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Captain Richard Bradley

Saltwater Fishing Charters by Lagooner Fishing Guides

Fishing Guarantees


Tuesday June 19, 2018

Please read carefully and consider what we are trying communicate to the unwary public scouring the internet for the best deal and fishing guarantees. The NO FISH NO PAY guarantee is a bait & switch tactic used by a few unreputable guides to attract business.

The bottom line is, even the best guides in the world cannot promise fish for customers without sacrificing income.  Many of these Charter Fishing Captains NEVER have intentions of honoring a guarantee and simply use this tactic to attract unsuspecting customers.  There are simply no guarantees when it comes to catching fish.

I've witnessed top tournament anglers at high stakes BASS and FLW Redfish Tour events simply not catch a fish during an event.  Even the "best of the best" have uncooperative fishing moments in their lives. Being a professional means getting paid for representing yourself with a good, honest work ethic with customers about your services before getting paid. If a charter fishing captain does this, he will succeed with his customers 100% of the time, even if they don't catch fish every time.

"It's frightening how struggling fishing guides use an intentionally bad business strategy on dynamic living organisms and expect to surrender a day's work because the fish didn't cooperate." explained one FLW tournament point leader.

I've been fishing my whole life in the Central Florida area and have had the opportunity to go spend time on the water with the best anglers and guides in the world. I've never expected to always catch fish, but I always look forward to the pursuit with my angling friends and having fun in the endeavor. Under no condition do I attempt to persuade customers with a guarantee that's dependent on wildlife cooperation, angler's skills, weather forecast and myself.

In recent conversations with several of my full time colleagues about the amount of fraudulent claims on the internet and the experiences our customers have had dealings with. The NO FISH NO PAY GUARANTEE being the number one misleading advertisement in our business.

"It's frightening how struggling fishing guides use an intentionally bad business guarantee on dynamic living organisms and expect to give up a days' pay because the fish didn't cooperate." explained one FLW tournament point leader. "It's difficult some days for me and I'm supposedly one of the best, how can you expect a customer that has limited fishing, casting and angling abilities to perform in all conditions and situations? It's a SCAM!"

This tournament angler and guide is correct, there's absolutely no way to guarantee fish unless you occasionally relinquish a paycheck and subsidize the day with gas and supplies from time-to-time. I enjoy being on the water, but when you're outdoors almost 300 days a year working hard for your customer(s) and family, it's a bit unreasonable to abandon a day's pay.

Here's an example of four days of tarpon fishing a few years ago off Canaveral's Seashore to help enlighten readers:

I had several days where the first part of the trip was catching bait and finding pods of big 100+ pound tarpon. Tarpon can be finicky one day, non cooperative another morning or accepting everything you toss to them an hour later. The normal routine was to ride almost 17 miles along the beach looking for feeding/rolling tarpon near bait pods, present baits to a cooperative tarpon then settle into an extended fight. On four successive days we hooked several tarpon only to loose due to angler fatigue and lack of angling skills.

If I had the NO FISH, NO PAY Guarantee...What do I do then? Give them their money back? I don't think so... I'd be divorced upon the return home with a $150 fuel, tackle and ice bill FOUR DAYS IN A ROW! The 80 pound fluorocarbon, twenty five pound test line and owner hook's cost alone were expensive but necessary for the fight and are standard when seeking these large coastal fish. And by the way... in the entire month we had a few days where we couldn't find tarpon at all.

After seeing several advertisements on Google for NO FISH NO PAY GUARANTEES I decided to investigate by making a few calls to the guides that use this gimmick. Our findings are listed below.

Soliciting "NO FISH - NO PAY GUARANTEE" Fishing Guides

When calling these advertised Captains almost every charter Captain resorted to "bait and switch" tactics. There routine was simple: "Mr Angler, we guarantee we'll give you the opportunity to catch a fish, but it's simply up to you. If you want a full guarantee you'll have to let me participate in the fishing trip and my fish will be included." or "Mr Angler, I'm not guaranteeing certain species of fish, you might catch catfish, puffers or other non-gamefish, do you have the skills to catch redfish (or other game fish he's comfortable with)? Cause they're biting and I can try and put you on one of those without the guarantee." Then they simply attempt to book the trip because they received the call they probably wouldn't have received without the greasy tactic any way's.

These Charter Captains have not built their business's on honesty and integrity, but predatory practices and promises they have no intention of fulfilling. Further investigation into these Captains reveled the following:

Retired and Fishing for Enjoyment at Everyone's Expense:

These are the carefree retired guys that advertise at cut rates. The quality of their service is typically abysmal and their work ethic is well... at retirement pace. No motivation here to do anything correctly for their customers, just go out and enjoy the day and live..." I'm retired and fishing, ain' t life great!" Several of us charter captains had the pleasure of fishing alongside one of these retired individuals recently and their discounted crew as he ran over four separate charter boat live bait spreads that collected quickly in his outboard props and down rigger balls. He never had a clue and his charter looked shocked at the inability of this skipper's lack of knowledge. His advertisement on his website simply says this:

"I started my retirement recently and it's my mission going forward is to take fine folks fishing and show them a good time. And with a little luck send them on their way with some good eating fish as well. That said, it's also my desire to keep the cost for those folks to go fishing as low as possible by charging very little more than what it takes to cover my expenses. It's my hope this will allow me the opportunity to spend as much time on the ocean while I am still physically able to do so and stay within my retirement budget. Give me a call and with you helping to cover my expenses, we'll have a great time, catch a few fish and share some fond memories."

- Captain John

Now remember, this guy ran over almost everyone's fishing gear on a three mile reef and didn't bother to look back. We were all Going Off on this man and still wonder why he's doing himself and every charter Captain in Port Canaveral a disservice by not making any profit. I guess, he's as oblivious about his business plan as about his fishing abilities. And not only that, he's taking business away from full-time charter Captains that are trying to feed their families. (I believe this individual was a Union Man for a telecom company, what would his Union think of him now?)

Failure to Launch Captains (living with Mom & Dad)

Remarkably we found plenty of young and middle aged men that had failure to launch and if they drink too much the night before your charter... There's a likely hood of another failure to launch. I get a no pleasure hearing from their stood up customers about these guys. "We showed up, but the guide didn't". What really irks me about these skippers is that they have no business plan, we've seen $49 fishing trips where expenses exceed the cost of the trip! How do you compete with that? Reputable professional fishing guides have mortgages, utilities and groceries...

The Thurston Howell III (Lovey, I'm Independently Wealthy!)

The Mr. Howell's of charter fishing skippers, these gentlemen justify their existence on the water because they have no interest in the golf course. They may become bored after they can't or don't get the fish to bite and take you to the Ocean Club Marina instead of staying out and trying harder. "Lovey...! Lovey...! It's simply too hot out there on this dreadful ocean today!"  I'm not sure how to classify these guys but most are not motivated enough to work hard for their charter, they're just there for some unapparent reason, we just can't figure out why, maybe ego or boredom?  The question arises, if they don't have to work for their money, why should they work for you?

Boat Payment Captains (Part Timers)

This popular fishing guide that's figured out how justify to his girlfriend, third or forth wife and himself the reasons to buy a boat. He'll exhort to her, "I'll make enough money to make the boat payment, all I have to do is take people fishing for an incredible cheap price ten times a month and I'll cover the expense of the boat!" all the while he's scheming... "I'll get to go fishing ten times per month with her blessing too." Needless to say, he's working on his next "significant other" shortly afterward and out of business when his motor fails.

These Captains motives are simple... Don't build a reputable and profitable business around good service and honest claims. There's always a gimmick...

Exposing No Fish No Pay

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: January 08 2016 23:58:50.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

June - 2018 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

June - 2018 Fishing Forecast

Forecasting the Banana River in the month of June is challenging as the water temperatures rise the bite tends to go down so that's why you'll find many anglers pursuing other places like Port Canaveral or Sebastian Inlet area where there's tidal flow and water exchange. The Banana is a unique estuary because of it's distance from any open ocean inlets and bays. Because of this it's important to realize that the temps can often get into the mid 80's and higher causing the fish to be less receptive to feeding and more likely to seek cooler places under docks or simply migrate into more comfortable waters.

Florida Charter Captain Requirements

In this time of change in the world economy, we've seen our share new wannabe charter fishing guides popping up every few weeks. It seems that every local and semi local fire fighter or part-time professional wants to earn enough money to make their boat payment or spend their extra time fishing while using non-suspecting tourist to fund their endeavors.

Legitimate Charter Captains must maintain several things to make them legal and compliant on Florida waterways and ocean. Below are the minimal legal requirements to operate a Charter Fishing Company in the State of Florida.

A Business Occupational License
Lagooner, Inc.

Coast Guard Captain's License (OUPV or better)

FWC Charter Boat Fishing License and Stamps

Liability/Property Insurance (at least $1 million)

NOAA Fish License(s) (if in ocean)

TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Card)
After 9-11 this is a required homeland security badge that must be in a charter captain's possession at all times while working on the waterways.

Proper Marine Vessel Safety Equipment

Commercial Vessel Registration
All water vessels & trailers must be registered commercially by the state of Florida.

Proper Permits for Restricted Waterways
Are you fishing on restricted waters? Better make sure your Fishing Guide is properly permitted.

CPR & First Aid (up-to-date)
Must have CPR annually and First Aid bi-annually

Drug Consortium
All Coast Guard Captains must belong to a random drug testing organization and must submit regularly to their requirements.

Before you get on the boat with your next charter, ask: Are you a full-time Charter Captain and do you have the proper and legal requirements for running a charter fishing business?

Because of it's relevance to the article I've written about guaranteed fishing. Look below at the Google AdSense box and see how many Charter Fishing Captains must resort to guarantees to capture customers. Shameless advertising and shameless Charter Fishing Business practice.

I'm Captain Richard Bradley and I fish almost 300 days a year as a full-time professional charter fishing Captain and I have never resorted to dishonest promises that I may or may not be able to deliver. I promise a safe, responsible fishing trip and a strong work ethic while attempting to match my anglers skills with their expectations. Almost 70% of my customers are repeats that come back on a regular basis and if you look thru my website you'll see how evident our success is without giving false hope and expectations to the unsuspecting public.

Here's my best advice for anyone looking for a fishing guide. Simply ask: Are you a full-time fishing guide and is charter fishing your sole source of income? If the answer is no, then look for someone else.

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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

204 Garfield Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL

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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.

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