Caught fish, wish I could have kept the big ones...

Discussion in 'Hawaii Fishing Reports' started by slicklasers, Jun 7, 2014.

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  1. slicklasers

    slicklasers Member

    Location:
    seattle wa
    Name:
    rick
    Boat:
    fish
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    So after a lot of saving up $$$ and lots of research I decided to pull the trigger and book a private charter rather than a shared fishing trip out of Maui for my vacation. It was clear to me that I wanted to book a charter that got me to the fishing buoys at sunrise so I went with the Start Me Up out of Lahina for their longest trip that left the dock at 2:30am and was a 9 hour trip. They are a sponsor here on BD, and I read their reports the board and felt they would be a good choice. This cost me over $1k and took me over a year to save up for, but figuring if I did alright fishing I could possibly go home with 100+lbs of filets and around $10 per lb, seemed like it would be worth doing(I know it's fishing, not catching guaranteed, but the risk vs reward for me was worth it).

    I went down to the docks and spoke with Capt. Deli from the Start Me Up, who seemed like a great guy and I was ready to drop my cash on the trip when he handed me their flyer that said, 42ft custom built sport fishers, modern, clean, fast, comfortable fish ready yachts- YOU CAN KEEP YOUR CATCH, HAVE IT MOUNTED, OR TAG AND RELEASE, IT'S YOUR CHOCE. I put the last statement in bold for a reason!!!!

    Now on to the trip:

    We arrived at the dock at 2:15am to board their 42ft custom built sport fishers, and were shortly met with the captain and his deck hand. Me and my girlfriend boarded the boat which seemed VERY SMALL for a 42ft yacht (the boat we got on felt just like my 28ft fiberform from a few years ago). I was really excited to go fishing so I decided not to say anything about the small size of the boat and have a good time anyways(on the way in the captain told me the boat was the smallest in the fleet at 32ft, not the 42footer that was advertised). As we left the dock, the deckhand came down and decided that right next to the twin diesel motors it was a good place to tell us the details of our trip(neither me nor my girlfriend could hear even 10% of the words coming out of his mouth, but being a life long fisherman and this not being my first rodeo, we smiled and nodded.) BIG MISTAKE!!!! It turns out that other than telling us that we needed to stand while fishing rather than sit(we are smaller framed people, I weight 145lbs at 5'11 and my girlfriend is petite, 5 months pregnant and barely 5'4), and that they would only give us enough fish to eat while we were on the island and they would keep the rest of the fish to sell to the restaurants so they could make more money.(Had I know that from the beginning I would never have spent $1100!!!)

    Well we both decided to try to get a little more rest in while we made the trip out to the buoys and were woken up about 15 minutes before sunrise at the grounds. The deckhand told us that he would get live bait hooked up and we should be on a fish really fast if they were there, and that we needed to bring them into the boat as fast as possible. Well he was right, 3 minutes in and the first pole started to sing, Fish On!!! He handed me the pole and I was expecting him to put me in the chair that was RIGHT THERE, but NOPE, he said "spread your legs and use the boat as your tripod". Ok, I'll give it a shot, well I was in the most akward stance trying to balance on the bouncing seas, and reel this giant reel in that seemed impossible… I MUST HAVE A GIANT FISH ON!!!! I mean, I've pulled in my fair share of 30-50# albacore and a 60# yellowfin and this thing was making those feel small, so this must be a GIANT… after 40 minutes of fighting this fish standing up my arms were giving out and I could barely hold the pole and called for help so the deckhand gave me a hand and his fresh arms got him that last 25ft to the boat, handed me the pole, gaffed the fish and thew him on ice… WTF? This fish wasn't that big, maybe 50lbs at most, why couldn't I bring it in??? Oh well, 50lbs of sashimi in the boat and the next rod has another fish on and my girlfriend next on deck…

    Well she fought that fish for 20 minutes like a champ and handed the rod to me with my already jello arms and I fought him for another 20minutes and had to ask for help AGAIN from the deckhand, who pulled it up the last 15ft by hand and gaffed it. Same size fish… Why are these things sooo much harder than when I use my own rod and reels for larger fish? The only thing I could figure is that Instead of sitting like I always have, now i'm standing with my knees bent at 90 degrees, trying not to fall out of the boat while holding my balance fighting this fish. Well we hooked into over a 25 fish on the trip, some landed, some not(mahimahi, aku, and small yellowfin) and ended up with 6 mahi mahi(10-25#s), 6 aku(3-5#s), 5 small yellowfin(5#s), and 3 bigger yellowfin(35-45#). They said we would troll lures back to port and hopefully hook up with a marlin or wahoo. No such luck… as we got closer to port the captain came down and said, which fish do you want to take, I said all of them and that's when I found out that they only allowed me to keep some of the fish and the rest was for them to sell to the restaurants. WHAT???? I PAID $1100.00 CASH, HAVE TO TIP YOU MINIMUM OF 10%(another $110), AND YOU ARE GONNA KEEP AND SELL SOME OF THE FISH I CAUGHT??? WTF is this BS??? Do I get money back from my trip for the money you make selling my fish??? Well I decide that since I was on vacation I wasn't going to let it ruin my trip, at least I could keep the biggest fish for myself… Right??? NOPE… TOTALLY OPPOSITE…. They gave me the smallest 7 fish, and kept the 180#'s + of Yellowfin and Mahi Mahi for themselves!!! I ended up with MAYBE 30lbs of filets to take home when I paid 1220$$$$$$$$

    HOW IS THIS OK??? THE CAPTAIN AND DECK HAND WERE PAID TO TAKE ME OUT FISHING AND THEN TOOK THE MAJORITY OF THE CATCH AND SOLD IT!!! SHOULDN'T I HAVE GOTTEN THAT MONEY OFF MY BILL SINCE I PAID FOR IT?

    Basically I feel that I got robbed for 100+ lbs of food for my family. :(
     
  2. rick marin

    rick marin Nothing new here

    Location:
    lemon grove
    Name:
    rick marin
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    H & M fleet
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    Not every charter business is run like the ones in California. It is common practice for charterboats in Hawaii, and lots of other areas to keep the catch. Ask the boys at P.E.I.! Not saying it is the right thing to do, but it is normal. The only real fault I see is that they said you could keep your catch on the flyer and didn't follow through.
     
    JoshuaD likes this.
  3. Slow Poke

    Slow Poke SeaKhunt

    Location:
    Kailua, HI.
    Name:
    Jeff
    Boat:
    21' Kencraft
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    Like Rick said, it is pretty common for the boat to keep most of the catch. Running a charter in Hawaii is way more expensive than other places. To keep it affordable the boats sell the catch. Plus most people staying at a hotel have no interest in 100 lbs of raw fish in their mini fridge. More more plus to "captains catch" is that it gives incentive for the boat to find the fish, and catch em. I have been on charters before where the crew is stoked to catch you a couple fish and call it a day.

    The problem with your story is the fact that you booked your charter thinking that you could keep your catch. Did you point out their flyer to them? Thats pretty fucked up if their flyer says "keep your catch" but you can't. What was their reaction to that?
     
  4. HooKalele

    HooKalele Newbie

    Location:
    Makaha, Hi
    Name:
    Jeff
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    Yellowfin
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    Hate to see some one get burned like that, leaves a bad impression of the "Aloha Spirit". Perhaps the operators of "Start Me Up" can chime in and make amends, the op accurately stated that their policy is to let the anglers keep the catch (every last one) and yet was given only a few? Here's a statement off their web-site.


    Do we get to keep the fish we catch?


    Absolutely - every last one! While many sport fishing companies in Hawaii will tell you "the fish has to stay with the boat," Start Me Up's policy is exactly the opposite. If you catch it, you can keep it! We'll even filet enough fish for you and your party to enjoy a scrumptious seafood dinner. Keep in mind that there are no canning/processing/shipping facilities on Maui, so we recommend fishing with us earlier in your trip so that you have fresh fish for the remainder of your vacation. If you don't want to keep your fish, you can also choose to have it mounted - just ask your captain for more information.
     
  5. AZTunaBaron

    AZTunaBaron Newbie

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    Baron was my dog
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    Hmmmm, there's always two sides to a story. But right from the get go it sounds like with the boat change a breach...

    Guess we're spoiled out of SD more than we knew.
     
  6. Fish Whisperer

    Fish Whisperer Jeordie

    Location:
    Pearl Harbor
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    ABOUT TIME
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    33 Tiara
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  7. Fish Whisperer

    Fish Whisperer Jeordie

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    ABOUT TIME
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    Sorry that happened to you. As others have said, many boats here keep much of the catch as added revenue but the reputable ones don't advertise the opposite! Sounds to me not only like false advertising, but stealing. Love to hear what Judge Judy would say to that owner.
    Well, a charter business survives on it's reputation and you have the ability to influence that reputation here and elsewhere.
     
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  8. saltwaterfish

    saltwaterfish Well-Known "Member"

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    Los Alamitos, CA
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    Jason
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    looking for new one
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    same story . next time never fish there, vacation is fun, fish anywhere else you wont get screwed like that. Let them go catch their own fish to sell
     
  9. finishright

    finishright Member

    Location:
    Oceanside Ca.
    Name:
    Mike Morris
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    prowler kayak
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    sorry to hear that good to hear you didn't let it ruin your vacation boy that's a hard one to shake off if you've got the flyer hold on to it you'll have albies in no time
     
  10. abdiver7777

    abdiver7777 abdiver7777

    Location:
    So Cal
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    Sir2you
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    They hate you......

    But they love your tourist and tax dollars....
     
  11. Startmeup

    Startmeup Official Sponsor of Bloodydecks Advertiser

    Location:
    Lahaina, Hawaii, USA
    Name:
    Lee
    Boat:
    Start Me Up Sportfishing
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    First, the owner and the company were not involved in what happened. The disposition of the catch was worked out between me, the captain, and Rick, the charter customer. There are two sides to every story and here's mine.

    Yes, the boat we use for our 9 hr early departure trip is a 32' Blackfin (35' length overall) while the other 6 Start Me Up boat are 42' Bertams. The boat is clean, comfortable, and ready to fish. We spend the extra hours on the water and go the extra miles to give our clients the best possible opportunity to catch fish. Not only does the Blackfin keep the cost of the trip down, the smaller boat is a better fit for what we do at the buoy. Our proven method of success is to hook multiple fish on standup 50# class gear rather than catch a single fish from the fighting chair. Battling a fish on standup tackle isn't always easy, but they don't call it "fighting a fish" for nothing. We've caught plenty of nice fish and nobody has ever come close to falling out of the boat.

    I know exactly what we caught on this particular charter. The day started with 5 mahis in the 10# range and 3 yellowfin tuna that averaged 25#. Then we had some more fun catching 6 skipjack tuna in the 3# range and 5 yellowfin tuna that were all about 5#. We live baited two of the tunas for about an hour hoping to catch a marlin. After that we trolled back to the harbor without any luck. I specifically recall telling my deckhand on the way in that we made a great effort. We spent 3 hours before the trip catching mackerel, used those live baits to catch mahis and tunas, dragged lures around the buoy, live baited for marlin, and made a great trolling run that brought us back to the harbor an hour behind schedule.

    I carefully filleted and packaged all of the smaller tunas and three of the mahis, which took me about an hour and a half. The 35-40 lbs of meat filled 10 gallon Ziploc bags. I asked Rick if he was satisfied and he said yes. I thanked him, we shook hands, and he left. The two remaining mahis weighed 18# total, which means they were not large enough to sell to a restaurant. Another Start Me Up captain took those fish home. I sold the the 25# tunas to a restaurant for $3/lb. The fact that charter boats in Hawaii sell their catch can be easily found during the research phase of booking a trip. I cannot even keep track of how many times we have been down that road on this very forum. By the end of the day, my deckhand put in 16 hrs of work for a $90 wage, a $60 gratuity, and $75 in fish sales. The bottom line is that wages, gratuities, and fish sales all have to come together to meet the high cost of living here in Hawaii. We make a living trying our very best to provide a quality sport fishing service.

    Honestly, I'm disappointed that I had to visit an online forum to find out about this situation. With better dockside communication between captain and client, this thread would have an entirely different tone or might not exist at all. The company's policy is that the customer can keep their catch. I asked if Rick was satisfied, he said yes, and that was good enough for me. If I had heard differently 3 days ago, he could have kept all of his fish. I know I didn't respond to every concern in this thread, but I have to get some sleep so that I can hopefully run another great sport fishing trip tomorrow.

    Captain Jon aka Jonny
     
  12. hawkplayer32

    hawkplayer32 I'd rather be fishing.

    Location:
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    Name:
    Tony Hicks
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    Re-Bite
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    Hmmm. This is a great lesson in contracts and negotiations. Make sure you know what each party is getting from the get go. Although from the flyer it seems like the customer gets to keep all of the fish period, if he choeses to.

    Sounds like both parties are unhappy here. Perhaps this is a que for the owner to be more clear with his customers in regards to the disposition of the fish...

    Also, the costs being higher in Hawaii or having to pay a deckhand are totally irrelevant. If things cost more, charge more.
     
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  13. slicklasers

    slicklasers Member

    Location:
    seattle wa
    Name:
    rick
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    fish
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    Ok, so the deckhand was paid $90 from the company to work for 16 hours, how is that my fault? I am not the one who set his hourly pay at $5.65/hour. I'm sure you guys could have purchased live bait rather than spend an extra 7 hours to catch 20 baitfish. I paid $1100 for a 9 hour trip, that's $122.22 an hour for the company to pay for the gas, boat, and to pay his employees. $1100 is a LOT of money, and when your advertising that the customer can keep all the fish, then you shouldn't tell them that you are gonna keep and sell them. That is contradictory to your advertising and is false leading to your customers.

    Yes I was trying to be nice and not start a scene at the dock, but made it clear to you that I wanted to keep all the fish. If you guys wanted to sell fish to the market, then you pay the $1100 to take the boat out, and then you can sell all the fish for all I care. But I paid for the trip so I could take the fish home to feed my family, not for you to make an extra $225 on tuna and to give my other 2 Mahi Mahi to another captain that could have caught his own fish.

    It's just not right that you advertise that I can keep all the fish but then you don't let me keep them all. I was the one that paid for the trip so I should have gotten that $225 off my bill since you sold the fish I paid to catch.
     
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  14. grander007

    grander007 Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
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    zzzz
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    That's a very professional and well written response. You guys run a class operation and often put customers on big fish. I don't understand mistaking a 32 Blackfin for a 28' fiber form. I crossed from Honolulu to Kona 3 times on a 32 Blackfin. Customers who want satisfaction have to speak up, eg 'can I please use the chair' no reason required. Or 'I can't hear 90% of what you're saying.'

    Keep doing what you're doing & tight lines,
     
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  15. slicklasers

    slicklasers Member

    Location:
    seattle wa
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    rick
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    I wasn't saying it was the same boat, just saying it was around the same size, NOT THE 42ft advertised. I'm sure that if you ordered Lobster you wouldn't be happy if they brought you a Prawn. We are talking about a 10ft boat size difference, and a blackfin 32 is worth at most $50k and a Bertram 42 is worth $150K+.

    The reason I posted this thread was to try to help fellow BD'ers from spending their hard earned money just to be given the slide of hand. You advertised that I could keep all the fish, you should have given me all the fish. I shouldn't have had to argue with you about keeping my catch, and neither should any customer. I paid them for their services to the tune of $1100 for the 9 hours on the boat with captain/crew, and $120 for the REQUIRED MINIMUM 10% tip since I didn't have any $10 bills on me. The tip wasn't an option, they made me sign a contract that I would tip them at least 10%, which is not a TIP then, it's actually another charge because a TIP is voluntary contradictory to popular belief. I do always tip, even when the service is bad, but the % is reflected in the service received.

    And about the chair, I told the deckhand that I needed a place to sit down to bring the fish in. His reply was that "we fish standing up, and that it's not called fighting a fish cause it's easy"
     
  16. Slater

    Slater cuss on Monday,pray on Sunday,dream about one day

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    Im not a fan of Maui to begin with as I feel its very similar to my hometown of San Diego but I would have to agree with Rick. Sounds like huge communication failure between both parties but I wouldnt even consider spending $1300 to go fishing knowing that I had to fight / make a scene with the capt. / crew in-order to keep all of my catch....
    Customer should never be in a situation where he feels uncomfortable about needing to twist an operators arm to keep his own fish.
    Very lame, even if it is normal practice! Way too many nicer places to visit with better fishing where that is NOT a normal occurence.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
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  17. abdiver7777

    abdiver7777 abdiver7777

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    Hawaii can keep their fish......
    If I want to fill the freezer or catch a Marlin I go to Mexico......
     
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  18. KIWI808

    KIWI808 Newbie

    Location:
    Hawaii Kai
    Name:
    mark Kalaugher
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    Perhaps you should have gone fishing with Charlie Sims....
    No you cannot buy live bait in Hawaii .(Research.....)
    If you cannot hear instructions , say something!!!!! It's in your interest that they are giving them.
    Why didn't you create a scene on the dock. You are certainly making one on here!!!!!
    Start Me Up would have been better off catching you nothing, instead of 25 pieces.
    And ......
    Really a 20 to 25 pound Shibi Kicked you Ass?????
     
  19. beaux

    beaux Newbie

    Location:
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    Beau Brian
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    I agree with both sides. The client should have made it a point to keep the fish if that's what the flyer said. The charter has adds posted on bloody decks every where. with that being said, You should have to comment on this form and explain the stories for your future clients and fellow hawaii fishermen. I know gas and ice in my boat cost a lot. So I couldn't fathom what a boat that size would cost for a 9hour trip. Also most guys that fish
    in hawaii don't use the chairs for catching lots of fish because it takes longer. We man up and get the fish for the boat as fast as possible. Fish in the boat make A regular day turn into a great day. I also feel for your deck hand because he should be making way more that. He can come fish with me and keep half the fish he catches which will make more than $90+. With out the deckhand the crew wouldn't have landed most those fish. Closing response is that your flyer should come down and put one up that really reflex what your customers are getting when they get a bloody deck..
     
  20. wils

    wils lazy-ass well known "member"

    Location:
    not san diego
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    bill
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    hmmmmmmm.................



    that still aint gonna total 50lbs of sashimi in the boat

    There is a difference between an "internet rant" and a credible fish report. ;)


     
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