Thursday, August 30, 2007

Just an Update

Here is what’s happening lately. Fishing, not much, the customers are pretty thin since the kids went back to school. I have been using the time to help start a new business down here selling Tikis and replacement thatch along with some other stuff. Check out the new site at

Involved in the new business is a weekly radio spot on 1300 AM. The “Reelin’ in the Keys” show with Cal Ripkin. We were thinking TV, but they decided I have a face made for radio. The show is fun and I will try to find a web link if anyone wants to listen in.

For fishing reports, the bay is starting to show a few small cobia, but few keepers. Once they get thicker, you need to get your butt down here for some fun and great eating. The Grouper are starting to show on the reef in the yellowtailing areas but that should peak in about six weeks. ‘Tails are a little finicky with the water clear, but to the east a little there are some nice flags being brought to the boat along with a few very sexy mutton snapper and the occasionally keeper grouper.

Offshore is hit or miss. I have been lucky the last couple of trips and caught plenty for dinner. Very few large dolphin are being reported. Some nice blackfin and wahoo are being caught, but not on every trip. Until the water temperature drops a little it will be hard to target much offshore except around the humps.

The ultra-deep droppers are having some success. I don’t do deep drops in two thousand feet of water. If you have an 80 wide and a few sash weights I can take you to a few spots to try it out. Electric reels are definitely in order for this kind of fishing.

Anyway, hopefully I will have better reports soon. Until then tight lines,
Capt. Dallas

Friday, August 24, 2007

Another Day in Paradise

Had a fun trip Friday with some regulars. We found plenty of dolphin for dinner less than fifteen miles off. They bit very well to start but started getting finicky around 1:00. We left the finicky dolphin only to find crystal clear water on the reef so no yellow tails. We caught and release a few short grouper then got rocked up by a big one.

We quit fishing around three and I took them on a tour of likely lobster holes for them to do some bugging. Just a very relaxing trip. The dolphin were caught on light tackle so the crew had a blast.

Right now there is not much going on so I am working on the Conch Tiki project. Check out the website at We still have to get some better pictures loaded, but the project is coming along. I am designing a tiki hut fish cleaning station right now. Plenty of shade and the roof will be water tight. Should be the sharpest looking cleaning table in the Keys.

Enjoy a Marathon Heart of the Florida Keys Fishing Vacation this year.

Capt. Dallas

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Charter Business Thing Again

All right it’s that time of year again. New 2008 boats are hitting the showroom floors so the 2007 demo’s will be available. If you haven’t read the charter investment plan, here is the deal in a nutshell.

Five partners invest in a 26 foot Panga for a charter business. The Panga which gets nearly four miles to the gallon, rides smooth and dry, drafts only 14”of water and happens to look sharp is a perfect boat for the variety of fishing out of Marathon. The partners get use of the boat two weeks each a year for vacation. The rest of the year the boat runs charters to cover the cost of the boat. Every two years the boat is traded in for a new model, so there is always a reliable boat.

Estimated return on the investment ranges from 15% to 30% per year if the investors do their job. Their job is to promote the heck out of the charter business.

Some investors may want to use the boat more than two weeks per year. Not a problem if properly scheduled. That investor just has to kick some money back in the general fund to make it fair for the other investors, about $700 per week.

Rough estimates of total cost and returns a listed in the charter business link. The cost estimates are a little on the high side because of dockage. With a trailer and/or using my dockage which is not much to look at, initial cost can be reduced.

The contact with Cristal Clear Charters is still open plus there are a few others that can be used on a commission basis to book charters. Cay Clubs may be heading south, but CCC’s is hanging in there.

This past charter season was pretty slow. That means the income estimates might be a little high, but the cost of the charters being extremely competitive, I doubt by much.

Judging from the current boat prices, the cash per investor will be between 10and 15 grand for the Angler and 15 to 20 grand for the Andros Panga. I recommend the Angler for the first two years and rolling profit into the Andros in the third year.

With the two year replacement instead of yearly replacement some extra money will need to be held for maintenance and repair.

If you like to fish the Marathon area here is what this works out to if the cost is fifteen grand per investor:

If you rent a 26 foot boat for two weeks a year that is about $3900.00 per year so over three years that’s $11,700 bucks. So even if the charter income stinks, your not really out of that much money anyway. If the charter business makes half of the estimate, you get back your money while still getting the use of the boat. If the charter meets estimates, you make enough cash to pay for the rest of your vacation expenses. So this is not a get rich investment it is a fun vacation investment.

If you own a vacation home in the Keys and try to maintain a boat during the off season, add up your storage and other costs. Then talk to your accountant about potential tax advantages of this deal.

Oh, don’t forget that a charter boat with captain normally has a few numbers or tricks to improve your fish productiveness. You can enjoy fishing the Florida Keys without dealing with the expense of maintaining a boat.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas