No trip to the coast is complete without a party boat deep-sea fishing trip. If you have never been deep-sea fishing or if you have a trip planned, I highly recommend Deep-sea Fishing Tips for Beginners. You will find some helpful tips to save you time, money, and frustration.
While searching the various options for deep-sea fishing charters in the North Myrtle Beach area, I came across Voyager Deep-sea Fishingand Dolphin Cruises located in North Myrtle Beach. The website is very well designed and it offers good information about what to expect on your trip. Unfortunately, this is where the good ends. If you read to the end, you will see that this trip gets progressively worse.
|I knew that the crew did not expect a big day when I saw that they only had two|
Dollar-Tree-sized laundry baskets and slightly more ice than large McDonald's Coke!
Voyager is located at Dock Holiday’s Marina, which is further inland than some of the other fishing charters. I knew this when I booked the trip but I figured the cruise out to sea would be a nice addition for my son. Turns out that I was right, the trip out to sea was nice, but it does cut into your fishing time. Round trip, you will probably lose a total of an hour.
The Captain of the Voyager was friendly and his methods were different from what I had previously experienced. I am far from a boating or deep-sea fishing expert but it seemed like he spent too much time in one fishing spot. Our first stop produced very few fish; the fish we did catch were too small to keep. We played catch and release for what seemed like an eternity before moving to the second and final stop.
|The best part of this trip ended up being the cruise down|
the Intercoastal Waterway that leads out to sea.
Here we came across a school of small black sea bass; most were around ten inches and had to be released. I happened to reel in the only keeper that was just over the thirteen-inch mark. It was at this stop that I also caught a 14” Chocolate Chip Porgy. The Porgy ended up winning the fish pool for the biggest fish. I hate to boast, but this is the second year in a row that we have won the fish pool. Last year my wife won with an Atlantic Sharpnose shark! The deckhands made their way around the boat with a bucket to collect tips while we headed back to the marina. When we returned, we were given our fish. Sadly, the majority of the passengers had no fish to show for their day at sea.
This is where the first mate let his true colors come out. This is also where I determined that I would choose a different deep-sea fishing charter on our next visit to North Myrtle Beach. When entering the fish pool, my family of three were the last names added to the list. I also paid for my son just in case he landed a whale. I later spoke with one of the deck-hands and he let me know that there were approximately 30 names on the list. Thirty passengers who pay $5 each would create a jackpot of around $150. But at the conclusion of our trip, the first mate handed me $65 and walked away. When I asked about the difference, he told me that the crew keeps a third to split between them, I still should have gotten $100.
I was going to leave it alone at this point. I just wanted it known that, unlike the first mate, I can do simple math. However, on the heels of lying to me about the fish pool, he offers to clean the few fish we caught for $15. The website that I mentioned earlier clearly says that they clean fish for their guest at a rate of .50 per pound. Pardon the expression, but there is no way in hell I had 30 lbs. of fish.
|Beware!! This guy simply can't resist trying to rip off the passengers!|
You will know him, because he is the only deckhand that goes shirtless. Very unprofessional.
When I told him that I would take my fish elsewhere to be cleaned, he got defensive. He began to rant about how little the deckhands are paid and then he pulled some small bills out of his pockets and tossed them in my cooler. All of this went on in front of my son. I am thankful that my wife decided to head to the car. I refused to take any of his money. I simply said, “You don’t owe me anything, I just want my fish.”
On the way out, I briefly spoke to the owner. I posed the question of how much the crew takes of the fish pool. The owner, who was a nice guy, said that they usually take a twenty-percent cut to split between the crew on top of the tip to which most of the passengers contributed. When I told him the cliff-notes version of what had just taken place, he shook his head in frustration and offered to get the rest of my money. Instead of waiting for the line of passengers to board, I refused the money. I told him that it was not about the money, but I do not like to be lied to, stolen from, or to be treated with complete disrespect.
On our next trip to North Myrtle Beach, I plan to book our deep-sea fishing excursion with Little River Fishing Fleet. On our previous trip with them, we caught more fish and had more fun. Read the full review by clicking the link above.