General Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Click on a question below to get a quick answer to some of the more frequently asked questions about our Florida Keys fishing charters. If you have more questions always feel free to call us at (305) 289-0071 or visit our contact page.

All you need to bring is your food and beverage, plenty of sunscreen.  We recommend bringing a cooler although it is not required. Coolers are provided on the boat for the trip but if you have a long ride home you will need one to transport your catch. We also recommend a Camera to take great photos of your catch!

 

Yes. All boats have a fully enclosed head (bathroom).

The customary gratuity for the Captain and Mate is 10% each. If you are on a smaller boat and only have a Captain it is customary to tip the Captain 20% as he is doing twice the work. Think of your Crew like waiters of the sea! The pay structure is similar but the work is physically grueling as they work long hours and weekends, catching live bait as well as maintaining the boats and fishing equipment.  They rely heavily on tips to make their living and feed their families.

We advise our customers who are unsure about seasickness to take a seasick pill the night before the charter and another one hour before the charter. Be sure to read the labels. Certain pills have warnings and not all people should take them, so always check with your Doctor first! These pills do usually work, however, in case of seasickness, the customer always has the option to end the trip early.

They are all your fish to keep as long as each caught fish meets the current regulations and laws in regard to season, size and catch limit. Once back at the dock we will hang your fish for photos and then fillet and bag them for you. Most customers come for the fun but also to get some great eating food! Some customers prefer to catch, photo and release which we are also happy to do.

Note: We will filet and fill up  one 5 Gallon bucket of pure meat fillets for you which is 50lbs of meat! If you wish to keep more than that you may, but you must take the remaining fish with you as we can not spend 3 hours or more cleaning fish when we should be getting ready for our next days charter. Filleting your remaining fish at our cleaning tables is also not allowed as per dock owner rules and for insurance reasons.

Please make sure you wear non skid footwear designed for wet conditions, or boating shoes. Flipflops are not consider boating shoes and are not safe to wear on a boat. (Wear them at your own risk).

Always wear these shoes while on the boat and dock area. Never go bare footed. Our boats do have the aniti skid on the floors, but the floor is always wet or damp. The dock area is always wet.

If you fall, and you are not wearing the proper footwear, there will not be any insurance coverage.

A combo is a charter that often gives you a much better chance of catching fish from October-April because it combines several types of fishing in one trip; reef, wreck, and offshore. The Keys is the only place in the world that allows you to experience three different types of on the same charter even on half days. It is increasing your chances by a huge margin of having a successful charter and more variety in your catch.

The Key to catching fish is to fish the conditions of the day. Fishing conditions are wind direction, current direction, and water color. Always listen to the advice of your Captain, if he recommends a Combo he is not trying to up-sell you, he only does this if he thinks it is necessary to put together the best catch and fishing experience for your money.

If you decide only to Reef fish that is fine with us, especially if the bite is hot!  However, please understand if the Reef fishing is slow or the conditions are not very good for Reef fishing, then you limit your Captain’s options to catch fish. Yes your captain will try other spots, but most of the time it does not help, because wind and current will be the same through the Reef. By giving your Captain and Crew other options you maximize your potential to put together a great catch!

These are typical seasonal departure times. Your actual trip will be determined based on weather conditions and livebait availability, all charters should check-in within 24 hours prior to the trip to confirm departure time.

May - September October - April
Day Charter (7 hours)07:00am - 02:00pmDay Charter (7 hours)08:00am - 03:00pm
3/4 Day (5.5 hours)07:00am - 12:30pm3/4 Day (5.5 hours)08:00am - 01:00pm
1/2 Day (4 hours)am07:00am - 11:00am1/2 Day (4 hours)am08:00am - 12:00pm
1/2 Day (4 hours)pm12:00pm - 04:00pm1/2 Day (4 hours)pm01:00pm - 05:00pm

Firstly, the number of passengers that can be carried on a charter boat has little to do with the Captains license. Many of our captains have higher grade license than a six pack. Due to U S Coast Guard Law, almost all Florida Keys charter boats carry a Max of 6 passengers. Passengers include any person going on the charter even if they do not fish.  A baby, or child is consider a passenger.

If a Charter boat is going to be able to legally carry more than six passengers, it has to have high rails around the boat similar to a head-boat or cruise ship. It is impossible in the Fl Keys to experience the many of types of fishing available for customers to enjoy with such high rails, which should be up to your chest, on the back of the boat.  You can only reef fish with these chest high rails, and even that is very hard to do it in the proper manner.

 We suggest that you take out two of our smaller boats, or one smaller boat and one larger boat to get out your group of more than six. These boats can fish very close to each other, often within talking distance.

 

A split charter is when one individual or group requests to join with another group on a charter to split the cost. A split charter at first glance may seem like a great idea to save a few dollars. However, most split charters will be on a larger boat and the cost of the larger boat is higher than just getting your own smaller boat. Splits also get canceled often when one of the two parties no shows after a late night on the town.

If you do not like the people you are splitting with you are stuck fishing with them for hours! You might find your trip cut short because the other party is seasick or you might get grief about wanting to cut the trip short because someone from your group is seasick! You may end up splitting your trip with “rod hogs” or end-up arguing about how to split your catch with the other group, even if you caught a larger portion of the fish. When considering a Split charter you must realize some customers smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and use profane language, there have even been cases of customers hitting on the other parties wife or girlfriend!

For these reasons we have 2 smaller 32’ boats to our fleet, perfect for groups of 4 or less. Click here to see your options and our view your choices and or rates.

If you wish to Tuna Fish on the Hump there is an additional fuel surcharge of $100. This is because a trip to the Tuna fishing Grounds is a minimum 60 mile round trip.

Yes we do it all the time. Any “Combo” trip that involves Offshore or Wreck fishing will carry with it the Offshore pricing as per our rates page.

Yes. We keep all of our vessels compliant with Coast Guard rules and Lifejackets are one of the requirements. All boats have them and our Captains will let you know where they are during safety orientation when you first board the vessel.

We do encourage those with little ones to bring a smaller life jacket along with them if they wish to, especially if they want their children to wear one during the trip. The commercial life jackets we have are large and heavy. This is a decision that each parent will have to make. But the side of the boats are high enough wear most small children can not get up on the sides of the boat. In all these years we have not had to use them thankfully, but it is always smart to be prepared.

Reef fishing, is described, when the boat is on anchor, motors are not running. Your targeted species is Yellowtail, Mangrove Snapper, Grouper, Mutton Snapper, King Fish, Mackerel and other species in season.

Offshore Fishing, is described, when the boat is in motion either trolling, deep dropping or live bait fishing. The motors are always running. Targeted species are often but not limited to Sailfish, Dolphin, Tuna, Marlin, King Fish, Wahoo, Cobia & Permit.

Offshore Combo Fishing, is described as when the boat is on anchor for part of your fishing time and then moves to offshore style of fishing. We suggest whether or not you should “Combo” to be based on the best judgment of your Captain depending on the fishing conditions of the day.

Our rates are based on seasonality. The website reflects whatever the current rates are. If you are scheduling a trip very far in advance you should always confirm what the rates will be when you fish. We do have plans to add additional functionality to our website to view what rates will be in the future seasons.

 ALL rates are subject to change, especially, in the event of an unexpected rapid increase in fuel prices. Please check this website for updated rates before your charter, for the time period you are coming. If there is a sudden and unexpected change to our rates and you wish to cancel your reservation, or reduce your time of fishing to ½ or ¾ days, we would be completely understanding.

Tournament Fishing Terms are as follows;

Call us at (305)-289-0071 to discuss the tournament rates
for each specific tournament.

Minimum rate: $1500 per day + Fuel Costs
Minimum tip for captain: $200
Minimum tip for mate: $200

The customer will also be responsible for the following items if they apply;

  • Dockage
  • Hotels
  • Registration fees
  • Calcutta Money
  • Travel Expense of Captain and Crew

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

No Fish No Pay Guarantee

We have confidence that our new customers will appreciate the hard work and effort that The Main Attraction Fishing Team does for them, especially on the days the bite is slower. Customers and anglers should realize that while Florida Keys fishing is some of the best in the world every day  is different. Our repeat customers realize this fact. Some days you catch lots of fish and other days the bite is slower. We work very hard and try different things to find what is working on any given day but will also advise you if we believe the bite is off due to conditions. You have the option to call the trip early and come in early and pay only for the time we have fished. Main Attraction likes “CATCHING NOT FISHING”. You should listen to the advice of your Captain as many times we can fish for different species than the original species targeted and still have a good day. But, if The Main Attraction Fishing Team is “skunked”, our “Full Day” fish guarantee goes into effect.

Our guarantee: If we don’t catch fish (“Full Day” trip only), all you pay is a customary tip of 10% of the trip cost each, to the captain and the mate. This guarantee is intended to relax the anxious angler or new customer on the Main Attraction. It also proves that we will produce fish for you.

Your charter must be based upon a full day (7 hours). There are no guarantees on ½ day or ¾ days trips. The customer must let the captain select the species of fish based on the fishing conditions for that day and what is in season; he is a professional – he knows what’s best, please listen to his advice. He will tell you the truth.

If you insist on fishing for only one type of species despite conditions, seasonality or the Captain’s advice the Full Day Guarantee is null and void. Billfishing, Tarpon, Tuna fishing, customer seasickness and angler error are also exempt from the guarantee. While the Main Attraction is one of the best at Billfishing; (our record is 36 Sailfish in one day trip) a trip focused solely on catching Sailfish can not be guaranteed, it takes time and special techniques to find Sailfish and there is no guarantee once you do find them they will take the bait. If a customer has to come in early or can not catch fish due to seasickness or simply loses fish after fish due to basic angler error the trip will also not be free.

When you board The Main Attraction, all you need to do is sit back and relax. The pressure is in good hands of your captain. He has confidence that the bite will be on soon and he will have you in the right place at the right time to catch your fish. On those slow days is when you really appreciate that you have selected the hard working Main Attraction Fishing Team!!

No Cancellation Fees

If you need to cancel you charter for any reason please give us a much advance notice as possible. Other Florida Keys fishing charter companies will charge you for the entire charter or at the very least you would lose your deposit. We have been in business for over 40 years in the same location, and we treat our customers fairly. We do not believe it is fair to punish our customers. After all you are already disappointed because you cannot go fishing! In most cases it is a emergency and you have to deal with that. You do not need to deal with having to pay for a trip  you are not going to be on. All we ask is you give us a call 305-289-0071 ASAP. Phoning is better and faster than an e/mail since we are fishing most of the time.

No Deposits Required

We do not require a deposit to book a trip with us online or by phone. Almost every other charter service does. Just because you have booked a charter in advance it does not mean for sure that the charter will be able to go out as scheduled due to weather. Be careful of those charter service who take deposits. Never pay in advance for the entire charter unless it is your desire too, or for a gift certificate.

If you are a last minute walk up on the dock we will ask you for a deposit, $50-$100. This is because the charter is normally the next day or within a few days. Make sure you are given your receipt for the deposit and give it to the Captain of the boat you are on the day of your charter. If the trip has to be canceled due to bad weather or any reason it will be returned to you.

Good Weather Guarantee

We will make the determination if the weather is calm enough, and good enough to fish, and if we believe it is not we will cancel the charter for free. No fees will be charged and any deposits if applicable will be refunded. Normal seas in the Keys is 2-4 foot. If we believe the seas will be higher we will tell you based upon our 40 years experience. Remember the rougher it is the better the fishing often, so it is up to you whether you choose to fish or not. Sometimes seas will be higher 2-4 feet but might be when the fishing is the best so we will advise you.

A Note About Winter Season Fishing Nov-Feb.

The nice thing about the Keys since it runs East to the West, the land shelters the areas where we fish this time of the year, since the primary wind direction is out of the North. Therefore, the islands, give us shelter from the heavy winds. There can be North winds, 20-30 Kts, but where we fish, the seas will be only 2 foot. Fish always feed better when the seas are a little choppy. It is often harder to catch fish in the Keys when it is still and calm.

Almost all the fish to be caught in the fall and winter are no more than 5-7 miles out, from 30 feet to 100 feet never fishing over 300 feet deep. From the patch Reefs, 3 miles out, to the Reef, which is about 4-5 miles from shore, in less than 20 minutes most days, you are fishing. If the conditions are right we can also have you fishing sunken wrecks about 7 miles out.

During the Winter most baitfish are on the patch reefs, and deep reef, drawing all species to come in to the shallow waters to feed on them. It is a great time of the year to fish. While  Fishing in the Keys is almost always good, the  conditions are what determine the bite. Some days the bite is very good, others it is slower.

As long as you fish with a professional captain with local knowledge and listen to their advice of what species you should target on your day of fishing based on conditions, you should catch fish.

Rates

Our rates are based on seasonality. The website reflects whatever the current rates are. If you are scheduling a trip very far in advance you should always confirm what the rates will be when you fish. We do have plans to add additional functionality to our website to view what rates will be in the future seasons.

Also, ALL rates subject to change, especially, in the event of an unexpected rapid increase in fuel prices. Please check this website for updated rates before your charter, for the time period you are coming. If there is a sudden and unexpected change to our rates and you wish to cancel your reservation, or reduce your time of fishing to ½ or ¾ days, we would be completely understanding.

NO FISH? NO PAY!
Our Full Day Guarantee!

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