*We pick up from the docks behind Sheffield’s (the Sonoco station on Ocean Isle Beach).
Deposit: Reservations can be with a phone call or email to Captain Fred (910-612-5343; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Capt. Forest (910-880-2740; email@example.com). As your fishing day approaches, Fred or Forest will give you a courteous call within 24 hours of your trip to discuss your trip and take extra notes. Calling to simply talk fishing is also encouraged anytime. Please plan to pay by check or cash or credit card at the end of the trip. Tips are appreciated for good service.
Departure Times: Summertime fishing trips generally start at 7am on 4 hour trips and 6:30am on 8 or 12 hour trips unless you book an afternoon trip, I am also open to leaving at 4am to 5am on 12 hour trips if seas are calm and we plan to fish 70 miles offshore. All trips are “dock to dock” in nature, so a 4 hour trip will leave the dock at 7am and return to the dock at 11am. In the late Fall, Winter, and early Spring, we generally depart at 7am on all trips.
Charter Maximums: All rates on fishing trips are for parties of 1 to 6 passengers. The captain and mate do not count against your party limit on any type of trip. Even infants (or people not fishing) count as one of your allotted passengers in the eyes of the US Coast Guard.
What Age is Appropriate: With offshore fishing, generally age 6 and up is fine. If booking a cruise, any age is appropriate. All trips should be considered an outdoor adventure. If it is raining, we still go fishing, but we try to avoid thunder and lightning. We also avoid a rough ocean too and will cancel the trip if the ocean is expected to be rough. With the inshore 2 to 3 hour kids trip, age 4 and up is fine and possibly even younger.
Cancellation Policy: There is no penalty for cancellations received (and confirmed by Capt. Fred or Capt. Forest) 5 days prior to the trip. When booking online, you will receive a cancelation link in the email confirmation that is active outside the 5 day window. If bad weather expected, Capt. Fred or Capt. Forest will call you the evening before your trip to cancel. The morning of your trip, have your cell phone on please, because if the weather is unexpectedly bad, Capt. Fred or Capt. Forest will call you at 5:30am to cancel trip prior to 6:30am departure. Please know however, if you cancel the day before or the day of the trip for any reason including “it is going to rain” or you have a “hangover from the night before” or you “need to run errands” etc. then you forfeit your $100 deposit because to be honest with you we likely have turned down a half dozen other groups who wanted to go fishing the day you reserved.
What is Included in the Rate: Charter prices include all bait, tackle, ice for fish, NC saltwater fishing licenses, rods & reels, and bottled water. We do not charge extra for “captain’s fees,” fuel surcharge fees, credit card fees, extra bait or tackle, extra person charges or any other various miscellaneous fees. A cash tip to the First Mate is appreciated (either Fred or Forest will be your first mate). We provide 20 minutes of fish cleaning as part of the trip, and yes the fish are yours (with some charter companies, you have to buy the fish you catch, if you indeed want to keep the fish). On the 12 hour trips (and sometimes 8 hr trips), generally you will need to use the fish market if you want your fish cleaned past 20 minutes. 12 hour trips especially could end up with a 4 hour fish cleaning job, and we have to prepare the boat and a dozen reels for the next day. There is a local fish market that we use for this service and we will deliver the fish to that fish market and then you go pay the fish market when you pick up your bags of filleted fish. Thank you for your understanding.
What to Bring: Bring a cooler with whatever you wish to eat or drink (we provide free bottled water) and enough ice to keep your personal food and drinks cold. Avoid bringing onboard glass bottles, wine, or hard liquor for fishing trips; these are okay however on cruises. Canned beer is allowed on any FOLLOW ME charter and smoking is allowed also, but NO DOPE, as per NC and United States Coast Guard (USCG) law. Dope will result in contacting the USCG by radio and termination of the trip in accordance with meeting the USCG where they instruct. NC is not Colorado. Bring a good pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, and hat. Rub on sunscreen is better to use on a boat, rather than spraying sunscreen that makes the boat floor slick like spraying WD-40. By the way, Sheffield’s does not open til 7am in the summer and 8am in the winter so if you need to buy something or use the bathroom it is best to do that before arriving at Sheffield’s for our departure. We provide hand sanitizer onboard for liberal use. Masks are not required.
Seasickness: There are several over the counter seasickness medications along with prescription options. Use these if you anticipate a problem. Three significant factors in reducing your risk of getting seasick in my opinion are 1) coming well rested, 8 hours of sleep the night before the trip, 2) coming well hydrated, this means start drinking plenty of water a day before your trip, and 3) stay well hydrated during the trip. Some people find that ginger snaps too are good to hold off seasickness, since ginger is an anti-nausea natural ingredient.
Bathroom: The 42 Prowler has a nice fully enclosed bathroom. The bathroom is cleaned with ammonia or Clorox after ever trip, so please come well hydrated. Do not worry about “where to go.” There is no bathroom on the 21 ft. Coastal but we are close enough to Sheffield’s or Inlet View restaurant to scoot over there if someone has to use the bathroom on the kid’s trip.
Music: The 42 Prowler has a wonderful stereo system. Just ask the captain anytime on the trip to play music and he gladly will accommodate.
Smoking or Beer: Smoking and beer are allowed on both boats anytime no problem at all. We also provide hand sanitizer onboard for liberal use. Masks are not required. No glass bottles, no hard liquor or wine on fishing trips. Liquor and wine (and glass bottles) are okay on cruises.