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
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.
Take his credit and try again sometime. The pics and post don't lie. They produce fish on a consistent basis.
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?
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.
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
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.
Awesome, always great when the "better half" enjoys fishing as well!
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.
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.
The credit was because the trip was cut short. Not for the slow bite
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.
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.
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.
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.