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Reasons why Party Boats don't carry as many fares as they did years ago???

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  Discussion Boards > Partyboat Fishing
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Joined: 04/05/2002
Posts: 1446
 posted 12/08/2008 10:29 PM  

I hear from numerous captains, particularly from Sheepshead Bay, that years ago the boats would be railed all summer long and carry very well through the rest of the year.
What reasons in particular would you attribute most to the decline of PB fisherman? Lack of interest from newer generations? Fare increase vs. average income? Strict regs? Less fish? Any other reason?

I would love to hear what everyone thinks.

This post edited by JACKSON 01:22 AM 12/09/2008
CaptPaul Club Member

Fisheries Management
Partyboat Fishing

Joined: 09/09/2002
Posts: 6044
 posted 12/08/2008 10:40 PM  

Party boat fishing has historically had bringing home a significant amount of fish as one of the foremost focuses. Very tight regulations, more frequent unsuccessful trips, and the general perception that these conditions are worse than they actually are, are the reason for the severe downturn in the industry.

A decrease in available free time, and a change in social demographics are distant secondary efects.


Joined: 08/18/2004
Posts: 1650
Location: rye brook,ny
 posted 12/08/2008 10:43 PM  

years ago , heck big drop from last year . gas prices are up food is more con ed is up much less desposable income to fish .hope that changes .not to mention the regs dont help things ether.we will see what next year brings hope it is better .

Joined: 04/05/2002
Posts: 1446
 posted 12/08/2008 10:53 PM  

Paul I definitely hear you about the false perceptions. It seems that every environmental agency or marine scientist is a purveyor of every species is going extinct Smile
KILSONG Club Member

Jigging and Popping

Joined: 08/22/2001
Posts: 11378
 posted 12/08/2008 11:21 PM  

When I fished Cape May Reef for togging out of Cape May, NJ on last Saturday, I saw two big party boats. Both boats had only about 10 customers each though it was in prime togging time on Saturday and water was beautiful. surprise

Joined: 09/18/2002
Posts: 831
Location: EMERSON
 posted 12/09/2008 07:57 AM  

I totally agree with Capt. Paul that regs are the number 1 reason for less hardcore fares .... I will also add as a father of 3 boys that while price for 4 fares on a party boat may limit the number of family outings per season ... It (for me) is not the number 1 issue ... it is that my kids at age 11 are so booked up with sports .... Football from Aug through Nov .. 3 basketball leagues CYO, AAU and Rec ..... then baseball + me coaching + other family commitments = NO FREE TIME ...... is it just me ... or did I have a lot more free time as a kid to fish or what??????

Joined: 06/27/2008
Posts: 154
Location: Carmel, NY
 posted 12/09/2008 08:32 AM  

I go on party boats all year long. This year I probably went out 20 times. I am 26 and I have a hard time finding any one my age that wants to go or that goes fishing at all. I know 3 guys my age that fish. One I met on this site. Forget about younger kids. It is impossible to get a group of guys to come out. My brother is 21 and has probably 50 friends he has kept in contact with. Not one goes fishing.
My father brought me fishing a lot when I was younger and that is why I love to fish. I think that more fathers need to start bringing their sons fishing. For those of you that do... up

If you cast it; they will come.
Billy40 Club Member

Joined: 12/16/2001
Posts: 9681
Location: Staten Island
 posted 12/09/2008 08:44 AM  

There are just a lot less people fishing than years ago. Honestly, I think a lot of people took up Golf, adn moved to other areas of interest for their free time hobbies. This is goign to sound dumb, but it seems that a lot of kids focus on video games, and have really short attention spans, so tehre are less kids fishing (going back 10+ years), which results in less adults fishing as they grow up.

Taking a family out on a party boat is borderline unaffordable. AS a parent I Can tell you there are only so many $150 emptyhanded days I am willing to go out on. Yeah it's great to be out with the family, but when a kid is bored and suicidal teh entire day because tehy are standing in the hot sun with no fish anywhere - it's a turn off to everyone.

The HNIC of Teh NERBs

Co-Designer of the Seeker Hercules line of blanks & factory rods

Billy Vivona's XL Rods website

Joined: 06/27/2008
Posts: 154
Location: Carmel, NY
 posted 12/09/2008 09:15 AM  

Billy40, I hear ya man. Even when I bring friends on the boat that dont fish, if they dont catch fish they cry like little kids and then it seems like a waste of money and they never go again. My father used to bring me freshwater fishing most of the time. For bass or panfish. Thats how I got in to it. Im sure you already do this with your kid but it doesnt cost much to do that. Then, when he gets older, he'll be asking you to go on party boats and he'll be picking up your fare. lol

If you cast it; they will come.

Joined: 09/01/2005
Posts: 16692
Location: Miller Place
 posted 12/09/2008 09:30 AM  

The regs have played a huge role in the decline of fares. People cannot justify the expense of dropping 200 bucks on a family PB outing, and catching very little or nothing at all.

For a single fare however it still remains a good deal and less expensive than owning your own boat.


Joined: 06/28/2006
Posts: 844
 posted 12/09/2008 10:13 AM  

One commonly posted theme on this and some of the other fishing sites is that that no one minds the strict regulations, they just want to be out on the water and are just as happy to catch and release as they would to keep and eat their catch.

That may work on private recreational boats, but the vast majority of party boat patrons want to be able to bring home more than 1 or 2 skimpy meals (or less) of fish to eat.

Joined: 06/07/2007
Posts: 618
Location: Shinnecock
 posted 12/09/2008 10:37 AM  

I believe one of the problems is that there isn't enough action. Kids today are use to fast action on video games and find it difficult to slow down. I think the regs. have something to do with it, but if your not catching, the regs. don't matter. I went fluking with my son and his friend last summer. They had a good time because they caught alot of fish, even though we ended up keeping only two, which brings me back to "it's the action"!

In life, there are no reruns

Joined: 08/18/2007
Posts: 374
 posted 12/09/2008 10:39 AM  

Party boat

Economic factors, regs and diminished stocks.

Joined: 10/11/2004
Posts: 1086
Location: Jungle Junction, N.Y.
 posted 12/09/2008 12:54 PM  

I work the galley on the Marilyn Jean II. I remember one day a family came on 2 adults and three kids. The fares didn't bother the parents. the kids are dragging them in & out of the galley, I was asked to run a tab. When the tab hit $50 I went to the father and told him. The man paid the tab. These kids ate everything. He told the kids no more galley unless he was there. You have to watch the kids in the galley. If the fare is ok, then the kids don't understand you have to pay in the galley.


"You can't catch fish in a Watermelon Patch" By Roger Miller

Joined: 08/11/2003
Posts: 366
 posted 12/09/2008 12:58 PM  

Also most party boats now focus on fluke, which quite frankly are great to eat but boring to catch. Years ago there were many boats that targeted bluefish, which isn't really the case anymore. Blues provide much more action and fun for kids. That said it's more economical for charter boats to do two half day fluke trips in the bay rather than steam 20 miles in search of blues. As a kid I loved fishing for blues, but would never pay money to go catch fluke, especially when they need to be more than 20 inches to keep
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