This year, even the biggest plans have had to be reworked, revamped, and turned around. But this month we’ve noticed that nothing, whatever the world throws at us, will stop anglers from getting out on the water. And this year, we’re all more aware that we need to make the most of what we’ve got.
July’s Captain Spotlight highlights captains who’ve gone out of their way in the last month to make people smile – whatever the circumstances.
“The Real Deal” – Captain Dan
Charles’s review of his 6-hour trip with Careyon Charters last month showed what sets a great guide apart from the rest. His trip was exceptional, even though everything that could have gone wrong, did.
“What really makes a captain or guide stand out from the rest is how well your trip goes when things don’t go as planned. This was one of those trips,” he started.
“From the initial delay in our start time to seeing what a line of thunderstorms were going to do, to the ever-deteriorating wave action that had us covered up in white caps after five hours, if something could go wrong, it did. We even lost a fishing pole.
“Through all of these potential trip-breakers, Captain Dan stayed positive and helpful,” Charles continued. “Checking on our comfort and status frequently while keeping us baited and hooked-up the majority of the time. We caught fish until I simply couldn’t have reeled in [any more].”
As Charles put it, “if you have a good time when the conditions are tough, you’ll have a great time when the conditions are good.” And that’s why he says Captain Dan is the real deal, and a captain he’ll now recommend to anyone. No matter the conditions!
“The Best Day of His Life” – Captain Sonny
This year, COVID-19 meant that organizing a 7th birthday party for young Memphis was pretty much out of the question. So instead, his parents saved up to take him fishing with Big Kahuna Charters, fulfilling his dream of going out on the “Big Water.”
The 5-hour drive to Williamsburg Michigan was worth it – even with a 6 year old. Even more so, the warm welcome aboard and abundant fishing meant this family intends to come back. “The guys welcomed us on the boat like they had known us our whole lives,” wrote Memphis’s family. “They hooked 12–16 lb Lake Trout left and right.”
The family “came back to shore sunburned and exhausted from all the reeling and tugging” and Memphis got to celebrate his 7th birthday by catching a 16 lb fish. As they put it, “You can’t ask for more than that. He said it was the best day of his life.”
What a great opportunity for this young man, and a day he’ll surely never forget thanks to Captain Sonny and his team!
Living the Dream – Captain Gene
This young girl is obsessed with fishing, and her dream was to catch a Mahi Mahi. Thanks to Captain Gene and his crew, she caught not just one… but four!
This trip with Charlestowne Charters had been a long time in the making. Her mom booked it a year back, and throughout all that time, Captain Gene had kept up with communication. Occasional updates and reminders at first, and then more frequent updates about the situation with COVID-19 and tropical storms.
On the day of the trip, Captain Gene let the family know that the weather would be rough and bumpy. But, if they still wanted to go, he’d be glad to take them. And go they did!
“Gene and his crew were absolutely wonderful taking care of my daughter and providing her with guidance for catching the fish,” explained Winter’s mom. “They took charge to help her achieve her dream while I was incapacitated [by sea sickness], while also taking the time to check up and take care of me and my youngest daughter by bringing us water and other things we needed.”
Not only did they handle the fishing brilliantly, Gene and his crew even brought the catch to the hotel after cleaning and filleting it! And regardless of the conditions, they helped this little girl do what she’d always wanted.
In her mom’s words: “Despite the fact that I didn’t get to fish like I had planned, and I was sick the whole time, this trip was completely 5 star, 10 star if I could give it!”
Wicked Tuna to the Max – Captain Kevin
“I have been on maybe 10–15 fishing charters, all over the world, including one previous one to the north shore of Oahu, and without a doubt this was the best fishing charter I have been on,” Steve said about his recent trip with To the Max Charters.
This trip really highlighted what Hawaii does best – phenomenal big game fishing! And this charter more than fulfilled expectations.
“Derek the deckie was everywhere, putting out rigs, checking the spread constantly,” wrote Steve.
“Shortly after dawn, and bang! We are on. A great fight and, after about 30 minutes, there’s a 100 lb Yellowfin lying on the deck. As soon as the fish is on the deck, Kevin is back in the skipper’s chair looking for the next hookup, and Derek is resetting the spread. Sure enough, roughly every hour and a half for the rest of the day and we are on, and landing bigger and bigger Yellowfin Tuna on the deck. With 130 pounds being the biggest!”
Sometimes, everything just falls into place. But it’s hard work and great communication that made Captain Kevin and Derek stand out for Steve.
The sheer amount of determination we’ve seen this month has been incredible. Kudos to every captain who’s battled almost impossible situations to put smiles on people’s faces this year. We’ve been blown away and look forward to hearing more stories in your reviews and fishing reports!