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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Visited family last week in Wilmington. SnL and I fished every day behind the house. Decided to step it up a bit and reserved spots on a all day Gulf Stream boat. Numerous things happened on the trip that I've NEVER seen on charter boat but the one that really chapped my butt was witnessing the mates throwing cans, wads of tangled mono, etc. in the ocean. I mentioned this to my SnL and the young mate over heard our conversation. He said it was OK to throw cans in the ocean because the SW dissolves them! His next comment was that it was also OK because we are way out here! (50-60 miles) I quickly told him that it's NOT OK throw anything in the ocean. I told him my My SnL cut his foot on a pop can while walking on Bald Head Island because someone was a slob and threw a can in the ocean. I've fished from FL. to Maine, Hawaii and Alaska. Never witnessed this behavior before. I thought about calling the boat owners but somehow I don't think that will change a thing. What should I do? Several other issues also bothered me. Capt. sleeping?, mates fishing? Capt. fishing? 3 hr boat ride back and not one fish cleaned till we hit the dock at 7:30 pm. We had to wait 1 1/2 hrs till our turn came up, then they cleaned our fish. Finally left the dock at 9 pm. I've been on ALOT of boats. Saw a few things over the years. But I Never saw the Capt sleep for 2 hrs w/ the boat on auto pilot, never saw trash thrown in the ocean nor told it was OK to do so!, never saw mates fishing while customers had empty hooks, no bait cut at times, never saw a Capt. fishing unless invited, and for **** sure never saw mates sitting on their butts on the ride home when there were fish to be cleaned! The kicker is though, EVERYONE caught fish. Lots of them! Lot of happy fisherman. On one hand the boat did a great job and put every one on fish but on the other hand they did a lousy job. These other details left a sour taste in my mouth. Is this normal for the NC, SC fishing fleet? Who should I report this to? Or should I just let it go? I feel I should say something but not sure the right way to go about it.
 

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Did you go out of wrightsville or Carolina beach?
 

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Although I don't agree with it, I believe that he is actually right. Don't quote me here or bet on it but I think the trash laws do change once you get into federal waters; I believe the only thing you can't throw over out there is plastic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Although I don't agree with it, I believe that he is actually right. Don't quote me here or bet on it but I think the trash laws do change once you get into federal waters; I believe the only thing you can't throw over out there is plastic.
Doesn't make it right. Aren't wads of mono are a form of plastic? Have you ever seen a mate fish while paying customers have no bait?
 

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Nope it doesn't make it right at all. And sounds like to me you went out with a start up charter business because no Decent captain would allow any of what you said happened to happen. As long as what you are saying is true (which I do not doubt at all) then it wouldn't bother me a bit to post their name if I were you. Word of mouth is what makes or breaks a business. I know most of the local captains here in CB and they are nothing like what you've stated. Unfortunately you picked a bad apple I guess and I promise you it's not a good sample of what nc's charter business is about.
 

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I would contact the boat owner and make them aware of how their vessel and business is being treated. It is not uncommon however for a Captain to nap on the way out/in, modern tech alerts of any issues on the water including other boats nearby. BUT I don't care if you are 1000 miles out trash fishing line especially is a death sentence for sea animals!!! Mates should only play when the work is done..
 

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Sounds absurd but all our carefulness about littering and goin green doesn't change the fact that in places like Jamaica and other third world countries all the trash goes in the ocean. My wifes grandparents lived there for a few years.
 

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Red X Angler
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yeah well if we all tossed a rock in the Grand Canyon it eventually would fill in...
 

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Red X Angler
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Anyone intentionally throw any trash other than food scraps (edible) off my boat will NOT be back on board of it. EVER.
 

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did you go on a party boat or a 6 pack charter? everything you are saying points to a party boat or head boat. Multiple mates, seems like you are referring to quite a few people, etc. no real problem with the captain sleeping with auto pilot on as the technology has allowed that to happen. If it was a party boat then yeah the mates should have made sure there was enough bait cut but their job is pretty dang hard and it's not uncommon or an issue for them to drop a few lines to try to pick up dinner for themselves. The trash is unacceptable but if it was a party boat/head boat you should probably get over the other stuff. If a personal charter then yeah the mates shouldnt be fishing if you weren't rigged up and that's a whole nother can of worms.


As far as the fish cleaning, it's bad business to clean the fish on the way in and very very few charters and no head boats are going to do that. Putting up their catch at the dock is free advertising and on a successful day as it seems you had, the best advertising they can get at times. Real simple solution though if you don't want to wait in line for fish cleaning... pick up a knife and do it yourself ;)
 

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If you're used to fishing charters you may have had your expectations for service set a little high for a head boat. It's more of a budget industry and I suspect the mates are not accustomed to the kind of "appreciation" that a good charter mate is. Doesn't excuse poor service but it's somewhat understandable.

The trash would have bothered me though in some places, even in this country, it could easily mean bringing it back in only to have it hauled back out in mass.

The mono going overboard would have had me speaking out, it's just dumb. Like has been said, discarded line is a serious hazard to marine life. The captain and owners should be aware of the threat it poses to their own livelihood. As far as the mates go, few make it a career to work a headboat, the tone has to be set by the boss.

Whether your individual complaint will have an effect or not you should still voice it to the boat owner. The more folks who complain the more it'll mean. Gotta start somewhere.
 

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Regardless of whether it's legal to litter, it just doesn't make good common sense. It is so easy to just discard trash into a bucket/bag on the boat, hard to figure out why one would do otherwise.

Not sure if you were on a head boat or charter, but I've seen crew members fishing on both. Have fished a number of places around the country/world and this area is the only place where I've seen it. Don't seem right that the crew is competing with customers for fish. I've also seen lots of fish cleaned on the ride back in, depending on how rough it was.

P.S. How much did ya tip those mates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK, I give some more details. Yes it was a head boat. 18 people bottom fishing the Gulf stream. 50- 60 miles. Capt. was a young guy who's Dad either owns the boat or knows the owner. I forget. Anyway he slept on the way out. This may or may not be normal w/ today's technology. Either way, I've never seen it before. Not a big deal. The mates were very helpful till the Mahi Mahi showed up. Then all of a sudden the mates break out spinning rods and start fishing the back the boat. Taking up prime fishing spots. Only a couple of us were prepared for this school. I brought my own gear. My gear was setup ideally for this type of fishing. I was the only person on the boat with spinning tackle. I was told to leave it on the dock because my stuff wouldn't be needed. I brought my MH rod anyway. Good thing I did because it worked fine on the Mahi Mahi. I should have brought another for my SnL but the mates were adamant that my gear would not be needed. There were several rods in the cabin could have been used. A little heavy IMO but easily could have been used by the other customers but they weren't brought out. The 2 that were brought out were used by the mates. IMO those rods should have been handed off to paying customers so that they would have had a chance also. The action was quick and exciting and most of the others had to watch while a couple of us including the mates took advantage of the school. During this time, the bait situation for others was neglected. When the bait ran low, the mates would hand off the their rods to the capt. and he would fish. They would cut bait. Now it been my experience, mates never fish regardless if they want dinner or not. If you have paying customers on the boat then their 1st priority should be the customers. I've seen Capt.s fish before but they usually hand off the rod to a person who is having difficulty hooking up. At one point I asked my SnL to take pic of a beautiful fish, the capt suggested that I give my rod to him while we took the pic. Clearly he intended to fish w/ my set up while we took the pic. I objected. The quality of most boat rods leaves alot to be desired. I don't just feel comfortable handing my rods off to anyone. Only myself or my family use my gear. Anyway after that the school left and it was back to bottom fishing. Every one caught fish.The Capt definitely put every one on fish and I believe the total amount was almost double what the fleet did at the dock according to him. During the course off the day is when the littering occurred. I held my tongue for most of the day. I eventually was discussing this w/ my SnL when when the younger mate overheard. Since he interjected into our conversation, I felt inclined to voice my opinions about the littering. I mentioned that see this type of littering all over the country including my own state. I am constantly picking up other peoples trash because they are too lazy to pick up after themselves. I have no idea if I had an effect on him but he said that he saw my point. I saw no point in mentioning anything to the older mate because clearly I would have been wasting my breath. At the end of the day another school of Mahi Mahi showed up. Same thing happened. Myself and another guy enjoyed all the action. Also the mates and the Capt got in on it. This time the mates handed off the rods to paying customers at the end so others would have a chance but only at the end. The Capt. did stay later than expected because he said it would have been bad for business to leave while a good school of Mahi Mahi is streaking around the boat. I would have expect nothing less from a good Capt. I've seen this many times in the past. So, the action slows and we leave. The Mates clean the boat for an hour and spend the rest of the trip up front BS'ing w/ the Capt. Someone mentioned it's bad for business to clean fish on the way in. I'v never experienced this before. It's been my experience that the mate clean fish on the way in especially if there are alot of people expecting this. I can see waiting if there only a few people but w/ such a large crowd it doesn't make much sense. I couldn't clean our own fish because they were at the bottom of the ice box. We left the dock at 9pm. We waited for an 1 1/2 hr till our turn since we were last. This was acceptable but seems like bad time management to me.The mates and Capt. were still cleaning up and mentioned they had to be back at 5:30am for a private charter. I imagine they didn't get much sleep but they could have at least 1 1/2 hr- 2 hrs more time to spend w/ their family's or sleep. Maybe then the Capt. wouldn't have to sleep on the way out. So there you have it. The details. So other than the boats owner who else can I call. I'm probably going to do that but it seems like there should be a group of organized concerned sportsmen that would be interested in this. Any ideas?
 

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Cleaning fish once back at the dock is standard procedures. Doing otherwise is asking for a ticket since you have to be able to prove the meat came off of a legal fish. Might get away with it 100 times but that 101st the man is going to get you. I would be willing to bet those dolphin were sold in the commercial market. That happens a lot too. As for the captain sleeping that's not acceptable UNLESS he had a designated watch in which point it is ok. If nobody was standing watch electronics or no electronics it isn't ok.
 
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