Giving crew jackpot winnings


I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jan 26, 2007
Los Angeles
Boat Name
17' Gregor
What is a deadhead?
A Deadhead is a person that rides for free. He/she is a "regular" on the boat and usually fishes for big fish so that the jackpot can be given to the crew. They are usually good friends of the captain or owner of the boat.

Sometimes they help with crew duties, and help some passengers who are having a hard time.

I've even seen them hand off fish to passengers.

The regular Deadheads are easy to spot. They bring very little gear, as they know exactly what they will be fishing for, because they go on the boat all the time.

They already have their boots on before boarding and they usually bring long jig sticks, as they usually fish the bow.

They know all the crew members and they hang out together when traveling.

A non-regular deadhead is a guy that is offered a free one time ride on the boat.

A semi-deadhead is a guy that is offered a spot for half price so that the boat will go full. I've seen this many times on one particular long range boat. He owns several boats in San Diego.
  • Like
Reactions: geebee and P_MAN
Upvote 0

Phishy Phil

Jun 15, 2019
Boat Name
When I have won, it all goes to the crew. I am pleased that the Vagabond has discontinued jackpots, for many reasons as stated above. No more issues.
Upvote 0


Almost A Member
Dec 30, 2016
Brea, CA
Boat Name
I wish
Last time i won the jackpot on a open party my intent was to give it to the crew after my tab was covered, i had to ask for it they were just going to assume they could have it i guess. I asked for a sweater and tab then they could have the rest, dude looked at me like i was taking money that was theres already!! It was an overnighter jackpot was like 240, so they still got a 50 percent tip from me!
I always tip and tip well and like you would have given the pot to the crew but if I ran across that I would have just given standard 20% and kept the rest that’s bull#%$&
Upvote 0


Jun 10, 2006
Boat Name
24 Seaswirl striper
Deadheads can easily be spotted. Some are cool and then some are the first to grab a bait and won’t move from the corners of the stern….
Upvote 0


I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 20, 2010
San Diego
Boat Name
Any Boat that I can go on
the Jackpot question always comes up every year.
As a kid in NJ and working on the Party Boats.,, most of the fisherman kept all /most of the jackpots on all the half-3/4-full day trips. If you got a extra $10 or 20 that was considered good.
When I won back then it was a sometimes a big return on investment that kept me fishing on other trips

Then when I started my San Diego fishing campaign .. many years later..
I was lucky to win the jackpot a few times early on in my San Diego days.

I remember winning like $600 for a big fish on a LR boat and was going to give them $100 and pocket the rest. Which I did initially- until a frequent passenger from the boat came up to me and said that it is customary to give the crew the jackpot. So I ran back to the Captain and gave him the rest before I went home back to Vegas..

I did find it bit odd that donating the entire jackpot was customary at times.
but only questioned it with my buddies on the way home.
they thought I was crazy to give them the whole thing..

Currently I don't enter them anymore.

what I did/do really like on some LR trips the chartermasters would have tackle prizes for biggest,first fish of a species etc.. all sorts of combinations.. usually these were tackle sponsered trips etc..
I have always liked the tackle jackpots more..
These prizes were sometimes memorable
Hey I won that Rod on that big Wahoo on that trip
or I won that Jacket for that BFT on the whatever trip..
or that jig or that funny trophy...etc.etc...

anyway maybe a thought..
Upvote 0


Crying Member
Aug 10, 2020
PV mex
Boat Name
I know guys that fish boats that make less than a deckhand, never get thanked on the job, usually get yelled at a bunch (at home and the job), and spend that super hard earned money just to enjoy a day on the water. some give the whole thing but some feel on top of the world and maybe could help afford a 2nd time on the boat, tipping accordingly of course.

every story is different, in my lean years I wasnt so generous as I am now, I highly appreciate and reward good and better than good service and attention.

just another angle of the equation to look at, not really a blanket issue
Upvote 0