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FAQ

Hopefully this will answer your questions but if not feel free to text, email or schedule a time for us to chat.

Am I guanteed to catch fish?

No, like fishing everywhere, you won’t always catch a fish on a fishing charter. That being said, it’s pretty rare we don’t catch any fish. Could have a day that you didn’t catch exactly what you wanted or didn’t get that mahi mahi to have for lunch. It’s likely you’ll catch fish; you just might not catch the exact fish you had your heart set on.

What kind of fish will you catch?

Good question, this is one of the best parts of fishing the Choctawhatchee Bay or the Gulf of Mexico. We get a huge variety of fish!  Here is a list of some fish you could catch while on the water.

Deep drop/Trolling in Gulf

  • Mahi-Mahi

  • Grouper

  • Shark

  • Toad Fish

  • Remora

  • Angel Fish

  • Baracuda

  • Red Snapper

  • Amber Jack

  • Vermillion Snapper (Mingo)

  • Flounder

  • Trigger

  • Ruby Red's

  • Mangrove Snapper

  • Permit

  • King Mackerel

  • Spade Fish

  • Sand Perch

  • Salt water Cat Fish

  • Wahoo

  • Marlin

Bay Fishing

  • Red Fish 

  • Spanish Mackerel

  • Sheepshead

Why Families Choose Captain Bob and the crew of the Jig is Up?

It’s because of the great hospitality and customer service that families receive.  The extra effort that Captain Bob and his first mate Kevin give you on every trip is phenomenal.  Not to mention the other Crew members Kim and Lindy who are behind the scenes to ensure you and your family/friends have the best day ever.  While on board our vessel the MADALY they ensure a safe and fun experience.   

What Kind of Environment Will You Be Around?

We understand you want the best experience for your family, and we work hard to ensure you get exactly what you expect from a professionally run operation.  Your captain is a USAF Veteran and along with his wife Kim ran a successful wedding venue in Kansas.  He is someone who is used to giving outstanding customer service. 

What Factors Affect the Success of Your Trip?

Your success depends on:  Your participation, ability to learn, the bite, fishing pressure, moon phase, tide, current, water clarity, weather, sea conditions, and salinity. The cooler being full is determined by seasons, your participation and how the fish bite.

We provide the best tools and take you to the best fishing spots and give you a greater than average chance to catch some nice fish.  Our boat is well maintained as well as our fishing tackle. We have GPS and a trolling motor to keep us on spot when the waves are not a factor.  If the waves are high or the gulf is to rough, we will troll over wrecks and/or drift fish.  This is important, because we want you to have a chance to get one of those big ones to the boat without having a malfunction or something happening that we could have prevented.

Will We Catch Fish?

This is a hard question to answer because those of you who have ever been fishing before you understand why it’s called fishing and not catching.  We might be fishing for one type of fish and catch something completely unexpected.  That is the fun in fishing with families for us.  Sometimes we have to hunt around a bit and try to find some that are biting better than others.  If you go bottom fishing and learn how to use the tackle and then participate, you should catch a fish.

What Fish Will We Catch When Red Snapper, Triggerfish, Amberjack and Grouper Seasons are Closed?

When red snapper, triggerfish and grouper season closes, and you have a fishing trip planned, we are still going to catch them, photograph them and release them.  

We usually find Mingo Snappers which don’t have a season and trigger fish, only a size and limit. There’s a great chance you will find other keepers too such as trigger fish, mackerel, little tunny or even a mahi.

What Fish Can We Keep?   Will We Catch a Limit?

Well, that all depends on the fish you are catching being in season and the people in your group being able to learn how to catch them.  Most of the fish we catch off Destin (like red snapper, triggerfish, amberjack) are highly regulated by federal and state fisheries laws.  This means they have strict quotas, small bag limits and often short seasons.  Since we don’t focus on meat hunting or filling the cooler/freezer, it’s hard to say what or how many you can keep.   That is why we go fishing; we catch whatever is biting.  If it is of legal size and in season, you may keep them.   We are not hard-core anglers who focus on only catching a limit or trying to fill the cooler.   If you want to catch a lot of fish to take home, you need to book your trip when those species are in season.

Why Does Your Fishing Trips Cost What It Does?

Charter fishing is a service industry, and we know what kind of service we provide for our customers.   We charge a fair competitive price.  We are not the most expensive and we aren’t the lease expensive.  Please read our reviews and you will see why families pick The Jig is Up as the best value in the Destin, Okaloosa Island, and Fort Walton Beach area

We are a seasonal business.  Our tourist season begins in March with Spring Break.  Our summer season being May 25 (Memorial Day) and continues through the third week of August, or when the kids go back to school. Our less touristy fall season starts in the first week in September (Labor Day) and runs through November (Thanksgiving).

With such a seasonal window to work, we have to charge enough money to make a living and then pay bills for the months that we are not running a lot.  I assure you that this industry is tough and competition for your business is fierce.  One thing for sure, we are competitive on our pricing and want to keep your cost as low as we can.  But we also have to make a living.

We charge what we do for our trips because we know what gross revenue it takes to stay in business.  Fuel is the single largest expense for our company and that is ever fluctuating.   Currently prices are $6 a gallon and our fast dual 350 Suzuki engines get 1 mpg.  Our prices reflect Monthly slip rental, insurance, long and short-term maintenance, keeping well maintained fishing tackle, and the list continues.   We don’t mess around when it comes to taking care of our boat.  In addition, we have top of the line GPS, all sonars (fish finders) and radar and Rhodan 96” trolling motor, bait etc.

We maintain our boat and fishing gear at the highest of standards and we still have a few mechanical failures from time to time.  But one thing for sure, a well-maintained charter boat doesn’t break down nearly as much as one who doesn’t know what their service is worth.

Why Tip Your Deckhand or First Mate for their services?

A deckhand only has about 5 months to make their living for the entire year.  It seems like they make a lot of money, but that money made in five months must be rationed out and last 12 months.  They work hard for their tip. Those winters are long and dark when you have no income coming in until the second week of March each year.  Since your deckhand works seasonally it is hard for them to get a job the other months because most people want employees to work year-round.  We are unique in what we do for people.

Remember – Your deckhand can’t control how the fish bites or if there is a mechanical issue that is out of his scope.  When it comes to fishing, they keep the boat clean (but you must do your part and pick up after yourself if you make a mess) and teach you and your family how to use the tackle and learn how to catch a fish.  Your deckhand is a guide who cares if you have excellent fishing experience.  This is why on our boat tips are appreciated.  This amount is to be paid in cash only.  Free or complimentary fish cleaning for any fish you harvest is also included by the deckhand.

Questions and Answers About Fishing Reservations and Payments

Do you charge a 10-30% up front non- refundable deposit like other charters do?  Yes., we need a current credit card number on file to hold your trip.  We run your card for the deposit amount and only charge if you cancel within 7 days (See Cancellation Section). On the day of trip, we accept Cash, Venmo or card (3% charge will be added for credit card charges).

How many people can we bring on our private charter?
You may have a maximum of 6 people, regardless of their age or participation. If you have 7 or more people, contact us and tell us, so we can refer you to a friend of ours before the 7-day cancellation deadline.   6 passengers maximum is a US Coast Guard Regulation and not a limitation of our 32-foot World Cat.

What forms of payments do you accept?
We accept cash, Venmo and all major credit cards.   (SORRY, NO CHECKS, BITCOIN OR FOREIGN CURRENCY ACCEPTED)

When do we pay for our charter?
Bring your form of payment with you to the boat on the day of your trip.  Please do not leave your credit card or cash in the car.  Payment is due at the boat prior to leaving on the Charter.

Do we need to tip the captain?  Tipping the captain is your prerogative.   If he does a good job, it is always appreciated.   While checking out and paying with a credit card, we do have a screen that gives you the option to add a tip in the form of a percentage on the same page where your signature goes.

Why Do We Require Online Booking and Reservation Requests?

We are a professionally run charter fishing operation.  You are always welcome to call us.  While we ask that you fill out a SECURE request online, so you and we will have a record of all communication between us during the fishing trip process. Since most people have smart phones and or email, we find it easier and more effective to communicate electronically, but if you ever need to talk with someone, we are available by phone as well.

(We want you to trust us, we built our website, and it is 100% secure (The best we can) and we protect your identity and credit card information ferociously.

Communication – Why We Send Confirmation Emails for Reservations?

We don’t want to miss anything or mess your reservation up by forgetting to write something down.   Email tends to be the easiest way for us to manage our reservations and communication.   During our busy season, we are working 15 hours a day and there is the potential for us or you to forget something.

A confirmation email is like your receipt or voucher, saying the date and time you chose is yours.

Cancellation and Weather Policies

What is our cancellation policy?

If you cancel a trip within 7 days of your trip, we will charge you the full price of the trip.  (This rarely happens)
We are not jerks and we know life happens.  We hate to charge any cancellation fee.  However, If you fail to show, you will be charged the full amount plus tip, even if you test positive for covid 19. You must call me or email me with a cancellation request. If you email me and do not get a confirmation or a response, you need to check your spam box, because I do respond to every cancellation.

What is your bad weather policy?
We usually know if there is going to be bad weather or high winds a day in advance but sometimes the weatherperson misses the forecast. If the weather is questionable, we will be talking to you beforehand.

We don’t fish in unsafe conditions, but we do fish when it is raining and while thunderstorms are around us. We watch the radar on our boat and look at the direction they are moving in and most of the time, navigate around them.  We do fish in choppy seas but remember that we want you to have a good time and don’t want you to have a negative experience.  There are times when we depart in seas that are choppy (but safe) and after a few hours, they grow into larger seas.  That is something that is unforeseen.  If that happens, we will ask you if you want to continue or head home?  If you say yes, we will head back and we will make the price of the trip fair.

If it is raining the day of our trip, do we still have to show up? 

YES.  If it is raining or thunderstorms the day of your trip and you have not heard from us in advance, you are expected to show up and be ready to go.  You need to have appropriate clothing and rain gear protection because we fish in light rain.  Most of the time during the summer, storms pass quickly, and we will still be able to make our trip.

What happens if the weather gets bad after departure?  If we get underway and after a while, the sea conditions get worse and the captain says we are headed back in, you will only be charged for the hours you are on the boat based on $175 per hour.

What is your policy on trip cancellation due to seasickness? 

If we are out fishing and someone in your crew gets seasick or wants to go back in or cut the trip short, you are still obligated to pay the agreed amount.  We suggest taking something the night before and more right before the trip if you think this is a concern.  (Speak to your doctor about any medication you might take). We can defer to Bay fishing as an alternative.

If we book with you, will you be the captain who is taking us fishing?
Yes, I own and operate my own boat. When you book with me, I will personally be the one taking you fishing.  When you get the owner of the business on your trip, you are ensured that you will get the best experience.  We don’t have For-Hire Captains.  This saves you time, money and allows you to get to speak directly to him and/or his crew.  It gives you a chance to see if you like us and if we are a good fit for you and your family.  If you book through a marina charter office, you most likely will be shuffled to the next boat up on rotation or to the party boat, instead of the right boat for you.

Do you fish in rough or unsafe seas?
No. If the waves are 4 feet or taller and 3 or 4 seconds apart, we normally do not go unless they are just a big swell and spread far apart.   A 6 ft swell that is 7 seconds apart is fine, as long as there is not much wind.   If we weather conditions look like they will improve later and I have availability, I will ask you if you can re-schedule.  That is why you might be asked for an alternate date in communication messages. Trust me you don't want to be on the Gulf in rough weather.  This is another time to defer to Bay fishing.

What is the youngest a child can be to go fishing?
This all depends on your child. If your kids are outdoorsy type kids, I would say 4 years of age is the youngest, but you know your child. Remember, any child 7 years old or younger must wear a life jacket while on board in state waters. We do have them, and they are pretty comfortable to wear. You are always welcome to bring your own as long as they are US Coast Guard Approved.

Questions and Answers About Our Boat

 

Does your charter boat have an air-conditioned indoor sitting area?
No, but we do provide umbrellas for shade should you need to get out of the sun.  The wind is our open-air fan.

Does the boat have a restroom?  

Yes, the boat has a private, odor free restroom.  The toilet is much like a camper.  If you have not eaten it or drank it, please don’t try to flush it.  Please place toilet paper, baby wipes, feminine products, plastics, etc. in trash can to avoid any stopped-up lines.  You will have to listen to our “how to use our toilet speech” to ensure you understand how it operates. 

 

Can kids drive the boat? 

Absolutely, they can, as long as sea conditions are favorable. I love it when kids sit in the captain seat and parents get a few pics.  If seas are not exactly calm, they might need to sit beside the captain for safety’s sake.  I will let you know if it is safe. 

Can we smoke or drink Beer? 

No smoking please.  If you want to bring alcoholic beverages, please make sure they are not in glass bottles.   They might break and cut someone.  Please leave hard liquor at home.  Drinking too much is a liability and we have cancelled trips due to people getting intoxicated.  Just beer and wine coolers please.

Does your boat have enough fuel on board to make the entire trip? 

Yes, our policy is to have our boat fueled and ready to go prior to your arrival.   Tanks hold 279 gallons of fuel.

Additional Information About Fishing Trips

 

When is the best time to go fishing?
The best time to go fishing is during our busy season but that is only because of the warm weather. Our season kicks off during the first week in March each year with the spring break. We run hard until the middle of April and then business slacks off until about May 15. At that time, we will run almost every day until the end of August or until the kids go back to school.  Sept – November is less busy but still some of the best fishing.  The temperature cools off a bit. We are open year-round and fish throughout the winter months.

What fishing trip offers the best opportunity to catch fish?
The 5 hours am trip offers the most diversity.  You can split your time between bottom fishing and trolling.  You have time to run to more spots.

How far do we go out and how deep is the water?
On our most popular 5 hours fishing charters, we go in State waters up to 9 miles offshore and the water is anywhere from 60 to 100 feet deep. 

How much fishing time and riding time is there on a typical trip?
We are about 15 minutes ride from Adventure Marina (our pickup location) to the gulf, depending on the water current and other boat traffic. If the trolling fish are biting good, we begin fishing after we get past the jetties and clear of other boat traffic.   We pull these baits all the way offshore to where we are going to bottom or reef fish. That ride is usually 15- 20 min to the first wreck.  After we are in the area we are going to fish, there is usually about 3 hours of actual fishing time. When we head in, it is usually about 30 min back to the dock. If you have kept fish, we will fillet them and put them on ice in a zippy bag for you at no additional cost.  Depending on the number of fish this usually takes about 30 min over and above your charter time.

Our Lost or Broken Tackle Policy

 

What if I break or lose a fishing rod?

If you are fishing with us and a reel malfunction or for some reason it stops working, we will offer you another one to use.

 

We use light tackle rods and reels – They are tough.  However, if you drop one overboard and it is lost, you are expected to pay to replace it.  So far this has never happened.  The light tackle rods cost $450 each, or big rods are $1200 each.

If you leave a pole in the rod holder unattended and a fish strikes and breaks a pole, you will be expected to pay for it.  The pole alone cost $250.  When you are not fishing, your line must be reeled up and baited out of the water, stowed in a way where it is not swinging in the air, unless otherwise instructed.

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