Fishing charter captains around the world have taken a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This month, we’re looking into the support available and hearing how captains and customers are changing the way they fish during and after the pandemic.
Support Available for Charter Captains Hit By COVID-19
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by the United States Congress on March 27th, 2020. At over $2 trillion, the CARES Act is the largest stimulus measure in recent American history and aims to provide financial help for anyone affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including small businesses.
FishingBooker explored the main funding options available to you as a charter operator. We also interviewed Capt. John Jackson of Reel Easy charters about how the Paycheck Protection Program can help charter operators overcome the challenges created by the health crisis. Here’s what he said:
“The funds that we received from the Paycheck Protection Program are going to our employees and basically keeping us all afloat right now, through this time where there is no money to be made.
We’re situated for eight weeks starting around April 20th, we hired back all of our employees and they’re getting paid for the next eight weeks. So that will take us into June and we’re hoping that we’ll be able to open up and go back to work.
I would encourage everybody to apply for it – the money is there, so I hope that they can get it out not just to me, but to everybody that is struggling right now.”
Licensing and Renewals Directory
In an unprecedented year such as this one, regulations and requirements can change quickly. To help you stay informed, FishingBooker created a directory of links to fishing guide license and boat registration renewals, as well as state wildlife departments’ COVID-19 updates pages.
This comprehensive state-by-state guide contains all the resources you need in order to renew your fishing license and boat registration during the pandemic.
What Customers Want Post COVID-19
As travel restrictions are slowly easing across the United States, charter operators need to think about how COVID-19 will affect the future of their businesses. This will particularly affect how customers change their behavior as they choose, book, and participate in fishing charters.
We talked to Capt. Chris Brackett of Paradise Fly Sportfishing about how charter captains are committed to health and safety, more than ever before. Here’s his experience so far:
“I just want people to understand that we are out there taking care of the best we can.
I can say, honestly, that I do watch out when it’s a meet and greet at the dock before we get on the boat – if there’s cough or somebody immediately comes up and sits down rubbing their face like they’re not feeling well, then questions are asked. If it’s somebody that has the typical beginning stages of what the CDC says are a dry cough or something, I’m not going to completely shut them down but I will talk to them and say we can reschedule this when you do feel better and I can hold the date for you.
That would absolutely be no problem – I don’t want them to lose the trip, and of course, being honest, I don’t want to lose the money either, but I think for both parties it’s better if the trip is postponed until a later date.”
Our research shows that customers are paying more attention to health and safety than they were before the pandemic. Highlighting your precautions in your listing description can help you meet these emerging needs.
If you’re a charter captain and would like to hear more about topics like this, consider listing your business with FishingBooker. As well as more exposure online, you’ll get regular support and tips, direct to your inbox.