FishingBooker Myths: Busted
Sep 17, 2019 | 6 minute read Comments
33
Reading Time: 6 minutes

How well do you know what FishingBooker really does? We’ve gathered some of the most common questions and misconceptions about what we do as a business and are ready to reveal all! 

Read on: Some of the answers might be surprising…

Treasure chest with text reading Ssecrets revealed

Myth: First and foremost, FishingBooker promotes captains who pay the most commission.

Reality: Yes, commission influences how visible your listing is. But it’s not the only – or even the most important – thing that our site looks at when choosing who to rank in the search pages.

Imagine carefully selecting the trip of your dreams, securing your date, and then finding out it’s not going to go ahead as the trip was double booked. This is an exhausting and painful experience, and something we want to avoid for our customers.

So, we track how often each captain accepts trips and how often they cancel them due to being double booked. Then, we promote the captains whose bookings tend to go ahead. We also look at reviews and boost captains who have a track record of providing a great experience. Instant Book contributes to how well you rank too, as it means you’re committed to accepting trips.

If you invest the highest commission percentage but don’t have great reviews and only accept a couple of the trips we sent, you won’t rank as high as someone with the lowest commission, excellent reviews, and a history of accepting bookings.

But what about customers who call us? We send them to the captains who invest the largest commission, right?

Wrong. It’s quite rare that we suggest specific captains over the phone, but when we do, we recommend people who we know have provided the type of experience this customer is looking for. Regardless of the commission percentage!

Myth: FishingBooker promotes fake guides (and pushes part-time guides above full-time captains)

Reality: We’re serious about promoting legitimate businesses. We run checks on all our US captains and unpublish any of them who do not send us proof that they have the correct documentation. Worldwide, our team is working hard to enforce the same vetting standards as we currently have in the US.

As we work with fishing businesses all over the world, one of our biggest challenges has been to create a system that highlights licensed captains, regardless of their country, state, and type of waters they fish. These regulations are very specific, and we’re working on applying them in a way that’s fair and safe for everyone we work with. 

When it comes to new and part time guides, as long as you have the correct credentials, you can work with us. But part-time guides aren’t specifically ranked or promoted above full-time captains – this simply isn’t how the site works. 

Myth: FishingBooker is based in Russia/Syria/China… I don’t know, but they’re not from around here!

Reality: FishingBooker is an incorporated business registered in Norfolk, Virginia. Our legal structure is made in alignment with American laws, and we pay US taxes.

At the same time, we’re not in Silicon Valley, and we’re not pumped full of money from investors. We’ve had to work hard to get where we are today. And where are we calling from? Our operations are based out of Serbia, a country in southern Europe.

We’re not surprised if you haven’t heard about Serbia before. Granted, it’s small! But we recommend you come pay us a visit. It’s famous for its generous servings of BBQ food, as well as for some incredible culture. You can stumble across Celtic, Roman, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian ruins without even leaving the capital, Belgrade. 

It’s also known for its great thinkers. Mihajlo Pupin, one of the founders of NASA, came from here and went on to perfect the telephone. Nikola Tesla, who discovered how to harness electricity for modern use, also had Serbian heritage.

At FishingBooker, we’re not forging a path in physics, but we do start every day by driving to work on roads named after people who changed the world for the better. And we’re constantly inspired to do the best that we can do, too.

We’re a US company and our operations are based in the beautiful European city of Belgrade

Myth: The money FishingBooker takes from commission is far more than what they give back as a booking platform

Reality: Well, this one is up to you to decide. But here are some of the benefits we provide as soon as you hit “publish”:

  • Full, expert digital advertising of your business on Google, Bing, and other search engines, as well as social media platforms;
  • 1-on-1 walkthroughs of how the product works;
  • Tailor-written content and photo/video optimization; 
  • Support for you and the customers we match you up with;
  • No hidden costs – Instant Book, listing optimization, and all our other benefits are provided free of charge.

Whatever your commission percentage, we provide all of this with the promise that if we don’t get you out on the water, we won’t make a cent. We don’t take any additional charges other than our commission on successful bookings. 

Worth paying commission on successful trips you wouldn’t otherwise get? We think so.

Myth: We don’t let you talk to the customer over the phone before the trip

Reality: We’re a bit confused about this myth. You can find your customer’s contact details in our Messaging platform, by checking out the Booking Details. We encourage you to talk to your customer before the trip so you can both get the most out of your day!

And yes, as long as your customer has an upcoming booking, you can share any additional contact details over Instant Messaging, too.

Screenshot showing where to find customer's contact info
Find your customer’s contact details in “Booking Details” once you’ve accepted the trip

Myth: FishingBooker doesn’t work for my business. They only care about captains in the US, and captains who fish saltwater. 

Reality: It’s true that we work with a large number of captains from the US – and yes, they mostly fish in saltwater. But we welcome captains from all over the world. We work with people everywhere from Australia to Norway, and have hooked customers up with incredible fishing as far away as Kenya and Argentina

Think we’re just about the Speckled Trout and Tuna? Think again – we’re talking Golden Dorado, Paddlefish, Alligator Gar, Payara, Arapaima… the world’s five continents have some really cool fish to offer anglers, and it’s our mission to make all of this easier to get out and explore.

We get it though – sometimes it’s hard to fit all of this onto our listings, which are predominantly designed for people who fish with a boat out of one fixed location. But our content marketers, business development specialists, and captain coordinators are always ready to put the extra time in to find a solution that fits your business. You just need to give us a call!

Man holding big tiger fish
That’s not a Tarpon! You can catch a monster like this with Tanzanian Tigerfish Adventures

Myth: FishingBooker takes control away from you about how you market your business. 

Reality: We sometimes hear this from captains who would like to be able to edit or change their listing more easily. This is because once we’ve optimized your listing, you can’t directly edit the description or change your first photo any more.

Why? We have a dedicated team that works on each listing so it’s more likely to attract customers, and we want to make sure that we’re keeping our standards up across the board.

But, of course, you know your business and your target clients better than anyone. As much as we try to understand what makes your business stand out by researching and talking to you, we know that we sometimes get this wrong. This is why we really appreciate hearing back from you once we’ve worked on your listing. After all, it’s in no one’s best interest for it to be inaccurate!

We have a dedicated team that keeps listings up to date and talks to guides about any changes they’d like to make. Simply get in touch through the form on your listing and they’ll reach out. Find out more about how and why we do this here

Myth: The people who work at FishingBooker don’t fish. Myth or reality?

Reality: While some of us have been passionate anglers for years, plenty of FishingBookers never caught a fish before their first day with us. But whatever their previous experience, everyone in the company gets trained about fishing.

And no one goes without catching a fish for long. Every year, we run a company-wide fishing tournament to brush up on our skills. Attendance is expected!

FishingBooker staff with their top catches
We’re not always sitting in an office!

We’re proud of what we do and how we do it. And we want to talk about it! So – what would you like to know? Get in touch via the comments below.

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Comments (33)
  • Nate G

    Aug 22, 2019

    This article has a bunch of untruths:

    The biggest is… You make it VERY difficult to communicate with customers outside the platform. Customers are always complaining about this. They try to send a phone number or email…your system strips it out…and the contact details do not appear until AFTER a booking is agreed to. So let’s be honest…what people are annoyed with is…we cant easily talk to customers BEFORE they book.

    Second, I am the only guide listed here whose credentials have been verified by you, yet you allow them to stay on the platform. When I listed you did not REQUIRE me to provide my credentials. Here in New York, a person has to have multiple items to be legit. I am the only listing in the Saratoga Lake NY area, you have verified.

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      Cat

      Aug 22, 2019

      Hi Nate,

      Thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear you’ve had trouble communicating with your customers. It’s true that before they book, they can only contact you through the Instant Messaging platform. The reason for this is simple: we work on a commission basis. It wouldn’t be viable for us as a business if we let people use FishingBooker’s platform to contact the captain directly and book outside of our platform. This is why we share the contact details only after a booking has taken place.

      That said, Instant Messaging works in a similar way to any other messaging service – you can use it to contact the customer in response to any questions they may have, whether they have a trip booked or not.

      Regarding verification, we’ve pushed this much harder in the last 12 months than we had the possibility to do previously. That’s why we encouraged, but didn’t insist on verifying when you signed up. Since then, our compliance team has grown and become much stricter. Towards the beginning of this year they unpublished a very large number of US guides that didn’t send us their documents or weren’t on public records as a legitimate company. Now, if they don’t manage to verify or audit a captain through public records within a short period of them publishing, they remove their listing.

      Sorry for the very long reply, but hope it explained things a little better. If you’d like to hear about this in more detail let me know and I can put you in touch with the appropriate team.

      Cat

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    • Reply icon

      Regan Lall

      Aug 23, 2019

      Hi Nate, I totally agree with you. I often get booking from 6 to 8 hours away. I need to know if they are coming this way and know it is a half day travel (I live on a small island 2 ferries from Vancouver) . I do not want my client to book untill they realize the distant they would need to travel. All I can do is accept or decline. Very frustrating.

      Regan
      Go-Fish-Charters

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      Cat

      Aug 26, 2019

      Hi Regan, this is useful feedback. I’ll look into it as I understand how it’s a problem for people who operate outside of major cities. In the meantime, would it be helpful for us to add a note in your description and the location page for your area so your customers have a better idea of the time it can take to reach you from Vancouver?

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  • Vitor Ganchinho

    Aug 22, 2019

    Thank you, team!

    It`s a plaisir for me to work for such incredible team. Several times we had contact problems, ( sometimes customers they commit mistakes typing phone numbers of contact), and you`re always there!
    Thank you Jamie, thank you Megan, thank you Jay, thank you Alex and all the other team members….

    It`s so easy to work with you.

    GO Fishing Portugal has the door open to your visits, and we will pick you up at the airport, with our open arms. You`re welcome!

    Captain Vitor

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      Cat

      Aug 22, 2019

      Hi Vitor,

      Thanks for the comment, I’m happy to hear you’ve had a good experience and I’ll pass your kind words onto the rest of the team!

      Hope to see you in Portugal one day 🙂

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  • Marce Brand

    Aug 22, 2019

    Thanks for this, it was very helpful. Nice work.

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      Cat

      Aug 22, 2019

      Marce, it’s good to hear this was helpful. Hope you have a great day!

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  • Byron Ashington

    Aug 22, 2019

    Hi Cat and Alex

    Over the past few years it has been an absolute pleasure working with you and your team. You guys have assisted with a number of bookings for OUTRAGEOUS FISHING, without any hiccups. We look forward to maintaining a long term relationship with you going forward,

    We will be adding another 2 vessels to our fleet in the near future

    Regards
    Byron Ashington
    OUTRAGEOUS FISHING
    Cape Town, South Africa

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      Cat

      Aug 23, 2019

      Bryon, thanks for the message and your kind words. The pleasure is all ours! It’s great to hear your fleet’s expanding, looking forward to seeing the new boats.

      Cat

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  • Capt Bud Wegner

    Aug 22, 2019

    Thank you for clearing up the many misconceptions out there about Fishbooker.
    I’m a little discouraged that you take off points for double bookings. This is a fast paced world and especially in the busy season (May thru August) and it’s not unusual for bookings to come in multiples during the day, as well as poor weather forcing bookings to move from one day to the next.
    Continue the good work and I also will do my best not to get caught in the double booking situation.

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      Cat

      Aug 23, 2019

      Hi Captain Bud,

      I’m happy you found this useful. I understand where you’re coming from regarding the double bookings in high season – they can come in thick and fast! We’ve recently introduced a new feature that may help with this, as it lets you block people from making short notice bookings. We understand double bookings do happen sometimes, but know that this makes the customer’s booking experience very difficult, so we do what we can to make it as smooth as possible by promoting captains with a higher success rate. Updating your calendar on the Captain App as soon as any other bookings come in is the best way of making your success rate and visibility increase.

      If you need to reschedule due to bad weather, you won’t get penalised – we know there’s nothing you can do about that! We also absolutely support you rescheduling the trip if it’s not safe to go out. You can see a walk through of how that process works here.

      Hope that helps, and have a good day! Cat

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  • Shane Ziegler

    Aug 22, 2019

    That was interesting and informative to learn more about Fishing Booker. I have not had any problems with communicating with clients after they have booked and completely understand how it would not make sense for them to contact a captain before booking with Fishing Booker.

    So far I have enjoyed the clients you have sent me and I appreciate the extra revenue and the marketing online that I could not have afforded.

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      Cat

      Aug 23, 2019

      Hi Captain Shane,

      Thanks for getting in touch – I’m really happy to hear you found this interesting and that you’ve had a good experience with the clients we’ve sent you!

      Tight lines, Cat

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  • Captain Gary Campbell

    Aug 22, 2019

    After visiting with your team on their recent trip to the US Gulf Coast, I was relieved to find them receptive to the concerns about calendar dates and pending bookings being indicated after cancellation due to weather, etc. They spent an entire day taking me from start to finish in detail, laying out your platform, company structure, personnel and search engine agreements. I’m sure the few times I’ve failed to make a charter due to afore mentioned conditions, Fishing Bookers never once turned their back on Fishin’ Hookers.

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      Cat

      Aug 23, 2019

      Captain Gary, I’m so happy to hear you had a good experience when meeting our team. They also learned a lot in return and your feedback was very valuable!

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  • Rick Caton FREE AGENT SPORT FISHING HATTERAS,NC

    Aug 22, 2019

    Fish Booker Staff,
    First off I have only been with you guys about 2 months…maybe…Thanks for the opportunity.I have had only 3 trips sent my way …ran 2 and had to decline 1 due to weather.I have been in the charter business FULL TIME for 45 years as a mate and Captain.Owned my own business & boat for the last 35 years.You guys do a great job of booking ,collecting deposits and keeping me informed .from what I have seen thus far in my short time with you….just not many trips. .
    Second off……as badly as I hate to inform you of this…..You guys DO BOOK quite a few part time guys……Some..though qualified because of a license are not so qualified in the real life aspects of being a true full time charter fisherman and actually having True Hands On Sea Time.I have watched this in action day in and day out in Hatteras,NC this summer.I have worked and was taught by some of the #1 Captains in NC such as Buddy Cannady “Capt. B.C.”…Tony Tillett “Carolinian”….John Bayliss “Tarheel” and numerous others. I know business is business …BUT…..you do book alot of part time guys ……..and it is truly sad to see those that have never truly put in all the “Blood -Sweat & Tears”…..just suck up on the gravy……
    Anyway as I said earlier with the few trips that I have gotten.. I think you guys do a great job keeping me informed…the customer informed…texts to let you know that your trip is coming up and other stuff to make it a professional operation…It’s just sad to see the part timers get the bulk of the trips….Just my opinion

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      Cat

      Aug 23, 2019

      Hi Captain Rick, it’s a real pleasure to have you with us and I’m glad you’ve been happy with the communication so far.

      When it comes to the experience of the guides, we understand that everyone has to start somewhere and want to provide a fair chance to all legitimate charter operators. So if a captain has passed the necessary requirements for the USCG captain’s license and is properly registered with the local authorities, we’re happy to give them the chance to advertise.

      There’s no denying the fact that people with experience such as yours have something very special to offer anglers, though. With this in mind, we highlight the years of experience that the captain has on the listing – this has actually become more visible in the past few months. We also put as much information as we can about the captain’s past experience in the bio section and the listing itself, so customers can make the most informed choice when choosing their charter. In addition, we invite customers to share their opinions of the trip and the crew publicly after their trip, which helps future customers learn more about the professionalism of the crew. When all of these things combine, it means that your experience should shine through online, especially once you collect more reviews. It can take a little time for the ball to get rolling, so you might want to considering asking some of your customers from outside FishingBooker write a review for you, too.

      I hope you get some more trips through from us soon and that more people can benefit from everything your charter has to offer! Cat

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      Rick Caton

      Aug 23, 2019

      Cat,
      Thanks for the informative response and clarification ……looking forward to more trips.
      Rick Caton aka “Cato”
      F/V FREE AGENT Hatteras,NC

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  • Capt Joe Nash

    Aug 22, 2019

    Nice to see some explanation of higher commissions vs reviews and rankings.Thank you

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      Cat

      Aug 23, 2019

      Happy to help! 🙂 Cat

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  • Carlos Misk

    Aug 23, 2019

    i used to get booking requests at least once or twice a week and have been awarded anglers choice let alone all my 5 star reviews that i got from all clients however lately i have not received any booking request in over 6 months and it seems strange?? can you please explain?

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      Cat

      Aug 23, 2019

      Hi Carlos,

      I’ve taken a look at your listings and I can’t see any particular reason why your bookings have dropped. You’re still on the first page and your reviews are clearly visible. It’s possibly simply due to less demand for Dubai in the last couple of months – hopefully demand and bookings should increase as the weather gets cooler.

      In the meantime I recommend uploading your credentials to the secure verification page so you can get fully verified. This will give customers more peace of mind and make them more likely to book you. Just follow the steps here.

      Tight lines, Cat

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  • Michael Woodward Woodys Northwest Fishing and Fun

    Aug 23, 2019

    Thank you Fishing Booker your a life saver!!! Your website has been incredible and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship. Cannot say Thank you enough, Tight lines and Bobber down!!!

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      Cat

      Aug 23, 2019

      So glad to hear that, Michael! It’s great working with you 🙂 Cat

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  • Steve A

    Aug 25, 2019

    Google informs me that you are paying a very high premium to use my business name.
    Well business is business, we small guys can’t compete with you deep-pocketed US/Russian companies.
    Can’t compete so have to join the bullies.

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      Cat

      Aug 26, 2019

      Hi Steve,

      Running ads on Google and other search engines is one of the several ways that we advertise you and bring you business. We have a team of experts who know a lot about how search engines can work, so we can help customers find you online. And we spend money on this without charging a cent from you unless we succeed in our mission, which is to bring you customers. After speaking with a lot of charter operators we’ve heard that this is a help for them when advertising their business, as they don’t need to invest so much time and money into Google advertising.

      Cat

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  • Jay Lancaster

    Aug 25, 2019

    Hi Cat,

    I was a little skeptical when I first heard of Fishing Booker but when a friend who had been with you guys for about a year spoke so highly of you I decided to give it a try.

    I’ve been in the offshore charter business for much of my life but several years ago I decided to try the yacht seen and when I decided to go back to charter fishing I realized a lot had changed and I was starting all over. Thanks to Fishing Booker it looks like I’ll reach my goal for the first year back in business.

    Commission is not an issue for me as I would pay commission to anyone who gets me charters and all docks that book charters have their favorites they like to book first for different reasons. Fishing Booker gives everyone an equal chance to set prices and show off what they do. Also, things have changed over the years with online booking and it’s not as important to rely on a house to book charters. The Fishing Booker staff I’ve spoken with have always been very nice and professional and I’m looking forward our relationship continuing.

    I like the way the bookings work. It’s very easy and everyone I’ve taken out this season has been great. I usually send a message to the customer just to touch base and then I’ll get in touch again a day or two before the trip.

    Thanks for busting some myths. I had some concerns early on but it didn’t take long to for me to figure out Fishing Booker is an excellent operation.

    Thanks for what you do.

    Jay

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      Cat

      Aug 26, 2019

      Hi Jay,

      Thank you for the positive feedback. I’m delighted to hear that we’ve been able to help you reach your goals this year! Looking forward to many more successful trips in the future.

      Cat

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  • Captain Ted Marshall

    Aug 26, 2019

    Thanks for the great information Cat! I too have only been with you for about two months and I’ve had some great bookings through your site. It seems to be the only online booking platform that is actually working for me. I look forward to learning more about how to make it work better. Keep up the good work and I look forward to working with you in the future. How do you work seasonal closeings?I close down from late October until late April for the winter season. Is that something that is stated on the profile?

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      Cat

      Aug 26, 2019

      Captain Ted, thanks for your message! I’m really happy to hear you’re pleased with how things are going so far. It’s great to have you with us!

      There are a couple of ways you can set seasonal closings: one is through the availability settings, which allow you to set a custom date range when you can be booked. There’s a short walkthrough of this here (skip to 0:28). Otherwise, you can set each of your trips up as seasonal trips. I can also add a note to your description.

      Cat

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  • Capt.David Ballard

    Sep 6, 2019

    I don’t care if you guys are from Mars, Fishing Booker works well for me. We fish year round here in St. Augustine Fl. and it is a big supplement to my charter business. The benefits out weigh the comissions we pay. Heck, we have always paid a commission to some charters offices that booked us charters. Thats just how it works! Happy to be affilated with Fishing Booker.

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      Sean

      Sep 10, 2019

      Thanks, Captain David,

      We appreciate the kind words!

      It’s very good to hear that partnering up with us has paid off for you.

      We look forward to sending many more bookings your way.

      Tight lines!

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