Poor charter experience. Poll: Do I deserve a refund?

erichibler

Newbie
Dec 12, 2018
29
74
36
Concord
Name
Eric
Boat
2019 Allied Dominator 26
This past weekend was my bachelor party trip. I'm not going to say the charters name.. yet. I want to hear from the group what their thoughts are first. Here are the facts:
My group consisted of 10 total, all flying from the SF Bay area.
Four of us have been on multiple offshore charter trips out of SF and San Diego and have always felt we were given a good value for our money.
I posted on this group back in February asking for 1.5 day recommendations, and this one charter kept popping up because the captain had an excellent track record for putting his clients on fish.
I booked the trip back in February knowing i would get this particular captain.
My group and i show up to the boat to discover our primary captain took the weekend off, and now we have this secondary captain we've never heard of. I don't like surprises, especially for a trip i invested a lot of my time and money into.
This new captain told us there was a huge fleet off the south tip of Catalina and he didn't want to be a part of the zoo, but there was an EPIC yellowtail bite going on at the face of Clemente. He had said the Thunderbird caught over 100 there the day before. He really sold it to us that we would have lots of action and put a lot of meat on the deck. My buddies and I wanted bluefin/yellowfin, but i just wanted to have a good time with plenty of action for my group, so i agreed to head to Clemente. About an hour into our trip, the captain informs me there is a naval closure on Clemente so that plan is shot. He said he has a backup plan by going north between the islands where bluefin/yellowfin were caught a few days ago. I was really bummed but realized i didn't have much of a choice so i agreed to go searching for tuna basically by ourselves.
We arrived to the zone around 6am, and we looked for sonar marks for hours. Our bait was dying by the minute, and we were not having any bites or action. The captain said his buddy boat fishing near us has plenty of good bait and he would meet up with them to grab some. He said this multiple times because the deckhands were complaining we were running out of bait, and the bait we had was all red and near dead, but we never met with the other boat for bait.
Around 1pm, my phone starts beeping meaning i had random cell service. I checked marine traffic and saw there were a few charter boats fishing off Clemente where we had planned on going originally. I then checked the landing website and sure enough, one of the boats fishing off Clemente reported in at 9:30am they had over 30 yellowtail on board. I showed the captain and he was in disbelief. He re-checked his island closure website AND ADMITTED THAT HE READ THE INFO WRONG, AND THERE WAS NO CLOSURE THAT DAY. My buddies and i were livid. The captain made a few calls and confirmed the island was open, so we made the decision to head that way which took two solid hours. I think we arrived after 2pm to find the fleet had caught all the fish they could and moved out. Our bait was basically gone at that point. One of the deckhands hooked into a yellowtail and handed it off to my buddy who reeled it in. One other rat yellow was landed among 3 skip jack, and a few tiny rockfish. At 4pm, all of our bait was literally dead. My group of 10 was forced to switch to using irons and as i mentioned earlier, only 4 of us were experienced fisherman, so six of my buddies were scratching their heads using flat falls and knife jigs they had tied on from spending a fortune at the landing the night before. We had multiple sea lions circling the boat ever since we arrived and nothing bit when those were swimming around. At 7pm, i told the captain this isn't working, and asked that we try fishing schools of tuna that we could at least try using our $40+ knife jigs and flat falls. Captain agreed, and we headed home looking for sonar marks on the way back. We didn't stop until we arrived at the fuel barge at 3am, and then at the dock at 5:30am. As i woke up, a couple of my buddies stayed up late with the deckhands who told them the trip was bull shit, that we were screwed and should ask for a refund. The crew even said we were a really good group of clients because we weren't complaining and had positive attitudes.
I felt horrible because this was the first time I've ever been able to get all my best buddies together to fish. We all took time off work, spent over $1k each, booked flights, and hardly any of us even got a bite. I landed a 10 inch barracuda. That was it.
As i said before, I've been on multiple charters, and have been skunked my fair share, but never have i ever felt screwed like this. If this was an open charter, i wouldn't have been so upset, but this was my private bachelor party trip that i was hoping to make a yearly trip if we had a good time.

In summary, we spent over $7,000 on this 1.5 day trip. We didn't get the captain we signed up for, and our captain really sold us on fishing Yellowtail at Clemente but read the closure info wrong, and I had to inform him the island was open when i randomly got a signal more than half way through the trip.
The very next day, i see a report on the landing website saying our boat called in with 25 yellowtail and 2 bluefin for their 9 anglers on their first day.
I sent an email to the boat captain asking for a refund a couple days ago but have not heard back.

What are your thoughts? Am i right to be upset? Do i deserve a refund?
 

locvetter

Member
  • Mar 24, 2015
    670
    1,161
    71
    Name
    Loc Vetter
    Boat
    Loc Vetter Casting
    So for whoever the bachelor party was -- he has now spent his bad luck and will live happily ever after?

    Sorry for the bummer. Don't let it eat you. In reality, you'll never get that time or the high hopes back. Tough, but let it go.
     

    Hismosa

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Oct 15, 2016
    3,068
    4,803
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Name
    Glenn
    Boat
    Boats n hoes
    Captain definitely fucked up not knowing the schedule so should be compensated somewhat. Bait has been shit locally so that's out of their control and you were in the right zones for finding the fish.
     
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    Secutor54

    Member
    May 11, 2017
    466
    496
    San Diego
    Name
    AP
    Boat
    73 Boston Whaler 16'7
    I was on a trip a few months ago where a boat dumped all the bait, “accidentally” 20 minutes from the zone, on an overnighter, after heading West/south west, about 4 hours. Ended up missing out on a magical night bite on big bluefin that had been producing all week.

    Everyone made the decision to head back, re-bait and hopefully make it back to the grounds at grey light.

    Finished the day with full crew limits of yellowtail.

    shit happens man.

    Would you still ask for a refund if you guys would’ve ended with limits or had a decent day?

    That’s showbiz baby!

    Good luck with the refund.
     
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    Dudley613

    Member
  • May 20, 2015
    760
    937
    33
    Inyotuckee CA
    Name
    Chris
    Boat
    21' Cole superhawk "Beep Beep", 20' bayrunner open
    That sucks man, I know I influenced the picking of the boat, but never fished with the new owner. I’d be pissed if I was you. I feel like the closures at Clemente are pretty common knowledge throughout the landings. I feel like if you are experienced enough to run a boat, you better know how to figure out if the island is closed. Maybe another boat gave him bad intel on the way out to keep the traffic down.
     
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    Cubeye

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Jan 26, 2007
    3,909
    3,064
    Los Angeles
    Name
    Kub
    Boat
    17' Gregor
    This past weekend was my bachelor party trip. I'm not going to say the charters name.. yet. I want to hear from the group what their thoughts are first. Here are the facts:
    My group consisted of 10 total, all flying from the SF Bay area.
    Four of us have been on multiple offshore charter trips out of SF and San Diego and have always felt we were given a good value for our money.
    I posted on this group back in February asking for 1.5 day recommendations, and this one charter kept popping up because the captain had an excellent track record for putting his clients on fish.
    I booked the trip back in February knowing i would get this particular captain.
    My group and i show up to the boat to discover our primary captain took the weekend off, and now we have this secondary captain we've never heard of. I don't like surprises, especially for a trip i invested a lot of my time and money into.
    This new captain told us there was a huge fleet off the south tip of Catalina and he didn't want to be a part of the zoo, but there was an EPIC yellowtail bite going on at the face of Clemente. He had said the Thunderbird caught over 100 there the day before. He really sold it to us that we would have lots of action and put a lot of meat on the deck. My buddies and I wanted bluefin/yellowfin, but i just wanted to have a good time with plenty of action for my group, so i agreed to head to Clemente. About an hour into our trip, the captain informs me there is a naval closure on Clemente so that plan is shot. He said he has a backup plan by going north between the islands where bluefin/yellowfin were caught a few days ago. I was really bummed but realized i didn't have much of a choice so i agreed to go searching for tuna basically by ourselves.
    We arrived to the zone around 6am, and we looked for sonar marks for hours. Our bait was dying by the minute, and we were not having any bites or action. The captain said his buddy boat fishing near us has plenty of good bait and he would meet up with them to grab some. He said this multiple times because the deckhands were complaining we were running out of bait, and the bait we had was all red and near dead, but we never met with the other boat for bait.
    Around 1pm, my phone starts beeping meaning i had random cell service. I checked marine traffic and saw there were a few charter boats fishing off Clemente where we had planned on going originally. I then checked the landing website and sure enough, one of the boats fishing off Clemente reported in at 9:30am they had over 30 yellowtail on board. I showed the captain and he was in disbelief. He re-checked his island closure website AND ADMITTED THAT HE READ THE INFO WRONG, AND THERE WAS NO CLOSURE THAT DAY. My buddies and i were livid. The captain made a few calls and confirmed the island was open, so we made the decision to head that way which took two solid hours. I think we arrived after 2pm to find the fleet had caught all the fish they could and moved out. Our bait was basically gone at that point. One of the deckhands hooked into a yellowtail and handed it off to my buddy who reeled it in. One other rat yellow was landed among 3 skip jack, and a few tiny rockfish. At 4pm, all of our bait was literally dead. My group of 10 was forced to switch to using irons and as i mentioned earlier, only 4 of us were experienced fisherman, so six of my buddies were scratching their heads using flat falls and knife jigs they had tied on from spending a fortune at the landing the night before. We had multiple sea lions circling the boat ever since we arrived and nothing bit when those were swimming around. At 7pm, i told the captain this isn't working, and asked that we try fishing schools of tuna that we could at least try using our $40+ knife jigs and flat falls. Captain agreed, and we headed home looking for sonar marks on the way back. We didn't stop until we arrived at the fuel barge at 3am, and then at the dock at 5:30am. As i woke up, a couple of my buddies stayed up late with the deckhands who told them the trip was bull shit, that we were screwed and should ask for a refund. The crew even said we were a really good group of clients because we weren't complaining and had positive attitudes.
    I felt horrible because this was the first time I've ever been able to get all my best buddies together to fish. We all took time off work, spent over $1k each, booked flights, and hardly any of us even got a bite. I landed a 10 inch barracuda. That was it.
    As i said before, I've been on multiple charters, and have been skunked my fair share, but never have i ever felt screwed like this. If this was an open charter, i wouldn't have been so upset, but this was my private bachelor party trip that i was hoping to make a yearly trip if we had a good time.

    In summary, we spent over $7,000 on this 1.5 day trip. We didn't get the captain we signed up for, and our captain really sold us on fishing Yellowtail at Clemente but read the closure info wrong, and I had to inform him the island was open when i randomly got a signal more than half way through the trip.
    The very next day, i see a report on the landing website saying our boat called in with 25 yellowtail and 2 bluefin for their 9 anglers on their first day.
    I sent an email to the boat captain asking for a refund a couple days ago but have not heard back.

    What are your thoughts? Am i right to be upset? Do i deserve a refund?
    You shouldn't have had to ask for a refund. Compensation should have been offered before you got off the boat.
     
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    stuman

    Brawndo the thirst mutilator
    Sep 18, 2004
    1,747
    1,776
    Oside
    Name
    stu
    Boat
    skiff
    Here is the fish count for the other boats mentioned in the February thread:

    Sun August 15th​

    The Voyager with 17 anglers on a 2-Day caught 40 yellowtail.​


    Sat August 14th​

    The Pride with 17 anglers on a 1-Day Overnight caught 10 dorado, and 3 yellowtail.​



    A few years ago Tucker was the captain of the boat in question. He now runs the Endeavor.

    Sun August 15th​

    The Endeavor with 20 anglers on a 2-Day caught 51 yellowtail, 29 bluefin tuna, and 2 yellowfin tuna.​

     
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    jigsaurus

    Member
  • May 13, 2010
    411
    148
    West sonoma
    Name
    Stephen
    Boat
    12' plastic cod killer
    Dont feel bad bro, me and some buds recently dumped 3k on a full day trip. That we traveled from nor cal for. That resulted a single peanut. And one person in my party randomly contracted covid after fishing with our sickly captain. Shit happens I guess? Doesn't hurt to ask the owner for compensation. It's all luck. Hopefully you kill it in your next trip!!
     
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    jer dog

    Fishing is life
    Jun 22, 2006
    9,196
    7,718
    Garden Grove
    Name
    Gerry
    Boat
    One that floats
    That sucks man, I know I influenced the picking of the boat, but never fished with the new owner. I’d be pissed if I was you. I feel like the closures at Clemente are pretty common knowledge throughout the landings. I feel like if you are experienced enough to run a boat, you better know how to figure out if the island is closed. Maybe another boat gave him bad intel on the way out to keep the traffic down.
    But the navy can shut it down, anytime they want, I have been on boats, when they just do it, it’s there island .
     
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    jochi

    chance favors the prepared mind
    May 31, 2006
    43
    13
    central coast, california
    Name
    robb
    Boat
    22' cc mckee craft
    So difficult to plan a trip like that from halfway up the state. Just to many variables working against you. This time it was operator error. And I doubt you'll see any monetary compensation for that. Like locvetter said let it go. You'll be laughing at this in five years.
    For every trip I hated the captain, the people, the bait, the parking, the weather, or whatever, I've had 5 trips that were great.
     
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    John56434

    Idk what to name dis
    Aug 1, 2019
    307
    201
    West side
    Name
    John
    Boat
    Fishing boat
    What type of captain doesn't know how to read the closures. It doesn't take a math guru to figure this shi out. You deserve to get a refund. At least only pay the deckhand then keep the rest. This is horrible to hear this is happening...
     
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    One_Leg

    Ret. Comm. Diver Medic
    May 11, 2007
    5,726
    2,244
    You're mined!
    www.csicop.org
    Name
    Alan
    Boat
    1967 Cobia Cuddy Cabin/Evinrude Looper
    Damn you, Sea Lions!!!
     
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    fishnfoool

    Newbie
    May 17, 2013
    49
    93
    long beach
    Name
    Tony Nguyen
    Boat
    fishkillr
    Fishing is Fishing. Bait is gonna do what it's gonna do. However, the captain F- ing up his reading of the San clemente closure map did cost you and your buddies precious Fishing Time at the island. Time that you could/should have had more lively bait. So yes, you should be compensated the difference of that time missed Fishing. Let's just say you normally would have about 8 hours of Fishing time on a trip like that but you only got 4, then you should be reimbursed half. You should post the name of this captain so we know who it is. This would teach him a big lesson. Don't post the boat because it's not the boats fault ( it just floats ).
     
    Secutor54
    Secutor54
    Bait didn’t roll on my trip. Bait tank was “accidentally” emptied. As in they dumped all the bait. Which forced our charter to return to Point Loma, re-bait and head back. Lost the whole night bite, as a result.
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    afraser

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Apr 20, 2008
    1,795
    1,532
    sf, ca
    Name
    aaron
    Boat
    NA
    No refund but a partial credit for a future trip would have been fair. They still had expenses and wanted to find fish, just didn't. 1.5 day trips are always a crap shoot.
     
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