NorEast Fishing Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just heard from a friend who went on his first fishing charter. It was an overnight bus ride to Mass. They were out for porgies and blacks. My friend hooked and landed a nine plus pound black and according to him the capt. gave him a earful about releasing the fish because it was close to spawning time. My friend told the capt. to weight the fish now for the pool and he would release the capt. wouldn't weight for the pool, he just wanted to release the fish, but that didn't happen. But back to my point, on the run back to the dock my freind brought all of the days catch back to be cleaned. The mate was charging $20.00 for a 5 gal. bucket of porgies and he wanted $20.00 to fillet the blackfish.

I have not been on a party boat for a number of years, but I never recall the mates charging to clean the fish. We always tipped the mates for the day as a group, and I always tipped the mate that cleaned and filleted the fish for me.

Is the mate charging to clean fish the norm? or is this just a horror story?

All the information provided is second hand, I personnal was not there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
985 Posts
I really don't know how to respond to the blackfish issue. It would be great if fisherman released spawning fish so as to ensure future fish stocks, but with the pool at stake I suppose it is up to the individual to make a judgment call. The patron paid his fare and he has the right to keep any fish as long as he is in compliance with the regs. Having worked on party boats for years I can understand the need to charge for cleaning fish. In a perfect world the mates would provide excellent service and the customers would tip well as a result and everyone would go home happy. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I have seen mates clean fish for hours only to be given a dollar or two or nothing at all. If the policy on the boat is to charge for cleaning fish it is up to the captain or owner of the boat to let this be known in advance. This way the customers can make the decision to avail themselves to the fish cleaning service or not. Good mates work very hard and often do not get paid very well. If you have a good day on the water tip well. If the service is bad report it to the captain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Gotta make a living

If everybody does the right thing, mates earn a day's pay and the fares take care of them. Everybody goes home happy.

If for some reason the mates aren't getting enough tips, then they either have to start charging explicitly for their services or do something else, like catching fish and selling them.

In Hawaii, boats keep most of the fish. They leave the paying passengers enough for a meal and sell the rest. In Sheepshead Bay, mates will slip in right next to you and try and catch your fish so that they can sell them. In Virginia Beach, no fish cleaning is allowed on the boat, and you line up after the trip, sometimes for over an hour, to have your fish done by pros at the dock for 50 cents a pound. Not a bad deal considering that you get about 2 croakers a pound. The San Diego Long Range boats have their own service that fillet and vacuum pack for prices starting at 50 cents a pounds. The bill coming off an 8 day trip with a ton of tuna is devastating. Any local NY/NJ tuna partyboat expects $15-25 to loin (fillet) each tuna. This week I saw a mate on a Huntington partyboat (yes, that one) giving an old man a hard time for having him clean 30 sea robins and not giving him anything for the day.

Speaking to my experiences in dealing with the public as a tip recipient (not as a mate), everyone tips differently. You just hope that at the end of the month, you have enough for rent. If the rare senior doesn't have a dollar for you, that's OK. Now if it was the yuppie with the $5K Rolex, that's a different story.

$20 for the porgies is not bad. $20 for the blackfish is too much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,967 Posts
Hi,

With the advent of electronic fish weighing scales I would allow customers to have a potential pool fish weighed and witnessed by other customers. However, I don't own a party boat. I just worked on them.

Regarding tips, you have to experience filleting 500 and more fish and then count that you averaged $3.00 per fare.

This does happen. Very often it depends upon which port you sail out of and what species you are fishing for. Too many equate how many fish they catch and keep to how big a tip to leave. And some just don't tip!! They feel the boat owner should pay the help better. I have also met mates who were lousy tippers.

When you book a charter or call a party boat for info you should always ask Do I keep the fish I catch and if so is their a charge for cleaning/filleting the catch.

A concerned boat owner has signs on board stating that a basic tip starts with 15%. Good customers start there and usually throw in more if they had a good catch. Even with the signs some people just don't get it. They have no idea how many hours of work outside the sailing hours it takes to prepare the boat for the next trip.

I could go on and on but it would be beating a dead horse.

Realize this, any mate worth his salt appeciates a good tip for good services rendered.

Capt Neil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
Fished last month on the Del Ray fleet out of Marina Del Ray Cal.No tips allowed for the mates. No coolers allowed on board for fish. No cans or bottles. All real food from the cleanest nicest, most well stocked galley I've ever seen on a party boat. You run a tab. Every fare gets a #. Run a tab under #. Buy a burlap sack for 1$ and they put your # on it and your catch in it. They charge 1# a fish to clean and 3$ a Halibut. The mates are career mates who between their cut of the galley, the bags, the cleaning of fish, cut of the pool and salary make a decent living. This was the best partyboat I've ever been on with a classy proffesional staffthat dont have to worry about cheap bastards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
I got cut off, my peeve is the unnamed Sheepshead Bay party boat were the card shark mates are too busy "beating" the clients to ever leave the cabin. By the way I forgot to mention the Calif. boats also charge 5$ 1/2 dar rod/reel rental 8$ full day rental. Of course brand new and freshly spooled gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,279 Posts
Charging customers to clean fish is fine by me. I worked on party boats down in Florida for over 10 years and there was nothing worse than cleaning a pile of fish for some googan and getting $2 and a wink for my efforts. After it happened enough, we changed the policy and started charing $10 per 5 gallon bucket of panfish and $3 - $10 for larger fish. As per the blackfish, I agree with Capt. Neil, weighing it should be enough. However, it has the potential to create problems if the person who has the second largest fish never sees the big fish caught and released. The only boat that I've seen where they allow C&R to qualify for the pool is the Bunny Clark up in Maine. There are 2 reasons it works on that boat. First off the boat is small and everybody can see what's going on all over the boat and secondly it is one of the cleanest operations on the East Coast. There are boats out of Sheepshead Bay and Belmar that I would never trust to have a C&R fish in the pool...

Gamakatsu
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,848 Posts
I have seen mates get stiffed for cleaning a bunch of fish, actually I think charging is a good idea but it has to be clearly posted. I get the feeling that the $20 quote for the blackfish may have been a result of the disagreement with the captain and that is not right. Good mates are entitled to a fair days pay and don't always get it, that is why good mates are a little scarce and the others fill the void !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,522 Posts
fillet is an art

The way I see it if you want something done on your car you pay for it. If you want something cut up nicely for future meals pay a couple of bucks (5-10)and have it done right. The other choice is do it yourself. Not a big choice. I run my own boat, fill it with fuel, clean the fish and then the boat so it would be ready for next time. I also fish party boats once in a while late in the fall for a change of pace and always take care of the mates when the day is done. BELIEVE ME THEY WILL REMEMBER!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
Fish Cleaning

On the vast majority of party boats the mates do not specifically ask for money to clean fish. That is because most times fishermen know enough to tip the mates for cleaning the fish and for their overall service. There are a very few party boats with disreputable patrons who think that mates should not get paid for cleaning fish. Generally on those boats the mates post a charge for cleaning fish. Generally, when there is a specific charge it is usually less than the tips that they receive on the better boats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
just think of what it would cost u to bring those fish to a fish market or butcher shop to have them cleaned. its really hard work to fillet fish. the mates even bring their own knives sometimes. i always tip well regardless of amount caught
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,649 Posts
tip!!

You should tip the same regaurdless of wether you caught alot of fish or not. Your tip should coincide with the sevices rendered. How did they treat you, were they there when you needed them , were they putting fresh water on your fish or were they fishing instead of netting. I have no problem with a mate fishing as long as they ask i mind if they sneak in and as long as it doesnt interfere with ther job. the mates have no control of theamount of fish being caught. good fishing or bad they still have to make ends meet!! If they treated you well tip them well!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
I usually do my tips like this: 33% of the fare or whatever works out to be higher in these ways...

Blackfish:$5
Porgy-$.50
Sea Bass-$1
Stripers-$10
Fluke/Flounder-$2
Cod-$2-5

My best trip, also most expensive was last summer.... Limited out on Porgy, 6 or 7 sea bass, and 2 blackfish.. Total tip was $42.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
if you receive good service.....then you
should tip well. the mates have got to eat too. the 20.00 for the blackfish
was a discrace, i think it was pay back
time from the capt.
there is nothing i feel wrong with the
charging of cleaning fish, but a lot
could be avoided if it is posted....then
if you wantthe service you know what the
charge is, if not, then learn how to
clean your own catch of the day.....
or as another alternative go to seafood
section of your favorite supermarket
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Tips are Mandatory and Vary Upon Experience

I do all my fishing from Party Boats and the tip depends upon the whole experience because usually, a good mate not only fillets your fish but helps you catch them.

Two extremes: on the Snow Goose or Klondike it it not unusual for me to limit out on the targeted speices. The mates are top notch and help you catch fish, hence there are more fish for them to fillet at the end of the day. The whole experience is great and I'm definatley a 50% tipper (figure 25$, if I win the pool the mates usually get half becuase generally they gaffed the bruiser!!!)

However, if a mate is fishing next to me so he can sell at the dock (Hello Sheepshead!!!) and my fishing is hurt because of it he'll be lucky to get 15% even if I limit out.

It's all about service and usually there is a cause and effect between mate service and the number of fillets he'll be taken care of at the end of the trip.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top