*We pick up from the docks behind Sheffield’s (the Sonoco station on Ocean Isle Beach).
Deposit: Reservations can be made online at this website, or with a phone call or email to Captain Fred (910-612-5343; email@example.com) or Captain Forest (910-473-7219; firstname.lastname@example.org). As your fishing day approaches, Fred or Forest will give you a courteous call within 24 hours of your trip to discuss your trip. Calling to simply talk fishing is also encouraged anytime. You may pay by check or cash (preferred) or credit card at the end of the trip with NO processing fees, and NO fuel surcharges. Tips are appreciated for good service. 20% is customary.
Departure Times: Trips generally depart at 7am on 4 hour trips and 6:30am on the 5, 8, and 11 hour trips unless you book an afternoon trip. All trips are “dock to dock” in nature, so a 5 hr trip will leave the dock at 6:30am and return to the dock at 11:30am.
Charter Maximums: All rates on fishing trips are for parties of 1 to 6 customers. Max # of customers is six due to strict USCG rule. The captain and mate do not count against your party limit of six on any type of trip. Even infants (or people not fishing) count as one of your allotted six customers 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. If bad weather is 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 free bottled water. We do not charge extra for “captain’s fees,” credit card fees, extra bait or tackle, extra person charges or any other various miscellaneous fees such as fuel surcharge. A cash tip is appreciated; 20% is normal and most common. We provide 20 minutes of fish cleaning as part of the trip, and yes the fish are yours to keep if you indeed want to keep the fish. On the 10 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. 10 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, rub-on sunscreen, and hat. Rub on sunscreen is better to use on a boat. By the way, Sheffield’s does not open til 8am in the summer and also 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.
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 and/or gingerale too are good to hold off seasickness, since ginger is an anti-nausea natural ingredient. Seasickness is not an issue on inshore trips on the Coastal 21 or Coastal 27 since we do not go into the ocean on these trips.
Bathroom: The BIG 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. or 27 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 BIG 42 Prowler and 27 Coastal have a wonderful stereo system. Just ask the captain anytime on the trip to play music and he gladly will accommodate. You can bluetooth your own music to the boat’s system if you would like to no problem.
No Spray Sunscreen: Use spray sunscreen before getting on the boat. Spray sunscreen makes the deck of the boat slippery. Use rub-on sunscreen on the boat as needed. Thank you.
Smoking or Beer: Smoking and beer are allowed on our boats anytime no problem at all. We also provide hand sanitizer onboard for liberal use. No glass bottles, no hard liquor on fishing trips, no premixed home drinks allowed on fishing trips. Fishing trips are for fishing (and drinking canned beer only). Liquor, home made mixed drinks, and wine (and glass bottles) are okay on cruises. NO DOPE. Thank you for understanding.
Thank you for helping to keep 12 ounce sinkers/weights from constantly hitting the BIG like new 42 ft. Prowler boat when bottom fishing.