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An Overloaded Fishing Boat Adversely Effects the Outcome of Fishing Trips

A Visual Explanation of How Many Anglers can Practically Fish in a Shallow Water Skiff or Bay Boat

Friday October 20, 2017

Shallow water fishing for red fish or other species requires specialized equipment and vessels built to practically fish 1 thru 3 anglers depending on their size and weight. As with all private charter fishing boats in the United States, our Coast Guard OUPV or "Six Pack" license only allows us to take up to six customers on the boat legally.  If you are looking for a party larger than six you need to look at a party or "head boat" that often takes fifty or more customers.

What Is a Shallow Water "Flats Boat"?

Many saltwater game fish are caught in less than three feet of water and often less than a foot. To pursue these popular sports fish many boat manufacturers develop small skiffs that can operate and float in extremely shallow water. These vessels are light, quiet and are made to push around with a long composite pole for maximum stealth and quietness so as not to spook fish in the shallows. Many quality gamefish have learned electric motor hum and avoid the sound of an approaching boat using one altogether. Imagine how difficult it could be for a fishing guide to propel boat, anglers and extra equipment around with a push-pole, imagine the difficulty when it's four or five anglers and the boat is scraping the bottom of the lagoon with the additional weight. It turns a possible performance fishing trip into a low performance trip in a hurry.

Crowded Fishing Trips

How Many Anglers Does Lagooner Fishing Guides Take on their Boats?

Flats Fishing Boat (18 foot Action Craft)
We typically take up to three anglers on this water craft and try to communicate the disadvantages of having additional passengers as illustrated in the photographs on the left. As you can see in the photos, after two customers, the Guide often struggles with what to do with the additional guest on the forward casting platform.

Tower or Bay Boat (24 foot Action Craft-Coastal Bay)
In addition to our 18 foot Flats Boat we have a 24 foot Tower Boat that can comfortably fit up to four passengers on a calm day. During our summer months we take fishing charters in the ocean where this craft is a great addition to our arsenal of Saltwater Fishing Vessels. It's perfect for fast paced fishing along the beach looking for tarpon and schools of jacks, snook or redfish. When the water is clean the tower with full controls allow the guide to put you on cobra and other sight fished ocean running species.

How to turn a High Performance Fishing Trip into JUST another Day of Fishing.

Overload the boat with too many passengers and fishing equipment making it impractical for anglers to move around the boat freely is the surest way to doom a day of fishing from the start.

Sight fishing requires an angler to stand on the bow and look attentively for gamefish. There's often room for two anglers if they cooperate together while taking turns casting and looking, however... more than two on the bow of the boat often becomes awkward for both angler(s) and guide. Shallow water fishing can be the best fishing experience for an angler as it challenges their fishing abilities while scanning for fish and casting to signs of feeding or swimming fish. East Central Florida is famous for it's shallow water fishing on the Indian, Banana and Mosquito Lagoons.

When taking children on a fishing trip, depending on their age and attention spans, consider limiting the fishing trip to a half day or 4-5 hour trip. You know your child better than anyone, but be honest with yourself and always try and give your child a positive experience where they remember a great morning on the water rather than a grueling day of hard fishing for eight or nine hours.

One of my fondest letters received from a young angler after a half day fishing with his father reminded me of how children's expectations are often different.

"I wanted to thank you for a great day of fishing on the Indian River with me and my dad. The 18 pound redfish was the biggest fish that I have ever caught, but my favorite part of the day was picking the bait up from your net."
- A ten year old angler

I chuckled when I read this... the red fish was just gravy on his fishing adventure, he had more fun playing with the bait than catching the biggest fish of his life.

It's our job to meet the expectations of our anglers, doing this requires preparation and years of practice which can still be a difficult endeavor. If you're looking for a high performance fishing trip while visiting Florida, call Lagooner fishing guides and invite a friend or two.

Passengers on a Charter Boat

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: January 26 2016 15:34:04.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

October - 2017 Fishing Report

The summer is over and the autumn winds are starting to prevail as we head toward the holidays and winter. With water temperatures on the fall and water levels above average you can find good numbers of fish very close to the shoreline and against the mangroves. Mullet are in their peak run and will start to subside as we enter November, but bait, comfort and the end of the redfish spawn should keep anglers busy during the month of October. Lie mullet will trump any given bait during the fall on most days and if you're lucky enough to run into a school of big breeding redfish, it typically doesn't matter what you throw at them, just be ready for these fish that often exceed forty pounds.

Wrapping up the October report, we have been catching snook along the deeper shorelines with the seasonally high water, breeding redfish are coming to an end, but you have a chance to catch them and the fall mullet fun will keep the gamefish interesting into November.

Fishing Forecast

October - 2017 Fishing Forecast

The frost is on the pumpkin, but not in Central Florida's Banana River Lagoon during October. The Halloween month can be the first we really start feeling cooler temperatures and the fish seem to get frisky and are hungry during this fall month. Although we concentrate further south for snook during October, it's starting to really get good in the Banana River as bait from the fall mullet run are around and there's plenty of action for almost every species from snook to sea trout. Sea trout in the evenings can be fantastic or early in the morning when the sun is not fully out. Redfish and tarpon will be around the whole day for anglers to enjoy. Look for the Banana to get better and better during the coming weeks and months as winter makes itself known.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953
Website:

204 Garfield Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL
USA

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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Had a very enjoyable day today with capt Richard....
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on April 7, 2015

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