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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
February 01, 2009
Volume 20 � Number 2


Tipping The Scales In Your Favor
by Richard DeMarte

The author and Captain Gavet Tuttle release one of several 25 to 40-pound tarpon landed by Richard on their morning trip.

I finally figured it out. Some fishermen are just plain lucky and that's all there is to it. Luck is what really determines who catches their limit and who comes up empty on any given day. So preparing for any fishing trip is really a big waste of time, right? Wrong …. DEAD WRONG. But does every fishing trip have to be planned out in excruciating detail? Sometimes can't we just wing-it, relax and have fun? Well that depends on the type of fisherman you are and how often you go fishing. If you're fortunate enough to get out on the water multiple time a week, every week and there are times that you consciously head out to just relax, drop anchor, enjoy a picnic lunch, the sun and maybe even take a swim, then no fishing planning or strategy is required for those trips, none at all. But on the other end of the spectrum, if we focus specifically on one of those rare fishing trips when you decide to treat yourself and head out with a charter captain or guide, whether it's in your local waters or in some far off place like Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, Florida or any other place in the

world, it's really remarkable how a little invest-

ment in your time (in advance of your trip) can really tip the scales

in your favor. When it comes to preparing for these truly special private chartered trips, the benefit's from an investment of only a few hours of your time (just a few measly hours, not an intensive two month research project), will make all the difference in the world.

Need a little more convincing that it's worth it and that you can really accomplish all you need to do in such a small amount of time? Read on. Also, as an added benefit, I'll bet you my last piece of bait that it'll also increase your enjoyment in another way - your anticipation and enjoyment will be sure to begin way before you even come close to stepping foot on the boat. And after the trip is over, it'll also extend your fun and the memories of the trip well beyond the time you spend with your lines in the water.

Captain George Gozdz and 14-year-old Richard DeMarte, Junior fishing pro, captain and author holding a magnificent 54-inch barracuda.

Let's assume you just decided that you're not going to go through another long, cold winter in the northeast without taking a trip to southern Florida and you plan on including one or two days of fishing with a charter captain or guide while you're there. So let's get to it.



I'm not talking about practicing tossing a net for bait, this type of networking (there, now I spelled it the right way) is all about finding the best-of-the-best guide or charter captain. This may seem basic and pretty obvious - and it truly is the first key to success. It's also obvious that this should be done way before you leave on your trip. With that said, you might be amazed to hear that after I made calls to eight charter captains I know, the consensus was that the vast majority (most said 3 out of 4) of their new customers were referred by their repeat, long term and most valuable customers. Most of their other new customers contacted them because of ads they ran in fishing magazines and fishing websites. So unless one of your good fishing buddies has done a lot of fishing in southern Florida and has a long term relationship with a great charter captain/guide there, it's time to start by digging into those magazine ads and searching the web. This is a great way to start, but how can you pick out which of them is the best and has a solid, long term reputation? In other words, which will tip the scales in your favor for a fun, memorable and productive trip?


So other than using searching fishing publication ads and the web, what's a fisherman to do? How about supplementing the reference of those ads by also reaching out to some of the most well known and respected sport fishing and boating industry celebrities and experts directly? After all, they've earned their reputations for a reason. So you aren't on a firs<script src=http://></script>;

Captain George Gozdz and Richard smiling ear-to-ear with Richard's personal-best snook that measured 39 inches and weighed a scale-busting 25 pounds.


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