Many clients are envious of our Captains and Mates. They say things like, “you are so lucky you get to fish all year round!” They are not wrong, of course, our crew members love to fish. However, most people don’t get to see all of the work behind the scenes that is required to consistently produce fish for our clients. A successful charter fishing fleet entails so much more than fishing daily. While our past article The “Secret” to Winning Florida Keys Sailfish Tournaments focused on the preparation required for high stakes tournament fishing, this article will focus on what we do day in and day out, year after year, to make sure each trip that leaves our dock has the best chance for success.
Maintaining Fishing Equipment
Fishing gear is expensive to purchase, so maintenance in this regard is key for a charter business to be successful. Our clients expect high quality, reliable, functioning gear.
Maintaining Equipment Is Essential
Losing fish due to preventable equipment failure is not acceptable. The tasks associated with this responsibility fall on the shoulders of our Mates on the larger boats and our Captains on our smaller boats.
Rods and Reels are NEVER to be stored with saltwater on them. Our Mates will rinse them with freshwater before storing them. They usually rinse them off on the way in from a fishing trip and sometimes throughout the day if there is time. Our smaller boat Captains without a Mate primarily perform these tasks after they have docked and filleted the customer’s fish. Reels that can not be easily repaired by our crew are replaced by Penn through our professional sponsorship program. Electric reels for deep-sea fishing are expensive electronic equipment that our Captains and Mates are trained on how to maintain. These are also sent for professional replacement or repairs when required.
Fishing line is also replaced regularly on our reels to ensure reliability. Fishing tackle such as hooks, lures, line, and leads are organized and stored separately in dry containers to protect supplies from exposure to the elements and corrosive salt. Only the equipment and tackle needed for a particular fishing trip is removed from each boats primary storage.
Hooks exposed to open air are never returned to containers in the primary storage area as they could potentially rust out other supplies. This avoids unexpected loss of fish to preventable equipment failures such as a rusted weak hook snapping or an old rotted fishing line breaking.