Yankee Capt "Mutton Marathon" 9/14/14

We made our way down to the keys last Wednesday to fish the Yankee Capt on a 3 day Mutton Marathon in the Tortugas. This was our first trip on the YC. We loaded up on hoos, pins and blue runners and packed our gear on the boat Thursday night with high hopes. BSed with some of the other fisherman before heading below and crashing til about 4 am. Woke up and caught a few flyers with the shrimp net before we reached the first spot. Immediately caught a nice mutton and red grouper and then NOTHING, for 22 straight hours of hard fishing. Ended up with 1 more nice mutton in the middle of the next night and that ended the catch. Myself and 4-5 other guys didnt sleep the entire trip. I have never seen bottom fishing as slow as this was. I dropped every bait that existed with a very minimal catch to show for it. Thank god for trolling from spot to spot which yielded a bunch of kings and bonita for bait and ended up being the highlight of the trip. Sharks and 12" yellowtails were a nuisance at every drop. We ended up heading in 8 hours early after the anchor line snapped and the high winds didnt allow drifting. At this point everyone on board was happy to head in early. At the dock I saw 6 totes. Saw a total of maybe 3 muttons over 12 pounds, a few nice red grouper and a few kings. Most of the guys settled for using chicken rigs to catch 15" yellowtail so they could come home with something.

The mates were awesome. They were very helpful and fun to talk with. The cook was a nice guy and the food was excellent given the conditions. While the captain did make an effort to put us on some fish, a few things really bothered me. For one, the captain never introduced himself or the crew to any of the fisherman on board. We entered the boat having no idea where the bathrooms were, life jackets, etc. Nothing. This was a big safety concern for me. Im not sure why there couldnt be a couple minute meeting before leaving the dock. The captain stayed in his cabin the entire trip. No thank you's, no apologies for the horrible catch, nothing. Most of the guys spent over a grand on the trip with bait, tackle etc. A few regulars said the Captain wouldnt even know there names if they asked. Luckily it was a good group of guys (Minus 1) and we made the best out of it. I'm sure I'm going to hear some flack for this but I heard similar responses from most of the fisherman onboard. Due to the lack of professionalism from the captain, I will be trying somewhere new next year.

Edit: Capt was not the first off the boat like I previously stated
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Replies

  • tltypeslowtltypeslow Posts: 157 Deckhand
    Wow very interesting, I was planning to go on a mutton trip later this year and being my first time on their boat I have been reading past threads. Sucks you didn't catch like normal trips that I've read. And the unprofessional capt is not cool. Hey at least you brought something home and got away from work/wife/and or kids lol
  • surfer23mgsurfer23mg Posts: 50 Deckhand
    Thanks we made the best of it and still had a good time!
  • ZamlazZamlaz Posts: 43 Greenhorn
    I know ticket,bait,gas,food,tip 1000$ easy gone!!!!!
  • lowe-boylowe-boy Posts: 1,207 Officer
    Greg, is that your regular boat near Hogfish and Fishbusters?
    The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 771 Officer
    One of my crew, Matt, moved my truck soon as we got in. It was blocking in someones truck. He parked it across the street.

    I was on the upper deck cleaning soon as we hit the dock. I stayed on the boat till 10:00 AM and was the last to leave. I DON'T RUN, NEVER ONCE IN 30 YEARS.

    I made numerous announcements. Including the several times about the $150 credit everyone will receiving because of the tough fishing and conditions. I also said if anyone has any questions please find me.

    As far as me hiding I was downstairs numerous times hanging. Hell, I check the engine room every hour. I tend to blend in and let my crew do their job. I jump in as needed. As you stated they are excellent.

    I had my hands full this trip. The conditions were tough and the bite was worse.

    I am sorry the catching was lousy. I did the best I could with the conditions. Trust me no was more disappointed than me. I hope you use that $150 credit at some point and get on a trip with typical results.

    I offer no excuses.

    Greg
  • heavychevy15heavychevy15 Posts: 837 Officer
    I have never been on a Yankee Capts trip but his response and the overwhelming positive responses you get from other trips would lead one to believe you just got on one of the few bad trips.

    Take his credit and try again sometime. The pics and post don't lie. They produce fish on a consistent basis.
  • surfer23mgsurfer23mg Posts: 50 Deckhand
    I never blamed the bad fishing on the captain. As I said he tried moving several times but the bite just wasn't there.
  • TipboneTipbone Posts: 190 Officer
    It wasn't just you guys, we went out on another boat during the same time, saw you guys out there too. We had an excellent grouper bite, but came up short on muttons and big yellow tails. 12" tails were everywhere but only found a few flags thanks to sharks and pesky blue runners who were picking up the flatlines before the bait could get back.. The weather also made fishing tough at times but we managed.

    As a side note, Saw everyone loading up on YC when we were at Hogfish on Thursday. There was a very pretty girl going on your trip, how did she do out there?
  • surfer23mgsurfer23mg Posts: 50 Deckhand
    Im sorry about your luck as well but good job on the grouper. She was my gf. I bring her fishing as much as I can. She took it very well. Got bored along with everyone else but she was a trooper.
  • surfer23mgsurfer23mg Posts: 50 Deckhand
    And Capt im sorry but by the end of this trip I knew every single persons name fishing on that boat because there was nothing else to do but talk with others. I knew what you look like and was keeping an eye out. I was not the only one with these opinions. The only announcements were over the intercom about pulling up the lines and how deep we were dropping. When the anchor broke you did mention over the intercom that there would be some sort of credit for a future trip. I know you catch fish. Ive read the reports and have several friends that fish it yearly. I was just shocked there was no safety briefing or quick rundown of the boat. Most of the fisherman on board had never stepped foot on that boat including myself
  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 771 Officer
    It was your truck that I blocked in.

    I usually hang out by the doors mid ship so I can see both sides. I also patrol the upper deck too. It is very easy to see whats going on. I hire skilled crew to do their jobs. If I have to babysit crew then they don't work for me long.

    Per USCG all Safety notices/diagrams are posted in the main cabin for all to see. Next to the bathrooms. If you have a questions ask us, when I do checks in I always say if you have question just find me. I also include that I'm my speech when we first start fishing. I have been saying that for 25 years. Most people just walk around the boat and find the bathrooms.

    After reviewing my data base and the customer list at least half of the anglers have been with me multiple times. In fact 13 of the 26 fares were on board from a full credit from a trip that was extremely rough in May. Plus they guys on the bow come once a month. Not sure where you got the idea that most have never been with me but that is not true.

    Again I apologize, I take full responsibility for the trip and am sorry you did not have a good time. If you had found me during the trip and voiced your concerns this could have been taken care of. However I have nothing to hide. I did the best I could with the conditions we had. No one was more disappointed than me.

    Greg
  • surfer23mgsurfer23mg Posts: 50 Deckhand
    I know of several around me that were first timers. I never said I didnt have a good time. We made the best of it. It sucks the bite was slow but that was out of your control. I appreciate the apology. A little interaction with the crew woulda went a long way with the low morale on the boat.
  • Surfer... About 20 years ago, I came on this board, and defended a good friend. It has been far too long. The Yankee Capts is a tight ship, the crew has always been above par for a "head" boat. During those first 15 or so years, I was on the boat 10-15 times a year, and he was only down from Nov-May. The boat does well more times than not. As a former commercial fisherman, you must take into account that it is nature you are dealing with, and nothing is for certain. You take the good and the bad. My .02
  • Nick561Nick561 Posts: 338 Officer
    I'd say mikes review was pretty spot on. I was on this trip. The mates were great. The capt could have been more personable. Or at least around. I slept 3 hours the whole trip other then on the way out and in. and saw him twice. Once upstairs and once heading upstairs.
    I enjoyed being out fishing but was disappointed on how long we would stay on dead spots. There were times where everyone had givin up fishing and we were all sitting inside talking about when we were going to move. Sometimes for hours. Anyways. That's fishin
  • HooganHoogan Right on the edge of the EvergladesPosts: 515 Officer
    surfer23mg

    You might want to try to understand the other side rather than you wanting to be understood...

    Put yourself in charge of a 100 foot boat, running trips offshore back to back, week in and week out with all the personalities on board. On top of that with less than ideal fishing conditions, by your own report in a "lock jaw" fishing environment and boat anchor trouble to top it off.

    This is a hard core fishing boat not for the faint at heart, pushing the envelope by hanging on the rail without sleep for 72 hours in the open ocean is what we do. We do not want sympathy from anyone, we are fishermen, for the Guchi stuff I go on a cruise ship. Find me another operation that credits back it's customers when the ocean shows it's ugly head.
    Use the credit coming to you and come back ready to battle some fish and let the crew do what they do best. Sometimes we catch them and sometimes this is the way it goes. Cheers.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,094 AG
    Heck, I love it when the 'Capt' stays out of the way!
  • TipboneTipbone Posts: 190 Officer
    surfer23mg wrote: »
    Im sorry about your luck as well but good job on the grouper. She was my gf. I bring her fishing as much as I can. She took it very well. Got bored along with everyone else but she was a trooper.

    Awesome, always great when the "better half" enjoys fishing as well!
  • Rip Van WinkleRip Van Winkle Posts: 30 Deckhand
    Surfer... About 20 years ago, I came on this board, and defended a good friend. It has been far too long. The Yankee Capts is a tight ship, the crew has always been above par for a "head" boat. During those first 15 or so years, I was on the boat 10-15 times a year, and he was only down from Nov-May. The boat does well more times than not. As a former commercial fisherman, you must take into account that it is nature you are dealing with, and nothing is for certain. You take the good and the bad. My .02

    Throwing squid at anyone that went near spot # 8 and using police forensic tape to mark your spot. Thank god Greg decided to go a different route for the official Yankee Capt. greeter. He wanted something a little more friendly to other customers, he hired a saltwater crocodile.

    surfer23mg wrote: »
    Im sorry about your luck as well but good job on the grouper. She was my gf. I bring her fishing as much as I can. She took it very well. Got bored along with everyone else but she was a trooper.

    What's her phone number?

    Greg's a good guy, most Capt's don't give credits because frankly they don't care. The only drawback is when he does get to know you, you will long for the days he stays in his command center. hahahaha The good thing about the slow trips is all the ball busting that went on in the cabin. I have had some of the most fun, believe it or not, on the slow trips.
  • SnaphappySnaphappy Posts: 1,396 Officer
    I agree some of the most fun I have had has been on less than stellar bites. On that note I doubt anyone is complaining about the capts personality if they are bringing home 15 big muttons. I love fishing the YC as Art said its no frills balls to the wall fishing. Nothing like some of the conversations during the second night without sleep, the crazy **** I have heard...most coming out of my own mouth haha.
  • TOMMYBOY4475TOMMYBOY4475 Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    I've been on YC just a few times and Greg made his rounds a couple of times. I kinda like the capt and crew just kinda hanging back and are available if you needed anything they would be there in a heartbeat. I think this is a big kudos to what an upstanding person Greg is by offering a credit and not giving excuses. Most operations don't offer squat if the fishing was slow. I would chalk it up and take them up on the credit and try again. Good luck!
  • Nick561Nick561 Posts: 338 Officer
    I've been on YC just a few times and Greg made his rounds a couple of times. I kinda like the capt and crew just kinda hanging back and are available if you needed anything they would be there in a heartbeat. I think this is a big kudos to what an upstanding person Greg is by offering a credit and not giving excuses. Most operations don't offer squat if the fishing was slow. I would chalk it up and take them up on the credit and try again. Good luck!


    The credit was because the trip was cut short. Not for the slow bite
  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 994 Officer
    Surfer,

    I wouldn't normally chime in but I'm going to; you made a comment that nobody showed you where the restrooms were... are you kidding? After 20 years of guiding, I've never once been asked by a customer "Where are the life jackets"? If this was a concern, why not just ask a crew member? I'm not saying you shouldn't know where they are but to bring it up afterward is a little slack in my opinion. Let me ask you this, if you guys crushed the fish, would you have written the same response? Honestly?

    As a guide I can tell you that NOBODY on that boat wants to crush the fish more than the captain, it feeds our ego's. It's beyond frustrating when they should be biting and they're not. I wasn't there but MAYBE Greg was sleeping when the bite was lousy... he does have to sleep sometime right?

    If he insulted your girl, then fine, come on here and bash him but to complain that he never introduced himself...cmon. Over the years I can't tell you how many people I've met and do not remember their names and they act like we're life long buddies. If you want to hear a customer complain, look up MD TOURIST with me, now THERE'S A COMPLAINT... complete with attorneys and everything.

    Hammer
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 554 Officer
    I've fished with the YC several times, and can honestly say that the Capt. & crew did everything in their power to make the trips productive and pleasant. Sometimes under very tough conditions. I was also on two trips that were cut short because of weather and received credits for future trips which I thought was more than fair as we all knew what we were in for weather wise, but nobody was asking to be left at the dock! I know that Capt. Greg is more experienced in the ways of fishing his various spots, and would trust his judgement regarding the chances of the bite turning on in different situations. This is what he does for a living, and if he wasn't good at it people wouldn't sail with him. As to success or failure, that's why they call it fishing instead of catching.
  • bite my baitbite my bait Posts: 459 Deckhand
    Guys relax....surfer 23 just got on the wrong ship.He meant to go on the Yankee freedom(that's the ferry that takes you to the dry Tortugas island)they explain to you everything there from bathrooms to life jackets and the history of the the island)......lmao.Poor guy he must have just had to many beers at key west and jumped on the Yankee Capts instead,and unfortunately it was a slow trip.Transfer your credit to me.LOL.we got your back GREG
  • TavernierGuyTavernierGuy Posts: 917 Officer
    Capt. Greg runs a fishing machine. Great Capt.
  • BD27BD27 Posts: 1,179 Officer
    I can't comment on your trip , and I have never fished on Greg's boat and do not know Greg personally. I will say this however . When I moved to the Keys I posted a question about a certain area . Capt Greg took the time to send me a PM with some very detailed info . No numbers just general areas and what to use , Bait , Rigging , Etc . He was spot on with his advice . He had no need to do this for me , but he took the time to do it . FOR THAT I GIVE CAPT GREG AN A+ . As most do not take the time to help others out with such detail . IMO that goes to show that Capt Greg wants to see everyone catch fish and have a good time . Even the people that are not on his boat
  • bsankbsank Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    I've fishing on this boat six times in the last few years. There is definitely a learning curve and even then, conditions can humble you just like they sound like they did on this trip. On the trips where the bite's slow, people have been without sleep, and the seas are bad, a few self-appointed captains will start critiquing everything. Strangely, they're also the same people that seem to have stubbornly unrealistic expectations given their Tortugas experience, readily tell about how every other fishing trip they've been on in their life has been better, and are early to hit the sack and late to start fishing... the very first trait being most telling.
    I definitely give you credit for keeping at it and staying at the rail, Surfer, and I wouldn't necessarily put you in the same group as the aforementioned people. On the boat, their personality can be toxic so I try to avoid them as much as possible. Of course, when fish are flying over the rail, usually those attitudes are amazingly absent.
    For those of you fishing the Yankee (or any boat for that matter) for the first time, plan on getting there a little early to familiarize yourself with the boat. When you pull up to the Yankee, you'll find a couple of mates ready to help bring your equipment on board and Greg sitting in the cabin checking people in and answering questions. This happens for a couple of hours in advance of the boat's departure. Hopefully you'll be able to find the bathrooms in that time.
    As for the captain, Greg is one of the best at what he does and because of that, I keep coming back on his boat. I don't expect him to always remember my name and great me with a hug when I board. I do expect him to do his best to put the boat over fish. It's my job to get the fish in the boat. As for being present, I've had plenty of experience with captains and mates who would preferably have disappeared. From always telling you how they think you're doing it wrong, to getting in the way, to fishing the entire time themselves, I appreciate the little less needy approach. Greg is around and aware of what's happening without having to be over everyone's shoulder and the crew is great at what they do. I can guarantee you that on poor trips, he's just as disappointed, if not more so, than everybody else.
    Having recently moved 1,500 miles from Stock Island, I'm close to booking a spot on a trip and coming down this winter to fish Greg's boat. That's the highest recommendation I could give.
  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 771 Officer
    Nick561 wrote: »
    The credit was because the trip was cut short. Not for the slow bite

    The credit was coming anyway. The anchor just made it easy to call the trip. Big squalls were coming with 30-40 knot winds. I did not see the need to stay out given the conditions.

    Many will tell you I have given plenty of credits over the years up to and including multiple free trips.

    I understand you frustration, it sucks. I have been on the other side of the fence.

    Greg
  • XafXaf Posts: 955 Officer
    I agree with Snaphappy. I doubt there would be any complaints if you had come back with full boxes. I have fished a lot of head boats and the Capt is usually in a no win situation, especially when the bite is slow.

    About a year ago a friend of mine was with me on the YC and was complaining about not seeing the Capt on the deck. A little while later Greg came by and gave him some valid suggestions on how to fish for muttons. After that he was pissed because he said he knew how to fish and didn't need the Capt telling him how to fish. Go figure!

    Greg must be doing something right to have been doing it as long as he has and to have the following he does. If you didn't enjoy your trip then don't go back.
  • RyanfarleyRyanfarley Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    I fished the back of the boat with Mike and can back up his story 100%. A simple "sorry guys I appreciate your business" would have sufficed. Instead we get a non existent capt throughout the trip not to mention at the dock.
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