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Thread: Who NOT to fish with

  1. #1
    Member arcticat500's Avatar
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    Default Who NOT to fish with

    I'm generally a pretty fair guy. Everyone gets the benefit of the doubt with first impressions. However I would hate for anyone else to kiss their wallet goodbye and be disspointed with service ALL DAY LONG. Story goes like this...

    Attempted a charter out of Homer this past weekend. Went from bad to worse. Originally booked charter: Boat broken down, parts not available until Wednesday. He puts me on a phone number to attempt to hook me up, get stuck in the "You know it's the day prior to the best weekend tide of the season, and you want to book an entire boat". Finally get a call back from ************, they got me a boat and my buddies won't kill me now! Arrival at the boat explains why he is not booked on the "Best weekend tide of the season". Tells us he has been doing this for 26 years (we can only assume on the same boat, and he forgot to organize/clean it ever). Tackle strewn about, gear not prepared, boat leaks from every window, not a dry seat in the place. But what-ever, I'm here for the fish. We explain we would like to steer clear of the chicken holes for a while and try to find some bigger fish. His reply: no big fish this year. But he makes an attempt (we think) to bring us to where he believes some bigger fish were caught the day prior. Anchor won't set, 1 hour of fussing with that, we drift the spot for about 15 minutes before he says, alright, reel up, this ain't working. We will try to get out of the weather a bit. Note: beautiful day out, 2 ft swells. Off we go another 1.5 hours motoring to the sacred "Chicken Grounds". Of course we all limited out in about an hour with 25 pounders, but the attitude sucked. Here the swells are 3 foot plus, and windy. He complains that in 140 feet of water that a chicken wrapped up two lines. We can't control the tackle so only 3 in the water at a time. Oh yeah, nothing like a 20-25 lb Halibut rip line from a fully tightened drag on a (presumably) 26 year old reel. Here I would also like to mention that there is no deck hand, I unhooked 90% of my fish (he did the 2 I kept because I wasn't doing it all) and baited all but once. Sure, I'm not an inner city tourist, and am fully capable of doing these things, but what the hell did I pay for? I'm fine with catching chickens, the big ones are few and far between, I get that. But isn't a charter also about the experience of not having to worry about anything? Having a little personality goes a long way, as does the presentation of the total package. This trip lacked it ALL.
    Last edited by Brian M; 08-14-2008 at 21:23. Reason: name of business removed per forum rules
    Although some can call it Catchin', I still have to call it fishin'.

  2. #2
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    Default charters

    That is too bad. It seems that it is getting harder to find a good halibut charter out of Homer these days.

  3. #3
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    That really is too bad. It's no secret the best charters book up early. Hit me up if you want a couple of 5 star outfits.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  4. #4
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    Default pay off

    I had some guys on the charter I went on in homer, pay the cap 150.00 bucks to run out 3 hrs to find big halibuts! A total of 6 hrs. motoring! LAST CHARTER I WAS ON! The captain stroked these guys the whole trip, and I was trash. They are still there on the spit, North Country Charters, the captain was from California, and he wanted a tip? NOT! Thanks, I have my own boat now.

  5. #5

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    Putting up with a 2 to 3-hour boat ride (unless you want nothing but chickens), way too much commercialism, and a much increased chance of getting screwed around like arcticat was (as compared to if he had booked in a smaller port), etc, etc.... I really don't understand why people choose Homer when Anchor Point is 14 miles away, has several good guides, and is an hour shorter boat ride. Maybe a big reason people mistakingly think "Homer has to be better" is because Anchor Point charters launch from the beach via a tractor and Homer has "oh so pretty" docks.

    Its long history, being at the end of the peninsula (i.e. at the end of the road system), and being a major hub of the ferry system = major reason thousands of tourists pack into Homer every summer. Most of them only go fishing on a whim.... they're of course mainly there to sight-see. Having a "gazillion" half-day and full-day chicken boats to accommodate the 20% who do say "what the heck, lets go fishing" = only reason Homer is the so-called "Halibut Capital of the World." It's pretty much as silly as calling Los Angeles County the "Fishing Capital of California" just because the hundreds of thousands who fish freshwater and saltwater there every year obviously catch more pounds of fish than any other area of California (L.A. County has over 10 million residents).

  6. #6
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UplandHuntsman View Post
    Putting up with a 2 to 3-hour boat ride (unless you want nothing but chickens), way too much commercialism, and a much increased chance of getting screwed around like arcticat was (as compared to if he had booked in a smaller port), etc, etc.... I really don't understand why people choose Homer when Anchor Point is 14 miles away, has several good guides, and is an hour shorter boat ride. Maybe a big reason people mistakingly think "Homer has to be better" is because Anchor Point charters launch from the beach via a tractor and Homer has "oh so pretty" docks.
    Alot of what you just said makes very little sense in my mind. Anchor point an hour ride less? Hmm, I don't know about that one. Plus, in Anchor point your still going to the same general area so it really does not matter. 2-3 hours or "nothing but chickens" do you know how many nice sized fish come up in the bay? Or just beside Point Pogibshi? Also, what is in Anchor Point? It doesn't have the lodging or the touristic BS Homer does. Homer has some of the best guides, but you have to know how find who they are. If your one of those people (I'm not calling anyone out, no offense, I've done this too) who just walks into one of the charter outfits in Homer on the boardwalk and expect to just hop on a boat the next day and expect to be treated like a king, sorry it doesn't happen! There is reason these boats don't fill fast unlike the good charters. These places are just outfits to get people on a boat, take them to the chicken patch and go back in. No, if you want a great trip, you find the guys who have their own operation (i.e a 6 pack boat) and book early with them. I'm sorry but your statements are terribly ignorant.

    And I'm sorry to you arcticat, I hope some of what I have said may be useful towards your next halibut charter. Don't give up on Homer. PM and I'll tell you who to go with, I promise you, you won't get screwed either.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  7. #7
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Default

    You want a shot for some decent size fish charter out of Seldovia. The people are alot nicier also. My Nickel.....

  8. #8

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    I'm certainly not the only one who's brought up how long the average Homer boat ride is. Maybe it wasn't a full hour but Anchor Point is a considerably shorter ride (as Anchor Point guides all mention on their websites).

    You are right... they're going to the same general area but Anchor Point is closer geographically. And you're right about Anchor Point being basically barren.... But even if someone is staying in Homer, why not drive 15 or 20 minutes to get to Anchor Point in order to cut 45 mins or an hour off ride time? I'd gladly make the drive even if A.P. was an hour away and doing so "only" guaranteed 20 mins more fishing. There's no reason to choose Homer over Anchor Point (unless the person footing the bill has really good faith in a particular Homer guide).


    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    Alot of what you just said makes very little sense in my mind. Anchor point an hour ride less? Hmm, I don't know about that one. Plus, in Anchor point your still going to the same general area so it really does not matter. 2-3 hours or "nothing but chickens" do you know how many nice sized fish come up in the bay? Or just beside Point Pogibshi? Also, what is in Anchor Point? It doesn't have the lodging or the touristic BS Homer does. Homer has some of the best guides, but you have to know how find who they are. If your one of those people (I'm not calling anyone out, no offense, I've done this too) who just walks into one of the charter outfits in Homer on the boardwalk and expect to just hop on a boat the next day and expect to be treated like a king, sorry it doesn't happen! There is reason these boats don't fill fast unlike the good charters. These places are just outfits to get people on a boat, take them to the chicken patch and go back in. No, if you want a great trip, you find the guys who have their own operation (i.e a 6 pack boat) and book early with them. I'm sorry but your statements are terribly ignorant.

    And I'm sorry to you arcticat, I hope some of what I have said may be useful towards your next halibut charter. Don't give up on Homer. PM and I'll tell you who to go with, I promise you, you won't get screwed either.

  9. #9

    Default This is likely a non-appropriate thread....

    I think I remember Brian mentioning a few times that we are not supposed to negatively discuss businesses in this open forum. But, nonetheless, it is good to know information.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    I think I remember Brian mentioning a few times that we are not supposed to negatively discuss businesses in this open forum. But, nonetheless, it is good to know information.
    I removed the charter name from the original post yesterday due to our forum rule prohibiting negative comments about businesses. As has been discussed previously, it's an issue of liability for us. The discussions can still be had, but the business names cannot be shared publicly. If you'd like to share the name privately, you're more than welcome.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I removed the charter name from the original post yesterday due to our forum rule prohibiting negative comments about businesses. As has been discussed previously, it's an issue of liability for us. The discussions can still be had, but the business names cannot be shared publicly. If you'd like to share the name privately, you're more than welcome.

    The thread implies that ******** schedules charters that are not so great too by association to the now unsaid charter operation. But, you're the boss
    Last edited by Brian M; 08-14-2008 at 21:22.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Oops! Thanks for pointing that out, T.R. I missed that one.

  13. #13
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your bad trip. I have had more then one before. Thats why I own a boat now.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  14. #14
    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default Bad charter

    Sorry about your trip. Your not alone though.

    Last halibut charter I went on (4yrs ago). After the 2 hour boat ride to the chicken hole and about 3 hrs fishing with decent success already I decided to take a break and eat a sandwich. About 2 mouthfulls into the sandwich the captain notices my line is not in the water and im in the cabin eating. He proceeds to barge in the cabin and basicly yells at me " Get back out there! We have been working hard to get a good scent trail and we need all lines in the water!" No he wasn't joking around he was truly pissed. I just said "dude im freakin hungry". He then argues with me for a minute and then storms out of the cabin. I just sat there thinking to myself who is paying who here? Why did he tell us to bring a lunch if we cant eat it? Not to mention this guy was obsessed with 'bait checks' ordering us to reel up our bait every 8 minutes so he could inject it with herring oil over and over. Arms were sore not from fish but from those stupid 'bait checks'. So yeah Ive been there and done that. No tip, and to this day I bad mouth his operation whenever possible.

    On another note I went on a charter the previous year for a king/halibut combo and the entire boat got skunked. To early in the year in my opinion. Anyway the captain and his deck hand were super friendly and provided allot of laughs and conversasion. He even offered half price to us to book a little later because of the fact we all got skunked. To this day I speak highly of him to anyone enquiring.

    Even without fish just some good ol fashion customer service makes all the difference.

  15. #15
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Wow, Lungshot, you had a really unlikeable captain. Sorry to hear that. That's why I fish with two guys and only two guys. If I can't get out with them, I take my own boat then.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  16. #16
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    I am coming up next summer and i will be looking for a few charters. Please PM me with any reccommendations! Also give me a heads up on who not to use if you would. Thanks for your help!

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