Fishing Charters -- Tipping & Tagging

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Posted by Dorado1 on March 12, 2001 at 11:57:41:

Several people have written asking about both these items. Here are some general ideas and information.

Fishing is a little different. I usually say that the crew leaves the dock with $30-40 on the table (size of boat is the difference there) and it can go up or down from there. If what they promised (sodas, water, ice) are on board and in good supply, if they work at TRYING to catch fish (changing baits to fresh ones, moving from one area to another, talking on the radio to try to find fish, etc.) and if the day is the length agreed on -- It stays there. Likewise, if the baits are three days old, we pull the same ones in the same place all day, well it usually goes back in my pocket. On the other hand, if I loose my hat and the mate never hesitates jumping in to retrieve it or as in one case, the captain jumps over the side to gaff a good fish (really happened) or some other "beyond the call" fishing feat is performed then it increases quickly.

With a minor exception -- THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP TO THE TIP AND THE AMOUNT OR TYPE OF FISH CAUGHT. It is the effort that matters, not the results. The exception is releasing the billfish, we have worked long & hard to bring tag & release or release in general to the area. It started working when we started tipping the crew an additional 100 pesos for EACH billfish released. That is about the price in the market, yep, $10!! I always make this agreement prior to chartering the boat!!!

Before Ed Kunze, several others and I put a major push on the release effort, there were times of market glut and they were fed to the Roses, Bouganvillas and Oleanders. This method has kept more fish swimming, insuring the future and keeps the market up for the fatalities that do occur. It is working well for all concerned.

Want a nice tip -- bring a supplemental tag kit with you, Offshore Angler, 1-800-566-4600, item # 35-445-704-00, $19.99. 10 tags & cards, use what you need, leave the rest with the crew. Everybody always needs more tags!!

The question also comes up about "the rest of the catch", it is yours, do as you wish. If they fillet, pack it and arrange to freeze it, maybe add a few bucks. If you have a 200# Tuna, take some, give some. Usually if we have more than a meal, we split it or ask the crew to join us for dinner, etc. With 4 or 5 Dorado, we might ask the crew if they could sell them, if so we take one for dinner and let them sell the rest. Keep in mind that here, fish are either food or money.

The tagging data is published yearly in the Billfish Newsletter by NMFS. A link to the current issue is below. The ZIH Captains that are recognized are on this page: [url] [url] Look under Manzanillo-Acapulco, all listed are from ZIH. Most of those fish were tagged in our first tournament in Nov. 1999. It has come a long way; today I received a batch of tags that will bring one Captain up to over 30 fish since November. Not bad considering he tagged his first ever last May.

By the way, any angler tagging 2 or more fish gets his name on Table 3. The top 6 were tagged in the tournament.

We have tried to supply as many Captains as possible with tags but it is an ongoing effort. Tags must be obtained from The Billfish Foundation or Offshore Angler (TBF's distributor). If you wish to bring a supplemental kit of 10 tags please contact Offshore Angler, 1-800-566-4600 (US & Canada) or 1-417-863-2499, Item # 35-445-704-00, cost is $19.99 plus shipping. You can leave the ones you don't use with the crew.

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