. All the fish were in excellent condition. They were all fat. Much more so than the ones we see on the Gold Coast only a couple of hundred miles south.
There were also yellowfin tuna present ranging from a few kilos to up to 75kg out on the shelf. On one occasion there were so many yellowfin around that they were beating the Blues to the lures. Captain Brett could see blues coming up in the lure pattern, but they were being consistently beaten to the lures by frenzied yellowfin.
A new Giant Black Marlin Fishery on the Horizon?
In June/July we also tagged, and quite predictably lost quite a few, tiny little Blacks. Some vainly trying, but failing to hook themselves on lures were as small as 2kg (5 pounds)! We reported this to Dr. Julian Pepperell (Australia’s preeminent billfish scientists—and one of the world’s foremost experts) who was intrigued because he thought that fish of this size would be probably only two to three months old. If this is the case it means that they were most likely spawned about February or March. This has quite serious ramifications as it means that there is a black marlin spawning period outside the traditional September to November Cairns breeding period. Julian requested that we keep a couple of the Heads off these tiny Blacks so that he can inspect the oeliths and more precisely determine their age.
If Julian’s initial prognosis is correct it may well lead to another Giant black marlin season, most likely somewhere near Fraser Island. No doubt when we get confirmation of Julian`s estimate we and other long range liveaboard boats will be out in the wild blue yonder doing some exploratory fishing trying to find this new breeding ground.
The 2018 Season
Mistress started its latest session at Fraser with a three day, three hour fishing trip that initially targeted little blacks. After tagging eight, in the morning of the 3rd day the crew decided to go heavy tackle seeking a Slam. Well the Lady angler, one of the three on board, caught her first blue and then was unlucky to pull the hooks out of a stripe.
On his second trip, Captain Brett decided to fish Heavy Tackle for four days. The Mistress wound up with an absolutely outstanding 23 tags deployed from 32 strikes. All blues! That’s 5.75 blues per day. Fingers crossed this keeps up!!
On the fourth day Captain Brett actually moved away from his spot and called a couple of his friends in. His sole charterer was worn out from fighting so many fish and his two deckies were worn out from constant work rerigging/ resetting lures and leadering fish. How’s that for a problem?
Now Mistress has done a total of 11 days and 3 hrs at Fraser since the end of September and has tagged 42 marlin comprising 33 blues, eight blacks, and one striped. That’s an astonishing average of 3.72 per day of fishing.
At the moment there are around six boats fishing at Fraser, among them Brad Dobinson’s Special K and Captain Simon Carossi driving Assegai. Simon also has his Mothership there.
I imagine that once again there will be a fleet descend on Fraser in November. Some of the Cairns charter boats have announced their intention to come down. There will also be boats from both north and south making an extended visit around their Hervey Bay Gamefish Club Tournament attendance (Tourny 16th to 19th Nov).
There are plenty of fish for everyone and I expect that as we fish the area more we will all learn more and enjoy an even greater level of success. As if it’s not outstanding already.
For more on the Mistress operation, or to book a trip, check out their website: http://www.fishingmistress.com/
by Jan Fogt
We ran a story on “Tipping While Traveling” and interviewed four well traveled captains to provide their insight on tipping. In response to the article we had several dock attendants and dockmasters comment on the subject and think its fitting to follow up with some of their responses on the subject.
Barbara Roderick, American Yacht Harbor Marina, St Thomas USVI
Dockmaster Barbara Roderick has done it all at the famed American Yacht Harbor marina on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, from working the fuel docks to running the store. One of the busiest marinas in the Caribbean, she was happy to express her own ideas on tips and tipping.
Tom Farlow, Pirate’s Cove Marina Manteo, NC
Tom Farlow oversees one of the most professional marinas in North America – if not the world. The 195-slip Pirate’s Cove Marina is one of the few marinas with an on site, 24-hour a day dockmaster. In addition, guests are offered personal business cards with cell numbers from anyone and everyone who takes care of them, from the guy who delivers ice to the attendant helping them fuel. The marina also offers a concierge service for off site needs and has an offsite marine repair facility to take care of pretty much anything that can befall a boat. “Our goal is to try and provide anything and everything our guests might need,” says Farlow.
Yvonne Shults, Orange Beach Marina, AL
With 165 slips for boats to 100 or more feet, the Orange Beach (AL) Marina is one of the largest on the Gulf Coast. Store manager Yvonne Shults however has a way of making boaters and fishermen feel welcome, like they are special guests, which might explain why she too often receives tips.
Q: Under what circumstances is a tip expected from a captain and or owner? What sorts of tips are customary?
Roderick: Sometimes I feel like we’re the red-headed stepchild here at Red Hook. I don’t know what it is but for whatever reason, some guys think tipping is not necessary when they come here. Where do I think it is appropriate? The fuel dock for sure because those guys are always having to do a lot of running back and forth, delivering carts so the guys can unload their gear, or passing them water and fuel hoses. In the office, the girls that work really hard for our guests, arranging for rental cars, helping them get reservations, checking on flights and a hundred other tasks and hardly ever get a thank you much less a tip, which would be very nice to see because they always provide good service with a friendly smile. I’m not saying it has to be a big tip, just something to say we appreciate what you do for us. As for amounts, for the guys at the fuel dock I’d say something like $5 to $20 is a nice tip for helping with the lines and getting people on and off the boat, or delivering a cart and helping them fuel. It kind of depends how much they do. And for the guys who deliver heavy batteries and help during oil changes, I don’t think $20 is too much because those are services that are not part of their job description, yet are things they cheerfully do for our guests.
Farlow: I would estimate the average tip for helping a boat tie up and refuel and to guide them through the paperwork we require – for the first time – is about $20. Every time an attendant assists a guest it is not usual for them to receive a $5 to $10 tip. For the week, our attendants might receive about $100 in tips. During tournaments, however, the tips would be more because the level of service increases. For instance, it is not unusual for our guys to be delivering ice, newspapers, coffee and biscuit sandwiches at 4 a.m. And when the boats get in, they are there to wash the boats and tackle and help refuel and do whatever it takes to make sure that boat is on the water fishing the next day. So normally the tips are bigger, usually in the range of a $100 a day per boat during tournaments.
Shults: I like to think our guests always tip the dock attendants and employees whenever they go the extra mile like running bags of ice across the marina or staying late to weigh a fish or to fuel a boat. Those are things we’re always doing. Even so, tips are not what I would call expected. It’s always up to the discretion of the customer to do what they think is appropriate. As to various amounts, I’d say a $1 is a nice gesture if the guys deliver ice.
Q: Do these circumstances vary between a very large boat of say 70-90 feet and a smaller vessel of 40-55 feet? Would it be different for someone who had permanent dockage versus a transient?
Roderick: Not really, although I have to say, we sometimes do get transients in who have no idea how to dock a boat, so the guys end up with hooks and lines maneuvering the boat into the slip because the guy doesn’t know how to. And while permanent guys usually don’t tip on a day-to-day basis, most of them do try to offer something around Christmas time like a bottle of wine for me, money for the girls in the office or money for the dock guys.
Farlow: The circumstances don’t vary at our marina between overnight boats and permanent boats, however most of the charter boats at our docks do not routinely tip for services by our staff. I think they probably should, but they don’t as a rule.
Shults: Size doesn’t really matter. However transients do seem to tip more easily than our permanent guys, I guess because tipping is part of travel. My experience as store manager is that I don’t really get many tips. However, sometimes at the end of the year or maybe once or twice a year permanent guests will give a very generous tip for some special service. For instance, just the other day I stayed late to weigh a 180-pound tuna for one of our fishermen and he gave me a $50 tip for staying an extra hour. It was a surprise and much appreciated. Our regulars don’t tip all the time but every now and then they’ll do something totally unexpected like that.
Q: If a captain or owner fails to offer a tip for extraordinary service, is that something that might come back to haunt them?
Roderick: Not really. Our guys work really hard and take a lot of pride in offering the people in our marina good service.
Farlow: Our employees are well trained. They understand that tips are something that’s a bonus, which is discretionary. They understand service is what is important. And, that if anyone were to see them acting like they are owed a tip for some service they performed for a customer, they would be disciplined.
Shults: Not to the extent anyone would ever say anything to a customer. But I suspect people being human; they might be a little less joyful about providing services you normally would receive a tip for.
Q: What would you think if someone gave you a T-shirt and hat?
Roderick: T-shirts and hats are a real good one. Some of our guys even collect them.
Farlow: T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and sometimes fish are always well received by our staff.
Shults: The guys absolutely love it when an owner or captain gives them a logo shirt, hat or jacket.
Q: Does your staff appreciate fresh fish as a gratuity?
Roderick: We do get a lot of fish and appreciate it. But a lot of us don’t have freezers and it spoils.
Farlow: Yes and no. Fish are plentiful here. Most of our dock attendants fish on their own boats, and consequently, catch fish to eat.
Shults: Fresh fish is nice.
Q: What is the best advice you can give someone about making a good impression with your staff at your marina in terms of behavior, treatment, etc.?
Roderick: We try our darnedest to treat our boaters and fishermen like good friends and valued customers. So whenever I see my guys going the extra mile, hauling heavy marine batteries, helping captains with maintenance issues or rolling 5-gallon drums of used oil down the dock, I just think they should be compensated with a nice tip without me having to mention it because the captain didn’t think of it first.
Farlow: We hand out business cards and welcome packets to everyone who ties up at our marina. In those packets we try to instill one idea—don’t be shy about asking the dock crew questions or telling them what you need. Basically we are here to serve and to make our customers feel like welcome guests.
Shults: More than anything, being courteous is important. Of course tipping is gratefully appreciated if the customer feels they have received exceptional service. At the same time, when the service is bad, as a manager that’s something I appreciate knowing so we can improve.
So, what have we learned from these interviews? That no matter what the culture is, tipping is always appreciated and it is of course, always a discretionary act. So if you do not think a tip is necessary for certain services, don’t tip. But if you feel like people have taken good care of you, it’s okay to be generous. It might just come back to haunt you – in a very good way.
by Capt. Jen Copeland
When the owner of Canyon Runner Charters, Captain Adam LaRosa, sends a message nominating one of his captains be featured in a future Young Guns expose’, it’s quite an endorsement. Rarely does an owner have the time to read such features, but to have him take the time to describe his captain is inspiring. Originally from Westport, Connecticut, Captain Deane Lambros, one of our younger guns, runs and oversees much of the Canyon Runner operations – from maintenance to charter trips. Deane has worked for the company since he was 19.
Six years ago, Lambros was in the middle of an oil change when Mr. LaRosa approached him with an opportunity that changed his life. One of the Runner’s captains was unable to make a scheduled trip and LaRosa asked if 22-year-old Deane was comfortable running the boat. Without hesitation, his answer was an unequivocal, “Yes.”
With three years of training fresh in his mind, Captain Deane took the helm of his first Canyon Runner charter. Banking on the confidence LaRosa had in him, and remembering the old adage “safety first,” Lambros managed to keep it together enough to produce a successful trip. “Being totally in charge for the first time was a real challenge,” says Lambros. The young captain recalls being a bit out of his comfort zone on his first trip. “I was dealing with fog and trying to keep the anxiety at bay, all the while smiling and producing bites,” he recalls. Lambros’ pep talk to himself that day was a familiar one to anyone who makes a living in this line of work – one that we all have to occasionally remind ourselves of. “We’re just going fishing.”
Today with 300+ giant tunas to his credit, some 15,000 hours of wheel time, and over ten top three tournament finishes under his belt, Captain Deane has put the work in by fishing hard, fishing fast and having fun while doing it. All traits of a great captain… traits he learned at Canyon Runner. At 28, Captain Deane Lambros names nearly all past and present Canyon Runner captains as his professional influences – each bringing certain philosophies and skills to Deane’s attention. From the knowledge he’s gained at Canyon Runner, he is able to understand the needs of his charters and is confident in the critical decisions that must be made day after day. As importantly, Lambros reads between the boss’ lines in order to compliment his personality and smoothly run a business in the aggressive northeast charter industry.
No matter how grateful he may be to the “A” list of qualified professional influences, Deane gives the first and foremost credit to his parents for the example they’ve set. According to Lambros, it was his parents who “rigorously reinforced” a strong and honest work ethic during his childhood. His father, who still works full-time at age 86, continues to lead by example to this day.
Lambros takes his job very seriously – something all prospective captains should aspire to do. He believes young men need to prove themselves to others by demonstrating they are polished, conscientious and driven. “It’s refreshing to see a young person wanting to be part of a team and asking questions with a willingness to learn, and if you put in the effort, you will succeed.”
Mates who put safety first and represent themselves in a manner which is non-threatening to the charter guests are an important part of the customer experience. For a charter operation, those who can’t relate with people put themselves out of the running for advancement. Whether charter or private, a young mate’s attitude toward his job is a direct reflection of himself. According to Deane, “There isn’t a single boat owner who wants a reckless, unprofessional captain running their boat.”
Captain Deane Lambros’ professional philosophy is one that sets him well for decades to come. His outlook is characterized by a high level of organizational skill, situational awareness, and an ability to “play well with others.” He executes a meticulous maintenance schedule that ensures tools and spare parts for repairs on the fly are readily available, keeping the program seamless and uninterrupted.
Mature and well-spoken, Lambros’ level-headed personality has allowed him to rise up quickly in LaRosa’s army of Canyon Runners. “I have been able to accomplish in ten years at Canyon Runner what may have taken me 30 years in the private sector,” he says. “Joining a charter program will plain and simply give you a fast learning curve.”
For a young man not yet 30, Lambros’ candid understanding of what it takes to succeed in his line of work is impressive. “Charter fishing is an industry of customer service,” Deane insists. “We are expectation managers. You must know what is expected of you by the owner, the guests, and the crew. You then draw from past experiences when the weather gets dicey, the fish get finicky or the boat breaks down.” Captain Deane fully understands the many facets that go along with charter fishing. There is little doubt that owner Adam LaRosa is thankful for this—perhaps that encouraged Deane’s nomination.
IGY Marinas Completes $25 Million Dollar Redevelopment of Maximo Marina, St. Petersburg, FL
Maximo Marina continues to be the largest covered boat slip marina in Florida, boasting covered wet slips for vessels up to 100 feet in length.
October 6th, 2018 – Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – IGY Marinas, announced today the $25 million renovation at Maximo Marina in St. Petersburg, Florida is complete. IGY has overseen all aspects of design, redevelopment and operations of the marina since 2015, on behalf of the owner, Bixby Bridge Capital, a private real estate investor and lender. The marina was completely redeveloped over the last 18 months, with ORION Construction serving as the general contractor for the project. The marina continues to be the largest covered boat slip marina in Florida, boasting covered wet slips for vessels up to 100 feet in length.
“This was a complex project from a design, permitting and execution standpoint. The marina was over 50 years old and IGY took great care to ensure that this marina was redesigned to be responsive to the market and the evolving sizes of vessels both for today and for the next 50 years. IGY worked with us to ensure that all the critical customer touchpoints were addressed and that the uniqueness of the marina was maintained, all while making sound cost-benefit recommendations. IGY was able to institute a phasing plan that allowed a portion of the marina to stay open throughout construction which was very important to our customers. We are very pleased that IGY and ORION were able to deliver this project on time and under budget,” said Steven Fass, a principal at Bixby.
Maximo Marina’s transformation now provides world-class amenities such as floating concrete docks, state of the art fuel dock, covered slips for vessels up to 100 feet, boat lifts for vessels up to 36 feet (24K lbs.), complimentary Wi-Fi on gigabit enabled fiber network around the marina basin, renovated support facilities, and the opening of Getaway Maximo Restaurant (the largest restaurant opening in south St. Petersburg in more than a decade).
With all major phases of construction complete, Maximo Marina has the ability to welcome more than 200 vessels in wet slips, 142, of which, are covered and 58 equipped with boat lifts. The facility can also accommodate an additional 88 vessels within inside storage racks and another 200 vessels in outside dry storage racks. The covered boat lift slips are a product offering that enhances our existing dry stack marina product because customers can use their boats on their own schedules, independent of the lift-well hours of operation, while still having a protecting environment for the boat. “It’s a very unique product,” says general manager Lee Hicks. Maximo Marina also features a full-service facility offering haul outs for vessels up to 50 tons giving it the ability to service any and all boats in the marina.
IGY Marinas is well known in the industry as a leading marina operator. A lesser known fact is that IGY Marinas also features an in-house development and construction services team that has undertaken marina projects all over the world. This combination of development and operating experience positions IGY Marinas at the leading edge of the marina management industry. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Bixby and provide third-party development and operational management services on this very unique project. Boaters are seeking innovative marina amenities and services combined with added-value destination offerings and we were pleased that the marina owners called on us to help them achieve their goal,” said Tom Mukamal, CEO of IGY Marinas.
The Maximo Marina redevelopment is a critical component to the revitalization of the Skyway Marina District, one of five special commercial districts in the City of St. Petersburg – the marina is open with plans to participate in the block party celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Skyway Marina District on October 6th .
By Captain Nick Gonzalez
Kite fishing has been met by a number of innovations over the last 10 years. Electric kite reels have gotten faster, more reliable, and easier to use. To compliment these kite reels and increase efficiency, light, high-speed conventional reels with smooth drags and high gear ratios came into the market. A number of different rod manufacturers began making excellent rods with soft tips and moderate backbones that are ideal for kite fishing. In addition, circle hooks became mainstream and a number of different manufacturers make chemically sharpened circle hooks that are tournament legal and very affordable.
Kite fishing is such a specialized method of fishing that even the boats themselves have adapted to corner this niche market. Complex live well systems and rocket launchers are the standard for most boats in South Florida. In this day and age there are thousands of boats and crews that are more than capable of busting out a kite spread. You add all these different variables together and throw in kites designed for every wind speed and you have a system that is applicable to all conditions. Unfortunately, superior tackle won’t set you apart from the competition. It’s the status quo nowadays.
The equipment has become standard but kite fishing is an art that few have mastered. With a 15-knot wind and a 4-person crew, just about anybody can manage a 6-line spread. On the contrary, if you put yourself alone in the cockpit managing 6 kite baits, a mid rod, and a bottom rod while the wind fluctuates from 10-30 knots and squalls of rain push through, can you really keep up? For most mates, the answer is no. For most captains, the answer is no. Throw in a red-hot bite and you’ll see how quickly a perceivably “experienced” crew can be overwhelmed.
There are a handful of boats that seem to always be at the top of the leaderboard. What is the prevailing factor that puts them in that position with such consistency? Do they have some extra special bait? Did someone find a way to cross breed goggle eye with spanish sardines? Do they use tinker mackerel on 10lb fluorocarbon? Do they practice Santeria? No! These crews just fish as hard as they possibly can and have logged thousands of days on the water. The x-factor that many teams look for boils down to that one thing: experience. The best teams have caught more fish and even more importantly, lost more fish than many of the other teams combined.
Experience isn’t something you can buy (with the exception of hiring a top notch crew). How do you consistently win sailfish tournaments? Go fish rain or shine 300 days a year. No matter how big, fast, or expensive your boat is, you will be the underdog if your team hasn’t logged THOUSANDS of days on the water. There are a number of different captains with a long list of tournament wins on their resumes. For even the best captains, the only thing longer than their list of wins is their list of losses. It sucks to lose but failure can be very insightful.
Building experience is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m only 25 years old and in the last 5 years I have spent over 1,000 days on the water. Why does this matter? I learn something new every day. In this timeframe, my crew has experienced some of the worst and some of the best fishing Miami has to offer. I have been blessed with the opportunity to fish with some of the best captains and mates out there. I have witnessed first hand how a crew with thousands of days of experience operates vs. a less experienced crew. There is no comparison. To kite fish properly, everything is a delicate balance. With the right crew, baits are deployed and retrieved faster. Doubles usually turn into triples. Triples often turn into quads.
For a good crew, bait management is the standard, not an advantage. Seasoned goggle eye, threadfin herring, and Spanish sardines are a must. When it comes to tackle, everything needs to be meticulously maintained. You also need a good platform to fish on that has both vantage and speed. Most importantly, your crew needs experience and chemistry. A successful team adapts quickly to changing conditions. They fish regularly so they have a network of reports and know where the fish will be. An experienced crew also has a very high hook up ratio on bites. The best teams don’t just create opportunities; they capitalize on them. When it comes to communication, arguments should be kept to a minimum, instruction should be clear and concise, and criticism should always be constructive. When attention to detail and the bigger picture come together, the results can be tough to beat. There is no short cut to being the best. You just need to get out and fish.
Double Threat Fishing Charters
HATTERAS YACHTS ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH FISH TANK SPORTFISHING
World-Class Anglers Will Help Design Next Generation Hatteras Sportfishing Yacht
NEW BERN, N.C. – JUNE 12, 2018 – Hatteras/Cabo Yachts LLC (“Hatteras Yachts”), a world leader in the construction of convertible sportfishing and luxury motor yachts from 45 to 105 feet, announces a partnership with sportfishing couple Chris and Laura Jessen, world-renowned anglers and owners of Fish Tank Sportfishing. Along with their captain, Ben Horning, the Jessens will collaborate with Hatteras to design a next-generation sportfishing yacht.
“We’ve been fishing on our Hatteras GT63 since 2012, and we chose Hatteras again because we have had a tremendous experience,” said Chris Jessen. “They build a high-quality boat at Hatteras with amazing attention to detail. We’re honored that our ideas and designs will live beyond our boat and influence the legendary Hatteras Sportfishing line.”
“Hatteras is thrilled to collaborate with Fish Tank Sportfishing,” said Hatteras Yachts President and CEO Kelly Grindle. “Chris, Laura, and Captain Ben have incredible expertise, have logged thousands of hours on the water, and have released countless fish. We will be designing a boat where every detail has been considered by world-class anglers.”
The partnership officially begins today. In the coming months, Hatteras will work closely with the Jessens and Captain Horning to design the new boat. Caterpillar Marine will also be a key partner in the building of this new sportfishing yacht.
For more information on Hatteras sportfish yachts, visit www.hatterasyachts.com/sportfish.
Follow @hatterasyachtsnc and @fishtanksportfishing on Instagram for regular updates on the partnership between Hatteras and Fish Tank Sportfishing.
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