Friday, March 26, 2010

Bare Bones Charters?

I had a nice long conversation with the Coast Guard about my function as a guide without a current Captain's license just the other day. There was an issue over who books the trip. This trip was through Captain Pips and for convenience I let Pips book the trips for me so that customers can use their credit cards. I let Pips book trips even when the trip is not on one of their boats. So there is nothing wrong with Pips booking me for what I found out is called "bare bones charters." So after all these years I now know what I am doing, I am a bare bones charter guide.

The results of our lovely visit with the Coasties is that Pips will maintain my drug consortium card. That is a random drug testing program for their and customer's piece of mind. Also Captain Pips is eliminating their commission on trips which I think is unnecessary since they are providing me with a service. Anyway, the whole situation results in piece of mind for the other guides.

Other than the Coast Guard trip I haven't been doing much fishing, instead I have been teaching basic boating to a new house boat owner. For people new to large boats it can be a little over whelming the first time you drive 15 tons or more of boat up to a dock. Slow, slow and slow are the first three rules of boating in case you where wondering. Driving a twin engine boat of any size is pretty easy though as long as both engines work. The next part of the3 class will be what the heck to do when one or both quit working. I don't get many basic boating gigs but from what I hear I am pretty good at it.

Fishing wise things are still pretty great. Plenty of mackerel, snapper, sailfish and a few dolphin in the area along with an improved tarpon bite. The permit are staging for the spawn so that fishery will really heat up this month and continue until June. Starting the first of May the grouper fishery will be open again and the action should be hot.

If you like the World of Boating radio show listen in tomorrow because I will be a guest. We will be discussing bare bones charters and boating basics 101.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, bare bones guide trips, fishing 101 or boating 101 class so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas


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