It’s hard to imagine a more colorful character on the fishing landscape than Captain Paul Ivey. Looking back on a career that spanned Florida, the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Venezuela and the Galapagos, Ivey’s recollections are delivered with characteristic New York flair. If you’re lucky enough to catch up with the old captain over the phone, you might as well be talking on the bridge of an old Bertram fishing Venezuela’s La Guaira Bank in 1988.
By Dale Wills
Hiring a boat captain is easy. Hiring the right boat captain is another story. Whether you’re succeeding in business or putting together a heavy caliber fishing team, one common thread is this: you’re only as successful as the people you surround yourself with. The process of hiring the right boat captain and crew is no different.
One question that’s frequently posed to me is, how can we as an industry better educate the new boat owner so the enjoyment of their purchase leads to a longer-term passion for boat ownership and sportfishing. We’ve all heard the worst case scenario of an owner selling the boat after two years due to the unforeseen (and often arduous) task of managing a revolving or dishonest crew?
Whether you are a mate or captain, understanding what it means to be a true professional is an integral part of our sport not only for your own career but the bigger picture of a thriving industry. [Read more…]
It’s been called ‘the toughest job you’ll ever love:’ being a world-class mate on a top-flight sportfishing boat. These guys are the unsung heroes of the team—while the captain and anglers can take all the fame and glory they can handle for a tournament win or running 250 charters a year, the mates quietly go back to work, cleaning the boat and prepping for the next day. It takes a special kind of person to consistently perform well in this environment.
By Jim Callas
As a young deckhand, I had the opportunity to fish with some really awesome guys—one of whom was a fellow by the name of Capt. David Russell. Russell was fishing on a boat called the Bali Hai and was a pretty cool guy. We got to talking one day and he basically hired me on the spot for some reason and soon we were fishing every day. The Bali Hai was what was referred to as a Navy Crash boat or
AVR boat. AVR was an acronym for “air, sea rescue.” These old wooden boats were built for the navy and resembled a PT boat from WWII. Built out of double diagonal mahogany planking, powered by twin Ford Lehman diesels and had a reverse sheer line. The old AVR boats came in two sizes: 44 feet and 63 feet—we had the 44 foot version.
A career in the fishing and boating industry means that you will, at some point, be hosting charter guests on your vessel. Whether they be complete strangers or your boss’ best friends, charter guests generally have a few things in common. They are known for having enough money to charter yachts for fun; generally tipping well, and; sometimes they can be quite difficult to please. With guests come a set of rules and regulations that are not taught in your Coast Guard Captain’s License course. Making them happy can mean not only putting the charter on fish, but also catering to their requests. As needy as they may be, making a clear and concerted effort can go a long way. Here are a few pointers on keeping them smiling:
By Capt. Jim Callas
Forgive me Father for what I’m about to write. Many people that acquire the honor of driving a boat for a living start out with their dad, or uncle, or their friends dad or uncle and begin by simply messing about in boats as they say. They may be fishing, or water skiing or in some places engaging in some form of trade or commerce to help out with the family’s bottom line. For me, it started out with my dad, and the Nancy J. The Nancy J was a small wooden boat that dad bought for the express purpose of chasing salmon around the Pacific Northwest. He kept it in our carport of our family home, and I would sit in it for hours pretending I was out at sea conquering hordes of invaders or catching monster fish. Next it was a seven-foot plywood pram that I would row all day long in Puget Sound, if the folks would let met.
By Winslow Taylor
The relationships dynamics involving captain, crew, angler, charterer and owner combine to create complex sportfishing personality web. Combining the fact that all personalities have their quirks and the long hours (and weeks and months) spent living and working together on a boat and you have a recipe for interesting situations—of the good and bad varieties. Some folks do things that they think are “normal” but to another person these things could be strange or make them look like a total jerk. Simply stated a bit of consideration goes a long way.
WANTED: “I am looking for the perfect mate. My previous relationships just haven’t worked out. I need one that is not too young, not too old, that doesn’t cost too much money and that knows their way around the cockpit. I also need someone that is loyal, who won’t jump ship the next time we’re docked next to a pretty Rybovich.”
It seems that my boat checklist never ends. The checklist is a valuable tool for me which I use religiously. I always keep it handy. If you are like me, and don’t write down what you’re thinking, it most likely will be forgotten. During any given week, my mate and I work off of a checklist that is continuously updated. The list consists of everything, such as supplies needed, metal that needs waxed or repairs that need to be made. One would think that you could run out of things for a checklist, but if you keep a top-notch boat and stay up with all the systems that should not happen.