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Thread: 2013' charter bookings

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    Default 2013' charter bookings

    For those in the fishing charter business in AK what's 2013' look like bookings-wise? I know it's early but how are bookings for the new year? More bookings so far vs last year?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARTSBEST View Post
    For those in the fishing charter business in AK what's 2013' look like bookings-wise? I know it's early but how are bookings for the new year? More bookings so far vs last year?
    Well last year at this time I didn't have a single charter booked. As of right now I have 3 days booked, though I've had about a dozen or more inquiries from people that say they're planning a vacation and will get back to me when they finalize their travel dates. So I guess you could say I'm doing a LOT better than last year.

    But I don't think that means much. Last season I probably booked about 75% of my business from around March through May, and I also had a LOT of last minute bookings from just a week or two in advance to just a day or two in advance. I only had 3 days off in both July AND Aug., so it really remains to be seen how things will end up this year.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  3. #3
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARTSBEST View Post
    For those in the fishing charter business in AK what's 2013' look like bookings-wise? I know it's early but how are bookings for the new year? More bookings so far vs last year?

    Repeat business is always good, we are heading to Sacramento for an ISE show in a week or so to introduce ourselves to new customers.
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
    www.kodiakcombos.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakcombo View Post
    Repeat business is always good, we are heading to Sacramento for an ISE show in a week or so to introduce ourselves to new customers.
    Yeah, that's for sure. Last year I had a girl that fished with me two years ago book one date in the spring, and then that day she said she had friends visiting later in the summer and she booked another day with me.

    Word of mouth is another one. I don't even recall exactly how many people I took out last year that went out with me because their friends had gone out with me and recommended me. It's a great feeling when that happens.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  5. #5

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    I was booked solid for 2013 by the end of last season. Almost all of my clients rebooked with the lodge before leaving for the same dates in 2013. I might have a fringe date or two left, but that's it.

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    Member AKArcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I was booked solid for 2013 by the end of last season. Almost all of my clients rebooked with the lodge before leaving for the same dates in 2013. I might have a fringe date or two left, but that's it.
    That right there is a testament to how well a captain does. Well done!
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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    Silver Fox is booking up fast for 2013! Manns Charters is also filling fast! I sold out of chartering two years ago and am getting calls all the time. I just fwd them to guys I know we put them on lots of great fish!

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Same as last year. Captain Nik and I are right at 70% for the 2013 season as of now. This is our 18th year fishing Seward. More Multi day trips for 2013 and most all of the trips are private parties so far. We don't keep that close a track most of the time but the end of the year and March 1 are two times we compare.
    I think there will be more business in 2013. The Economy is doing better the charters in other areas that I know sound like this business is getting back on track.

  9. #9
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    Kodiak, I do the ISE in SAC as one of my two shows, you'll like it. As for how 13 is looking, most all of our folks rebooked so it's looking good!
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

  10. #10
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
    Kodiak, I do the ISE in SAC as one of my two shows, you'll like it. As for how 13 is looking, most all of our folks rebooked so it's looking good!
    It will be our first time at that show, we did the one in San Mateo the last time they offered that one. I'll keep an eye out for your booth and say hi. We are staying at Larkspur landing.
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
    www.kodiakcombos.com

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    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    I do not start taking bookings and deposits until 1 Feb. I always like to see what the IPHC and the North Council are going to do. Have not done a trade show since 1994 and have all together stop doing advertising. I do have a web site but that is about it. Once I know what is going on I will just send out 1 email and wait for the response. If you are derby fishing out of Valdez for halibut please contact the Orion Charters or Alaska Adventure Charters as they specialize in big fish and have derby tickets on board.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaindd View Post
    I always like to see what the IPHC and the North Council are going to do. Have not done a trade show since 1994 and have all together stop doing advertising.
    LOL! I'm with you on both counts. I can't imagine the headache it would have been if the "powers that be" had decided to limit halibut in 3A and I had 100 reservations that I had to contact and tell them about the restrictions. AND then refund deposits to all the people that decided it wouldn't be worth their money.

    Last year I'd say probably 90% of my bookings were from the internet and people that don't even know any of the trade shows anywhere in AK exist and would have to travel from places thousands of miles away to attend those trade shows. I do a very simple and relatively inexpensive "internet advertising" campaign starting in about a month or two and generate more business than I know what to do with. I'd conservatively estimate that between June and Aug. of last year I turned away well over 40 charter possibilities for days I was already booked. Why spend the money and time on doing "advertising" or marketing that would only generate business I don't need?

    I don't base my "success" or how good I am by the number of charters I have scheduled ahead of time. I consider myself "successful" when the season is over and I know I provided for every single one of my clients the best possible fishing experience they could ever have had.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  13. #13
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    It is interesting how this turned into a weird sort of charter competition. I am sincerely glad to hear the outlook is bright for you all this coming year.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    It is interesting how this turned into a weird sort of charter competition. I am sincerely glad to hear the outlook is bright for you all this coming year.
    It's weird how you look at it as a "weird sort of competition" and not, as the OP asked, "what's 2013' look like bookings-wise?"

    Yeah, I can kind of see what you're saying because there seems to be some sort of attitude like if you're totally booked already then that's how great a captain you are, but I've been told to treat this forum as if you were "sitting around a campfire talking to other people" and I'd have to say the "conversation" has progressed from there.

    I'm very interested in what is being said and hope more captains chime in because it looks to me as though only 5 or 6 have added any information here. There have GOT to be more charter captains that participate on this forum than that.

    I'm very curious how other captains get bookings.

    270ti seems to be "booked solid" because the people that spent their fishing time last summer at the lodge he fishes out of decided to come back and fish again this summer.

    I depend on internet traffic to get my clients, so if I don't get fully booked until March or April I'm certainly not sweating things.

    Captaindd seems to be in about the "same boat" as I am.

    AKCAPT waits until March to see how the end of year booking compare to what he and Nik have in March.

    MGH doesn't charter any more and he's still getting inquiries about fishing charters. That doesn't seem like much of a "competition" to me.

    If I left anyone out, please don't feel snubbed. Just interesting facts. I hope some other charter operators will add their thoughts.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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    I'll take 50,000lbs of reds in three weeks over chartering no "competition" to me If I get board, I might charter again, but I would never book over 60 days ever. I'am to old to do 90 to 120 days anymore I'll still fill in for Silver Fox for fun.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55 View Post
    I'll take 50,000lbs of reds in three weeks over chartering no "competition" to me If I get board, I might charter again, but I would never book over 60 days ever. I'am to old to do 90 to 120 days anymore I'll still fill in for Silver Fox for fun.
    The main reason I'm a charter captain is because I love taking other people out fishing as much as, or even more at times, than I love fishing. I say "more at times" because to me there isn't anything more satisfying to me than taking someone out and having them do something they've never done before. I had a guy this summer that had never caught a salmon before and he was absolutely beyond himself when he pulled just a 3 or 4 lb. feeder king into the boat. I actually felt really bad when I kind of "scoffed" at the size of his fish. He was just ecstatic when I netted it and pulled it into the boat. He wouldn't let me release it before I netted it because to him it was the most wonderful fish he'd ever caught.

    I also take a lot of families out with kids that haven't even caught a fish in their life. It is infinitely more satisfying to me having that kid pull a fish into the boat all by himself than me catching a "prize" fish. Schuyler here hooked this halibut AND reeled it in all by himself. It was the first fish he'd ever caught:

    Sorry, but I wouldn't trade that for 100,000 lbs. of reds in one week.

    I wouldn't like commercial fishing at all. Yes, I love the money I make running charters, but other than the fact that it keeps me solvent, I'm not in it for the money. I'd take making enough money to get by doing what I love the most over having to "hump" a commercial rig any day.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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