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Last week while working in Fort Lauderdale, Florida I went out to the marina during lunch to gawk at all the mega-cruisers and marlin boats. Just for curiosity, I asked some of the captains/crew what would it cost to go out for the day. Having seen on this board that the local rate here on the Texas coast seemed to be in the $900 - $1200 range PLUS fuel and tip, I was somewhat surprised that for an 8+ hour trip the going rate seemed to be $750-$800 INCLUDING fuel (plus required 20% tip). If we were talking a 20 foot bay-boat that would be one thing, but one boat was an absolutely beautiful 58' Andy Mortensen and another I believe was a 46' Hatteras.

Even though the fishing is pretty close in (one Captain mentioned that a few years ago he had caught a sail within a mile of the beach), you still have to figure that the fuel cost has to be pretty significant just trolling for a couple of hours (not to mention the mortgage on a multi-million dollar boat). Being that the cost of living in Fort Lauderdale is so much higher than Galveston/Corpus/etc, how are these trips so much cheaper?

Is it just off-peak supply and demand? Do the captain/crew make up the difference by fishing the big billfish tournaments (there was no availability for this week since everyone was heading to the Bahamas for some big tournament)?

Just curious.

Julian
 

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Football MNC: '63, '69, '70, 2005
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You answered it yourself.. The stream is usually within 8 miles or so of the beach. You burn very little fuel. It also has to do with competition. Many more charters there than in Texas. And yes, sails, dolphin, wahoo, yellowfin all are within sight of the beach on most days.
 

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For that amount out of galveston you could get a farewell bouy trip for eight hours. That is as far as you need to go down there.When i was there i went out, could see cars on the roadway when the deckhand baited me up, then asked the captain i thought we were going offshore,, he replied your in three thousand feet of water
 

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Cisco Kid
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I was there in December. We went 3 miles out and about 5 miles south on a 1/2 day trip. I paid $125 as one out of four and caught a 6 1/2 foot sail and a 42" dolphon and one big Bonita. Not bad for a quick trip!
 

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OK, the distance answers the fuel question but at $1200 and YOU pay the fuel....fuel costs become a moot point. $50 bait and ice. If you pay the fuel then a $1200 trip nets the boat $1150. Seems a bit pricey to me too!
 

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kwaldmann said:
You think it's easy money running a charter business!
Absolutely not! Most of us fish whenever we get a chance but mostly from our own boat or from a friend's boat and split the expenses. It is definately hard work teaching, rigging,cleaning up the boat, baiting, cleaning up the boat, coaching the angler on a fish, gaffing the fish, cleaning up the boat...we know.

Also guys think about the total number of days you can fish when you are within sight of the beach. You will have fewer sick customers and be able to at least make some unfishable days into 1/2 day trips so in reality you are making more in FL.
 

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First let me say I have been a few of "those charters".. Each year for the past 3 or 4 we have taken customers out there on numerous events. Most of time it NOT a trip a "true fisherman" would have appreciated. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. We go back because our customers don't know better, they drink beer, hold a rod land a grunt or jack and think they are styling.

Last year our trip out of FT Lauderdale was sickening.. I knew it was bad when the Captain had one, yes one 40 LB bag of ice in the fish hold. We went 6 miles off and trolled, did not catch "Shinola".. The other two boats we chartered did the same thing. Blue water (gulf Stream) was 20 miles off shore, the Captain gave me a dirty look when I mentioned it

This year we did our customer trip on the Naples side, same deal 3 boats, 3 crappy charters. This one the Captain wasted 2 hours with us catching our own pin fish, and then moved less then 3 miles away with tall tales of us "hook'en into some sheep head or snapper". I was so disapointed, thank GOD the customers we took out had no idea how bad it was. Most had never been on a boat before.

When that guy said he caught a sail a mile off the beach a few years ago... he forgot to tell you it was in 1940... when the fishing was good a mile off shore.

Yes the fishing is closer.. the stream does come in, but an 8 hour trip is an 8 hour trip.

A 46 Hatteras, probubly has twin somethings..has got to burn 15+ hour.. figure out the math... they were Boardwalk salesman... They were trolling and hooked you... and you never felt the line get tight !

We have good fighing in Texas... we are just more up front about taking people out
 

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Kwaldmann,
I never said it was "easy". I said it was pricey. Would I pay that much for a 40 mile trip if I didnt have a boat....probably not. Would I pay that much if I didn't know any better? Maybe. But I do know better... I cant tell you how many people have gone on my boat off this site for peanuts.

Last year it was 1200 including fuel. This year its 1200 PLUS fuel. How do you explain that? Was fuel free last year? Or do I have my facts wrong?
 

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I was stuck in Clearwater once so I went down to the dock to see the offshore boats come back in like the Capn John or big Easy, you know party boats. What they unloaded was un real. I asked someone with the boats what kinda fish they were cleaning, they were about the size of a bluegill perch. He explained to me those were red snapper. After a brief discussion( im cleaning that up a little) he finally admitted those were "ruby lipped grunts" a fillet about the size of a 50 cent piece. Nope the fishing in Florida cannot compare to Texas fishing.

Charlie
 

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kwaldmann said:
You think it's easy money running a charter business! Go ask Daniel Bryant owner of the

Poco Mas down at South Padre Island!
pfffft! the same guy who has been charged with subsidising his charters by using the Poco Mas to smuggle illegal's from Mexico? yep it's tough alright.
Mack Daniel Bryant, 44, an owner of the charter boat, was arrested Sunday. Authorities said he was on the $400,000 charter boat Poco Mas after it allegedly dropped off seven men at a Corpus Christi dock. Six of the men were illegal immigrants from Mexico, authorities said. Investigators believe Bryant and another man used the Poco Mas charter boat to make at least three immigrant smuggling runs from Port Isabel to Corpus Christi before Bryant's Sunday arrest, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in one of the four cases.
 

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dryespo said:
When that guy said he caught a sail a mile off the beach a few years ago... he forgot to tell you it was in 1940... when the fishing was good a mile off shore.
I guess those more recent outdoors shows you see with multiple hook-ups on kite rigs with sails jumping away and Miami in the background is a figment of our imagination, or maybe "creative" editing of the footage? Or the BXRL on ESPN and double digit hook-ups on sails on all the boats all within a few miles of the FL coast? Yeah, that fishing sounds like it stinks! Granted, probably was a lot better in 1940 but that still doesn't seem too bad and if you can get that kind of day for $750, that sounds like a heck of a deal. Got to go in the right season, of course. :)
 

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i`d stay in texas even if it were free in florida , that place is like a sardine can , everybody has compact cause they aint got a garage to park in, if you want the cheapist fishing go to mexico , they will beat florida,,,,and i never heard anyone say it was easy ,
 

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Took the family to Destin 3 years ago and took son and nephews on a charter. We went about a mile out and loaded up on bait, then a couple more miles out, still within view of the beach and limited out on Snapper and Kings. Quickest 5 limits I had ever been a part of, and could still see people on the beach!
The Capt told us we would only need to book and pay for half day trip, even though we had inquired about a full day trip, so it was $500 for half day...
 

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Its easy to grin when your ship comes in
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Don't knock it, Pat. Smuggling illegals is tough work. It is a thankless task, and they do not tip too well either.

Pat P said:
pfffft! the same guy who has been charged with subsidising his charters by using the Poco Mas to smuggle illegal's from Mexico? yep it's tough alright.
 

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FYI It takes me near 24 man hours to do a fit and proper Charter that's from start to finish - (It starts the day before and ends the day after the actual charter) Not to mention the $9,000 for the permits - EPIRB and all the rest of the equipment. I don't do it for the money I do it because I love to see people catch fish that don't get a chance to fish like we do. I can make as much money in an 8 hour day in my Commercal Grounds Maintenance business and be off @ 5pm. Don't get me wrong - I am not complaining - just a little respect for what we do is nice. It is hard Money guys!
 
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