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FishOn!

Charter Capt Does All The Fishing?

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Hello Everybody -

 

I'm new to this forum and to fishing salmon on Lake Ontario.  Used to live in the SF Bay area, fished kings and cohos out of the Golden Gate.  Sold my boat, moved east, and have been missing salmon fishing ever since!

 

Last week some buddies and I went on a charter out of Oswego.  I was quite surprised to see that the charter captain handled all of the rods, reels, etc. until a fish was hooked and it was time to reel in.  Is this standard around these parts?  We would have liked the opportunity to set the hook and start the process rather than just be handed a rod to crank.  None of us were newbies, all of us have been on multiple charters, party boats, or in my case, on my own boat.  

 

What is the common practice here?  

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Posted (edited)

Welcome. That is common  among the Charters here but most captains  are happy to let you do the things you mentioned if you tell them you have experience and would like to do so. They just don't want a bunch of noobs breaking their equipment, losing rods, or having a bad hook up percentage and then people saying "eh don't go with that guy we didn't catch any fish"

Edited by FishnChef
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I hear this a lot and all I can say is ask questions prior to booking so the captain knows what type of trip you are interested in. Some people want the work done for them and some want to learn and do it themselves. Every customer is different so if you have individual concerns make sure the captain knows them! Personally, I get all the work I want fishing on my boat and taking my customers so when I pay for a trip I'm there to relax only!

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1 hour ago, FishnChef said:

Welcome. That is common  among the Charters here but most captains  are happy to let you do the things you mentioned if you tell them you have experience and would like to do so. They just don't want a bunch of noobs breaking their equipment, losing rods, or having a bad hook up percentage and then people saying "eh don't go with that guy we didn't catch any fish"

 

Bingo.

Simple solution is to communicate with the Capt. Lake conditions play a big part in what I can safely allow my clients to do. With three or four different presentations in the water all requiring different techniques to insure a good hook up and landing percentage, on a friendly lake I have the opportunity to explain what needs to be done to get those fish locked up and boxed. On a bumpy lake the last thing I want is for people that are not familiar with my gear to practice with it. Nothing good ever comes of that situation. I'm out there to give the fishermen the trip of their lives and long lasting memory's but also have to protect my investment and reputation. Communication is the key.

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Your experience is the norm. Between pulling the rods out of holders and knowing how to reel down fast and set the hook it isn't best for newbies to be hanging the rods out of the holders

 

As people gave you advise already. Just ask ahead of time

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I'm not a charter caps to start with. I had a lot of different people on the boat , experience to newbies and it always gives me an uneasy feeling watching my gear get beat up or loss. And there is no one I let touch my probe rigger.....

 

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Been there,   and after fishing for 30 yrs I now have my capt licenses and do lake Erie walleye fishing, first thing I tell my customers is that this a hands on charter.. you will set dippsys, planer board rods and net fish,  I will do the riggers but show you how its done,, I feel this is a better way,   you are responsible if you drop a rod over....

always ask before you book..

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Posted (edited)

This is a great thread because it gives us a chance to look at both sides of the equation from different perspectives, and it will perhaps lead to some further consideration on both sides - as well in achieving a satisfactory experience for all concerned. As spoonfed-1 said "communication is the key". It entails some prior thinking about objectives, consideration by each party, and maybe not just making assumptions by either. The issue can also turn up in situations like customers asking the captain or mate detailed or irrelevant questions on the spur of the moment while they are rigging and in dense boat traffic; instead of thinking about them and waiting for a good time from the captains standpoint... again.....mutual consideration and thoughtful communication goes a long way toward ensuring a satisfying experience.:smile: There is a difference also in the mutual expectations regarding an "instructional" charter and one for purely initial experiential value so it should be talked about in advance.

Edited by Sk8man

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Over the years I have been on many charters,out with friends and now have my own boat. Everyone handled things a little differently. Usually there was not an issue with the rigger rods. The biggest issue I saw with someone that was not experienced with salmon trolling is with the dipsey rods. The rod would get pulled, reeled down and then slammed home like we were out bass fishing. Good bye salmon, good bye flasher, fly, and dipsey. Like most guys said just ask. Like yourself we always wanted to do the work and as each day went on and the captain got comfortable with us as a group the amount of things we did increased.

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Definitely building a long term relationship with your captain will help tremendously with how much you can participate. Not many people are allowed to operate my riggers, and I net always, but everything else is on the table. Ive seen so many botched net jobs and work way to hard to catch walleye to have things go wrong that late in the game and I don't want anyone leaning out of the boat with riggers or netting.

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Thanks all for the welcome and the good thoughtful responses.  Very instructive.  

 

As has been said in several posts, communication is the key.  I think I had made some assumptions, and didn't expressly communicate what was expected.  

 

I can completely understand the need to take care of your gear, and not let newbies break or lose equipment.  And netting a fish is indeed a skill one needs to develop with practice.  To the point, the captain lost a fish at the net that day.  So I get it that there is a skill to this.  

 

In this situation, it was a rather choppy day, tough to stay upright in the back all of the time.  One needed a good set of sea legs to get it done.  And a few folks were sick over the side.  

 

On the other hand, this charter was advertised as one that could include a mate or not, our choice, presumably to do all of those things and more.  We opted not to have a mate on board, and that was fine with the captain.  So with that in mind, we expected to be more hands on.  Probably I should have expressed that at the get-go.  

 

But we did catch a few nice salmon, nothing for the record books and no limits.  Fishing Lake Ontario is something I'd like to do at least once a year (4 hour drive for me).  Next time we'll be a bit more up front when discussing the booking. I look forward to getting out there again soon.  

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Defiantly a touchy subject with most. I understand your wanting to help and participate but you need to also understand the captains side.

Sometimes our fishery can be tough and the difference between getting bites is simply a 5’ +\- setback from the riggers.

Not to mention every boat fishes different. We are in a day where riggers are $500+ , rigger weights in excess of $60 or more, flashers, flies etc all adding to a single setup worth $$$

The captain is doing everything he can to put you in position to get a chance to land a fish. When he allows others to rig for him and spends his gas to get to the grounds and back and a rod doesn’t fire the chances of you going back with him are slim.

I have mated on many of the top charters on the lake and in most cases I can say this is the norm.

On occasions there have been times we have had the clients assist and help and it is definitely a comfort level between us.

I also have been on many charters where I paid and I sit back and watch. Use the trip to your advantage and pay close attention to the details. You will be amazed what you can pickup. Talk to the captain and show interest in what he is doing and chances are you will get into his comfort zone. More times than not this will lead to the results you are looking for.

Also picture yourself having thousands invested into your vessel and gear and having a perfect stranger jump aboard your boat and start moving rods and changing lures etc.

It’s a lot to take in and a lot to think about. In the end it comes down to your overall personality, interest, and the comfort level the captain has with you. It is easy to tell when people really know what they are doing versus the ones who say they do and truly have no clue.




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It is called fishing,    not catching...  just go and enjoy the day out on a boat with friends and maybe catch yourself a prize salmon or in my case its walleye...

I always say catching is a bonus... lets go fish....

good luck with your next trip,  lots of great choices for your next trip...

Rick

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As much as I like to troll for salmon/ trout ,I cansee the posters point . Just reeling the fish in IS " catching " not fishing  . For guys they like to fish , not very satisfying . 

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Great topic ! The captain wants to get as many fish in the boat as possible ie he is the expert for salmon fishing that day ! " not very satisfying" ? you cannot please everyone so do not even try !

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Basically I have had three types of clients: some want the crew to set the spread, hook and net the fish. They turn the handle. Some want the crew to set the spread, they want to hook, fight and net the fish. Lastly a few clients want to do everything. The truth is, nobody treats your gear the way you would yourself. I insist on setting the spread. If the clients want to hook, fight and net the fish they can and I let them know that lost fish are their responsibility. If they start losing tackle due to poor technique or being rough on the equipment, all bets are off. I take over to assure fish come aboard with the least amount of loss, fish or equipment.

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If I notice that they are somewhat experienced, I'll let them get a rod that's been hit unless they can't beat me too it and that's not often. Lol.
Most fish lost on my boat are from the divers, they don't understand that you can't pull the opposite direction that the fish is swimming to.

Silverfoxcharters.net

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Also, if they want to actually tell me where to go, where to set divers, riggers and which coppers to put out, they can get their own boat and "fish". Lol

Silverfoxcharters.net

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Most of the charter captains are pretty meticulous about their set-ups & equipment and unless they really know you, I can understand why they do things that way. I think the best thing to do is to have a conversation beforehand and maybe he'll allow you to do some simple stuff and maybe you can gain his trust.

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Most of the charter captains are pretty meticulous about their set-ups & equipment and unless they really know you, I can understand why they do things that way. I think the best thing to do is to have a conversation beforehand and maybe he'll allow you to do some simple stuff and maybe you can gain his trust.
Exactly..... I buy top notch equipment, re tie leaders , use quality terminal tackle. Big money invested.... I can't have my rigs being cracked off, or rods broken because some guy thinks he's Jimmy Houston setting the hook...
If I have experienced guys out, then have at it boys....but I'm still the boss and I set out the rods, and change the rigs.
I can tell in the first fish or 2 if the customers know their way around a boat.
If we are on a great chew and there are kids on board, I will let them pick out a spoon to run....

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Speaking for myself ,I don't want to go out sit back and watch ,and have someone hand me  the rod to reel in the fish .I'm long past that . In fact ,I don't even care if I reel the fish in on my own boat . My fun is getting them to hit ,figuring it out . I understand about the equipment costs,etc. I feel the same way .   Some guys like to just reel them in .Others would rather do their own thing . Count me as the latter . 

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Posted (edited)

I hear ya! Tell you what, how about offering the captain  with a $1,500 deposit and let him know you want to play with his toys all you want and if anything should happen to them, the captain keeps the deposit. In that case,  I would probably just sit back and let the captain handle his toys and then give  me  a rod with a fish on!!!!

 

The morale of this story is that the toys are quite expensive and I rarely allow anybody handle my riggers except for Larry and Barry, Chris, Eric to name a few.

 

I hope you would be able to find a captain who trust you enough to experience setting up the spread, fishing freely and netting the fish all on your own!

Edited by Pike Hunter
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2 sides... as a customer I get it but u have to remember the expenses involved by the capt.... and as a capt u have to realize people love hands on. It's a unhappy medium. Personally once I set gear it's up to u to get them in.. all included.... remember 1 gosh darn thing. . U don't listen, miss fish, know it all... yeah u got it. That's 1 less I gotta clean

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